Weather Blog

Mt. Rainier (almost) correctly predicts rain

Mt. Rainier (almost) correctly predicts rain

While you can find a weather forecast just about anywhere these days, thanks to cell phones and PDAs and the like, sometimes all it takes is a gander to the south.  One of the best weather lores around the Puget Sound region is when Mt. Rainier is wearing a hat, it means it knows it's about to rain. 

Actually, these "cap" clouds are known as lenticular clouds, and they frequently make for quite the show around here. (Some displays even get to be the subject of a viral e-mail chain :) .)

They're caused when the air flow is just right so when it flows over Mt. Rainier, the air gets pushed upward where it cools and condenses into clouds.  Depending on how smooth the flow is, you can get some amazing clouds formations

It's usually a sign of rain within 24 hours because typically the moist flow that precedes a storm around here is the perfect set up for these clouds.

These photos, taken by YouNews contributor jjjimbo99, were taken on Sunday from Interlakken Bridge crossing Lake Steilacoom in Lakewood.



Now, in this case, the mountain wasn't quite right, but close -- something meteorologists can certainly sympathize with. There was rain, but most of it fell in Canada and in northwestern Washington.

According to UW Research Meteorologist Mark Albright, West Vancouver, B.C. collected 1.69" of rain on Sunday, while Vancouver Airport had 1.24".  Even Bellingham was pretty soggy at 0.52". But here around the Puget Sound area? Everett had just 0.02" while Seattle received nada -- pretty amazing you can go from over an inch an a half to zero is just a few hours' drive.

But the mountain wasn't the only thing showing off this weekend. Here are some great sunset photos submitted to our YouNews group and e-mailed in:

This one is from YouNews' antmay42, taken from Blaine:

Here is a great sun pillar, from robpollock66@hotmail.com taken from Steilacoom.



And this one was taken from Mukilteo looking west over Whidbey Island toward the Olympics: