Weather Blog

Scott Sistek

Meteorologist

Scott Sistek
Scott Sistek
Meteorologist
Originally from Port Angeles, Scott has lived in the Pacific Northwest for most of his life and graduated from the University of Washington in 1994 with a degree in Atmospheric Sciences. He started at KOMO as Steve Pool's weather producer two days later. His duties quickly expanded to writing the daily evening online forecast and now for the past 6+ years has been the author of the Partly to Mostly Bloggin' Weather Blog. Scott also has additional duties here as a news web content producer.

Recent stories by Scott Sistek

Weather Time lapse video shows how those spooky 'hat' clouds form on Mt. Rainier Time lapse video shows how those spooky 'hat' clouds form on Mt. Rainier (Photo Gallery) (Video)
The sometimes-eerie-looking "Hat" clouds -- officially known as lenticular clouds -- are no stranger to Mt. Rainier. But while to many it might just look like a cloud frozen in time, there is actually quite a bit of air movement involved in making the clouds.

KOMO News photographer Mitch Pittman was up hiking in the Cascades recently and managed to get this amazing time lapse video (above) of a lenticular cloud sitting atop Mt. Rainier. The video is a great illustration of the flow that goes into making the cloud's lens-type feature.
Weather Strange but true: Washington has more tornadoes this year than Midwest states Strange but true: Washington has more tornadoes this year than Midwest states
Scott's Note: The story was true when published on March 23, 2015. There have since been tornadoes in the Midwest as of March 25.

In proof that you can spin statistics in numerous ways, you could truthfully declare that Washington has been one of the most tornado-prone states in the nation this year.

That includes typical tornado alley stalwarts Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas. At least as of March 23, they haven't had any tornadoes reported! They join 43 other states with that distinction.
Weather How long did the warmth last in past record-warm winters? How long did the warmth last in past record-warm winters?
The winters of 1976-77 and 1991-92 have been getting a lot of attention of late as they've been the previous standards to which past warm winters have been compared to. It'll be this current winter from here on out as we've already essentially shattered records for mild winters in Seattle, but I have received quite a few emails from people wondering how long can we expect this pattern to continue?

Specifically, they've asked how long it took after those aforementioned two winters to "get back to normal"?
Weather Sunday's soaking showers stats for Seattle Sunday's soaking showers stats for Seattle
Seattle's little-known fact outside the local area is how we get rain quite often, but it usually comes in drips and drizzles and it's why Seattle ranks behind several other U.S. Cities in annual rainfall.

But Sunday? Not so much.
Weather El Nino finally here, now that the party's almost over El Nino finally here, now that the party's almost over
It was supposed to the guest of "honor" at the annual fall and winter festivities in the Pacific Northwest this year, but as we all stood milling around, El Nino was fashionably late.

Then it was pretty late.

Then we all started glancing at our watches. Did El Nino get lost? Did its GPS lead it astray? Car broke down?
Weather 'Partly sunny' vs. 'mostly cloudy' -- yes they mean something different 'Partly sunny' vs. 'mostly cloudy' -- yes they mean something different
It's a surprisingly common question we get around here: "What's the difference between 'partly sunny' and 'mostly cloudy'? Isn't it if it's one, it's also the other?"

Yes and no. At least for the forecasts written by the National Weather Service, there are very specific definitions in their zone forecasts that are broken down into each region.

(You've likely seen those forecasts -- for instance, they're the ones in all caps you see if you've ever been a fan of "Weather on the 8's" on a certain dominant national weather channel.)
Weather L.A.-area beach turned white during intense hail storm L.A.-area beach turned white during intense hail storm (Video)
You know it's been a paltry winter around here when beaches in Southern California look more the winter wonderland than some of our ski slopes.

Check out what happened in Huntington Beach when an intense hail storm moved through Monday morning. Some of the pics from social media are truly amazing!

Here is the story from the Associated Press:
Weather Warm winter bringing out the tulips early at Skagit Valley Tulip Festival Warm winter bringing out the tulips early at Skagit Valley Tulip Festival (Photo Gallery) (Video)
Walk around the Puget Sound area and you'll notice trees starting to bloom and perhaps the whirr of a lawn mower or two, even though winter still had a solid 3-4 weeks left in its reign.

Seattle finished up February as the warmest on record, on the heels of a very warm January (and record-warm December) as well, and the early spring-time weather has in tandem brought out the first signs of spring.
Weather Seattle sets twin records for warmest February, winter on record Seattle sets twin records for warmest February, winter on record (Photo Gallery)
In what will go down as one of the best -- or worst -- winters on record, depending on what you want out of a Seattle winter, now there will be some meteorological trophies to go along with the memories.

Seattle has set its record for all-time warmest February since official measurements began at Sea-Tac Airport. The average temperature (high temperature plus low temperature, divided by two) was 48.8 degrees narrowly edging 1977's record at 48.7. (And I mean narrowly. Had Saturday just been one degree cooler, it would have been a tied record instead.)
Weather 2 routine events combine for spectacular scene over Canadian skies 2 routine events combine for spectacular scene over Canadian skies (Photo Gallery)
Those who were up early enough Sunday morning in Surrey, B.C. and happened to look up were treated to a spectacular scene in the heavens that looks like something straight out of the imagination of a futuristic Hollywood alien blockbuster film.

In actuality, it was the combination of two rather routine events that just happened to have impeccable timing:

A sunrise (one for the ages on its own) …and a plane descending through a solid, stable cloud layer.
Weather Long range forecast maps: Short term gain, long term pain Long range forecast maps: Short term gain, long term pain
It's the third week in February, and that means it's time for NOAA's monthly long range forecast update. But while skiers and snow lovers have probably trained themselves by now to just skip reading this type of entry in my blog, I bring tidings of GOOD NEWS!

Sort of.

Let's hold off the inevitable bad news for a few paragraphs to show this map in all its glory: