Monthly Archives: June 2009

Future of the “Forecasting Kitsap” Weather Blog


*Photo: After CK Graduation. L-R: Mom, Me, Dad, Grandpa

Well I’m ready to re-start my blog-writing routine now that all high school requirements have been met and graduation is over. June is such a busy month for many, and it has been an overwhelming one for me. I’m just glad most of the busy stuff is over!

Some of you have expressed interest in what is next for this blog now that I am graduated with high school. I plan on working a year in the area at Dr. Naumann/Johnson Orthodontics in Port Orchard and Silverdale doing sterilizing/lab work. It is impossible to find work in this area, so getting such a good job in such a great area is quite a blessing. About this time next year I will turn in my mission papers and serve a two year mission for my church probably in the late summer/early fall of 2010. I will then return home in 2012 and go to school at BYU (haven’t decided which one yet…) and possibly pursue my broadcasting degree there, though I may look to a really great school in Vermont that specializes in broadcast meteorology. And then hopefully in the not too distant future I’ll be forecasting the weather for a neighborhood near you! I love the Seattle area and hope to stay.

So I plan on keeping up on this blog for one more year and then who knows what happens after that…could there possibly be another weather geek out there like me that would be interested in hosting this blog? We’ll see what happens, but until then we’ve got a lot of weather to predict!

First I’m sure you’ve heard that we’re about to break a weather record in the Seattle area. I know what you’re thinking: “What?! But nothing has happened!” And that’s exactly why this period in 2009 may go down in the weather history books. Today marks day 27 of no measurable rain at Sea-Tac airport, but only day 26 for Bremerton if records are right. According to, we haven’t seen rain since May 20th, and even then we only saw 0.04”. But that was 26 days ago…Sea-Tac didn’t end up seeing measurable rain that day so we’re just a day behind. Regardless, I think we may exceed the record longest stretch of dry weather which is 29. We’ll see how far we go!

By looking at the short and long range projections, our only decent shot at a bit of precipitation is on Wednesday, but even that looks pathetic. At best I expect a few sprinkles which wouldn’t add up to anything. Other than that, mostly to partly cloudy skies are in order with highs in the upper 60s to mid 70s. Quite comfortable, really, but then again summer starts on Sunday and people want to see summer weather! My bets are we’ll see our true Washington summer weather in August. But that doesn’t mean we’ll have to wait until then to see some decent heat!

Have a great evening,

Matthew Leach

Forecasting Kitsap



Some Down Time Before I Graduate

Central Kitsap Class of 09 (you can spot me at the bottom of the "9" right in the middle wearing a shirt with gray/black stripes and white sleeves!)
Central Kitsap Class of 09 (you can spot me at the bottom of the "9" right in the middle wearing a shirt with gray/black stripes and white sleeves!)

I will be getting my high school diploma in just a few hours, a moment that will be satisfying, exhausting, and, believe it or not, saddening. Chapter 1 of my life is closing, and it was certainly written at  a breakneck speed. So many people to thank, so many things to look back on and smile upon (as well as frown upon) and so many adventures I have planned for my second chapter of “Life”.

As my ASB Advisor, Diane Fox, said to me earlier in the school year, “We are not strongest when we frolic through the daises but when we trudge through the weeds.” I most certainly have not had a life skipping through daises, but compared to so many others, I feel almost guilty by how smooth and tragedy-free my life has been for 18 years and sometimes I can’t help but wonder, “Am I prepared for the real world now? ” But it is important to remember challenges/trials come in many different forms. They aren’t all physical. Sometimes they can be emotional, spiritual, mental, social…there are a NUMBER of issues we all deal with everyday, but as weakening as some of them may be, none of us can walk away and say that it hasn’t helped in some area of our lives.

Anyway, from pre-school to senior year it has been an intellectually thrilling, spiritually uplifting and socially expanding  journey for me that I will always remember. Why? Because I’ve kept a journal 😉 But there are plenty of things in my life that have occured that I will remember forever, even if they weren’t written down.

I better get ready for graduation now. That’s one thing I have struggled with since elementary school: procrastination. Oddly enough I do my best work under pressure, but it sure as heck is not a fun way to live!

Thanks for your support, Kitsap!

Matthew Leach

Forecasting Kitsap

POLL: What is Your Favorite Weather Event?


Due to other blog duties lately I haven’t had a chance to introduce the new poll on the right hand side of this blog which is titled: “What is Your Favorite Weather Event?” I’m interested to see what my fellow Kitsapers consider their favorite type of weather. So, please cast your vote! If the poll will not allow you to, please let me know. I am aware of the polling system not working every once in a while!

