**WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY issued for entire peninsula

WWA 2 2-8-2014


It’s here, folks! The first REAL snow of the season. A lot of you have expressed that it has taken long enough, but at least it got here.

This won’t be a tremendously heavy snow for our region since most of the heavy precipitation will stay to our east:

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Snow will continue through the night and taper off early Sunday morning. This is a slushy snow, and no ice is expected, so travel should become easier by late Sunday morning for most areas.

Light rain continues into early next week.

Be safe and send in pictures if you can!

Matthew Leach

Forecasting Kitsap

Questions? Comments? Photos? E-mail me at: forecastingkitsap@live.com

Snow looking likely tonight into Sunday

I’ve been updating my Facebook page more than my blog lately because it’s quicker, so if you haven’t already liked the Kitsap Weather page, please do so!

Kitsap Weather Facebook Page

According to radar (as of 3:30 pm), we have a big plume of moisture moving to the north east and just mere hours away from hitting the central sound:

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Chances are most of Kitsap will end up with anywhere from a trace to 2″ of snow with this band. Snow showers could linger into the morning hours Sunday before turning to scattered light rain showers.

Question: if it’s 36 degrees outside right now, how can it snow? Usually temperatures as mild as the mid 30s means a cold rain, but if moisture is heavy enough it can actually draw out colder air and sink the temperature to freezing or near freezing levels. This is called evaporative cooling and work similarly to how we produce sweat to cool off in the summer.

So keep your eyes to the sky and send in pictures if you have them! Also, stay tuned to updates as they come.

Have a wonderful weekend,

Matthew Leach

Forecasting Kitsap

Questions? Comments? Photos? E-mail Matt Leach at: forecastingkitsap@live.com

Very cold weather and possibly some snow this week

February isn’t usually a month filled with snowy possibilities, but this year could potentially prove otherwise as a very cold air mass from Canada is spilling into the Puget Sound basin as we speak, setting the stage for a pretty messy wintry transitional period this weekend.

First, let’s talk temperatures. It’s going to get wickedly cold around here, at least by Northwest standards. Take a look at surface temperatures Wednesday morning at around 7:00 am (darker purple is low 20s, lighter purple is mid teens):

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Alas, there isn’t a warm spot to be found in the Northwest. Literally every community in Washington State will be caught anywhere between the single digits to low 20s Wednesday morning.

But somewhat surprisingly, we don’t move a whole lot in the temperature department throughout the day. Here are afternoon high temperatures at 4:00 PM Wednesday (dark blue represents temperatures in the mid to upper 20s):

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Although this model may be overdoing it in the cold department, it is reasonable to suppose high temperatures may struggle to reach freezing over the next couple of days as that cold Canadian air becomes fully entrenched.

But of course most of you are wondering about the snow. It’s been hard to get a decent snow around here, especially since very few of our cold snaps this year have ended with precipitation. However, much of the peninsula stands a chance of seeing at least some snow Saturday night into Sunday before that mild marine influence rains on our parade:

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What you are seeing is about 1/2-1″ of snow for much of the peninsula, with perhaps as much as 2″ closer to Mason County. These snow totals have been all over the place, though, with one model advertising nearly 4″ near the Hood Canal. At this point, I believe it is safe to say that seeing some snowflakes this weekend is a good bet, but just how much is still up in the air.

The long range looks pretty seasonable at this point, with high temperatures getting closer to 50 degrees by early next week.

Enjoy the cold and dry weather if you can! Stay tuned to the Forecasting Kitsap blog for more updates as they come.

Matthew Leach

Forecasting Kitsap

Questions? Comments? Photos? E-mail me at: forecastingkitsap@live.com 

After several off notes in January, February may sing a different tune

If the month of January were trying out for “American Weather Idol,” I have a feeling Simon Cowell would not have let it go through to the next round. In fact, January has, by and large, left the Cascade and Olympic snowpacks between 45 and 65 percent of normal.

But the next contestant for American Weather Idol is February and, at least according to current long range trends, this month will likely be singing a different (and lovelier) tune:

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The latest long range forecast from the Climate Prediction Center is showing a 40% chance of below normal temperatures in the next two weeks with near normal precipitation, which almost always translates to snow at high elevations (and sometimes lower elevations) this time of year.

