SEATTLE -- Mother Nature might have saved the worst for last, but there were plenty of weather events through 2008 to keep us on our toes.
The year began with a little snow in the lowlands, and piles and piles of snow in the passes, where Snoqualmie and Stevens Pass had to be closed for several days.
Jan. 15: Snow, ice make for tricky commute
A particularly clear and cold day allowed Seattleites to see snow getting blown off Mt. Rainier.
Jan. 21: On a clear (and cold) day...
We then transitioned into one of the cooler springs on record. So cool, we even had snow in Seattle in April!
April 18: Summer is 63 days away. Really?
April 19: Waking to a springtime wonderland
April 20: Winter continues to stave off extinction
Spring took a brief break in late May when we had our first heat wave. In fact, Seattle had its earliest 90 degree reading on record in late May.
May 12: Ever wanted to ski in shorts?
May 17: Just another sizzling Saturday
But then early June? Right back into the chill, followed by a rare windstorm on June 9.
June 9: Welcome to Juneuary:
Summer was fairly average, with just two hot spells in late June and again in mid August. However, we had a spectacular lightning display on July 2.
June 27: Mother Nature puts Sun in Sunday:
On August 25th, another series of storms brought funnel clouds to Seattle:
Aug 25: Stormy weather bookends Monday
Fall was boring until early November, when we had two flooding events.
The rest of the month was warm and mainly dry.
December also started off quiet enough -- the first 11 days of December were warmer in the upper atmosphere than the first 11 days of June. We were even treated to one of the most spectacular cloud displays you'll ever see when these incredible lenticular clouds formed over Mt. Rainier:
Dec 5. Mt. Rainier puts on a show:
But the month sure didn't end that way. The region's greatest period of cold and snow in a generation began on Dec. 12, and didn't let up until just after Christmas. I'm putting together a separate story on the snowstorm that will be published in the coming days and linked to from here. But for now, here are the past stories:
Dec. 13: Waking to a winter wonderland
Dec. 16: More snow on the way
Dec. 19: Weekend storm looms with wind, snow
Dec. 24: Another day, another round of snow
Mother Nature then tossed a parting shot for 2008 with two mild wind events.
Overall, average temperatures were...about average to perhaps a bit below, thanks to the cool spring and December arctic blast. We were way behind on rain though -- Seattle looks to finish up about 7" below normal, while Forks was nearly 15" below normal.
Seattle set four record highs: 79 on April 12, 90 on May 17, 90 on Aug. 14 and 62 on Nov. 7, and tied three others -- 84 on May 16, 91 on June 28 and 60 on Nov. 19. We set two new record lows -- 22 on Dec. 14 and 19 on Dec. 15, and tied five others, including a 14 on Dec. 20.
Have a happy and safe 2009!