Weather Blog

Mt. Rainier casts big shadow to kick off Thanksgiving week

Mt. Rainier casts big shadow to kick off Thanksgiving week
Sun rises behind Mt. Rainier on Nov. 24, 2014. (Photo: Luke Meyers)

There are a number of reasons fall and winter are my favorite times of the year, but this is one of the biggies: the amazing Mt. Rainier sunrises.

In late fall and into early winter, the sun rises in just the right spot on our horizon to where if there is a mid-to-high level cloud layer, Mt. Rainier casts its large shadow into the sky. It can make for a rather dramatic start to the day!

The photo above was taken by Luke Meyers. And there are more in our photo gallery taken from other spots around the Puget Sound region today. (Looks like there's a lenticular cloud on there to boot on a few other photos!)

I've found it can be even more dramatic as we head into December. check out this show from Dec. 31, 2012 and Nov. 17, 2007.

And then there was this epic shot taken on Oct. 26, 2011 by Nick Lippert:



So if you're up early and it's sorta cloudy at sunrise, but not too low of an overcast, try finding Mt. Rainier and see if it's showing off its stature!

New long range forecast maps: Still chugging along for warmer/drier winter

New long range forecast maps: Still chugging along for warmer/drier winter
Photo: Patrick Robinson, West Seattle Herald

El Nino may be struggling to keep a foothold in the Pacific Ocean, but the long range forecasts from NOAA's Climate Prediction Center are still sticking with their consistent theme of increased odds of a warmer and drier winter.

So far, the maps have been relatively accurate. At least in Seattle we are running counter to November's forecast from last month that was saying warmer than normal -- with the chilly nights of late we're trending about a degree cooler than normal, although really that cold pattern went away about five days ago and chilly air has been trapped at the surface with the inversion -- the atmosphere just above ground level has been fairly warm.

Say what? 65" of snow in one part of Buffalo, barely 1" in another

Say what? 65" of snow in one part of Buffalo, barely 1" in another
A vehicle, with a large chunk of snow on its top, drives along Route 20 after digging out after a massive snow fall in Lancaster, N.Y. Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2014. (AP Photo/Gary Wiepert)

As parts of greater Buffalo area deal with a historic lake-effect snow storm, other parts have barely enough for a decent snowman.

An intense, but relatively narrow band of lake-effect snow unleashed a relentless attack on Erie County that seemed to cut Buffalo into half with the haves (south side) and have nots (north side). (See radar animation here).

Some snow totals from Tuesday are difficult to fathom with a spotter 4 miles south of Cheektowaga (An eastern suburb of Buffalo) reporting 65 inches of snow while Lancaster, NY, just a few miles farther east, had 63 inches.

Parts of Buffalo area buried under 4-5 feet of lake-effect snow

When residents of western New York say it's the most snow they've seen in a while, that's… quite a bit of snow. Sort of akin to someone from Duluth saying it's mighty chilly outside.

A massive lake-effect snow has dumped several inches to feet of snow across parts of the region adjacent to the eastern shores of Lake Erie, including shutting down a major freeway and stranding about 150 people on the road -- some for nearly 24 hours.

How much snow? Some reports near Buffalo had 5 feet of snow -- FEET! As in, 60 inches of snow and more on the way.

How much more snow? The National Weather Service in Buffalo says another 2 feet will likely fall again with a second event on Thursday, pushing some areas close to 6-8 feet of snow.

Puppy dogs spotted in the skies over Ontario

Puppy dogs spotted in the skies over Ontario
Could this be what the skies looked like near Sudbury, Ontario Monday? (FILE photo taken Aug. 2, 2014 from Seattle, Wash.)

We've all done it before -- a day with bubbling cumulus clouds stacked against a crystal blue sky and your mind starts wandering to what the clouds look like: A bunny? Elephant? The Mona Lisa?

In Ontario Monday, it was apparently a puppy dog, as one observer in Sudbury noted on the official weather observation log:

Time lapse video beauty: The amazing night skies

Time lapse video beauty: The amazing night skies
Photo: Don Jensen

Don Jensen, whose work has been featured a number of times in my blog, has just released his latest time lapse video called "Darkness."

"The night sky can be amazing. And one of the coolest things about it, is how the moon effects that sky," he wrote on his Vimeo page. "I wanted to do a video that really captures the eloquence of the moonlit sky. So with that, I present "Darkness," a monochrome view of the night sky."

Weather whiplash: Denver drops 40 degrees in 3 hours

Weather whiplash: Denver drops 40 degrees in 3 hours
Snow falls in Denver on Nov. 10, 2014 just a few hours after it was 64°. (Photo courtesy: Daryl Orr, KDVR-TV, Denver)

Days like today are not unheard of in Denver and the Midwest when you've got a massive cold front barreling through... but they're still fun to marvel at.

Check out how residents there kicked off their work week:

Photos: Incredible weekend sunsets in Western Wash.

Photos: Incredible weekend sunsets in Western Wash.
The second weekend of November ushered in a powerful storm followed by two nights of gorgeous sunsets in the Pacific Northwest. Photos courtesy KOMO viewers, shared with KOMO News on Facebook. Nov. 8-9, 2014.

El Nino flaking out on us again? Chances of it forming drop to 58%

El Nino flaking out on us again? Chances of it forming drop to 58%
Yakima River Upper Kittitas County on Nov. 5, 2014 (Photo: Stephanie Hansen)

El Nino may be flaking out on its winter date with us again, but for skiers and snowboarders it'd be akin to having better plans lined up anyway.

The latest word from NOAA is that the odds of El Nino forming this winter are down to 58 percent -- a far cry from the 80 percent chances we had in the early summer.

Forecasts are still indeed for El Nino conditions to develop this winter (better hurry up!) but now we're leaning toward a borderline event that may just barely qualify.

This snowman will help put Alaska's massive storm in perspective

This snowman will help put Alaska's massive storm in perspective
This Sunday, March 2, 2014 photo shows a giant snowman created by Greg Novak in Gilman, Minn. (AP Photo/ St. Cloud, Jason Wachter)

With all the hype over the big storm off Alaska's (far) west coast and the talk of the impending arctic doom and gloom heading toward the Midwest this week being blamed on this storm, you might think the photo above is current -- or a forecast of how much snow is about to fall out there.

Well, no. Not quite.

Impending super storm in Alaska to bring...sun to Seattle!

Impending super storm in Alaska to bring...sun to Seattle!
This Nov. 5, 2014 photo provided by NASA shows a picture captured by NASA's Aqua satellite of Typhoon Nuri. (AP Photo/NASA)

If Sesame Street's Count was an Alaska meteorologist, he'd have to have quite a bit of hot tea handy, because his voice was going to run out long before he could count down to the central pressure of a major storm brewing off the Aleutians.

The storm, which is currently the remnants of Super Typhoon Nuri, is expected to undergo a change to a non-tropical storm and then experience explosive development when it taps into some colder air in the Bering Sea and become among the stronger non-tropical weather systems recorded in the Pacific Ocean.