Who here knew there were thunderstorms last night?
But as a weak trough slid over the region overnight, it managed to trigger a thunderstorm in the dead of night.
As in one. A very lonely thunderstorm.
Seattle has already notched the fourth-warmest July on record by average high temperature (second warmest by average temperature), but apparently this summer has its sights set on loftier goals.
As of Monday night's data, August was also on pace to be the second-warmest August at Sea-Tac Airport, currently sitting at an average high of 81.7 degrees. The record is a lofty 83.7 degrees so we'd need to really turn up the burners to reach that record.
In my last blog, I wrote about how mountains can sometimes create their own clouds.
Did you know the sea can do it too?
Photo galleries around here are full of dramatic cloud shots created by some of the tallest mountains, be it Mt. Rainier, Mt. Hood or even just the Cascades or Olympics.
But mountains don't have to be measured in thousands of feet to create their own weather patterns.
It's been a very dry summer in Seattle, unless you count the 2 1/2 days it wasn't. Both July and August will go down as having above normal rainfall despite only having measurable rain on six days out of 44 days-- and thee of those rainy days were 0.02" or less.
Here's how Tuesday night/Wednesday morning's rain storm matched up:
Seattle set an all-time weather record Monday night, when 0.02" of rain fell in a shower just before 11:30 p.m. What's so special about 0.02" of rain? It came on a day when the high was 96 degrees.
As temperatures soared into the 90s Monday -- Seattle hit 96 degrees, breaking the record high and making for the hottest day since Aug. 15, 2010 -- many longtime Seattleites were ready to wave the white flag. It's been an unusually hot summer and even though we don't have many "trophy" heat days of us broiling well into the 90s for a few days here and there, it's been a slow cook with several days in the 80s.
We've got about another month on the calendar where Seattle can get this warm but let's "take the temperature" of the summer so far.
Maybe El Niño isn't such the slam dunk it seemed a few months ago?
Forecasters with NOAA's Climate Prediction Center – the people in charge of watching for El Niño and La Nina, among many other things – have dropped their chances of El Niño developing this fall and winter to 65 percent from 80 percent.
Granted, that's like saying a football team that was a 14 point favorite to win is now just an 11 point favorite – still a pretty good chance it'll happen. Just not as much as before.
But if nothing else, the trend is interesting.
With the tropical paradise of Hawaii bracing for Hurricane Iselle later Thursday, I've had quite a number of people email and ask why we're not calling the storm "Typhoon Iselle." After all, there's a similar storm just a bit farther west across the Pacific called "Typhoon Halong."
The reason is simple: Geography.
In keeping up with the number of weather records and interesting statistics surrounding our current warm spell, I stumbled upon something on the other end of the spectrum: How difficult it's become to set record lows in the summer.
In looking up the record high Monday when he hit 91° in Seattle (it was 95, set in 1993), the record low stuck out: 44° in 1950.
Seattle is in the midst of another week-plus streak of 80 degree temperatures -- the second time this summer with much of August still tied behind our back.
While there are some sun fans who love the 80s and are basking in this somewhat rare extended warm pattern, there are a vast population of long-time locals -- especially those without air conditioning -- who are longing for the days when we could see a marine cloud in the morning and a '7' on the high temperature (no, not counting when it's "87").
Talk about being in the right place at the right time...
Tom Korocz was at Sea-Tac Airport Saturday morning when he noticed a tall, cumulonimbus cloud towering in the sky as the sun rose around 6:15 a.m.
It's been a very warm and sunny summer so far with more of the same on tap for the next several days. While it hasn't been super hot, the usual cooling marine clouds have been absent in Seattle and for the many without air conditioning, the nights haven't been all that comfortable.
For those who long for cooler weather, I don't have good news in the immediate future, but there is a silver lining to Aug. 2: Seattle has reached the pinnacle of our steady climb to the warmest and driest time of year, and now, it's all downhill from here.