So what is causing this dramatic shift in weather patterns?

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We had a massive ridge of high pressure over our region for weeks on end, pushing the jet stream far to our north into B.C. That ridge is slowly disintegrating, and a series of fairly rigorous and cold low pressure systems look to plow into our region, making for a much soggier weather pattern.

This doesn’t necessarily mean the east coast will catch a break, however. Much of the northern U.S. will be caught in a pretty chilly and moist weather pattern through at least the middle of February.

Will we see any lowland snow before winter is over? That’s a tough call, but if the long range forecasts have any clout, we should at least see some snowflakes in the air before spring has sprung.

Have a great day,

Matthew Leach

Forecasting Kitsap

Questions? Comments? Photos? E-mail Matt Leach at: forecastingkitsap@live.com

A return to much wetter (and windier?) weather

It’s been quiet on this blog, and for that I apologize. But the truth is, there just isn’t much going on in the weather world at the moment.

Well, at least for us.

The east coast is currently slipping and sliding on ice, snow and sub zero weather while we have to “endure” the occasional pitter-patter of raindrops on the roof with the chance of a few sunbreaks by the afternoon if we’re lucky.

What a hard life!

Things are going to change starting Wednesday, however, which should make life a little more interesting:

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Gone are the days (for now) of snow maps. What you see above this text is a map illustrating 24-hour rainfall totals across Western Washington by Thursday morning at 4 am. Mason County looks to get in in close to an inch of rain, with most Kitsap locations getting about a half an inch. Still, this is relatively a lot of rain considering we haven’t seen a weather system this juicy since early November.

And this isn’t even an El Nino year!

Alas, our “wildcard winter” has, at least so far, been quite a dud. Ask any skier and snowboarder in Washington State, and they’ll give you an earful. So how are the mountains looking over the next few days? Marvelous for Stevens Pass, as these systems will be just cool enough to bring several inches of snow to the higher elevations. Snoqualmie won’t be so lucky, however, as most of what falls  there should be rain/snow, or just plain rain.

A stronger weather system moves in over the weekend, and this could provide quite a bit of rain and wind. In fact, gusts could make it between 40-50 mph, so that is definitely something to keep an eye on, especially since it’s game day in Seattle. But a little rain and wind has never stopped a true Seahawks fan!

Stay tuned. For now, have a wonderful week.

Matthew Leach

Forecasting Kitsap

Questions? Comments? Photos? E-mail me at: forecastingkitsap@live.com

Friday snow update


**UPDATED 5:47 AM= Snow started to fall across the region at about 4:00 this morning. The Winter Weather Advisory is still in effect, but has been extended to 10:00 this morning. Expect anywhere from 1-3″ of snow with lesser amounts near the water. The switchover to rain will still happen, but it will be a bit slower than first anticipated, so prepare accordingly.

Be safe and warm out there!

ORIGINAL POST, 7:00 pm Thursday

The forecast over the next 12 hours will be incredibly complicated, but there’s a general consensus that, at least for us on the Kitsap Peninsula, this will be a very weak snow event.

The National Weather Service went into great detail about why snow is likely and why snow isn’t. Just a few points:

  • The airmass is certainly dry enough for evaporative cooling
  • Precipitation is going to arrive a bit earlier than anticipated, meaning a better chance that precip starts as snow
  • Precipitation will be light, however, making it very susceptible to the warm southerly winds in the morning
  • The Olympics will once again act as a major barrier, greatly limiting our snow amounts
  • Temperatures will be just barely cold enough to support snow, so even a little warming could be the difference between all snow or all rain.

See how complicated snow forecasts can get around here?! The NWS is calling for anywhere from 0-2″ over the Hood Canal/Kitsap region, so definitely plan on getting up a little earlier than usual just to take a look at road conditions. At this point, all of you have about an equal chance of waking up to green lawns as you do white ones. Indeed, this is one of those scenarios where no particular place on the peninsula is favored to receive more snow than another.

One thing is for sure though: Rain will dominate by the afternoon for much of the lowlands. Again, we’ll be shadowed, so the rain won’t be a huge deal for us.

Christmas looks dry and chilly right now, so at least we’ll have one ingredient in our favor for making this place feel a little more festive 🙂 Have a great evening!

Matthew Leach

Forecasting Kitsap

Questions? Comments? Photos? E-mail Matt Leach at: forecastingkitsap@live.com

**WINTER STORM WATCH Issued for Thursday night/Friday morning


**Stay tuned for updates over the next 36 hours**

The Seattle National Weather Service has issued a WINTER STORM WATCH, in effect from 10:00 PM Thursday evening until 4:00 PM Friday afternoon, for anywhere from 1-3 inches of snow in the greater Puget Sound Region.

This is a complicated forecast (as any snow-related forecast is), primarily because we are going to engage in a cold vs. warm battle that will ultimately determine how much snow we see.

First off, I personally don’t believe we’ll see that much snow with this system as temperatures will be pretty marginal and the Kitsap area won’t be favored to see much of the white stuff anyway. That being said, some snow is possible.

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This particular model suggests far eastern Kitsap County could see around three inches of snow, with most everyone else forecast to receive 1-2 inches.

So here’s the story: The passage of a chilly cold front Wednesday night (tonight) will usher in some much cooler air during the day Thursday. High temperatures likely won’t crack 40.

As the sun sets Thursday evening, temperatures will plummet. But here’s where it gets complicated. An advancing warm front will begin charging into Western Washington early Friday morning, bringing with it precipitation and warmer air. Will we have enough cold air stored by the time the precipitation arrives? Believe it or not, it’s still too soon to tell. Right now the precip is set to arrive by 4 AM Friday morning, which is just about perfect for those wanting snow. By that time, temps will still be in the lower 30s.

The next forecast problem is how soon we warm up. Chances are it could be very quick, bringing us into the mid-30s by sunrise. Other models suggest we could stay cool enough for snow through the late morning hours, with snow continuing for north sound folks into the afternoon.

Stay tuned for updates as they come in. Sometimes models overdo snow totals and a lot of people get disappointed, so we’ll see what models are saying tonight into tomorrow.

Matthew Leach

Forecasting Kitsap

Questions? Comments? Photos? E-mail Matt Leach at: forecastingkitsap@live.com

Potential snow on Friday, but it won’t last long…

Really though, do we ever expect snow to last long on the peninsula? Many of us just ask for a few flakes…if not a few inches. This go around, we may actually get our wish. For those who despise the snow, you don’t need to fear at this point. This will be a relatively mild system, so whatever snow does fall will likely stay off the roads. Watch the Kitsap Webcast below for more info!

Matthew Leach

Forecasting Kitsap

Questions? Comments? Photos? E-mail me at: forecastingkitsap@live.com

Sunday morning’s single digit low temperatures coldest in over 20 years

Going into this cold event, there were several years that popped up as potential analogs, including 2008 and 1990.

In the cold department, we blew 2008 out of the water, despite the relatively short lived duration of this event and the lack of snow. Take a look at the rare single digit readings early this morning from Bremerton National Airport:

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But this hasn’t just been an impressive event for us. Almost the entire country has been engulfed in winter’s icy grip this week (actually, technically we’re still in autumn, which makes this even more impressive) with plenty more action to come for the eastern 2/3 of the country:

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Have you ever wanted to know what -23 degree feels like? You’re not missing out, but if you must know, take a long ice bath, then stand outside in shorts and a tank top for 10 minutes tonight (without drying off, of course). This little exercise should get you at least closer to feeling negative double digit readings 😉

Seriously though, this cold is intense, from the 20s in Sacramento to near freezing temperatures in Arkansas.

So what does Kitsap have in store for the next week? Actually very seasonable weather down the line, but we have to work through the transition process of scouring out snow before we get there.

Tonight will be another night of lows in the low teens, so be sure to insulate those pipes and bring in the pets! The general story Monday into Tuesday will be mostly cloudy skies with light snow/freezing rain showers with highs in the low to mid 30. The Olympics will shadow us from the brunt of this system, but some light snowflakes are not out of the question. We’re back to the rain and wind by the end of the week.

Long range models are hinting at perhaps another shot of chilly winter weather closer to Christmas, so I’ll definitely keep an eye on that one.

Have a great evening!

Matthew Leach

Forecasting Kitsap

Questions? Comments? Photos? E-mail me at: forecastingkitsap@live.com