Weather Blog

There's variable weather, and then there's Washington weather

There's variable weather, and then there's Washington weather
Web camera of Olympic National Park, taken June 7, 2011. (Courtesy: National Parks Service.)

 If you're not happy with the weather going on in your neighborhood today, you could solve the problem by taking about an hour's drive.

Note I didn't say which type of weather, because you could find sunshine, pouring rain, or just overcast skies nearby.

A strong marine push brought in a low cloud layer Monday night, but as that layer burned off, a Puget Sound Convergence Zone formed, bringing a lot of rain to Snohomish County, but allowing sunshine to break out in others. Meanwhile, the zone created some gusty winds in many areas -- and areas of near calm.

The inspiration for today's blog began with a call from my Dad in Port Angeles. It's been a blustery, cloudy day here in Downtown Seattle and he called to inform me that the west winds were picking up in the Strait of Juan de Fuca. That's usually a sign of a budding convergence zone.

Sure enough, within 20 minutes, the rain started falling and my sister, who just got caught outside in it in Everett, called. "It's nasty, disgusting and awful day -- it's not even rain. It's like the clouds are crying," smirked the water-logged sibling who went to high school in California. (What can I say, she's the weird one :) She does love Seattle though, so go easy on her! ) An e-mail from my wife nearby (who does like the rain) says she and the kids got a little wet on their afternoon walk.

A call back to my Dad: "Hey you were right, The Zone formed a short time later." He said the winds were dying down but at least the sun's been out most of the day.

Wait, the sun was out? I had to go check. Sure enough, there was a big clear patch over the central Strait, as well as parts of the south Sound. (Some of that is caused by the remnants of a convergence zone -- when the winds collide over Snohomish County, they eventually sink and dry out, sometimes eating clouds, in areas surrounding the zone.)

So here it was cloudy and breezy in Seattle, pouring rain but calm in Everett, and mostly sunny in Port Angeles and relatively breezy. You're talking a region that's within about a 75 mile box.

For specifics:

Seattle: Cloudy, 59, wind southwest at 20 gusting to 29 mph.
Port Angeles: Mostly sunny, 57, wind northwest at 18, gusting to 29 mph (Airport. At my parents' home near the water, it was 52 and gusting to 15)
Everett: 50, wind north and 6 mph.

Other cities at same time:
Friday Harbor: 60, mostly clear, wind 8 gusting to 15.
Shelton: 57, partly sunny
Olympia: 57, overcast, southwest gusting to 23

The sun was out across most of Eastern Washington, but it was cool and windy in some spots, just in case you're looking for sunshine and wind combined.

Just to recap: here is the visible satellite image:

and here is the radar at nearly the same time:

The weather should be a little more uniform as we go throughout the week -- even a dry day on Thursday there, sis :)