Daily Archives: July 11, 2012

More proof of Kitsap’s many micro-climates

Ahh…81 degrees, mostly sunny, a slight breeze…can it get any better? This is the one and only time of the year where I’m not obsessed with reading weather models and tracking storms on an hourly basis and, for two months out of the year, it’s nice to get the break. But once the pleasant summer months go by, it’s back to low pressure systems and arctic outbreaks 🙂

Summer months in the Pacific Northwest are indeed among the most pleasant you’ll find anywhere. Of course, that’s my opinion, but it’s hard to beat a Washington summer. Although we’re so close to the Pacific Ocean, the air remains dry and humidity stays low until fall. On occasion, however, we get some interesting summer weather (like Monday morning!) and on even rarer occasions, those very weather events repeat themselves. This is a fancy way of saying…if you missed the lightning show late Sunday night/early Monday morning, you MAY get another chance to see some flashes this upcoming weekend.

But first, I’d  like to share a picture Forecasting Kitsap blog reader Andrew shared with me a couple days ago. Below, you’ll see an annual rainfall  map for Western Washington. Notice the multiple shades of color on the Kitsap Peninsula, reminiscent of the temperature shades we observed a few days ago on a different map!

The micro-climates on this peninsula never cease to amaze me. Observe how the northern tip of the peninsula averages about 20-30 inches of rain while areas around Shelton and Belfair experience between 60-80 inches per year! Imagine…we all live in the same general area, yet annual precipitation totals can average a difference of as much as 60”! Incredible.

Luckily we won’t have to start worrying about precipitation amounts for a little while, but we could get a little damp over the next 24 hours due to a low pressure system sliding it’s way into our region, triggering more in the way of morning clouds and drizzle followed by afternoon sun. Highs the next few days will struggle to get as warm as they got today, although we’ll still we temperatures bounce to the mid and upper 70s after the low cloud cover burns away.

But! Be it known: the atmosphere will destabilize this weekend as a result of the incoming low pressure system, so the the mountains and foothills are highlighted for a risk of thunderstorm activity, but all we need is the right ingredients to get some of those storms blown our way and we could have a repeat of Sunday night. Of course, this is really all speculation, but the chances are at least there. We’ll see what updates occur between now and then.

The long range forecast is quite uncertain. I don’t recall seeing weather models struggle this much forecasting weather events in the summer months here, but there doesn’t seem to be a firm grasp on whether we’ll return to very warm, very cool or seasonable temperatures over the next 5-10 days. For now, I have projected seasonal temperatures Monday onward, but keep checking back for further updates!

For now, enjoy the seasonable weather ahead!

Matthew Leach

Forecasting Kitsap