It had, as its opening salvo while starting to face the Earth, unleashed a moderately strong solar flare that reached us late Friday, triggering a display of the Northern Lights that reached as far south as Colorado.
A faint display was also visible in Eastern Washington, where Rocky Raybell had his camera out and ready. He snapped these three photos from Keller, Washington which is in Ferry County.
"A little after 10pm it was dark enough for the aurora to begin to show through breaks in the clouds. The combination with the moonlight was nice, until it clouded completely over and began to rain," Raybell wrote on his YouNews page. "As late as 3am I could still see the glow through the clouds in the north."
He says he used photo ISOs 1600 and 3200 with exposures of 6 to 10 seconds to get these images.
Raybell is a frequent contributor to us and sounds like he'll be out again this weekend as more solar flares arrive. We'll probably need a stronger solar flare to see the lights around Seattle and Portland but the sunspot has a history of unleashing some doozies
The sun has been getting quite active lately, with one sun spot in particular giving off several explosive flares this week, and it could eventually bring some brilliant displays of the Northern Lights to the Pacific Northwest.
SEATTLE-- Missing: Middle ground. Last seen several months ago. Description: Temperatures of medium build, 60-65 degrees, with clouds that weigh about 2-3 days' worth of rain a week.
Once again, Seattle is locked into a weather pattern that features either a stretch of cool, wet weather or a period of warm, dry weather, with nary a mixture of the two in between.
Friday's sunshine with temperatures rising well into the 70s, if not low 80s in some spots, is extending an all-time record spanning almost 120 years of Seattle history: The first 10 days of May are going to finish warmer than 65 degrees with zero rain in the rain gauge.* The old record for both zero rain to start a month and have all days 65 degrees highs or warmer was eight.
The first week of May is probably better known around here as the Opening Day of Boating Season but did you also know it's when we kick off the fire rainbow season?
Fire rainbows, or more officially (and more boringly) known as "circumhorizonal arcs" are caused by ice crystals in the thin, distant clouds being at just the correct angle to refract the sunlight into the colors of the prism.
Ron Glowen, now of Arlington, Wash., just sent me these photos that were taken in June of 2006 while visiting his hometown of Spokane.
Those of you who frequently read the blog might have noted it was on autopilot the past two weeks as I've been out of town, but now that I'm back, I've found there were a lot of fun and cool topics that happened since I was off on the other coast.
First up: Did you know a baseball game at Denver's Coors Field set a record on April 23 for the coldest game time temperature on record? Just 23 degrees. It broke the record set... the week before in Denver at 28. Chicago had held the record at 29 before that pair of chilly games.
It's not often Seattle can go toe-to-toe with Phoenix in the hot weather department for the crown of hottest big city in America, but Monday, the Emerald City held its own.
Seattle and Phoenix both reached 87 degrees -- smashing the daily record of 79 for Seattle; a few degrees cooler than the normal 91 for Phoenix.
But at least on this particular day, no other major city in the United States could claim to be as warm.
Not Miami (85), not Las Vegas (78), Houston (79), Dallas (77), New Orleans (75) and certainly not Los Angeles (66) or even lowering our population standards, Palm Springs! (77). We even bested our usually warmer neighbors to the south in Portland (83) and east in Spokane (81).
Not since the country of Slovakia adopted the euro as its official form of currency has Seattle been this warm in May, and the continued warmth and sunshine is set to break a number of records that have stood for decades and, in some cases, centuries.
Seattle hit a balmy high of 84 degrees on Sunday -- the first day over 80 degrees day in May since 2009 (back before most cell phones had 4G!). It was even warmer on the coast as warm easterly winds that got a temperature boost from the Olympic Mountains sent highs into the mid-upper 80s, with Forks hitting 88.
Yet while the coast was one and done (down in the upper 50s Monday, thanks to marine clouds) Seattle and the Puget Sound area were basking in another day that was expected to reach well into the 80s, courtesy of a thermal trough that will keep the warm east winds going through Monday. Seattle's record high for Monday is 79 degrees, set in 1957 and will likely be broken by the end of lunchtime.
(In fact, Seattle was already at 74 degrees at 11 a.m. Monday, warmer than this impressive list of sun cities: Orlando, Los Angeles, Houston, San Diego, Las Vegas, Atlanta, and Dallas!)
Blog originally posted Nov. 16, 2010 You thought you'd stay informed on the crazy weather this fall by friending or following a meteorologist on Twitter.
And then come to find you're seeing re-Tweets or Facebook comments from other weather fans that look like some sort of clandestine secret agent communications with funny looking acronyms and random numbers that don't seem to make sense. It's like trying to learn chemistry from an instructor that only speaks Pig Latin.