Forecasting Kitsap

Aspiring weatherman Matthew Leach talks about the complex and intricate weather patterns over Kitsap.
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Archive for March, 2010

Incredible Cloud Formations in Wyoming

Monday, March 29th, 2010

I always love the semi-annual trip to Lovell, WY where my grandparents have lived for over 50 years. In fact, they currently live in a house right next door to the one my mom grew up in! And add the fact that I have lived in Silverdale my whole life, and you can safely assume our family finds a good place to live and stays put.

That will be a good and bad thing in the years to come for me—good because I have grown to love the Northwest in such a unique way as well as build relationships few people growing up get to have the opportunity to do, but when I head off to Cape Town, South Africa next month I will be in for a real shocker. Talk about taking a huge leap out of my comfort zone!

Anyway, while on this trip I have been able to take a couple cool cloud photos that I find are unique to the wide open West. Take a look:

 

Have fun in the thunderstorms tomorrow! Watch out for the pea-sized hail, gusty winds and downpours you lucky sons of guns. I’m going out four-wheelin’ tomorrow with grandpa and the fam, so I’ll be sure to catch some more cool pictures!

Stay classy, Kitsap,

Matthew Leach

Forecasting Kitsap

Questions? Comments? Cool weather pix? E-mail me at: forecastingkitsap@live.com



Chilly, Stormy Pattern to Continue Through April

Monday, March 29th, 2010

PHOTO COURTESY OF: AccuWeather

Naturally one of the strongest winter (or spring now?) storms of the season strikes the Northwest, and I’m in Montana/Wyoming visiting my grandparents looking at gray skies and a soggy ground. Not great timing. But that’s OK I suppose. A little bit of snow is forecasted while I’m here ;)

So how long will this stormy period last? A while, unfortunately. Climatology (and long range data) suggests a colder, stormier April than usual with the significantly warm episodes like last Wednesday much less frequent. El Nino springs typically end up being chilly and wet, and this will also help in last minute snow pack build up.

I know…I’m kinda disappointed too. In the mean time, get ready for unstable conditions today with some thundershowers/heavy downpours occurring throughout the afternoon. The rest of the week will feature the familiar cloudy skies and periods of heavy rain.

Hold on to your umbrellas, Kitsapers! Summer will be here before ya know it ;)

Matthew Leach

Forecasting Kitsap

Questions? Comments? E-mail me at: forecastingkitsap@live.com


No, It Was Not 72 Degrees Today, But We Were Close!

Wednesday, March 24th, 2010

For more about our record tying weather, click here.

I typically ignore those big bank thermometers because they are typically very inaccurate, which is what you would expect from a sensor facing the sun. This reminds me of the 116 degree reading  from a Port Orchard bank this past July!

As I was driving home from work, that same bank read “72″ degrees. I rolled my eyes and said, “Yeah right! Not a chance…” and checked the Bremerton National Airport reading when I got home and it read 66 degrees! I thought for sure that bank temperature was over doing it by a mile. Guess they can be accurate…when the sun isn’t shining directly on the sensor. 66 or 72 degrees, either way it was a beautiful day today! But nothing beats 119 degrees and snow ;)

After days of promising the return of clouds and rain (which was a promise thankfully not delivered until now), today looks to be the last really warm and sunny day for a while. Weather models are insisting clouds, showers and cooler air will infiltrate the state by tonight, meaning a return to typical March weather. Later Friday into Saturday, however, we should get a little breather, but highs will remain pretty chilly. Clouds and showers return for Spring Break.

Are you traveling during Spring Break and want to know what the conditions will be like? Let me know in the comment section or e-mail me, and I’ll fire a forecast at you!

Have a great rest of this sunny, warm day!

Matthew Leach

Forecasting Kitsap

Questions? Comments? E-mail me at: forecastingkitsap@live.com



Temperatures Nudging Close to 70 Degrees Today

Saturday, March 20th, 2010

Today is going to be a MARVELOUS day! In fact, it could be the warmest day since…last Monday! ;)

The sun’s influence is much stronger now and can be compared to a mid-September day. High temperatures, after a very chilly start this morning, will rise sharply into the mid and upper 60s with a 70 degree reading in spots. Today is the day to finish what you weren’t able to finish last Monday because the rest of the weekend and next week looks…well, less than ideal.

Well, I’m going out for a walk with my little pup now. We’re both anxious to get out and enjoy the sunshine!

Have fun,

Matthew Leach

Forecasting Kitsap

Questions? Comments? E-mail me at: forecastingkitsap@live.com


Snow, Hail, Wind, Oh My!

Wednesday, March 17th, 2010

This has certainly been an eventful weather month so far. We were seeing snowflakes flying earlier last week, record cold low temperatures, highs in the low to mid 60s on Monday and pouring rain/strong winds yesterday (60 mph gusts were reported at the Hood Canal bridge!).

Oh, and let’s not forget the hail! A Forecasting Kitsap reader, Steve from the Issaquah Highlands, e-mailed me this photo:

Now choose your favorite weather event from those listed above. Did you pick “sunny and temperatures in the low to mid 60s”? Because if you did, that’s what we have next on the menu as far as dramatic weather goes. And wouldn’t you know it…Saturday is the first official day of spring! How appropriate!

Naturally, the clouds and showers come back later in the weekend through most of next week, so get out and do something productive this weekend!

Matthew Leach

Forecasting Kitsap

Questions? Comments? Cool weather photos? E-mail me at: forecastingkitsap@live.com



Spring Forward for Daylight Savings: But What’s the Point?

Saturday, March 13th, 2010

I have mixed feelings about Daylight Savings (I realize technically there’s no “s” at the end of “Savings”, but I think it sounds better ;)), and I always ask myself: what is the point? After doing a bit of research, it certainly appears many others ask the same thing. Its benefits?

  • More time for outdoor activities
  • Saves electricity as light extends well into the evening hours
  • Some studies have shown crime rates are lower during Daylight Savings

Its drawbacks?

  • The complexity of it all, including remembering to set the clocks back and forward
  • We lose an hour of sleep. I mean let’s be real here: it still gets darker earlier in the winter and later in the summer no matter what, so why mess with the clocks?
  • Just when it started to get brighter earlier, now it’s going to get dark again
  • It’s not mandatory, so not everybody observes it! Take a look at this DST map (blue indicates DST is observed, orange indicates DST is no longer observed, and red indicates DST was never used)

As you can see, Arizona and Hawaii are the onl states in the U.S. that have found DST rather useless. About 95% of Africa isn’t on DST, including my new home (for 2 years) South Africa. A great deal of North America and Europe, however, have found DST worthy of continuing.

So, don’t forget to spring your clocks forward! But I’d like to know: what are your thoughts on Daylight Savings? Is it worth it? Are Arizona and Hawaii doing the right thing by not messing with the clock? You decide.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Matthew Leach

Forecasting Kitsap

Questions? Comments? E-mail me at: forecastingkitsap@live.com



**WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY ISSUED for Hood Canal Area

Tuesday, March 9th, 2010

9:00 PM, 36 degrees and steady

So far no reports of snow anywhere on the peninsula. The trend this evening has been this: whenever precip acts like it’s going to get heavier, it diminishes and we’re left with light rain. Until the heavy stuff arrives to yank the temperature down, wet roadways will be the theme tonight. I have a feeling we could get burned again with this snow threat, but all the ingredients look pretty favorable right now.

I mean for heaven’s sake, if we can manage snow during the day yesterday when it’s 40 degrees, how hard is it to snow at night when it’s 36? ;)

6:00 PM, 40 degrees and dropping (Silverdale…Forecasting Kitsap Headquarters ;))

Ahem…it’s about time, winter.

I’ll be posting just the advisory as of 6:00 PM, but will update throughout the evening.

Indeed, the National Weather Service in Seattle has issued a WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY for the Hood Canal area, though it should be noted not all of Kitsap County is included in this. Cold air typically pools SE of the Olympics and this makes the Shelton, Hoodsport, Brinnon areas the most likely candidates for a wintry scene. We could even toss any town along the Hood Canal, like Seabeck, in the mix. The Bremerton/Silverdale/Poulsbo areas will be on the fringe. It really all depends on elevation.

I expect accumualting snow of 1-3” the closer you are to the Hood Canal, a slushy mix that could accumulate to an inch on local hills closer to the Puget Sound and a rain/snow mix or cold rain for areas near the water. I think everyone should see some snowflakes, though. Here’s the advisory:

…WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IN EFFECT UNTIL 4 AM PST WEDNESDAY…

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN SEATTLE HAS ISSUED A WINTER
WEATHER ADVISORY FOR SNOW…WHICH IS IN EFFECT UNTIL 4 AM PST
WEDNESDAY.

* 1 TO 3 INCHES OF SNOW BEGINNING THIS EVENING AND LASTING THROUGH
EARLY WEDNESDAY MORNING FOR THE HOOD CANAL AREA.

* SNOW TOTALS WILL HIGHEST ABOVE 500 FEET.

* TOWNS ALONG HIGHWAY 101 WILL BE AFFECTED BY WINTER TRAVEL
CONDITIONS TONIGHT INTO EARLY WEDNESDAY MORNING.

Stay tuned for further updates,

~Matt



“Is it…Snowing?”

Monday, March 8th, 2010

Kinda sad our first “snow” of the season (which has really only been a series of pretty little snowflakes fluttering to the ground and then melting on impact…or at least that’s my “glass half empty” view of it) is happening a couple weeks before the official start of Spring, though meteorological Spring started a week ago.

Nevertheless, our first true cold front in what seems like forever moved into the area yesterday and we’ve been able to hang on to just enough cold air and have just enough “oomph” in the shower activity to literally yank the temperatures down to produce, like I mentioned earlier, pretty little snowflakes. Not every one is seeing this right now, though. The showers are widely scattered and more intense the farther south you go, like towards Tacoma/Puyallup.

So what’s next on the menu? Continued rain/snow showers today amounting to nothing, unless you happen to be under an intense snow shower in which case you may eke out a trace. But don’t come burning down my home if you don’t see anything at all! Highs will stay in the low 40s today…I don’t think we’ll make much progress in the high temperature department.

Skies will clear tonight in wake of an approaching weather system that will impact the area Tuesday afternoon. Now here’s the tricky part: temperatures will plunge tonight, dipping as low as the mid 20s in spots. If we can get enough cloud cover before sunrise tomorrow, we may just be able to keep the cold temperatures socked in before the precip arrives which, of course, would mean snow. If we have too many blasted sun breaks or an obnoxiously strong wind before the juicy stuff comes, then I think it’s pretty safe to say we struck out…again.

My best prediction is a rain/snow mix for Kitsap areas close to the water, but a more pronounced snow event right along the Hood Canal/Seabeck area as cold air is often hard to scour our without a significant wind to mix things up. Accumulations will be minor if they do occur, and by minor I mean an inch or less. We just don’t have enough cold air to last us through the whole event, so whatever does fall will quickly melt away. Highs will still be very cold in the upper 30s to mid 40s.

We slowly warm up to normal throughout the week, though the rain and clouds have decided to stick around for the heck of it. So I hope you enjoyed the BEAUTIFUL, GORGEOUS, MAGNIFICENT, SPECTACULAR weekend we had, because it may be a couple weeks before we get to have that again ;)

Be safe out there!

Matthew Leach

Forecasting Kitsap

Questions? Comments? White-out conditions at your house? E-mail me at: forecastingkitsap@live.com



**SPECIAL WEATHER STATEMENT: Much Colder with Hood Canal Snow Possible

Saturday, March 6th, 2010

**A SPECIAL WEATHER STATEMENT highlighting an abrupt change to colder, more winter-like weather has been issued by the National Weather Service in Seattle. Read the statement here**

Uh-oh! Sound the alarms! And I KNOW many of you will: “I  heard that it was supposed to snow 2 feet on Tuesday!!!”

