Update: Stand aside everyone and let July 1st into the club! It did reach 90 degrees on Tuesday, finally getting July 1 with a record high at 90 or warmer.
Correction: I've been stating that July 10th also did not have a record high at 90 and above, but it turns out that is not the case. Most online NOAA records go back to 1948, but there are three years of records at Sea-Tac Airport from 1945-1948 that are not online. Turns out, July 10, 1945 hit 90 degrees. So, everyone's in the club!
We always pick on July 4th around here -- it's statistically the rainiest day of the month! And since it's arguably the most important outdoor day of the month, it gets a lot of attention when the weather doesn't cooperate.
But at least July 4th can say one thing: It's been over 90 degrees in Seattle before.
It's a claim that July 1st can't make. In fact, it's one of only two days in July never to hit 90. (July 10 is the other). Seattle has hit 90 as early as May 17th but never on the 1st of July.
The monthly updates to the long-range seasonal forecasts came out a few days ago and sure enough, they are sticking to their guns of a warmer summer for the Pacific Northwest. But also new creeping into the forecast: A moderately strong signal now that the winter will experience a similar fate.
Now, you might be thinking: "Hey, wait a minute, they said the same thing about May and June and it was wrong!"
Actually, it was right. Despite May being a bit wetter than normal, it was indeed warmer than normal -- Seattle ended up a full 3.1 degrees above normal, buoyed by four days at 80 or warmer. Even June so far is running about a degree above normal, even though we have yet to reach 80 this month.
June 21 not only brings the start of summer but it also brings the peak of the "fire rainbow" season, as evidenced lately by three separate sightings of the brilliant and colorful displays around the Puget Sound region these past few days.
Fire rainbows, or more officially (and more boringly) known as "circumhorizonal arcs" are caused by ice crystals in the thin, distant clouds being at just the correct angle to refract the sunlight into the colors of the prism.
Thursday marked a momentous day in the meteorological history of Bremerton and Bellevue. (OK, so "momentous" might be a bit of an exaggeration...)
After years of having to share with Seattle and the Foothills, Bremerton and Bellevue now get their own fancy individual forecast on the region's "Zone Forecast" product from the local National Weather Service office in Seattle.
I have to admit, I never really give much thought to hurricane names, especially since we don't have to deal with them out here. Since 1979, names have alternated between male and female names and run on a six-year rotation, so that this year's list is nearly identical to the one that ran in 2008, save for any names that get retired when they cause destruction.
The World Meteorological Organization chooses the names -- how a name makes the list is secret but it has to be easy to understand and come from names that represent the cultures of the areas affected. (So for example, in the Caribbean, you have a mix of English, Spanish, Dutch and French names on the hurricane list in deference to the nationalities represented in the many islands there.)
And to think in January, we were worried our mountains were going to go bare..
With the massive rally in February and a continued occasionally chilly pattern, the snowpack up at Mt. Rainier's Paradise Ranger Station is not only healthy, but among the best in the past few decades.
We're all likely familiar with what a hail storm looks like from the ground -- around here, it's as if someone dumped gazillions of frozen peas on the ground... if the peas were made of ice.
But have you ever seen a big hailstorm from the top? (And I mean BIG hailstorm, not the "what passes for big in Seattle but Midwesterners and East Coasties laugh as child's play" hailstorm? The kind that could be disguised as a golf ball or, when you're really in for it, a softball?)