There's the ever popular "don't like the weather, just wait 20 minutes" but in Western Washington, the adage should be "just drive 20 miles... or less."
A distinct warm front sat right over the North Sound Tuesday evening, bring a stark difference in temperature that if you were to drive from Seattle to Everett on I-5 , you'll have wondered if you entered some sort of meteorological portal around Shoreline.
There are a number of reasons fall and winter are my favorite times of the year, but this is one of the biggies: the amazing Mt. Rainier sunrises.
In late fall and into early winter, the sun rises in just the right spot on our horizon to where if there is a mid-to-high level cloud layer, Mt. Rainier casts its large shadow into the sky. It can make for a rather dramatic start to the day!
El Nino may be struggling to keep a foothold in the Pacific Ocean, but the long range forecasts from NOAA's Climate Prediction Center are still sticking with their consistent theme of increased odds of a warmer and drier winter.
So far, the maps have been relatively accurate. At least in Seattle we are running counter to November's forecast from last month that was saying warmer than normal -- with the chilly nights of late we're trending about a degree cooler than normal, although really that cold pattern went away about five days ago and chilly air has been trapped at the surface with the inversion -- the atmosphere just above ground level has been fairly warm.
As parts of greater Buffalo area deal with a historic lake-effect snow storm, other parts have barely enough for a decent snowman.
An intense, but relatively narrow band of lake-effect snow unleashed a relentless attack on Erie County that seemed to cut Buffalo into half with the haves (south side) and have nots (north side). (See radar animation here).
Some snow totals from Tuesday are difficult to fathom with a spotter 4 miles south of Cheektowaga (An eastern suburb of Buffalo) reporting 65 inches of snow while Lancaster, NY, just a few miles farther east, had 63 inches.
When residents of western New York say it's the most snow they've seen in a while, that's… quite a bit of snow. Sort of akin to someone from Duluth saying it's mighty chilly outside.
A massive lake-effect snow has dumped several inches to feet of snow across parts of the region adjacent to the eastern shores of Lake Erie, including shutting down a major freeway and stranding about 150 people on the road -- some for nearly 24 hours.
How much snow? Some reports near Buffalo had 5 feet of snow -- FEET! As in, 60 inches of snow and more on the way.
How much more snow? The National Weather Service in Buffalo says another 2 feet will likely fall again with a second event on Thursday, pushing some areas close to 6-8 feet of snow.
We've all done it before -- a day with bubbling cumulus clouds stacked against a crystal blue sky and your mind starts wandering to what the clouds look like: A bunny? Elephant? The Mona Lisa?
In Ontario Monday, it was apparently a puppy dog, as one observer in Sudbury noted on the official weather observation log:
Don Jensen, whose work has been featured a number of times in my blog, has just released his latest time lapse video called "Darkness."
"The night sky can be amazing. And one of the coolest things about it, is how the moon effects that sky," he wrote on his Vimeo page. "I wanted to do a video that really captures the eloquence of the moonlit sky. So with that, I present "Darkness," a monochrome view of the night sky."
Days like today are not unheard of in Denver and the Midwest when you've got a massive cold front barreling through... but they're still fun to marvel at.
Check out how residents there kicked off their work week:
El Nino may be flaking out on its winter date with us again, but for skiers and snowboarders it'd be akin to having better plans lined up anyway.
The latest word from NOAA is that the odds of El Nino forming this winter are down to 58 percent -- a far cry from the 80 percent chances we had in the early summer.
Forecasts are still indeed for El Nino conditions to develop this winter (better hurry up!) but now we're leaning toward a borderline event that may just barely qualify.
With all the hype over the big storm off Alaska's (far) west coast and the talk of the impending arctic doom and gloom heading toward the Midwest this week being blamed on this storm, you might think the photo above is current -- or a forecast of how much snow is about to fall out there.
Well, no. Not quite.