Daily Archives: January 19, 2009

The “Extreme” Fall and Winter of 2008-2009

This winter isn’t over yet, but as of now, many meteorologists are calling this past fall and present winter as an “extreme” one. Here are some examples:

  • September 2008: Extremely dry and mild. The first 18 days of the month were bone dry with 0.00” of rain in the rain gauge. The whole month only ended up being 48% of the average precipitation amount for the month, which is 1.63”.
  • October 2008: Despite the wet beginning to the month, most of October 2008 was quite cool and dry which created the beautiful tree coloration. In fact, mid October had a prolonged period of cold overnight low temperatures, bringing Shelton down to 27º on the 11th, breaking the previous record of 29º in 1994. Western Washington usually receieves the first frost on November 10th…this year, it was a month early. Now that’s extreme!
  • November 2008: This month was dubbed “The Mushroom Month” because it was extremely mild (4º+ above normal as far as temperatures are concerned) and rather moist…at least the first half. The second half was abnormally dry. Again, prolonged extreme periods of dry, wet, and mild.
  • December 2008: The first part of the month was moist with very mild temperatures. This lasted for almost two weeks before the “Arctic Blast of 2008” hit the region, dropping low temperatures and snow for about two weeks. Again: extreme!
  • January 2009: The first week or so of this month featured snow, ice, and flooding with now a prolonged period of dry (and mild or cold depending on where you were) weather regime.

It’s rather amazing to look back and see how almost every weather pattern we’ve experienced this winter has been an extreme or prolonged event. This probably makes most wonder: what’s next after this ridgy pattern? That’s where the forecast comes in 🙂

Tonight will be another frosty one as lows get down into the mid 20s and lower 30s. Tomorrow will be mostly clear, but it’ll be hazy in some locations due to the pollutants/stagnant air around. Largely, though, it should end up being very similar to today. Highs will be in the upper 40s to lower 50s.

Wednesday we bring in a few more clouds and cool the temperatures a tad into the mid and upper 40s.

Thursday now looks partly sunny with, again, cooler highs in the low to mid 40s. Don’t you love it when the forecast changes for the better? 🙂 Actually, rain chances for Thursday are greatly diminishing so if you have any outdoor plans that day, cancellations don’t look likely.

Friday through this weekend still looks rather chilly with clouds, light rain showers and highs in the upper 30s to lower 40s.

The extended forecast looks to fit this winter’s pattern well with what looks like a prolonged period of  potentially colder and wetter weather setting up shop with low snow levels, meaning more snow for the mountains. And how about snow down here? Err…I’m not quite ready to talk about that just yet 😉

Have a fantastic week,

Matthew Leach

Kitsap Weather