Missing: Isobars. Last seen about a week ago...
The last part of October is the traditional start of the stormy season in the Pacific Northwest. But Mother Nature is going in the totally opposite direction, bringing what you might call an "anti-wind storm" -- a wide swath of area that will not have *any* wind.
Missing: Isobars. Last seen about a week ago...
Earlier this month, I wrote a blog showcasing a double layer of lenticular clouds from Nov. 20, 2004 that sought to clear up some confusion over A) who the photographer was of some of the photos that went viral over the internet and B) disputing some of those viral posts that the mountain shown was Mt. Rainier, not Mt. St. Helens.
There are two versions of viral emails/web posts of the event from separate photographers. We found that Jim George had taken one, but the other, which remains elusive.
However, in searching for that second photographer, others who witnessed the event have been sending me their photos of that day, and I thought it'd be nice to share.
You might have heard it's going to be a rather dry week around here, courtesy of a strong ridge of high pressure.
But the strength of the ridge is quite surprising, especially for October, taking up much of the Pacific Coast.
The picture above is high-resolution forecast model showing expected rainfall for Sunday morning, which would show up as colored blobs.
The leaves aren't the only thing that undergo a stark change in October -- so does our local weather.
October is home to the greatest swing in expected weather from the start of the month to the end of the month. While in the Pacific Northwest, the transition from winter to summer is very, very gradual through the spring, not really peaking until July and August, the transition from summer to winter is much more jarring -- especially in the rain category, where we go from driest to wettest time of year in just about 12-14 weeks.
Here are some statistics to back it up:
Last week brought a very rare sight to Western Washington - a tornado that damaged two roofs near the Frederickson Boeing plant and toppled several trees around and into nearby homes.
The National Weather Service would later rate the storm an EF-1 on the Enhanced Fujita Scale with top wind speeds of 110 mph.
But obviously, they didn't have a lucky anemometer right in the tornado's path to record the wind speed, so how can they tell how strong the tornado was?
An interesting thing happened to me Friday on a journey from my Twitter feed to a national news web site after they proclaimed they had just posted a gallery of weather photographs submitted by readers.
Anyone who has seen this blog before knows I'm a sucker for gorgeous weather photography and so I had to take a peek. But while rummaging through the photos, I came upon one I had seen before of two lenticular clouds stacked upon themselves over Mt. Rainier at sunrise. Only the caption had it taken during the summer of 2012 by an Aaron T.
I knew the picture has been around for ages, and after some Google sleuthing, came upon the original photographer and his Flickr stream, showing two more photos taken the same day.
The effects of the government shutdown have far reaching effects - even spreading all the way into Alaska -- as whoever was on shift as the lead forecaster at the Anchorage National Weather Service office early Friday morning made a rather unusual plea for the shutdown to end.
This was the beginning of their forecast discussion, which is updated every six hours, posted at 5 a.m. Alaska time. At first blush, it's a rather mundane forecast -- a weakening storm system.
That is, until you note the first letter of every sentence:
WESTPORT, Wash. -- Just two days after a tornado damaged buildings in Frederickson, another twister was sighted in Western Washington.
This time, it was a waterspout just off the coast near Westport.
Those who enjoy sunny days that are warm, but not too hot, with occasional days of thunderstorms sprinkled in were sure all smiles this summer, especially on the heels of the last few years which didn't exactly get glowing reviews.
But now that it's October and summer is really, truly over, I wanted to know: Just how did this summer stack up against others? Let's check the data, using some traditional methods, and some not-so-traditional methods.
There might have been some disappointment from those who pine for large storms that Sunday's wind speeds were less than forecast but I wanted to pull the curtain back a bit to show you what goes into a forecast like this and why the forecasts were crafted as such.
For instance -- did you know that as of Sunday morning, the storm hadn't even formed yet? Here was a storm about 12 hours from landfall and was nearly invisible on the infrared satellite image. Storms like these undergo what meteorologists call "bombing" (or "Bombogenesis" for those following along with me on Twitter during last night's storm) where the storm undergoes intense development over a few hours.
Getting an inch and a half of rain in November isn't too unusual, but in September? It's record breaking.
Seattle recorded 1.71" of rain on Saturday, not only nearly doubling the daily rainfall record of 0.83" but setting an all-time record for wettest September day in Sea-Tac history, which goes back to 1948.
The old record was 1.65" set twice on Sept. 22, 1978 and Sept. 30, 1953.
Oct. 1 UPDATE: Seattle did indeed set their record for wettest September on record with 6.17" of rain, beating the old record of 5.95"
You probably knew after such a dry July around here that the debt would have to be paid at some point. Looks like September is paying the price... with interest.
Seattle has already doubled its monthly average of September rainfall (1.45") with 3.03" before the rains began Friday in what was promising to be four very soggy days to finish off the month. Two strong cold fronts approaching for the weekend have taped into tropical moisture from old typhoons in Asia and are set to drench much of the Pacific Coast.
Monday brought among our first Puget Sound Convergence Zones of the young fall season and Greg Johnson's camera at SkunkBayWeather.com in Hansville caught an interesting reversal in the upper level winds.
Watch as the clouds appear to make a sudden U-Turn around 20 seconds into the video: