Weather Blog

Gorgeous time lapse video shows fog rolling into Seattle

As we turn the page into October, it’s not only the official start of the rainy season in Seattle, but the longer nights make it easier for fog to form.

Wednesday morning brought such a foggy morning into Downtown Seattle. Sigma Sreedharan had her camera rolling to capture the fog rolling in just after dawn.

Gorgeous video, Sigma!

Forecasters even more confident in a milder winter in the Pacific Northwest

Forecasters even more confident in a milder winter in the Pacific Northwest »Play Video
Sun sets behind Seattle's Space Needle on Sept. 28, 2014. (Photo courtesy: Tim Durkan)

If you've been following my blog here over the past few months, you've seen the forecasts that show a greater than average odds of a warmer-than-normal winter.

The forecasts were based on an expected El Nino event to develop this winter, along with warmer-than-normal water temperatures in the northern Pacific Ocean.

Awesome time lapse video shows the power of the desert monsoon

Awesome time lapse video shows the power of the desert monsoon
Screen capture off Mike Olbinski's film "Monsoon"

This is one of those times that if you have a large, HD monitor around, go find it and then reload this blog. It'll be worth it.

Mike Olbinski, a fantastic photographer who lives in Arizona, has spent the summer chasing the monsoon storms that wrought towering thunderclouds, vivid lightning, incredible downpours and intense dust storms.

Passing rain shower costs Minnesota pitcher $500,000

Passing rain shower costs Minnesota pitcher $500,000
Minnesota Twins grounds crew roll out the tarp during a rain delay in the eighth inning of a baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks, Wednesday, Sept. 24, 2014, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)

I'm sure we've all had times where a rain shower has ruined a picnic, or perhaps turned your commute into a trip rivaling Wagner's "The Ring" for length of time.

But I'll bet it's never cost you a cool half million dollars!

Seattle finishes up 2nd hottest summer on record at Sea-Tac

Seattle finishes up 2nd hottest summer on record at Sea-Tac
Photo courtesy: Puget Sound Clean Air Agency

The rains this morning were an emphatic end to what will go down as the second-hottest summer on record at Sea-Tac Airport, which has data going back to 1945.

The average high temperature from June 21 through September 21 this year was 79.3 degrees, falling just behind 1967's 79.5 degree average (and just ahead of 3rd place. Guess what summer that was? Last year! 2013 averaged 78.6 degrees)

Our toasty numbers this year make sense when you consider 40 of the 92 days of our summer were warmer than 80 degrees -- meaning nearly half our summer was spent over 80 degrees! And 21 of those days were 85 degrees or warmer with five days at 90 or hotter.

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 :)

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.