Weather Blog

Sorry it rained on your garage sale, sis!

Sorry it rained on your garage sale, sis!

Forecasting the weather for Seattle can surely give you gray hair in a hurry, even though the weather is rarely severe.

That's because, as you know, the weather is really variable around here, and it makes it difficult to convey all the possibilities in a short forecast. Heck, you've likely seen how long my forecast discussions can be on our main weather page, and even then, that's scratching the surface.

Case in point was Saturday, where we had just a risk of a few isolated showers. On those days, we tip-toe a balance between trying to convey that most people will be dry, but not everyone. So while many needlessly carry around an umbrella or parka that day, there's the other side of those who think the chance is low, but then draw the unlucky straw.

So on Saturday, my sister was having a big neighborhood garage sale up in South Everett. Of course, she's been asking me all week if it would rain on her garage sale, but I told her there would just be a few isolated rain showers and she should be fine.

Then at 11:47 a.m.,I get a phone call: "Hey Mr. Weatherman, how come it's raining outside?"

I live just a few miles away from her and while it wasn't sunny, it wasn't raining. But a quick race to the laptop and a check of the radar showed first-hand the dangers of forecasting weather in the Puget Sound area:

98% of the radar is blank, but that one little shower finds my family member's garage sale. It was brief and light and didn't ruin anything (Whew! That 50 cent candle holder survived!) but it was a good example of what you care about most is what's happening over your head, and the challenges we face in trying to predict it.

(And yes, she's still speaking to me :) )