Monthly Archives: August 2009

Thunder and Heavy Rain Affecting Kitsap Commute

The atmosphere was extra unstable today. Why? Well…today’s instability was actually not seen in the models until this morning, so obviously this weather pattern has a mind of its own. Let’s just say late in the summer weather patterns here can get rather “moody”.

Here’s the statement by the NWS in Seattle:

“Thunderstorms over Puget Sound will move east over the greater Seattle Metro area by 6 PM. These thunderstorms have been producing heavy rain and occasional lightning…and will move over the Interstate-5 corridor before 6 PM. The area affected by these storms extends from Federal Way northward into southern Snohomish County. Drivers should be prepared for heavy rain and ponding of water on the roadways.”

Today’s precip was so heavy, we picked up .30” of rain with a high of 62. October weather anyone? But fear not. The sun breaks through tomorrow afternoon through the weekend for the Silverdale Hyrdoplane Races and then we enter a mini-heatwave next week with highs starting out in the low to mid 80s early on but approaching 90 (if not beyond) by midweek. This heatwave will be short-lived, though, with relief coming later in the week.

Man I love it here!

Matthew Leach

Forecasting Kitsap

Questions or Comments? Send them to me at:



Interesting “Forecasting Kitsap” Global Warming Poll Discovery


Global Warming. A subject that has largely flipped from a scientific study to a political one. Either way, it appears a lot of people don’t really know exactly what’s going on—yes, that includes scientists.

Is the earth warming? Of course it is. I don’t care whether you’re a liberal, conservative, democrat or republican: the earth is warming. Studies have shown this over and over again. It is true ocean and land temperatures are warming in some areas more than others, HOWEVER, what is most controversial is:

  • What is causing global warming?
  • What are the long term affects going to be?
  • How am I going to be affected?
  • What precautions should we take?

You will get different answers depending on the person. For believers in man-made global warming, there will largely be an alarm raised and an increased urgency to “do our part” in preventing it from escalating by “going green”. Yet most proponents of man-made warming being Earth’s downfall still aren’t quite sure how to answer the above questions simply because no one really knows. Each answer depends on the person and how severe they believe the issue is.

Same goes for those who believe in natural global warming. These folks believe the Earth is warming, but not at the alarming, deathly rate others would have them believe. Most in this category will come to a consensus that: “The Earth needs to just do its thing and iron out her wrinkles. Leave her alone”.

And then there are those who don’t believe in warming at all, global cooling, or just simply “climate change” which results in both warm and cool phases.

So what’s your point, Matt? I’m very glad you asked.

My latest poll asks the question: “Do You Believe Global Warming is a Big Concern?” And so far, with 98 votes and counting, my above statements ring true: everyone is pretty evenly divided.

For example, 38% (37 votes) believe we are not exclusively warming, but rather going through warm and cool phases. This group is called: “The Climate Change Group”.

32% (31 votes) believe we are not warming at all, and if anything, cooling. This group points to the past few winters around here as proof that global warming extremism is a scam. This is “The Anti-Alarmist Group”. I’m actually surprised to see so many votes in this category! Pretty interesting.

31% (30 votes) believe in global warming and that it is indeed a big concern and we need to do more about it. This will obviously be called the “Global Warming Group”.  To be honest, I expected the numbers for this group to be higher!

I won’t do a poll on whether you believe in natural warming or man-made warming because that could get a little ugly, but I did find it interesting the margins between each category in this poll were quite small. Many people not only throughout the world but also the community are clearly divided on this subject. I’m actually very glad there are so many people voting in these three categories and that one category isn’t favored over another. It’s good to see that my viewership is pretty diverse and not tilted to one side!

Anyway, those are just my observations. If any of you have wanted to comment on the global warming subject within this blog and haven’t been able to find a chance, please feel free to use the comment section. I think it’s important to have a healthy discussion on why we all think the way we do!

As for the short term weather in Kitsap? In a nutshell: we’re crankin’ out the 80s and sunshine by the weekend and it looks to continue through next week! Enjoy!

Matthew Leach

Forecasting Kitsap

Questions? Comments? E-mail me @:



Kitsap to Enter “The Oven” Again?

