Weather Blog

So how best to celebrate autumn? In (corny) song!

So how best to celebrate autumn? In (corny) song!

Now, I've learned over the years there is a fairly even split here between those who love the days on end of 80 degrees, and those who much prefer 60s and cloudy. Now that the sun fans have had their tune, it's time for those who are eager to do so to celebrate autumn.

With that, I present this melody to hum today, sung to the tune of Olaf's "In Summer" song from the movie Frozen. (If you have don't have kids, and/or don't know the melody -- which if you do have kids it's likely impossible not to have heard this song, here is the original, and you're welcome for getting this stuck in your head for the next week :)

Photos: Seattle's spectacular summer swan song sunset of 2014

Photos: Seattle's spectacular summer swan song sunset of 2014
Sun sets behind Puget Sound on the final full day of summer in Seattle in 2014. (Photo: Sigma Sreedharan Photography, Sept. 21, 2014.)

Freak weather event has some Eastsiders sweating in middle of the night

Freak weather event has some Eastsiders sweating in middle of the night

We've had plenty of afternoons basking in the upper 70s for warmth lately, but usually by the middle of the night we've cooled off into the 50s and 60s.

For most of us, that was the case Saturday night too, but not over by North Bend, where a freak wind event brought somewhat sweltering temperatures to the local area as the clock struck midnight.

One of those who noticed it was Anthony Gilbert.

It happens fast: Seattle just 2 months away from wettest day of the year

It happens fast: Seattle just 2 months away from wettest day of the year
Image courtesy: Puget Sound Clean Air Agency

As dry weather returns this weekend and temperatures soar past 80 for what will be at least the 46th time, the brilliant sun glare may be preventing you from seeing the cliff we're about to fall off.

Some years, such as this one, summer can hang on with all its might, clinging-- nay, clawing into the dirt, refusing to give up. But in the Pacific Northwest, the period from early September to late October represents the wildest change in weather during the year.

Just how hot would a warm Seattle autumn and winter be?

Just how hot would a warm Seattle autumn and winter be?
Sunset over Deception Pass on Oct. 13, 2013. (Photo: Dana Weber)

We've all heard how it's been such a hot summer. And you've likely been reading about how the Pacific Northwest is expected to maintain a warmer than normal autumn and winter.

UW Atmospheric Sciences professor Cliff Mass just did an excellent blog post showing why we're expected to be so warm. In a nutshell, Mass says a persistent ridge of high pressure last fall that kept the storms away also keep the ocean from churning very much, which is needed to mix in some cooler water from the depths of the ocean.

How Seattle’s rainy reputation stands up against the world

How Seattle’s rainy reputation stands up against the world
FILE -- Visitors to downtown Seattle huddle under umbrellas while walking in the shopping district. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Most longtime locals know the drill: It rains often in Seattle but as far as quantity, Seattle is nowhere near the top of the charts.

Now there’s a handy interactive chart that helps illustrate this fact.

Northern Lights could make appearance tonight

Northern Lights could make appearance tonight
Northern Lights shine over Puget Sound. (Photo courtesy Eddie Murdock Photography

A strong solar storm is in progress, and for those ever hoping to catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights, its timing couldn't be better.

Spaceweather.com says not one, but two coronal mass ejections (CMEs -- fancy word for solar flares) erupted and came hurtling toward Earth.

The first one has already passed, but the second one is in progress which means Friday night could see a display of the Northern Lights. It's a near slam dunk for the higher latitudes but even our area has a chance to get a peek if the stars align.

Sunny Northwest day stuns ISS astronaut

Sunny Northwest day stuns ISS astronaut
Photo: Reid Wiseman, NASA

I would think being an astronaut living on the International Space Station would find a new sight each day in the cosmos to be in sheer wonder.

Friday brought a rare sight to NASA astronaut Reid Wiseman -- something he says never happens and he had a front row seat.

A galaxy supernova? Not quite; seen it before.

Rain on the moon? That would qualify but still no need for meteorologists there.

No, while it was weather-related, it had to do with our own Pacific Northwest:

Seattle's craziest 0.12"-of-rain-day ever?

Seattle's craziest 0.12"-of-rain-day ever?
Streets flood in Ballard after a heavy rain squall on Sept. 2, 2014. (Photo: Cameron Bruce.)

When someone peeks back at the weather entry for Sept. 2, 2014, they'll see Seattle got a 0.12" of rain and figure it was a routine September day.

Then they'll find this story and wonder what happened and how a tenth of an inch of rain did so much? Seattle got triple that amount on Saturday with nary an issue.

For one, the rain was a bit heavier in the heart of the city and managed to miss the airport -- the perils of having an official station be located 12 miles south of the city. NOAA's official reporting station at Sand Point recorded an amazing 0.58" of rain.

Not just hot days but warm nights this summer... again

Not just hot days but warm nights this summer... again
Photo courtesy: Tim Durkan Photography

This weekend, I wrote that this "summer" - or at least the heart of it from July 1 to August 31, was the second-warmest on record at Sea-Tac Airport by average high temperature.

Turns out, we also set an all-time record for the period if you factor in average temperature, which is calculated by taking the day's high and low and diving by two. This year's average for the two months checked in at 69.2 degrees, breaking the 1967 record of 68.8 degrees.

Seattle finishes 2nd warmest July-August on record

Seattle finishes 2nd warmest July-August on record
Photo: Shubha Tirumale Photography

Wow, what a warm summer it's been. July started it off being the 4th warmest on record by average high temperature (2nd warmest by overall average temperature) and August picked up the baton and just kept going.

This August will finish up the 5th warmest on record by average high temperature at 79.5 degrees. It's a far cry from the record hottest August (83.7 degrees in 1967) but then again, second place was 80.3 so all years are a far cry from 1967.

So individually, the months were pretty impressive, but combined, it's even moreso.

Updated forecasts still say mild, dry winter on tap for Seattle

Updated forecasts still say mild, dry winter on tap for Seattle
Sun sets behind the Space Needle on Aug. 25, 2014. (Photo courtesy: Tim Durkan Photography)

First off, let me start this blog by saying if you're a skier, snowboarder, or big winter fan, you might want to skip over to the sports section. Happier news in Seattle there these days.

For those who have the stomach to continue, the new August version of the long-range 90-day forecasts issued each month by NOAA are in and while the forecasts themselves for this fall and winter haven't changed much in what they've been saying, the tone of the message is a little stronger for some months.

2014 going to end up as much hotter summer in Seattle than 2009

2014 going to end up as much hotter summer in Seattle than 2009

At least as far as recent memory goes, 2009 set quite the standard for a hot summer in Seattle. That year was home to a brutal two-week stretch of heat that peaked at 103 degrees in Seattle on July 29 and had several days over 90.

This summer hasn't been anywhere near as hot, at least as far as peak heating goes. We have four total days at 90 or warmer and a 96 degree reading earlier this month, but no real "trophy heat waves", as I call them. As in: No long stretches over 90. In fact, all our 90 degree days this year have been orphans -- just one in a row.