But please, for my sake, read the details and THEN proclaim to your family and friends the riveting news ;)

The National Weather Service in Seattle (and myself) has been tracking a very cold series of weather systems headed for Washington State originating in the Gulf of Alaska. This is where we typically get our coldest, juiciest weather from (happen to remember December 2008?). While not nearly as juicy OR cold as December 08, we’ll get a brief taste of what winter is REALLY like around here with colder highs (low to mid 40s), colder lows (low to mid 30s) and the potential for some oh-look-that’s-really-pretty-but it’s-not sticking-to the roadways-so-school-is-still-open snow.

So, the details:

Tomorrow will be mostly cloudy with increasing rain and cooler temperatures. Kind of a typical Washington day, so let’s not dwell too much on THOSE details.

Monday will be pretty unsettled, but this will be the day to watch the East Puget Sound Lowlands and the “convergence zone” (north King/south Snohomish county line) for some wet snowfall. Precip and snowfall maps indicate moisture won’t be lacking and a small coating of snow is possible for the local hills in and around Seattle (not so much on our end, though. Precip doesn’t seem to want to shift westward). Highs will be much cooler in the low to mid 40s with partly sunny skies.

It’s the Monday night into Tuesday time frame that needs to be watched for the Hood Canal/Kitsap Peninsula area. Indeed, a more gracious slug of moisture combined with already borderline low temperatures (32-34) could produce some snowfall and even accumulation immediately along the Canal. Nothing huge, but certainly worth watching. Snow showers off and on are likely through the day Tuesday as highs will struggle to make it much beyond 40 degrees, but warmer weather will enter the picture Tuesday night through the end of the week.

So again, nothing extraordinary, but certainly exciting nonetheless considering our lack of lowland snowfall this winter.

Stay tuned to this blog for further updates!

Matthew Leach

Forecasting Kitsap

Questions? Comments? E-mail me at: forecastingkitsap@live.com

7 DAY FORECAST



Much Colder *and More Interesting* Weather Next Week

Friday, March 5th, 2010

This is EXACTLY what downtown Seattle will look like on Monday! (Psstt…just kidding. I can only dream…)

January and February have been incredibly dull winter months for weather enthusiasts and many of you have been asking when the next shot at some more interesting weather is to be expected. For the longest time I haven’t had a very encouraging answer, but weather models have recently converged on a much colder weather pattern evolving next week. In fact, it may be the coldest week we’ve experienced since…December! But sadly enough, that’s not saying a whole lot ;)

Before we get to next week, let’s focus a bit on the weekend. Boy will it start out beautifully! Tomorrow will be warm and mostly sunny with highs in the upper 50s to lower 60s (ok, maybe not WARM, but fairly mild!). Clouds will increase Saturday night resulting in a pretty cloudy Sunday. Rain chances will increase as the day wears on. Highs will be a good 10 or so degrees colder.

Monday will likely be the coldest day of the week with highs struggling to reach much beyond 40 degrees, which sounds ridiculously cold compared to the record warmth we’ve been experiencing. Any heavy downpours will yank the snow level down to 500′, so some hail and/or slushy snow on the local hills/Seabeck area/Green Mountain wouldn’t surprise me, though nothing will stick and it will be very brief. Still, it will be a cold, raw day no matter what.

We warm back up to normal (near 50 degrees) by mid week but cool off again, though not as dramatically, by the end of the week. The BEST news out of all of this is the mountain snow. If a convergence zone sets up Monday, not only will that area likely see slushy snow but the mountains will get a dumping. Yay!

So get out and enjoy the mild 60-degree weather tomorrow because you’ll be pulling out the mittens and heavy jackets come Monday!

Also, stay tuned for further updates. You all know how badly I want Monday to turn into some freak “Day After Tomorrow”-type blizzard, so keep those fingers crossed ;)

Matthew Leach

Forecasting Kitsap

Questions? Comments? E-mail me at: forecastingkitsap@live.com



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