But even if the skies were too cloudy for the eclipse, but not cloudy enough to spin out tornadoes, there were some amazing sights around the greater Puget Sound region.
The cool, unstable air that brought the tornado down south and a mix-mash of showers, thunderstorms and hail to our region made for some dramatic sights in the sky, both on the ground and above.
I took some photos as my flight from Denver was on final approach into Seattle. Aside from the bubbling cumulus clouds, there were some lenticular clouds over the Cascades that made for stark contrasts in the sky. (See photo gallery).
Aside from the storms, Oct. 23 will go down for another interesting tidbit: The high temperature will be 58 degrees and the low was in the upper 40s.
It's the first time the temperature has failed to reach 60 degrees since May -- the latest we've gone into the second half of the year with a high under 60 degrees. Old record was Oct. 17. It's also only the second time this month we've dropped under 50 for a low.
Scott's Note: I'm taking a few days off this week so here is an "In case you missed it" blog, originally posted on June 14, 2011. Enjoy!
It takes some of the better sports cars out there about 5-7 seconds to go from 0 to 60 mph.
Mother Nature showed off some of her own powerful accelerations during a storm that spawned an incredible gust front in Maine last week.
Michael McCormack has a web camera situated at Sebec Lake. About 1:45 p.m., a strong gust front went through the region, and the winds went from near calm to roaring over 60 mph in seconds.
And his web camera was rolling the entire time.
Here is how he described it:
"This image sequence shows a gust front approaching and raising a lot of water from the lake surface. The 4th frame shows a boat being overtaken at the leading edge of the wind. Last image shows a treetop landed in front of the cam." He estimates based on the speed of the front, the winds were blowing at about 66 mph at the leading edge.
Here are the images he was talking about. They are taken 30 seconds apart.
To kick off the...middle of October week? -- I've got a bit of grab bag weather geek stuff for the blog that's been sitting in my inbox waiting for the light of day, so here goes...
First up, this neat interactive site that lets you compare weather across the nation. For those of you who liked this worldwide rainfall comparison tool I posted last month, this site is for you, courtesy Kristian Nielsen:
October has been on quite the sunny and warm kick. Four of the first six days in the 70s, with a 75 and record-tying 78 on the board already when average highs are in the mid 60s. None of the days the first week have been considered officially "cloudy" and there's been nary a drop in the rain bucket.
For many, these nice stretches in the early stages of autumn are colloquially known as an "Indian Summer." But is there any sort of official definition to make it qualify?
Growing up, I thought the term was pretty informal to mean any kind of nice sunny and relatively warm stretch in October. But a few years ago during a rather sunny and warm stretch in mid-October, I received an e-mail asking since it went below freezing at their home that night, did it make that sunny streak make an official Indian Summer?
Don Jensen was heading to Mt. Rainier for some overnight photography when the weather fates interceded. Clouds rolled into the interior, but the beaches were clear as a bell, so Jensen made the trek instead to Ruby Beach.
New Year's Eve, 1968 was likely a bit of a chaotic celebration for winter weary Seattleites. Just a week and a half before, a dollop of 5" of snow fell in the city, followed a few days later by two more snow showers that dropped another 3" of snow. Christmas was rather mundane but the days after were anything but as a massive arctic blast rolled into the region.
On the 27th, the high was 37 and the low was 20. On the 28th, it only got up to 22, and dropped to 13.
The next two days wouldn't reach 20 and drop to single digits -- the thermometer tumbling to 8 degrees on the 29th and 6 degrees on the 30th as a winter storm arrived.
This is one of those times that if you have a large, HD monitor around, go find it and then reload this blog. It'll be worth it.
Mike Olbinski, a fantastic photographer who lives in Arizona, has spent the summer chasing the monsoon storms that wrought towering thunderclouds, vivid lightning, incredible downpours and intense dust storms.
The rains this morning were an emphatic end to what will go down as the second-hottest summer on record at Sea-Tac Airport, which has data going back to 1945.
The average high temperature from June 21 through September 21 this year was 79.3 degrees, falling just behind 1967's 79.5 degree average (and just ahead of 3rd place. Guess what summer that was? Last year! 2013 averaged 78.6 degrees)
Our toasty numbers this year make sense when you consider 40 of the 92 days of our summer were warmer than 80 degrees -- meaning nearly half our summer was spent over 80 degrees! And 21 of those days were 85 degrees or warmer with five days at 90 or hotter.