If your favorite weather is partly sunny skies with comfortable highs in the low to mid 70s, you’re in luck as the next few days will feature just that as tomorrow, Thursday and Friday look partly sunny after morning clouds with highs in the low to mid 70s.

An increase in clouds and a few sprinkles overtake the area this weekend pleasing all you cool/damp weather fans, but the sun comes back out and warms things back up again for the sunny/comfortable weather fans which should continue through the last week of spring!

You thunderstorm and/or snow fans may have to wait a bit longer to get what you want 🙂

Matthew Leach

Forecasting Kitsap



The Return of El Niño?: CPC says We Are on “El Niño Watch”

*Sea surface temperatures rising along the equator signal a possible return to El Nino*
*Sea surface temperatures rising along the equator signal a possible return to El Nino*

 Listen up all weather nerds!

Are you a skier? *Cue the horror music* Well I have some…unfortunate, less-than-pleasing news to deliver. Of course, the news I’m about to deliver is not exactly 100% likely yet, but there are definite signs skiers and snow lovers may have a rough winter for the 2009-2010 season if the CPC (Climate Prediction Center) is accurate in their latest assessments.

According to the prediction center, “Conditions are favorable for a transition from ENSO-neutral conditions to El Niño conditions during June-August 2009”. Mind you we went from a La Nina this past winter to a neutral pattern this spring and a possible El Nino by this summer. Typically these transitions don’t happen so fast, but this is a particularly weird weather year anyway so why not break all the rules it can?

It is important to note that the “recent oceanic and atmospheric anomalies are consistent with ENSO-neutral conditions, but also reflect the evolution towards a potential El Nino”. For the full report click here. This is pretty much all the information the CPC wants to give at this time which is smart so as not to set the public expectations too high this winter…or low for that matter. But maybe it’s good to review what El Nino winters typically mean for the Pacific Northwest. I think I gave it away in the 1st paragraph by telling all skiers to run for cover:


The top picture illustrates a TYPICAL El Nino pattern while the bottom illustrates a TYPICAL La Nina pattern. I put the words “typical” in all caps because they don’t always pan out a certain way all the time. For instance, El Ninos are typically warm and dry, but we went through a weak El Nino pattern in the winter of 2006-2007 which featured one heck of a rainstorm/flooding followed by an arctic intrusion in November 2006 and another in January 2007 with a decent snowfall two days before Christmas. That winter was anything but “warm” and “dry”. It was also a good year for the mountains, though the season started a tad late.

And then you can look at this winter, 2008-2009 (which ended up being a La Nina), which started off horrendously in November, got the wheels turning in December and finished beautifully in March. It was quite the variable winter. So you can see why saying this winter will be “warm and dry” or “warm and wet” is too bold of a call to make this early. Heck, it will likely be too early to predict what this winter will be like until March 2010 😉

So I suppose the best thing to do is stay tuned to updates. If the sea surface temperatures rise anymore, we could be looking at an El Nino winter this next winter which could mean many things.

So what do the next 7 days have in store for us? More of the same weather we’ve been having: partly sunny with morning clouds and high temperatures in the low to mid 70s with a few showers mid week, though this weekend looks cloudy, drizzly and cooler.

Have a fantastic evening,

Matthew Leach

Forecasting Kitsap



VIDEO: A Salute to CK’s Foreign Exchange Students


This is a special edition of Forecasting Kitsap. As readers of this blog know, my family has been hosting a foreign exchange student from Tanzania, Africa since August and the group he came to the US with had to leave today which means he has to miss graduation. I am especially bummed, but his coordinators wouldn’t make any exceptions. The other two exchange students from Norway and Germany came with different groups who get to leave after graduation. I guess that was just the luck of the draw.

Anyway, on Thursday I filmed the very last weather forecast of not only the school year but of my high school career and I decided I wanted to do something special. So, I asked John Mhando (Tanzania), Tori Johansen (Norway) and Max Sesing (Germany) to appear in the last broadcast and assist me in forecasting the weather around Kitsap in their native language. This is a really cool video and it was such a privilege to have them on!

**Note: Why is Tori invisible on the green screen? She is wearing a green sweatshirt. I told her she would be invisible but…she insisted on wearing the sweatshirt 🙂

Here’s wishing these students a successful and bright future ahead!

Matthew Leach

Forecasting Kitsap



Has the Weather Been Weird Enough For You?

Photo by: Unknown
Photo by: Unknown

If you were anywhere on the West Coast last night you witnessed an incredible meteorlogical occurance: a pre-summer marine push of monstorous porportions. At around 7:00 it started to get really windy outside and I knew exactly what was happening because the wind was significantly colder than the temperature inside my house. It felt like air conditioning!

Temperatures around the area dropped 20 degrees in just a couple hours as the marine push blew through the area. I figured the marine push would be dramatic, but not THAT dramatic. Everyone I talked to today said it was quite the experience having shorts and T-shirts on at 7:00 and having to grab a jacked at 9.


But it’s worth noting that we can’t quite blame the gusty winds on just the marine front as there were some VERY strong thunderstorms just to our south (by the way, the Portland area was under a Severe Thunderstorm Watch yesterday which many meteorologists around the area say has never happened west of the cascades) that could have caused it as well. Scott Sistek , KOMO 4 weather producer, explained this phenomenon called “gust fronts” well when he said, “Typical of the massive thunderstorms in the Midwest, gust fronts are caused by extreme downdrafts out of the thunderclouds that race outward from the storms — sort of like waves when you drop a stone in [a] pond.” So really, yesterday’s active weather could have been a result of many different weather patterns happening at once.

And then there’s today’s weather which, in my opinion, was quite comfortable compared the suffocating high 80s/low 90s we’ve experienced the past few days. But we have even cooler weather on the way that might make things a little uncomfortable/unpleasant tomorrow.

It will be a bit breezy tonight as we have another marine push in the forecast but this one will be much more “mature”, unlike the “immature temper tantrum” that occured last night. Expect breezes in the 15-20 mph range which means an increase in cloud cover overnight. Tomorrow morning will start cloudy and drizzly, but skies should clear enough to give us all a nice taste of the sun. Typically this time of year marine layers aren’t very hard to break out of. Highs will likely stay in the 60s.

Sunday and Monday look equally as pleasant with partly sunny skies and highs in the upper 60s and lower 70s—right about normal.

Clouds, high temps in the low to mid 60s and even a few showers (gasp!) could make any outdoor plans on Tuesday tricky, but we steadily warm up and dry out as the week progresses.

**NOTE: Next week is the last week of school for seniors because Friday, June 12th is graduation. I’ll just say ahead of time that posting next week will likely be infrequent due to responsibilities I have in conjunction with not only the ceremony but other last minute things I have to get done before I say my final goodbye’s to CK. Tis a bitter sweet moment indeed.

Have a great evening!

Matthew Leach

Forecasting Kitsap



From Winter to Summer: Where Was Spring?

** A HEAT ADVISORY is still in effect until 6 PM Thursday. Click here for the full report**

Drum roll please…the official high temperature for the Bremerton area is…89! Darn. I was 1 degree off. But we broke a record for the warmest June 3rd in weather history, previously 87 in 1978.

I had some fun reading the comment section to a Kitsap Sun news story regarding this heatwave today. As expected, some of the comments had to deal with global warming, calling the deniers to repentance (global warming supporters have been waiting a long time for their side of the argument around here! 😉 ). One of the comments made a lot of sense and I think we have all thought this once or twice during the past week or so:

“It seems like we went from one extreme to the next—winter to summer! Where was spring?”

Typically spring’s here are cool and damp and I think we can agree spring as a whole has been exactly that, but it is true we’ve ridden the weather rollercoaster on many occasions since late March when spring began that has made the transition from winter to summer less than pleasant for some.

However, if you are just dying for a return back to normal spring weather you will have your wish starting Friday, but we have to deal with a trouble-maker tomorrow before we can get there. What trouble-maker? Humidity, and it may just play enough of a part to make things extra sticky throughout the day (it’s times like this I am thankful that I don’t have leather seats in my car). So, get ready for another day in the mid to upper 80s. I say mid-upper because we have peaked in the temperature department and tomorrow is day 1 of the cool off, though it won’t be as noticeable as Friday.

Friday through the rest of next week looks pretty darn similar: partly sunny skies with comfortable temps in the upper 60s/low 70s—right about where they should be this time of year. Maybe we may reach a happy medium after all!

Have a great evening and try to stay cool,

Matthew Leach

Forecasting Kitsap



**HEAT ADVISORY IN EFFECT–Near Record Warmth Today

**The National Weather Service in Seattle has issued a HEAT ADVISORY in effect from 2 PM this afternoon to 6 PM Thursday. Click here for the full report**


Summer is (unofficially) here!

But, as is common with impressive warm spells in Washington, this will all come to an abrupt end Thursday night as some moist, cool ocean air surges inland causing high temperatures to plummet 15-20 degrees over the weekend and into next week. Crazy thing is, by then we may actually be at our normal high for this time of year which is *only* 67º.

So the forecast for today is pretty much unchanged compared to yesterday’s forecast except for one thing: fewer clouds. So, skies will be mostly sunny with highs soaring well into the 80s with maybe even a few 90s around the region which would not surprise me, considering there are several locations across the peninsula reporting temperatures in the 70s already.

The warmth continues tomorrow, but this time it will likely be more uncomfortable as we will not only have increasing clouds but humidity as well, so if you feel it is too much work to breath or if you must take 10 showers in one day, you can thank the humidity.

And then we cool dramatically by Friday morning and through next week with highs dropping into the upper 60s/lower 70s.

We all like variety, right? 🙂

Matthew Leach

Forecasting Kitsap



Ahhhh!: Mother Nature’s Natural Air Conditioning

Washingtonians are used to warm, dry and comfortable summers with low humidity. The past few days have been hazy/partly cloudy, warm and stuffy.


The clouds that have rolled in (more noticeable today) have acted as a type of blanket during this heatwave, allowing the warm atmopshere to envelop the region as the sun breaks through, but when the clouds roll back in it’s like sleeping in a hot room with a blanket on. It just doesn’t feel so nice.

Ok, sorry…I realize I’m complaining here. Might as well enjoy the warm weather, right? The good news is this pattern has produced some very mild nights resulting in an official packaway of my fall/winter jacket. I don’t think I’ll be needing that anytime too soon…

The pattern for tomorrow will be very similar. If you wanted things just a little warmer outside today you’ll get your wish tomorrow as highs will get well into the 80s…maybe even a 90 or two. Today’s high was a toasty 87 degrees. By the way, the record is 94 set in 1970 so we still haven’t broken any max. high  temps, but tomorrow’s record is 87 and…well, I think we could crack that. So the 20% of you who voted that we would see our first record high temperature in June may end up right! I am surprised, though. Historically we have seen record high temps before now…

The impressive heat will eventually end this weekend as we switch to a cooling marine push that will allow clouds and cooler air to filter into the region, or as I and many other weather nerds like to call it: “Natural Air Conditioning”. That’s what makes summer here so tolerable! Saturday through the weekend and into next week expect highs generally near 70—maybe a degree or two either way with partial sunshine.

So, definitely cooler but not cool enough to bring my jacket back out! 🙂

Matthew Leach

Forecasting Kitsap



May 2009 Weather Stats: You May Be Surprised!


It’s another beautiful day out there, though I wish the high clouds would leave us alone…it makes it feel quite muggy outside.

Good news? We’re stepping closer to summer because we are officially in June which means 20 more days until summer begins and more importantly spring ends (spring is my least favorite season if you couldn’t tell by now!)

And now we’re officially stepping into a new month it is time to reveal some May 2009 Weather Stats. I know! I’m excited too! So, here’s the graph:


*You can click on the above image for a closer look.

Can you believe it? The very first day of May, a little period in the middle of May and a few days at the end of May really made a difference between a below normal or above normal month. Even though the cold, wet windy weather may stand out above the nice, dry weather the numbers don’t lie: we ended up 0.5º above normal, first time we’ve been above normal for a monthly temperature in 6 months. Crazy.

Precipitation was no doubt high (1.06” above normal to be exact!), but for some reason I expected the numbers to be even higher. I mean, Seattle ended the month with 3.61” of rain in the rain gauge and “all we got” was 2.79”? Hmm…well, we all know the Bremerton records aren’t the greatest. At best, the numbers you see on the graph are a guide…I don’t know how much stock we should put into them.

Overall, I’d say if you count the windstorms and abnormal rain out of the picture, May 2009 has been pretty normal with a few heat waves sprinkled within long streaks of partly sunny, 60º days.

But now we look forward to June. Last month I released my Summer 2009 Weather Prediction (which you can read in more detail here if you missed it) and in it I talked about the likelihood of having a sluggish, wet June. While the next 5-6 days of this month look outstanding, there are signs this prediction may not have been so far off…

Long range models that run until the end of June are signaling a return to near normal if not slightly below normal temperatures and slightly above normal precipitation. But that’s not to say we won’t have our moments of sunny, warm days!

But like I mentioned, the next 5-6 days will be gorgeous: 80º days, some of which will be well into the 80s, with partly to mostly sunny skies as the high clouds hang around for a while.

Next weekend looks cooler with more in the way of clouds. High temps will still be in the upper 60s/low 70s so even with the clouds around it will still be mild, making this location feel more like Kansas City, MO than Kitsap County, WA 🙂

Have a great day!

Matthew Leach

Forecasting Kitsap