I don’t have a whole lot of time to write this evening, but I would like to say a few words about the things I’ve been seeing in the weather models for the past several days. Before I do, let’s talk about the rain totals from Monday night through this morning. We managed to pick up 0.09” of rain while Sea-Tac gathered a healthy 0.44”. If they can manage another .02” of precip, they will be the 2nd driest summer ever as opposed to the 1st. Still impressive! Ironically, while still the driest in history, they broke the wettest August 11th ever with 0.31” this morning with the previous record at 0.28”. Gotta love the weather around here!

But back to my observations, it appears a massive ridge of high pressure will build over the Pacific starting this weekend which will allow temperatures to rise and skies to clear to not just mostly sunny but—SUNNY! For starters, this weekend will feature highs in the mid to upper 70s, but next week it looks like we’ll trot out the “mid to upper 80s under sunny skies” forecast again. Too soon to say if we could reach 90 again, but it is certainly possible.

The pendulum keeps on swinging!

Matthew Leach

Forecasting Kitsap



Driest Summer in Recorded History Continues Despite the Rain


Photo by: Walter Feller

Isn’t it interesting we haven’t been able to have one normal weather pattern this summer? It seems like we just bounce from one extreme to another, breaking records left and right, and looking ahead at the long range forecast it appears we’ll start to swing to the other end of the weather pendulum soon (You didn’t put away those air conditioners, I hope 😉 )

But for now, let’s talk about rain, because the last time I did a blog post about it was probably in mid May! Indeed, we have gone 83 days without a widespread rainfall with only 0.24” in the rain gauge at Sea-Tac airport since May 20th. So far, this has been the driest summer on record.

From May 20th to July 19th Seattle became the driest it has ever been with 0.24”. Here’s the list of other dry years behind 2009 from May 20th-July 19th:

2009 60 0.24
1925 60 0.42
1938 60 0.57
1922 60 0.61
1945 60 0.67
1911 60 0.72
2003 60 0.77
1965 60 0.79
1926 60 0.83
1927 60 0.87

2nd place is 1925! Pretty crazy. And since July 19th we haven’t had a drop of rain fall in the gauge, so it sure has been an impressive streak of dry weather. Think about it: May 20th-August 9th: 0.24”! That is truly incredible for this place. Now, we could also put this in another perspective. Since most meteorologists count June 1st-August 31st as being our “3 months of summer” 1st place is still 1919 with only 0.65 inches recorded. I don’t think we’ll manage to get 0.42” of rain between now and August 31st to make this year 2nd place so our dry record still looks good, but I guess with this summer acting the way it has you never know.

We will get some decent rain around here, though. At least compared to what we’ve had. A big rain parade has set up shop to our west which will continue to bring periods of rain to our area at least through mid week. Some of these rainy episodes, especially tonight into tomorrow morning, look pretty significant for any month during the summer let alone August. In fact, looking at the satellite you would think we were dealing with a winter rain episode!:


Anyway, after mostly cloudy skies, rain, breezy conditions and cool temperatures for the next few days, it appears we’ll begin to warm up. Not considerably, but enough to make those Slip ‘N Slide plans again. The past few model runs were actually advertising a return to the 90s, but they’ve started to back off on that thought (whew! 🙂 ) and are thinking more like 80s. In any case, warmer, sunnier weather after some nice, healthy rain probably isn’t a bad weather pattern in any one’s book 🙂

It’s Monday, so as hard as it may be, have a good day!

Matthew Leach

Forecasting Kitsap



UW Study: Northwest Winters Will Be Even Wetter


Hopefully you like the rain, because according to a new study from the weather department at the UW, Pacific Northwest winters are likely to get even wetter in the coming years. However we won’t be getting the worst of it, says Eric Salathé, a UW research scientist with the Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Oceans, based at the UW. The main targets for exceedingly soaking weather will be Alaska and British Columbia.

According to this study, we can also expect an upswing in more severe storms of many kinds: rain, wind, snow, you name it. This is certainly an interesting find considering a couple early bloomer winter predictions are calling for a drier than normal winter this year. It’s not a very long read and I actually found it quite interesting. You can read the whole article here .

It’s a little too early to be talking about this winter’s precipitation totals, but not too early to be talking about what’s in store for the next several days. The Pacific has been quite active lately with several storms/typhoons stirring up trouble in the ocean waters which is sending residual moisture/debris our way. So for the next little while we can expect periods of clouds and rain accompanied by cooler than normal temperatures. This is actually sign that the current El Nino forming in the Pacific right now is taking on a different lifestyle than normal, because typically in El Nino years the Pacific isn’t very active at all—at least, not in our neck of the woods.

