Daily Archives: July 23, 2009

**WEATHER ALERT: Dangerous Heat, Wildfires, and Stagnation in the Kitsap Forecast


Looks like I was wrong! I think sometime in March or April I said I dreaded the summer months weather-wise because “nothing ever happens worth writing about”. Ha! You’re eating your own words, buster!

Kitsap is getting ready for quite an impressive string of much above normal temperatures. Exactly how much? Considering our normal high for this time of year is around 76, we are looking at temperatures running roughly 10-15 degrees above normal this weekend and 15-20 degrees above normal most of next week. Also worth noting, the NWS says if the forecast for the next 7 days verifies, this could be the longest stretch of hot weather we have ever seen. Period.

Today I attended a phone conference/discussion concerning the upcoming heatwave with the National Weather Service in Sandpoint, WA and other journalists/meteorologists around the state. To be completely honest, I don’t think I learned anything new during the conference, though I was reminded of several important things to remember in very hot weather:

  • Keep tabs on the elderly and little ones. The heat we’re going to experience is very dangerous and sucks out a lot of energy from folks who need it.
  • Refrain from participating in any strenuous activities.
  • DO NOT leave young children or pets in cars with the windows rolled up. Not even for a minute
  • Drink PLENTY of water

According to the most recent Kitsap Sun news article about the weather (they beat me to it this afternoon!!!) Mason County will be offering cooling stations beginning Monday. To read about the specifics, click here.

However, if I may, and with all due respect, the temperatures advertised in the above Kitsap Sun article are grossly underdone. Even the National Weather Service in their latest discussion is calling for high temperatures in the 85-95 degree range with widespread 90s by Sunday. Normally I would be A LOT more conservative with my temperatures, but statistically late July/early August is the warmest time period for Western Washington, and it doesn’t take much to get bakin’.

Ahem…back to the other concern: wildfires. I don’t think we’ll have to worry about that so much in Kitsap County, although if any bozos throw their cigarette butts out their windows while driving on the highway, maybe we could face a few. But the main concern is the North Cascades as “dry thunderstorms” could strike the area this weekend, increasing the potential of more wildfires (I say “more” because B.C. has already battled a couple). “Dry thunderstorms” are pretty self explanatory: just lightning/thunder, no rain.

And then lastly, but certainly not least, is air quality. Let me tell you…when you combine vehicle emissions and heat, it adds to ozone build up and air stagnation. Car pool if you can, just so we don’t have to be breathing disgusting air for the next 10 days or so!

Oh wait…one more thing. Long range models show absolutely no sign of precipitation within the next 16 days, but there is a *possible* cool down in sight. It looks like later Thursday into Friday we could undergo an impressive marine push that yanks temperatures back down to near normal in the 70s under a blanket of gray…kind of like yesterday morning and this morning. Wouldn’t that be nice?

Stay tuned for updates, because as you should know by now, no other weather source is as committed to Kitsap County as Forecasting Kitsap! 🙂

Matthew Leach

Forecasting Kitsap