Monthly Archives: February 2010

Bill Nye, Joe Bastardi Debate Global Warming on O’Reilly Factor

**NEW POLL: Who presented the best argument? Bill Nye or Joe Bastardi? Vote in the poll after watching the video!**

Global warming debates have always been fascinating to me, especially those that are intelligent, level-headed and full of statistics. I’m not a fan of name-calling. Luckily, I found this very interesting debate on man made global warming vs natural Earth cycles on YouTube from “The O’Reilly Factor”. It’s worth a look as both sides are evenly represented:

8 Degrees Last Night? Yeah Right…

Or maybe it really DID get to 8 degrees! No…it didn’t, but if you’ve been tracking the Bremerton National Airport’s temperature readings it has no doubt been surprising to see a string of “low temperatures” in the single digits, teens and 20s, particularly the 8 degree reading last night.

Well, among other technicalities that have skewed the low temperature data at the airport, it appears at a certain time during the night the current temperature disappears and what is recorded is the dew point, or rather simply the temperature at which air must be cooled to form dew. The dew point can often vary greatly from the actual temperature, though 8 degrees is still a bit extreme.

According to officials at the airport, getting this bug fixed is a work in progress, but until then just stick to your outdoor thermometers 😉 It’s pretty fun to look at the temperature graphs in the Kitsap Sun, though—it looks like a roller coaster!

Speaking of which, the weather this week will go through ups and downs of its own as tomorrow will continue the theme of clouds and showers with partly sunny skies continuing Thursday. Rain returns briefly Friday before *another dry weekend* makes an encore. Rain returns next week.

Highs for the rest of the week will stay in the low to mid 50s, so pretty close to normal.

Stay classy, Kitsap,

Matthew Leach

Forecasting Kitsap

Questions? Comments? E-mail me at:

Taking Advantage of our “Early Spring” Weather!

It felt sooooo good to get outside and bike to, along and from the Clear Creek Trail in Silverdale today! And boy let me tell you…it was packed! I almost ran over 2 children, a puppy, an older couple with walking sticks and a baby in a stroller. Luckily, my quick ninja-like reflexes kicked in and no one was hurt! But to find a reasonable amount of room to bike was tricky.

It was also quite mild with high temperatures soaring near 60 degrees. And wouldn’t you know it—Phil was wrong and my dog was right! Spring has most certainly sprung! Overnight temperatures have grazed freezing, however, which has made for a pretty wide range in temperatures. This is due, in large part, to the sun angle. Our temperatures now are comparable to how it is in October—chilly nights, but mild days.

Even more good news, the mountains are hardly suffering from lack of snow and the Olympics are running just fine. Combine that with the sunny, 60 degree weather down here and we can call it good. This El Nino has been many things (**a huge pain in the butt!**) but it has not been one for causing drought concerns.

The forecast for the rest of the weekend and into early next week remains the same: sunny to mostly sunny skies with highs in the mid to upper 50s with lows in the low to mid 30s. Clouds and several weather systems will override our ridge and bring in periods of rain for midweek onward. Looking at long range projections, the showery and seasonable weather pattern looks to continue.

With that in mind, continue to take advantage of days like this! They’re like little nuggets of gold.

Matthew Leach

Forecasting Kitsap

Questions? Comments? E-mail me at:

Snowcover At Record Highest in North America?

It sure seems that way. Here’s an interesting tidbit from KOMO News Meteorologist Paul Deanno’s morning weather synopsis:

“There have been 44 Presidents since the start of our great country, and none of them has ever lived through a winter as rough as this (although General George Washington would have one heck of an argument there).  At one time late last week, it snowed in 49 of the 50 states in the Union (Hawaii was the lone exception)… and climate researchers are busy confirming that the snowcover in North America has never been higher (since records began).

But… here in Western Washington… we’ve only had three “cool” days since Christmas… and the Winter Olympics — on the same continent that’s breaking snowfall records — they’ve had to postpone skiing competitions due to a lack of snow.”

