Weather Blog

Scott Sistek

Meteorologist

Scott Sistek
Scott Sistek
Meteorologist
Originally from Port Angeles, Scott graduated from the UW in 1994 with a degree in Atmospheric Sciences and has been producing weather reports for broadcast and on the Web ever since.

Recent stories by Scott Sistek

News Just how hot would a warm Seattle autumn and winter be? Just how hot would a warm Seattle autumn and winter be?
We've all heard how it's been such a hot summer. And you've likely been reading about how the Pacific Northwest is expected to maintain a warmer than warmer autumn and winter.
Weather Just how hot would a warm Seattle autumn and winter be? Just how hot would a warm Seattle autumn and winter be?
We've all heard how it's been such a hot summer. And you've likely been reading about how the Pacific Northwest is expected to maintain a warmer than normal autumn and winter.

UW Atmospheric Sciences professor Cliff Mass just did an excellent blog post showing why we're expected to be so warm. In a nutshell, Mass says a persistent ridge of high pressure last fall that kept the storms away also keep the ocean from churning very much, which is needed to mix in some cooler water from the depths of the ocean.
Weather Northern Lights could make appearance tonight Northern Lights could make appearance tonight
A strong solar storm is in progress, and for those ever hoping to catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights, its timing couldn't be better.

Spaceweather.com says not one, but two coronal mass ejections (CMEs -- fancy word for solar flares) erupted and came hurtling toward Earth.

The first one has already passed, but the second one is in progress which means Friday night could see a display of the Northern Lights. It's a near slam dunk for the higher latitudes but even our area has a chance to get a peek if the stars align.
Weather Sunny Northwest day stuns ISS astronaut Sunny Northwest day stuns ISS astronaut
I would think being an astronaut living on the International Space Station would find a new sight each day in the cosmos to be in sheer wonder.

Friday brought a rare sight to NASA astronaut Reid Wiseman -- something he says never happens and he had a front row seat.

A galaxy supernova? Not quite; seen it before.

Rain on the moon? That would qualify but still no need for meteorologists there.

No, while it was weather-related, it had to do with our own Pacific Northwest:
Weather Seattle's craziest 0.12"-of-rain-day ever? Seattle's craziest 0.12"-of-rain-day ever? (Photo Gallery)
When someone peeks back at the weather entry for Sept. 2, 2014, they'll see Seattle got a 0.12" of rain and figure it was a routine September day.

Then they'll find this story and wonder what happened and how a tenth of an inch of rain did so much? Seattle got triple that amount on Saturday with nary an issue.

For one, the rain was a bit heavier in the heart of the city and managed to miss the airport -- the perils of having an official station be located 12 miles south of the city. NOAA's official reporting station at Sand Point recorded an amazing 0.58" of rain.
Weather Not just hot days but warm nights this summer... again Not just hot days but warm nights this summer... again
This weekend, I wrote that this "summer" - or at least the heart of it from July 1 to August 31, was the second-warmest on record at Sea-Tac Airport by average high temperature.

Turns out, we also set an all-time record for the period if you factor in average temperature, which is calculated by taking the day's high and low and diving by two. This year's average for the two months checked in at 69.2 degrees, breaking the 1967 record of 68.8 degrees.
Weather Seattle finishes 2nd warmest July-August on record Seattle finishes 2nd warmest July-August on record (Photo Gallery)
Wow, what a warm summer it's been. July started it off being the 4th warmest on record by average high temperature (2nd warmest by overall average temperature) and August picked up the baton and just kept going.

This August will finish up the 5th warmest on record by average high temperature at 79.5 degrees. It's a far cry from the record hottest August (83.7 degrees in 1967) but then again, second place was 80.3 so all years are a far cry from 1967.

So individually, the months were pretty impressive, but combined, it's even moreso.
Weather Updated forecasts still say mild, dry winter on tap for Seattle Updated forecasts still say mild, dry winter on tap for Seattle (Photo Gallery)
First off, let me start this blog by saying if you're a skier, snowboarder, or big winter fan, you might want to skip over to the sports section. Happier news in Seattle there these days.

For those who have the stomach to continue, the new August version of the long-range 90-day forecasts issued each month by NOAA are in and while the forecasts themselves for this fall and winter haven't changed much in what they've been saying, the tone of the message is a little stronger for some months.
Weather 2014 going to end up as much hotter summer in Seattle than 2009 2014 going to end up as much hotter summer in Seattle than 2009
At least as far as recent memory goes, 2009 set quite the standard for a hot summer in Seattle. That year was home to a brutal two-week stretch of heat that peaked at 103 degrees in Seattle on July 29 and had several days over 90.

This summer hasn't been anywhere near as hot, at least as far as peak heating goes. We have four total days at 90 or warmer and a 96 degree reading earlier this month, but no real "trophy heat waves", as I call them. As in: No long stretches over 90. In fact, all our 90 degree days this year have been orphans -- just one in a row.
Weather The science behind the smell of rain The science behind the smell of rain
Ever notice there's a distinct smell right after it starts raining?

It's most noticeable when it's been dry for a long while and the shower is fairly heavy. My wife, who grew up in Arizona, referred to this as the "wet rock" smell and there is some truth to it as it's rock that's among the main culprits for giving off the smell.
Weather Seattle on pace for hottest July-August in Sea-Tac history Seattle on pace for hottest July-August in Sea-Tac history
Seattle has already notched the fourth-warmest July on record by average high temperature (second warmest by average temperature), but apparently this summer has its sights set on loftier goals.

As of Monday night's data, August was also on pace to be the second-warmest August at Sea-Tac Airport, currently sitting at an average high of 81.7 degrees. The record is a lofty 83.7 degrees so we'd need to really turn up the burners to reach that record.