Weather Blog

Newest Seattle summer forecast: Still 'chilly' but with a twist...

Newest Seattle summer forecast: Still 'chilly' but with a twist...

There was some brief panic in the newsroom today after the morning national news shows talked about how the latest forecasts from NOAA showed the west coast would be generally cooler than normal into October.

It turns out, they are referring to this map (above, left)

Which is the 90 day forecast that takes us from August into September. While California is having greater than equal chances of remaining cooler (and they have generally had a cool summer right along with the Northwest), you'll note that Western Washington is not in the blue -- instead in the blank "equal chance" category which means there is no signal either way of whether it'll be warmer than normal, spot-on normal, or cooler than normal. (In other words, a coin toss... or pyramid toss)

So that should provide at least a morsel of hope to the sun fans.

But those same sun fans should not look at the shorter medium range forecasts, because as has been the case several times this season, they are predicting high chances of cooler than normal conditions.

This is the 8-14 day forecast for Aug. 2-8, but this map looks very similar to the 6-10 day forecast for July 31-Aug. 4. Note the Northwest is shaded the familiar blue, and the Midwest and East Coast are about to broil once again:

However, this map has a twist! Check out the precipitation chances:

The Northwest has higher odds of being drier than normal. And since this is the driest time of the year anyway, when rain falls roughly once every 12-13 years on any given date, this would seem to suggest there is about as close to zero percent chance of rain as you can find.

Sure enough, running the actual forecast model out the full 16 days it goes, it's predicting a very stable pattern of morning clouds and afternoon sunshine that technically would keep us cooler than the normal upper 70s (and thus qualify for blue shading on the map) but likely just means low-mid 70s.

And for those wanting warmth, sometimes these models don't exactly hit the mark.

You might remember this blog I wrote on July 13th. That showed a map that predicted a 90-100% chance Seattle would be below normal on July 24th!!!

Instead, it was sunny and 83 that day. Oops. Maybe it meant the 25th. (I give the model a hard time, but that prediction 11 days out was actually not too far off since we did get mega trough, it was just a day late, and 11 days out, that's not too bad for long range models.)

So don't let the blue blobs have you feeling blue, warm weather fans. It might just turn out to be the most pleasant stretch of summer we've had so far.

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