Weather balloons got quite the ride over the Pacific Northwest, as a rather strong jet stream pushed over the region Monday.
The Monday morning reading out of Port Hardy, BC reported a west wind of 188 knots (216 mph!) at about 33,000 feet.
SEATTLE -- As December attempts to set the record for warmest one in at least the 69 years at Sea-Tac and perhaps the warmest even counting the Federal Building back to 1890, the news as we turn the page to official winter is not good for skiers.
The 90-day long range seasonal models for January through March have come out from NOAA and the news is more of the same, if not even a little worse than before: A very high confidence that the winter season will end up warmer than normal in the Pacific Northwest.
On June 3, 2014, a storm featuring 50-80+ mph winds and tennis ball-to-softball-size hail sandblasted a tiny town in eastern Nebraska, leaving homes in tatters. Lois Krohn was home when the ferocious storm hit and now more than six months after the storm, shares her story of being in the middle of Mother Nature's wrath.
At the start of the month, I blogged about how Seattle needed essentially just a normal December by temperature to set the record for warmest year on record by overall average temperature.
Now that we've reached the halfway point, it's not only looking like the annual record is going down, but perhaps the all-time monthly record too! And all you have to do is glance at the mountains to see it's taking a toll on the snowpack.
If you are, or know someone who is a weather nerd, they've probably been distracted (more than usual) checking their Twitter feed trying to outdo the world on coming up with the best film titles about meteorology.
The hashtag #MeteorologicalFilms caught fire this weekend and is trending worldwide, calling out all weather gurus to put down the GFS charts and instead try to rhyme their way into the internet world hall of fame (or, at least get a few amused retweets or favorites.)
Quite the active Friday around the Puget Sound region with the 50-60 mph winds, but there were some beautiful display of Mother Nature before she unleashed her wrath.
Here are the peak gusts from Thursday night's windstorm, as compiled by the National Weather Service.
It seems a bit weird -- normally when you think of setting all time heat records, the sun is shining, clouds are sparse to non-existent, Alki Beach is full of people and Frappuccinos are a top seller.
Not so in Seattle in December…
With a downright tropical pattern in place this week already providing some warmth and a mega warm front pushing through the region Wednesday, temperatures got an added boost to levels never before seen in December, despite a thick overcast, drenching rains, and wind gusts reaching 45-50 mph!
If you never needed a reason why meteorologists always talk about forecast model consistency, this example will help clarify.
With a potential windstorm upon us on Thursday, forecasters have been poring over models to get an idea of what's going to happen. When models change from run-to-run, it knocks down confidence as it signals the computers aren't quite sure what's going on. But when they stay the course, it gives us more confidence in the forecast.
Well, all that talk of "polar vortex" and "arctic blast" and "lake effect blizzards" are going to take a break...
The entire lower 48 states are about to head into a rather warm winter pattern next week, perhaps giving much of the nation not draped on a mountain top a break from any December snow.
The question emailed to me was one I hadn't really wondered about before: Does a snow in November typically signal a snowier winter overall in Seattle? As in: Does the early start sort of open the snowflake flood gates?
Good question! But the answer is: There is no significant correlation.
Going back to 1945, but not counting the years from 1996-2003 when snowfall was not tracked as an official statistic (what?!? Yep, someone at NOAA decided it wasn't important. They came to their senses again in 2003) there were 13 years when Seattle had measurable snow in November, and the results after that month ran the gamut.