Anyway, after a cloudy and drizzly day today expect light rain showers tonight extending into tomorrow before the sun breaks through moreso compared to the past few days. In fact, it’ll break through enough it call it partly sunny! Highs will also make it into the 70s.

Clouds and rain return for the first half of next week and it looks like we’re still on track for a drying trend later in the week.

Good! I’m ready for some good ol’ Pacific Northwest rain again 🙂

Have a great day,

Matthew Leach

Forecasting Kitsap



Western Washington: The Things We Take for Granted


Photo by: David M. Williams

Hopefully all of you had a productive day today. To be completely honest, I really didn’t. It was one of those lazy “do nothing” days and I really enjoyed it actually! It’s good to have those days every once in a while 🙂

Yesterday when I was driving home from work I began to notice something that I see everyday, but took very little notice of, for some reason, until yesterday. What was it you ask? A high volume of road kill. For heavens sake, you would THINK those possums and raccoons would learn. But no. They continue to step out into the road only to get mangled by oncoming traffic. But that wasn’t the ONLY thing I took notice of. What else, you ask?

The trees! In late June my family and I went to Wyoming as we do every year to visit family. I loved every minute of the trip, but something about Washington made me miss home while I was in Wyoming. It wasn’t enough to ruin my trip, but every once in a while I would think about home and the things that made it great. One of those things was in fact the trees.

I drive from Silverdale to Port Orchard most days and then back so I get to see A LOT of big, green trees on my way there. And you know what? I really love them. I’m no tree hugger by any means at all (puppies and bunnies are great little balls of fluff to hug, but trees?) but I love the fact that we are in abundance of them.

Trees make the air fresh, the hiking trips bearable and the scenery breathtaking, especially in the fall.

What are some things you love about this state or, more specifically, Kitsap County? Feel free to share!

The forecast for the next 7 days looks pretty much the same as what was forecasted earlier today: mostly cloudy tomorrow, partly sunny Sunday and mostly cloudy with a good chance of rain Monday through Wednesday. It looks like Wednesday will be the wettest day with steady, light rain spreading throughout the area. That will feel weird! It’s been a few months since we’ve seen steady rain around here!

And then we gradually improve for later next week into the weekend. Highs will be quite cool, though. Only in the upper 60s to low 70s.

Before I go, just thought I’d mention: I’m helping pour cement for one of my bosses tomorrow and earlier this week at work he asked me what the weather was going to be like this weekend because that would depend on whether he does the cement or not. Talk about pressure! I really hope it doesn’t rain tomorrow or I’m in BIGGGG trouble! 😉

Have a fantastic weekend!!

Matthew Leach

Forecasting Kitsap



Your Forecast for Friday, October 7th


“Well Kitsapers, it’s looking like a pretty typical October day with cloudy skies and cool temperatures. But that’s nothing out of the ordinary, right?”

Sure! If it were actually October 7th! (Which lands on a Wednesday, actually) The pattern we’re experiencing right now is fairly typical of early fall around here, but I would think most residents of Western Washington are content with the current pattern—as long as it doesn’t last from now until next May. While it’s too soon to start making those kinds of predictions, it certainly looks like we’ll be under a blanket of gray until at least late next week, but there will be moments of sunbreaks in between the cloud cover.

But I think most of you are wondering about the rain predicted to arrive in our area early next week. Amazingly, that prediction still looks good with some rain expected to arrive later Tuesday into Wednesday. I don’t know about you, but I am SO ready for some preciptation around here.

So, today and Saturday will be very similar: cloudy with the small chance for a few sunbreaks, but overall cool and Autumn-like. The sun breaks through a little bit on Sunday with highs “bouncing” up to the low 70s (as opposed to the upper 90s/low 100s last week) but clouds and light drizzle/showers return for Monday before some more healthy rain looks to move on through for Tuesday and Wednesday.

We even leak a little bit of that rain in the picture on Thursday before we start to dry out a little bit for next weekend, though it doesn’t look very warm with highs only in the upper 60s and low 70s throughout the period.

Hopefully you warm weather lovers saved that heat in a bottle somewhere, because it doesn’t look like we’ll return to THAT weather anytime soon!

Matthew Leach

Forecasting Kitsap



A Tale of Two Weather Extremes: Oh the Joys of Being a Weatherman!


Get the pitchforks and/or tomatoes ready (I’d prefer tomatoes if I had a say in this at all…) because the weather models are playing with us just a little bit as they often do. Summer patterns are generally consistent and not as sporadic as fall/winter/spring patterns. However, this weekend and early next week’s rain forecast is a tricky one with models painting two scenarios: dry and pleasant or wet and cool. Right now, the most trusted models are painting a cool/wet pattern but I’m getting a little anxious…

Weather forecasters often get teased about wrong forecasts in the winter, but in the summer a wrong forecast is a deadly sin! I’ll keep a close eye on your weekend and the outlook for early next week. The last time we saw a good healthy dose of rain was about early to mid May, so if the weather pattern advertised in some models comes true, we may restart the dry counter! I actually hope we do end up cooler and wetter in the long range…I’m not a fan of tomato-stained shirts and pitchfork wounds!

This has been a brief update, but I’m still in my scrubs and feel rather…unsterilized…(is that even a word??)

Matthew Leach

Forecasting Kitsap



Long Range Forecast: Cooler, Wetter Pattern to Take Shape?


First, let’s talk about the temperatures. Of course right now we’re basking in sunshine and highs in the low to mid 80s, but model guidance suggests this may not go on forever. To some, that’s great news! To others, it could mean a big fat speed bump placed in summer’s roadway. The above map illustrates a 70% chance of below normal temperatures for the Pacific Northwest. The percentile has actually gone up quite a bit since a couple days ago when we were slated for “normal” temperatures in the long range.

And here’s the precip chance:


That’s right! A 50% chance of above normal precipitation (Remember, that doesn’t mean there’s also a 50% chance of below normal precipitation). Putting these two maps together, we can pretty much converge on one solution: it appears we’re headed for a cool and wetter weather regime for at least the next 10 days if not more. This isn’t to say summer is over by any means, it’s just going to take a little “summer vacation”. She’s been working over time, you know!

The more moist weather will also help out tremendously with the fires going on right now. Yesterday it was reported that there are 3 dozen wildfires burning in Western Washington, many in the Olympics. We could really use some substantial rain. And again, according to long range models, early next week may be our shot. Stay tuned!

Matthew Leach

Forecasting Kitsap



PLUS 5 MORE-CAST (Long Range)


July 2009 Weather Stats: A Month for Extremes

Let me just start things off by showing you the chart of temperatures from July 1st through the 31st recorded at the Bremerton National Airport:


Now, when I averaged up the numbers, I was a little surprised to find that the average high and low was 65.4 degrees compared to the normal 65.3. It doesn’t seem right, but I averaged up the temperatures several times and each time the  numbers came out the same. My suspicion is the Bremerton low temperatures were unusually chilly, tampering with the average some. Also, in early to mid month we did experience a very impressive cool down that brought highs into the upper 50s/low 60s for a few days which also could’ve resulted in a lower average. Still, I didn’t expect us to be that close to normal when all was said and done.

The average HIGH temperature, however, was not surprising. We averaged 79.7 degrees for a high, and when we compare that to the normal 75.3 degrees we find we were 4.4 degrees above our normal high. That sounds about right! The heatwave really did us in.

Precipitation was well below normal at 0.08” compared to the normal 0.79”.

Looking back at July 2009 I think we can all agree that it was an extreme month:

  • A couple strong thunderstorms that displayed some impressive lightning and wind
  • A dramatic marine push July 11th-12th that brought highs from 86 degrees on the 11th to 57 degrees on the 12th.
  • Rare thunderheads most commonly seen in the midwest
  • Severe thunderstorms plauging the Olympics and Cascades for over a week
  • An historical and long-lasting heatwave that brought temperatures to never-before-recorded levels of 104 in Bremerton on July 29th as well as 103 in Seattle and 100+ in numerous other locations.

I never thought the middle of summer would offer such impressive extremes here. I was very much betting on experiencing a low-key, blah mid-summer season. That certianly wasn’t the case.

I’ll do a long range prediction tomorrow, but I must say some cooler air and more precipitation definitley looks likely in the extended forecast. If you’re looking for July’s heat to extended into this month you may be out of luck. I’ll go into more detail tomorrow.

For now, get out and enjoy the summer sun while it lasts!

Matthew Leach

Forecasting Kitsap