Weather Blog

Photos: A hike through January's foggy inversion

Photos: A hike through January's foggy inversion
Photo of the fog layer below Angel's Rest. (Courtesy: Tyler Mode)

Tyler Mode decided he needed some fresh air -- and some sunshine -- amid the days long foggy stretch of weather we had earlier this month, so he went for a hike up Angel's Rest in the Columbia Gorge.

His reward? A few hours of warm, winter sunshine and some gorgeous photos along the way!

Seahawks should find Super Bowl weather to be quite familiar

Seahawks should find Super Bowl weather to be quite familiar
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) throws a pass as running back Marshawn Lynch (24) blocks during the first half of an NFL football game on Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

Under cloudy skies and remnants of a recent snow still piled along the sidelines, the Seattle Seahawks walked into Metline Stadium and put on a dominant defensive performance in defeating Manning and his team 23-0.

That's not a Super Bowl prediction, it actually happened just five weeks ago, when the Seahawks traveled to East Rutherford, N.J. and beat Eli Manning and the New York Giants in week 15.

How's this for upside-down weather: Nome warmer than New Orleans

How's this for upside-down weather: Nome warmer than New Orleans
A sunny and warm Nome, Alaska on Jan. 27, 2014. (Photo courtesy FAA via Alaska weather blog "Deep Cold: Interior and Northern Alaska Weather & Climate".)

It's been quite the divide this season with a very warm winter in the West and a very cold winter in the East, and it sure is making for some crazy weather scenarios.

As some warm air moved into Alaska, temperatures soared to levels never seen in the winter time. Nome reached a high of 51 degrees, not only shattering their all time January high temperature (which was 46°) but according to the Alaska weather blog "Deep Cold: Interior and Northern Alaska Weather & Climate" Nome had never before broken 50 degrees between Oct. 17 and April 9!

Interactive web site allows you to easily visualize Earth's wind patterns

Interactive web site allows you to easily visualize Earth's wind patterns

The planet's weather is full of complex interactions, but one web site aims to make the current weather a bit easier to visualize.

Check out this site from Earth.Nullschool.net which shows the current wind patterns around the globe at any moment.

* Link to current wind field pattern

You can click on the globe to move it around to the area you desire, scroll to zoom in, and clicking on the "Earth" button will give you other data to plot (cool!) For the wind map, the brighter the color, the faster the wind speeds.

122 mph winds wreak havoc with Oregon tourists

122 mph winds wreak havoc with Oregon tourists

You'd think when you register a 115 mph gust during a weather event, it'd probably be the strongest gust of your year, or... ever?

For one spot in Oregon, it's second place. Of the week.

The Crown Point Observatory on the western edge of the Columbia River Gorge outdid itself, kicking off the week Monday with a 115 mph gust and then topping it with a 122 mph gust on Friday:

Surprise supernova makes small visible dot in nighttime skies

Surprise supernova makes small visible dot in nighttime skies
2 minute exposure of galaxy Messier82 courtesy of Steven Rosenow of Loowit Imaging in Shelton. The red bars indicate where the supernova occurred.

Astronomers got a little surprise present for their nighttime viewing this week as a star went supernova in nearby galaxy Messier82 (also known as Bode's Nebulae). The explosion of the white dwarf star was so intense, that it's visible at night even using amateur telescopes.

Steven Rosenow of Loowit Imaging in Shelton snapped the photo above of the bright speck of light, using a 10-inch Meade telescope and a two-minute exposure. He says if you know where to look, you can find it with binoculars.

San Francisco, where a week's worth of rain takes over 6 months to get

San Francisco, where a week's worth of rain takes over 6 months to get
A 5 MPH boating speed limit buoy is stuck in the ground as there is no water to be seen at Black Butte Lake near Orland Buttes Recreation Area Friday Jan. 17, 2014 in Orland, Calif. (AP Photo/Chico Enterprise-Record, Jason Halley)

As you've probably heard, much of California is in the midst of a terrible drought that threatens to break records (if they haven't already), and that's saying something for a state where droughts have been pretty intense over the last century or so.

While the Pacific Northwest isn't exactly overflowing with mountain snow this winter either, at least we have some, courtesy of a few storm systems that have at least nicked the area, and the big week of snowstorms that came through in early January in between our long dry stretches. California mountains have anywhere from 7-16 percent of their normal snowpack.

Photos: Arizona desert puts on spectacular natural displays

Photos: Arizona desert puts on spectacular natural displays
Photo courtesy: Randall Kayfes

The Pacific Northwest is among the most beautiful spots on the planet, but it doesn't have a monopoly.

Photographer Randall Kayfes has lived much of his life in the Northwest, but recently moved to Marana, Arizona and how has a front row seat from his home to a desert landscape that can really put on a show.

"As far as the majority of the photos go, you may find this hard to believe but that is my 'backyard,' " Kayfes told me when I asked him where his amazing portfolio was shot. "I don't own any of it but it is protected land. The mountains are the Santa Catalina's. A lot of the panoramic photos are taken from my second story window."

Oregon's Crown Point hits 100+ mph gusts amid blazing sun

Oregon's Crown Point hits 100+ mph gusts amid blazing sun

There's a reason the Columbia Gorge has some of the best wind surfing around but even the most brave wind surfers might have had a challenge this weekend.

The Crown Point observatory near Corbett, Oregon -- noted for its extreme winds -- really outdid itself with some unofficial peak gusts of over 100 mph Monday. The official wind gauge hit 87 mph but those with hand-held wind gauges recorded gusts of 103 mph with another person -- Steve Pierce with the Oregon Chapter of the American Meteorological Society -- registering an unofficial gust of 115!

Monster inversion: Mt. Rainier station warmer than Las Vegas

Monster inversion: Mt. Rainier station warmer than Las Vegas
Great shot of the Seattle inversion from Michael Shaprio on board Alaska Airlines Flight 486 on way to San Diego on Jan. 16, 2014.

Weather patterns that feature strong inversions can make for some zany temperature readings, but zany could be quite the understatement Friday.

How else to explain those enjoying the sight of Mt. Rainier from Paradise Ranger Station (5,000 feet up) were experiencing warmer weather than those on the Strip in Las Vegas?

From bolts to Baldwin: Weather photographer gets dream job with Seahawks

From bolts to Baldwin: Weather photographer gets dream job with Seahawks
The Space Needle shines the night before the Seattle Seahawks faced the New Orleans Saints in the NFL's Divisional Round of the playoffs. (Photo: Dan Poss Photography)

Imagine growing up around Seattle, rooting for the Seahawks your entire life -- even owning a Cortez Kennedy jersey...

And then one day being given the opportunity to work for them and have among the best "seats" in the house to all their home games?

Dan Poss is living the dream.

Good news, bad news for skiers and water supply

Good news, bad news for skiers and water supply
Web camera at Paradise Ranger Station (Photo courtesy: U.S. National Parks)

The rainy week that culminated in the big wind/rain storm on Saturday was just what the doctor ordered for the mountains, who have been well below normal on their winter snowfall quotas.

New data released Wednesday shows the mountain snowpack is roughly 45-65 percent of normal, a vast improvement from 25-50 percent most areas were sitting on Jan. 1. It was even enough to finally get skiing going again at Snoqualmie.

However, we are just about to head into another extended dry streak where no more mountain snow is expected for a least the next week, perhaps even two weeks. We'll have to cross our fingers for another rebound in February!

Here is the data from January 15 (top) and then to compare where we were on January 1 (bottom):