Daily Archives: January 17, 2009

How Long is the Sun Going to Stick Around?

I know many of you appreciated the sunshine today. A sunny day is my 3rd favorite weather event in the winter time. 2nd? Windstorms. 1st? Cold and snow. So, Matt, are we going to see any more sun or is it going to get shy and hide behind more clouds tomorrow?

First, let’s take care of tonight. Lows will be in the lower 30s due to clear skies, so frost and fog will be something to watch out for. Much like today, we’ll start out with low clouds and fog burning away to partly and maybe even mostly sunny skies tomorrow. Though our inversion has weakened, it is not gone, so the cloud forecast will be a still be a tough one. Highs will also be similar to today: low and mid 40s.

Partial sunshine after decreasing clouds looks good for MLK Day and Tuesday before the clouds and showers return for the middle part of the week through next weekend. It also looks cooler with highs in the upper 30s to lower 40s, and this is without the help of an inversion! So, it appears the winter-like feel outside will continue.

The even longer range continues it’s cool/chilly forecast.

Enjoy the sunshine!

Matthew Leach

Kitsap Weather


This Day in Kitsap Weather History: January 16-17 1986 Windstorm

Windstorms are a big and common threat to Western Washington and Oregon. Going through some old weather history, I happened to find an impressive month and year for storms: January 1986. So…here is your weekly segment of THIS DAY IN KITSAP WEATHER HISTORY!

There were five big storms that barreled through the state throughout January 1986 (Jan. 1, Jan. 5-6,     Jan. 10, Jan. 16-17 and Jan. 19) but the storm on January 16th-17th was the strongest of the five.

Wolf Read from The Office of Washington State Climatology has a very interesting timeline of events. Half way through the storm, data for Bremerton is missing, but Sea-Tac had a gust to 49 knots and I can only imagine the Hood Canal area was in the 50-60 knot range by the way things were progressing everywhere else in the Puget Sound. Temperatures also soared well into the 50s during that period, so this was quite the mild storm!

Now here’s a question: did any of you live here during that storm? It’d be nice if someone remembered the storm well enough to give further information that is not recorded for the Kitsap area.

There was high wind, hail, lightning, thunder and heavy rain. Read’s weather log/discussion never mentions where he is located, but he is obviously somewhere in the Puget Sound lowlands! Before you read his weather log, just know it is quite lengthy! Here’s the timeline:

Wolf Read’s Weather Log:

January 16, 1986

[I have extensive records on this day, starting at 4:45 AM. To keep this from being too long (as if it already wasn’t!), I’m omitting the morning and early afternoon data, and starting the show around 3:00 PM.]

3:04 PM: 29.54″ rising. Up to 10 mph from south. Partly cloudy. Thunderheads to west. 49º F.

3:12 PM: 29.55″ rising. Wind seeming to pick up–looks about 15 mph in The Forest’s treetops. (Gusting to 10 mph here.) Partly cloudy, stratus.

3:18 PM: Gusted to 11 mph.

3:20 PM: Gusting 14-20 mph.

3:47 PM: Parly cloudy. Stratus with some low scud.

3PM Local Observations:
Bellingham–Cloudy, 47º F, SE8 knots
Everett–Light Rain Showers, 48º F, SE13 knots
Bremerton–Light Drizzle and Fog, 44º F, SW6 knots
Tacoma–Partly Sunny, 51º F, SW11-22 knots
Olympia–Partly Sunny, 53º F, SW14 knots
Sea-Tac–49º F, SE8 knots, 29.54″ steady

4:11 PM: 29.59″ steady. Frontal squall has appeared on the horizon–this must be the one. We have gusted to 24 mph once in the past hour. Rays of light are shooting through the clouds from the setting sun. Gale Warnings, Coast for S30-45 knots, Strait E/W [before/after frontal passage] 25-40 knots, North Inland SW25-40 knots, South Inland 20-35 knots.

4:27 PM: 29.59″ steady. Shower approaching, dark and menacing. From SW.

4:37 PM: 29.58″ falling. Low stratus, dark, partly to mostly cloudy.

4PM Local Observations:
Bellingham–Partly Cloudy, 54º F, S22-35 knots
Everett–Partly Cloudy, 51º F, S15-25 knots
Bremerton–Cloudy, 47º F, S13 knots
Tacoma–Partly Cloudy, 54º F, S8-19 knots
Olympia–Cloudy, 52º F, S13-20 knots
Sea-Tac–Partly Cloudy, 51º F, S12 knots, 29.59″ rising

4PM Marine Observations:
Bangor–Gusting to 34 knots
Hood Canal–Gusting to 42 knots

Point Wilson–Gusting to 37 knots
Navy Whidby–Gusting to 33 knots
Smith Island–Gusting to 40 knots
Forks–18-35 knots
Hoquiam–Gusting to 31 knots
Astoria–Gusting to 32 knots

4 PM Pressure Readings:
SeaTac–1002 mb, Bellingham–998 mb, Forks–995 mb,
Astoria–1002 mb, North Bend–1011 mb
16 mb gradient

5:00 PM: Wind gust to 26 mph. 49º F. 29.59″ rising.

5:09 PM: 29.59″ steady. Gusts to 33 mph. One brownout?

5:28 PM: Thunderstorm approaching from south. Three flashes of lightning observed. This might give us our wind.

5:50 PM: 29.58″ rising. Lightning striking to within 1.5 miles of us. 21 mph gust again. Light to moderate rain. 48º F.

5:54 PM: No more lightning observed. Gust to 22 mph twice.

5:55 PM: Lightning to within 0.33 mile of us. Loud thunder.

5:56 PM: Hail? Heavy rain.

5:57 PM: 25 mph gust.

5:59 PM: Hail. With heavy rain.

5PM Local Observations:
Bellingham–Partly Cloudy, 53º F, S20-30 knots
Everett–Light Rain Showers, 48º F, S10 knots
Bremerton–Cloudy, 47º F, S10 knots
Tacoma–Partly Cloudy, 50º F, S12 knots
Olympia–Partly Cloudy, 50º F, S12 knots
Sea-Tac–Partly Cloudy with Light Rain Showers, 50º F, S8 knots, 29.60″ rising

5PM Marine Readings (Probably from TV):
Astoria–24-43 knots
Hoquiam–26-37 knots

6:00 PM: 29.575″ These are fluctuations. Lightning. Within 2 miles of us.

6:14 PM: Six flashes of lightning in past 7 minutes.

6:52 PM: First big gusts 33 mph, quickly jumped to 39 mph.

6:58 PM: 47º F

6PM Local Observations:
Bellingham–Partly Cloudy, 53º F, S20-30 knots
Everett–Partly Cloudy, 49º F, S18 knots, Thorm moved NE
Bremerton–Cloudy, 47º F, S13 knots
Tacoma–Light Rain Showers, 46º F, S7-21 knots
Olympia–Partly Cloudy, 50º F, S17-26 knots
Sea-Tac–Thorm, Light Rain Shower, 50º F, S15-23 knots, 29.59″ falling

7:05 PM: Blackout for 3-4 seconds. Gusting to 39 mph.

7:10 PM: Gusting to 42 mph.

7:18 PM: 29.58″ rising. Gusting to 34 mph. Four brownouts.

7:28 PM: Lightning. Gusting to 34 mph. Two brownouts. Marine forecast update on weather radio: For Coast, Storm Warning, 40-55 knots WHG. Issued at 6:45 PM.

7:40 PM: 29.57″ steady. Two brownouts. Gusting to 32 mph. Wind fading?

7:51 PM: Gusting to 35 mph.

7PM Local Observations:
Bellingham–Light Rain Showers, 53º F, S25-40 knots!
Everett–Light Rain Showers, 47º F, S19 knots
Tacoma–Light Rain Showers, 51º F, SW23-38 knots
Olympia–Cloudy, 49º F, S18-26 knots
Sea-Tac–Light Rain Showers, 49º F, S15-22 knots

7PM Marine Observations:
Bangor–Gusting to 53 knots
Hood Canal Bridge–Gusting to 46 knots

Forks–Gusting to 42 knots
Hoquiam–Gusting to 45 knots
Astoria–Gusting to 46 knots

7 PM Pressure Readings:
SeaTac–1002 mb, Bellingham–999 mb, Forks–992 mb,
Astoria–1003 mb, North Bend–1015 mb

8:06 PM: 29.58″ steady. Gusting to 34 mph. Many, many brownouts.

8:15 PM: High Wind Warning all Western Washington Counties for 35-50 mph WGT 60 or higher. Issued at 8:00 PM. Wind still gusting to 34 mph here.

8:18 PM: 29.59″ rising. Wind picking up. Peak gust to 44 mph now.

8:20 PM: Lightning? Peak gust to 49 now!

8:35 PM: 29.57″ steady. Gusting to 41 mph. Many more brownouts. Local wind warning update: WGT 65 mph or higher.

8PM Local Observations:
Bellingham–S23-35 knots
Everett–S14-22 knots
Tacoma–S13-35 knots
Olympia–S25-44 knots
Sea-Tac–S20-27 knots, 29.57″ falling

9:10 PM: 29.58″ steady. Gusting to 40 mph. Peak since 8:35 PM entry has been 47 mph. Two more brownouts.

9:17 PM: 29.58″ rising. Peak gust 49 mph since last entry. Marine Forecast: Inland Waters, Gale, S30-45 knots WHG; Coast; Storm, S40-60 knots WHG; Strait, 30-45 knots WHG.

9:26 PM: 29.59″ rising. Gusting to 41 mph.

9:35 PM: 29.60″ rising. Overcast with light rain. Gusting to 41 mph.

9:57 PM: 29.62″ rising. Wind less intense, gusting to about 35 mph.

9PM Local Observations:
Bellingham–30-47 knots
Everett–20-40 knots
Tacoma–19-30 knots
Olympia–28-50 knots
Sea-Tac–20-37 knots, 29.58″ falling

10:09 PM: 29.64″ rising rapidly. Wind gusting to 40 mph.

10:23 PM: 29.645″ steady. Wind gusting to 37 mph. Two brownouts.

10:35 PM: Light rain is still coming down. Overcast with nimbostratus. Wind has picked up strong again, gusting to 48 mph.

10PM Local Observations:
Bellingham–25-38 knots
Tacoma–18-32 knots
Olympia–26-39 knots
Sea-Tac–25-35 knots, 29.61″ rising

10PM Marine Observations:
Bangor–S30-50 knots

11:00 PM: Light rain still falling. Peak gust 42 mph since last entry. Peak gusts mentioned by local newscast on TV: Kent 70 mph, Hoquiam 54 mph, Renton Airport 51 mph. Sea-Tac 29-38 mph. Low moving across Strait of Juan de Fuca.

11:28 PM: 29.65″ rising. Lightning to the east. Peak gust 43 mph.

11:36 PM: Peak gusts of 51 and 52 mph! The 52 mph blast sustained for a second or two.

11:59 PM: Gusting to 40 mph.

January 17, 1986

12:16 AM: 29.71″ rising rapidly. Overcast with broken stratus. Peak gust of 44 mph since last entry. Three brownouts.

12:41 AM: 29.74″ rising rapidly. Overcast with broken nimbostratus [scud]. Light rain. Gusting to 40 mph. Seven brownouts.

12:53 AM: 29.755″ rising. Overcast, nimbostratus, light rain. Gusting to 38 mph. Two brownouts.

1:23 AM: Light rain continuing. Gusting to 43 mph. Marine forecast is for 15-25 foot seas combined for Coastal waters.

1:37 AM: 29.80″ rising rapidly. Light rain. Gusting to 40 mph.

1:55 AM: 29.83″ rising rapidly. Gusting to 38 mph.

1AM Observations:
Sea-Tac–Rain showers, 47º F, S17-28 knots, 29.76″ rising
Tacoma–25-33 knots
Olympia–Light rain, 44º F, S14-21 knots
Alki Point–Gusting to 52 knots

2:01 AM: Light rain. Gusting to 41 mph.

2:09 AM: Gusting to 39 mph.

4AM Pressure Readings:
SeaTac–1015 mb, Bellingham–1010 mb, Forks–1014 mb,
Astoria–1021 mb, North Bend–1024 mb

5:18 AM: 30.05″ rising. NWS reports 72 mph peak at Evergreen Pt. Floating Bridge, and 52 mph sustained at Destruction Island.


For even MORE information on this storm and others during that month, click here.

Matthew Leach

Kitsap Weather