Weather Blog

Scientists now think El Nino could be most potent on record

Scientists now think El Nino could be most potent on record
Image showing sea surface temperature anomaly, courtesy Earth.Nullschool.net.

New forecasts are solidifying what we've been saying for months now: El Nino is here to stay, and just keeps getting stronger.

NOAA held a press conference Thursday to announce that the current El Nino is already the second strongest recorded since they've kept track of El Nino (which is around 1950) and models indicate it might pass the 1997-98 El Nino as the strongest on record.

It's getting such national attention because strong El Nino's historically bring copious amounts of rain to Southern California and across the south. That aforementioned 1997-98 event is blamed for 17 weather-related deaths in California, and so you have several million who could be affected this winter.

Lightning strikes light up Puget Sound skies

Lightning strikes light up Puget Sound skies
Lightning as seen from Jason Shipley on the Bainbridge Island ferry, courtesy of Jason Shipley

It's been the week of thunderstorms around Western Washington, and Thursday night was no exception.

Unstable air ahead of an approaching trough of low pressure triggered several thunderstorms in the pre-dawn hours Friday morning, making for some dramatic photos.

Another Seattle warm weather temperature record bites the dust

Another Seattle warm weather temperature record bites the dust
Photo: Angel Vestal

Does it seem like it's been a long time since we've had what would qualify as a bonafide "chilly" day around here? You'd be right.

Seattle has just set its record for consecutive days with high temperatures at or warmer than 70 degrees. Thursday was the 62nd day in a row it's reached 70 degrees, breaking the old record of 61 days set between July 8 and Sept. 6 in 2003.

Annual Perseid Meteor Shower peaks Wednesday night!

Annual Perseid Meteor Shower peaks Wednesday night!
Perseid meteor streaks across the sky on Aug. 12, 2013. (Photo: Toby Smith)

Living in the cloudiest spot in the lower 48, Seattleties frequently miss out on the annual celestial events, but there's one big event that coincides with Seattle's clearest time of the year: The Perseid Meteor Shower.

And as luck would have it, this year it looks like the weather will cooperate again (which I hope it would since sunshine has been overflowing since May).

Heads up: 2 more Seattle heat records poised to fall this week

Heads up: 2 more Seattle heat records poised to fall this week

This summer's heat has been somewhat like a seagull -- always scrounging around, looking for something to munch on, only in summer's case it's feasting on Seattle's weather record books, and it just found two more records to gobble up.

Once the temperature hit 85 degrees Tuesday afternoon (86, actually), it was the 23rd day this summer at 85 degrees or hotter, breaking the record of 22 set... just last year (and also in 1964.)

Inbound flight to Sea-Tac creates surreal cloud over North Seattle

Inbound flight to Sea-Tac creates surreal cloud over North Seattle
Photo: Twitter user @KanText from Queen Anne Hill

There was a rather unique looking cloud spotted by a few people over the greater northern Seattle area Sunday night, but it was simply nothing more than a plane and cloud at the right time in the right place.

The photo above is a classic example of a "hole punch" cloud -- also known as "fall streak" cloud. It might look like a rip in the fabric of the universe, but it's caused by a plane ascending or descending through a stable cloud layer.

Seattle's summer weather has peaked! At least, statistically speaking...

Seattle's summer weather has peaked! At least, statistically speaking...

The weather has thankfully cooled off of late, but for those who have had enough of the summer that just won't quit, there's some good news not just in the extended forecast, but on the calendar too.

On Aug. 1, Seattle reached its highest average high temperature of the year at 77.4 degrees. It's also at that level on the 2nd, but starting Aug. 3, it drops to 77.3 degrees and starts to drop another tenth every few days until it reaches 45.1 in late December. (I don't know how I missed noting this in the blog on the 3rd - might have netted its own city parade!) Actually, it's already dropped two tenths by now -- on Aug. 6 it's now 77.2.

Time lapse videos show off beauty, power of nature

West coast photographers have been busy getting great videos of the power and beauty of nature lately, so it's a perfect time to feature a few in the blog.

This first one (above) is from Arizona storm chaser Mike Olbinski, who spent quite a bit of time traversing the Midwest and Desert Southwest compiling the video for his film, which has over 45,000 images.

I suggest playing the video full screen on 4k resolution if you've got the bandwidth for it. It's amazing.

Clear skies allow for dramatic 'Blue moon' photos

Clear skies allow for dramatic 'Blue moon' photos
The month's second full moon, or Blue Moon, captivated viewers overnight. July 30, 2015. Photo by Tim Durkan Photography
One thing about the summer sunshine -- the clear skies at night have allowed for some great nighttime photos of the moon. But Friday, it's extra beneficial as we were treated to a "blue moon."

Even the most in-shape firefighters affected by Seattle's heat wave

Even the most in-shape firefighters affected by Seattle's heat wave

Firefighters, by the nature of their job, already have one of the hottest jobs you could imagine. But what about when Mother Nature brings blazing temperatures on the outside as well?

When a massive fire broke out in an apartment building on Queen Anne Hill on July 1 , firefighters were called in from as far away as Redmond, Shoreline and Bellevue as temperatures were sitting at 90 degrees. Why so many firefighters from all over? To make sure there were plenty on hand to rotate in and out so firefighters didn't overheat.

And with 90 degrees suddenly common this summer around Seattle, I wondered how local fire departments were dealing with the relentless heat, and how they manage to keep firefighters cool when their surroundings are burning up.

Photos: New stunning pics of Earth from International Space Station

Photos: New stunning pics of Earth from International Space Station
Subtropical Storm #Ana churns off the East coast of USA. #Wx from @Space_Station. #YearInSpace (Photo & Caption: Capt. Scott Kelley / NASA)