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 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:
Weather Central Nebraska about the only folks experiencing a normal February Central Nebraska about the only folks experiencing a normal February
The weather pattern this winter has been stark in its dramatic differences -- temperatures at record-warm levels in the West, and a relentless march of arctic air masses pummeling the East.

The map above is a snapshot in time -- actually a forecast depicting areas of expected below and above normal temperatures for later this week, but it's been the consistent story the past several days anyway.
Weather Mountain snowpack now totally gone in some spots Mountain snowpack now totally gone in some spots
The numbers have been ugly…and they're getting uglier by the hour.

The National Weather Service has put out its twice-monthly report on the mountain snowpack and the numbers for Feb. 15 and, well, skiers should probably stop reading here. Perhaps water managers and those who have to battle wildfires might just head on over to the sports sectio…well, maybe the offbeat news?

To those who are brave enough to stomach the results, here goes:
Weather Seattle easily on pace for warmest winter on record Seattle easily on pace for warmest winter on record
As you look around to flowers budding, lawns needing mowing, and skiers frowning, signs are everywhere it's been a very mild winter. So it should come to no shock that we are indeed on pace to shatter records for warmest winter -- and autumn-winter combined -- since 1945 when Sea-Tac Airport became Seattle's official observation.

First, let's look at the overall numbers:
Weather 50,000-ft. mountain sprouts up in Seattle? Contrail makes neat optical illusion 50,000-ft. mountain sprouts up in Seattle? Contrail makes neat optical illusion
Who'd have thought a simple right turn in the sky could make such an interesting photo opportunity?

I spotted this as my family was driving down the Mukilteo Speedway Sunday morning -- at first thought it looked like a massively tall mountain had sprung up over the Cascades with snow blowing to the right off the summit! (Well, if the mountain was indeed that tall, at least it'd be one of the few places this winter that was cold enough for snow!)
Weather Time lapse videos show off Seattle beauty Time lapse videos show off Seattle beauty
Photographer and time lapse video artist Don Jensen is out with his second installment of time lapse photography/video that shows off the beauty of Seattle called "The Emerald City Experience II."

He began shooting this video in October.
Weather Oregon dust storm now blamed for 'milky rain' in Eastern Washington Oregon dust storm now blamed for 'milky rain' in Eastern Washington (Photo Gallery)
The mystery surrounding a white, milky rain that fell across Eastern Washington and parts of Oregon and Idaho Friday has a new theory, although I'd call it more of a tweak of the previous theory.

The event coated vehicles and windows in more than 15 cities, including Spokane, the Tri-Cities, and Hermiston, Oregon. Initial thoughts of the source originating as volcanic ash from a distant eruption or debris blown from summer wildfire-scarred terrain were quickly disproven.
Weather Mystery of the 'milky rain' in Eastern Washington solved? Mystery of the 'milky rain' in Eastern Washington solved? (Photo Gallery)
Update: Further investigation by a Washington State University meteorologist shows the origin of the light-colored dust wasn't from a dust storm northern Nevada, but a dust storm from Oregon's Summer Lake -- also home to very light-colored sands.

Strange things were afoot in Eastern Washington and parts of eastern Oregon and the Idaho panhandle Friday when the day's rain showers left a bit of a milky residue on cars and whatnot.

Social media filled up with photos of the aftermath, with the National Weather Service in Spokane posting a photo of the rather cloudy rain they collected in the rain gauge at their office.

After a few days of sleuthing, meteorologist Greg Koch with the National Weather Service in Spokane has posted a blog on what they think is the likely cause of the strange-colored rain.

In short: Blame Nevada.
Weather Mysterious "dirty rain" falling in Eastern Washington, Oregon Mysterious "dirty rain" falling in Eastern Washington, Oregon (Photo Gallery)
Update: The Spokane National Weather Service now has a pretty good theory on what caused the milky rain. Updated story here>>

While it's been a routine, rainy day in Seattle, those over in southeastern Washington and northeastern Oregon have had a strange phenomenon: A dirty, milky rain.

Several reports have come in from Spokane, Walla Walla, Pendleton -- and really across much of that region. The rain has left a dirty residue on cars and has flooded social media over there with people wondering what is causing the odd rain.
Weather Ever wonder how Army Corps meteorologists deal with the dam weather? Ever wonder how Army Corps meteorologists deal with the dam weather?
We all know it rains a lot in Seattle, but what about when it pours? I mean, REALLY pours. This fall and winter has been one Pineapple Express warm storm after another and while we have managed to dodge a lot of major flooding this season, those whose job it is to protect us from flooding have been busy.

And that includes those at the Army Corps of Engineers -- among the unsung heroes of keeping people and property safe during intense rain storms as they are tasked with, among other things, regulating the amount of water coming through the dam-controlled river flood plains.
Weather Researcher suggests Northwest in for very dry spring Researcher suggests Northwest in for very dry spring
SEATTLE -- It's been the consistently warm temperatures that have been getting much of the attention in the weather department the past several months, but it looks like dry weather may be starting to fight for some headlines as well, at least according to one researcher.

Utah State graduate student Jason Phelps has been researching the correlations between weather patterns in the West and a slowly oscillating wind high up in the atmosphere that is part of the "Quasi-Biennial Oscillation" or QBO.
Weather Photos: Blanket of fog makes for dramatic beauty around Seattle Photos: Blanket of fog makes for dramatic beauty around Seattle (Photo Gallery) (Video)
Seattle has been showing off with its best Blue Friday performance of the season.

Looks like Mother Nature wanted to show off a bit as well.

A thin fog -- only a few hundred feet high, if that, settled in over Downtown Seattle Friday evening, making for some dramatic scenes around the Emerald City.