Pretty incredible! Of course, snow enthusiasts in the Northwest are turning green with envy, so we might as well have some different weather worth celebrating, right? I suppose it depends on your taste of weather, but for the next week it’s lookin’ mighty nice.

A MASSIVE ridge of high pressure is set to park itself over the Northwest by mid week, but we must get through periods of fog and low clouds today and tomorrow before we get to spring-like weather for the rest of the forecast period. Highs both days will remain near 50.

The temperature forecast from Wednesday onward is tricky, as it will all depend on a couple factors: 1) how long it takes to burn the morning fog away, and due to the higher sun angle it shouldn’t take nearly as long as a month ago and 2) how much of an east wind influence we get. That could nudge temperatures close to, and maybe even beyond, 60 degrees late next week and into the weekend.

So look for the temperatures on the forecast map to fluctuate between today and mid week as I’m trying to get a good handle on a definite trend here. I’d much rather have a sunny, 60 degree Saturday afternoon than a 50 degree drizzly one!

Anyway, I hope everyone had a great weekend and cross your fingers for great skiing weather at the Olympics!!!

Matthew Leach

Forecasting Kitsap

Questions? Comments? E-mail me at:


‘Forecasting Africa’: Serving a Mission in Cape Town, South Africa!

Hello, bloggers! Great news! First of all…

Kitsap Sun reporter Chris Henry was in Silverdale today reporting on a feel good story taking place within my work environment (I won’t give too much away…you’ll have to wait for the headline to see it!) and we finally met. I hear about all the Sun reporters/bloggers and read their stuff, I just never get the chance to meet them, so it certainly was a pleasure.We got to talking about how both of us haven’t been posting nearly as much as we should lately. I think we’re all a little bit guilty of that, though. So, I apologize. I’ll try to update this blog with more fun, informative and entertaining blog posts at least every other day.

I do have somewhat of a legitimate excuse, however. The past few weeks I have been on pins and needles anxiously awaiting my 2 year church mission call from LDS Church Headquarters in Salt Lake. I filled out paperwork and left it in their hands to decide what would be best for me and the people I serve. Last night, it arrived!

As the title so clearly states, yes, I found out I am going to be serving in the South Africa Cape Town mission which also covers the extremely poor (half of the population–approx 1 million people–earns $1.25 a day) and AIDS-stricken (15% of adults have AIDS) country of Namibia to the northwest. This will truly be a humbling and growing experience for me.

But what makes this mission call so special to me is the fact we hosted a foreign exchange student from Tanzania, Africa this past school year and had a blast (You can read the blog write-up I did on him here). I remember feeling a deep desire to go to Africa someday because I was so intrigued by John and his culture. Sure enough, my wish was miraculously granted when I discovered I’d be going to South Africa.

As you may guess, I will step down as blog writer of Forecasting Kitsap in early June as I will report to the South Africa Missionary Training Center in Johannesburg June 17th. Someone else to be decided will run this blog or something similar until I get back in June of 2012 and resume my bloggin’ habits. It’s going to be so hard not to blog while on my mission, but I will be able to e-mail my family once a week, so at least I’ll have that.

I’ve read that South Africa’s climate, as a whole, is very similar to San Fransisco, with more wind and less rain. THAT I can handle, though I’d like a little snow 😉

I’ll talk a little more about S.A. later, but for now many of you are anxious to hear what Valentine’s weekend has in store. Well…sorry to rain on your love parade, but it is looking quite cloudy and rainy through the whole weekend with highs in the low 50s. But light is at the end of the tunnel! Skies will clear towards the end of the week and highs will nudge 60…if forecast models are to be believed. Cross your fingers!

60 degrees and sunny—a rarity in a Seattle winter, but very common in a South African one!

Take care and have a wonderful weekend,

Matthew Leach

Forecasting Kitsap

Comments? Questions? E-mail me at:

Spring-like Trend to be Broken…Momentarily

This weekend I was going to do a post on how history has shown that after long periods of warm winter weather a cold blast sneaks up on us, but this El Nino has gotten so out of control that I think we can just toss that idea in the trash!

My winter forecast called for major swings in the weather everywhere, but especially the northwest. One could certainly argue this has been the case with record cold and dry weather in December, a sopping wet and blowtorch first half of January and a very warm and drier last half that has extended into the first full week of this month. But it appears the rains will return…at least for the next little while.

While my prediction of above average rain has followed through, the above normal snow prediction I made in November is most certainly failing, and even though we still have a month of technical winter weather left, I have a sore feeling the winter of 2009-2010 will go down as the “Snowless Winter”. Makes sense, though. We were due.

The semi-warm and *mostly* dry weekend weather spell will be broken after tomorrow’s last sunny day for the next week. Several warm and wet weather systems that are spinning up from the southwest of us will plague our area for a good 5 or 6 out of the 7 days this week. This is looking like a January 2010 repeat!

In fact, looking at the long range, expect this pattern to continue through the end of the month.

The east is getting hammered with snowstorm after snowstorm, though. Nothing is worse than having a nationwide blowtorch winter. That’s never a good sign!

Have a wonderful evening,

Matthew Leach

Forecasting Kitsap

Questions? Comments? E-mail me at:


WEATHER ALERT: Massive Weekend Storm of Sunshine and Warm Weather to Slam Kitsap

Alright…cut me a break 😉 This winter has been such a loser for weather enthusiasts like me and you have no idea how long I’ve waited to title one of my blog posts like that and I just can’t wait any longer! But I’m not lying to you folks: if you thought today was downright gorgeous, you’ll LOVE the weekend!

In fact, today we were close to breaking a record:

Just a couple degrees shy! And here’s my thought process on this: even though I get easily disturbed by people like Cliff Mass’s hootin’ and hollerin’ over warm weather in the winter, I say if we’re going to be this sunny AND warm (unlike the CLOUDY, WET and WARM January we just suffered through) we might as well break records—and this weekend we may just do it.

Tomorrow’s high temperature record is 53 degrees, also from 1998 (our last mega El Nino winter) and I think we’ll break that without trying too hard. If the fog burns off fast enough, which I fully expect it to, highs will be nudging closer to 60 than 50. Either way, it’ll be a gorgeous spring-like day.

A weak front piddles on our party a bit Saturday night into Sunday morning before we break out into the sun and mild temperatures in the afternoon.

Same dealio for Monday and Tuesday, but weather models are suggesting a deterioration of this tranquil weather pattern by midweek. Chances are pretty good for that idea to fizzle out, however, and we could just continue this pattern.

Well, that’s all I have. Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post as I’ll be talking about why this winter isn’t necessarily over.

Have a great weekend everyone,

Matthew Leach

Forecasting Kitsap

Questions? Comments? E-mail me at:


Phil Saw His Shadow: Six More Weeks of…?

…clouds and drizzle?

Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow this morning, meaning there will be six more weeks of winter, but does this apply to the nation as a whole? Not exactly. My dog didn’t see her shadow this morning and she has never been wrong, so get out those lawn mowers, folks. Spring is coming early this year!

As all of us cold and snow lovers know, winter has been pretty much absent here in the Northwest lowlands and looking at long range projections that will continue.

Accuweather meteorologists are siding with Phil and predicting six more weeks of winter for the east coast and a mild, wet start to spring along the west coast. And as much as it pains me to say it, I agree with them.

You see, our winter lately has been like a movie I saw this weekend. It started off with a bang (heavy, torrential rains and mountain snows, severe arctic cold, spotty lowland snow) but abruptly lost all its magic. And I mean REALLY abruptly (I bet you’re wondering what movie I’m talking about 😉 )

Did you know January didn’t feature a single below normal temperature day OR night? It was a complete and utter blowtorch. I certainly underestimated this El Nino, but at least I wasn’t alone. Virtually every weather forecast out there called for a much warmer and drier than normal winter, whereas my forecast called for an average (cold first half, warm second half) winter with above average precipitation.

So I suppose as cute and cuddly as Lil’ Phil is, my dog may just have him beat. At least for the west coast 😉

Matthew Leach

Forecasting Kitsap

Questions? Comments? E-mail me at: