Monthly Archives: September 2012

**Official ‘Forecasting Kitsap’ Fall 2012 forecast

This is a picture I took during the fall season in Franschhoek, South Africa. This is perhaps one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen!

Here it is! It’s taken me long enough, but I’m ready to release my official Fall 2012 forecast. I’ll issue my Winter 2012/2013 forecast in early December.

As always, before the forecast begins, there are a few things to remember. It’s only a matter of time before someone comments: “Meteorologists can’t even forecast 5 days out, what makes them think they can forecast 3 months out?” There is a clear difference between climatic averages and daily weather forecasting. One expounds on year to year averages (climatology) while the other predicts specifics usually no more than two weeks out (weather forecasters). Click here to read more about the difference.

In long range weather forecasting, some feel it is important to use analogs. Analogs are past years that exhibit some similar weather activity to the current year, and as a result weather forecasters try to match up the past with the present to see if there’s some type of correlation or pattern occurring. More often than not it’s just a guide, but sometimes history does repeat itself.

Other reliable pieces of data essential for producing a long range forecast is the ONI, or Oceanic Nino Index to track what El Nino, La Nina or neutral years in the past match up similarly to the present day. The records I have go all the way back to 1950. Solar activity can be another major factor to the weather over the years, but I haven’t weighted that heavily enough in my forecast mainly because of the lack of data. Lastly, I used the PDO readings (Pacific Decadal Oscillation) to finalize my findings.

So with all the above points in mind, let’s get our hands dirty with some more specific, technical information.

Although hardly the most reliable or trustworthy analogs, I have been tracking the Climate Prediction Center (CPC) over the past month to get an idea of what kinds of analogs they’ve been matching their daily long range forecast updates with. Over the past month I have noticed a few recurring years (from most common to least common):

  • 2002-2003
  • 1965-1966
  • 2006-2007
  • 1951-1952

Again, the CPC analogs change every day, but these years have proven the most consistent.





As explained a while back, the ONI tells me what years were El Nino (red), La Nina (blue) or neutral (plain). Of course, the higher the number the stronger the event. I took my 4 most frequent analog years (1951, 1965, 2002 and 2006) and compared their ONI readings with our ONI trend. Both the winters of 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 were La Nina years and we are currently sitting at neutral, so I went out to find some years with 2 back-to-back La Nina’s followed by a neutral/weakly positive El Nino year. These are the years I found

  • 1951-1952
  • 1965-1966 (this one wasn’t preceded by a back-to-back Nina, but otherwise the numbers match well)
  • 2006-2007 (similar story to 1965-1966)


The PDO is the surface temperatures of the Pacific, north of 20° N. We are currently in a sharply cool (or negative) phase and we’ve been that way for almost 2 1/2 years straight! This plays a big part in our weather, so I set out to see which of the above analogs matched our current PDO phase (FYI, the PDO number for August was -1.93!) Although none of the analogs matched up quite to this years negativity, the remaining analogs seemed close enough, especially 1951 which registered a -1.37 reading in August.


Whew! You’re still with me! Good for you! I hope you’ve learned as much as I have along the way. Long range forecasting is a fun, but tedious science. I consider myself a beginner, but the more I study and try my hand at long range forecasting, the better I expect to become. With that being said, my top 3 analogs for the Fall of 2012 in the Northwest is 1951, 1965 and 2006.

I have weighted my forecast heavily as a combination of those three years, although it obviously won’t play out as a carbon copy. These analogs just provide me with a credible basis. Also, just to note, the 1981-2010 temp/precip averages constitute what’s above, near or below average.

First off, here’s a composite map of my 3 main analogs.



So right off the bat, it looks like from October-December this year, we have a decent chance of averaging slightly above normal in the temperature department and near normal to slightly above normal in the precipitation department.

OCTOBER 2012- (Temperature Mean: 49°; 1° above average. Precipitation Average: 4.39”; 0.5” below average) Month Snow Chance: 0%

Contrary to a lot of fall forecasts out there, it just doesn’t look like the month for big temperature spreads or anomalies. Overall it looks like we’ll experience a much tamer and slightly warmer than normal October, on average. Expect the Cascades and Olympics to be seeing some snowfall this month as we could get several bouts with cold air, making the lowlands and the mountains chilly at times. Other than a few cold spurts, it’ll generally be a comfortable October, a month we usually have major wind or rain storms in.

NOVEMBER 2012- (Temperature Mean: 41.5°; 0.5° above average. Precipitation Average: 10.89”; 1.5” above average) Month Snow Chance: 40%

November will be our transition month. We’ll notice temperatures getting colder with many “first frosts” popping up around the peninsula. The most notable thing about November will be all the rain. Usually November is a wet month, but this year it’s projected to be quite wet. Temperatures will hover around normal for the month, but enough warmer, Pineapple Express-type rain storms could nudge the temperature up a tad. The jet stream will not have responded to the El Nino atmosphere quite yet, so expect a lot of cloudy, rainy days. The snow chance is up to 40%, meaning most of the month it will likely be too mild for snow, but we could have a few bouts of it towards the end of the month.

DECEMBER 2012- (Temperature Mean: 38°; 1° below average. Precipitation Average: 10.50”; 0.4” above average) Month Snow Chance: 80%

Even the research I’ve conducted corresponds well with a colder than average December. I’m not sure if I agree with the “much colder” than normal forecast put out by The Weather Channel, but either way it’ll be a chilly month. It’ll be drier than November, but still wetter than your average December. This will surely bode well for the mountains as well as lowland snow fans, as I see the very realistic potential for some arctic air intrusions/snow days during this month. It would be impossible to say how much, but with a forecast for above average precipitation, I’d say there’s a decent chance for SOME sticking snow.

*Left bar: temperatures; Right bar: precipitation

Well there you have it! It’s difficult and practically futile to predict any windstorms, snowstorms, ice storms, etc in these long range forecasts. All we need is a general idea of what it’s looking like all things considered. Of course there are other factors that play into our weather here, so it’ll be fun to check back and see how I did!

Please feel free to use the comment section below or shoot me an e-mail about what you see. Have a great day everyone!

Matthew Leach

Forecasting Kitsap

P.S. I’ll post the updated 7 day forecast later tonight 🙂

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Weather Channel calls for “much colder” than normal temperatures this fall

Hello everyone! I’ve been meaning to issue a fall forecast of my own for the past couple  weeks, but one thing has piled on another and I haven’t completed my draft! However, by Wednesday you’ll see the final results of what I am observing and what I think that will mean for you in the coming months.

In the mean time, I thought many of you would like to know the Weather Channel’s take on the situation since, after all, they are slightly more well known, credible and famous than myself 😉 But I’d sure like to duel it out with them when it comes to predicting Kitsap’s weather!

Ahem…where were we? Oh yes. The Weather Channel. In a news release just hours ago, Dr. Todd Crawford, Chief Meteorologist of Weather Services International (WSI), expounds on the ever declining El Nino and how it may actually play the opposite effect than first anticipated. This means much of the west could be caught in a chilly early season grip while the eastern states could bask in above to much above normal temperatures.

In fact, December is projected to average “much below normal” in the Northwest, much to the pleasure of skiers and snowboarders here! (By the way, “normal” is considered anything higher than the 1981-2010 historical average)

Take from this what you will. It IS a 3 month long range forecast after all:

(We’re having issues with the link, so you will have to copy and paste this into the address bar. Sorry for the inconvenience!)

As for us in the present day? Well…I don’t know how many ways I can present it to you without it sounds monotonous. 😉 The next 7 days looks pretty typical of late September: morning clouds, drizzle, partial clearing in the afternoon and highs reaching the upper 60s and lower 70s. This will be the case until about Thursday when a weak ridge of high pressure builds in and boosts temperatures up a notch into the low to mid 70s.

The long range is interesting, but I prefer to leave it at that. There are certainly signs for a pattern change once we enter October, but let’s not get too carried away 🙂

For now, enjoy what we have! Several forecasting agencies don’t seem to think it’ll last much longer 😉

Matthew Leach

Forecasting Kitsap

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Watch a microburst make a building almost disappear

I came across an incredible video yesterday that demonstrated one of the most exciting, yet common weather events in the Midwest called a microburst. In fact, these weather events are so rare in the Seattle area that I found only one news article highlighting that we’ve ever seen one in this region, and it was dated in the year 2000.

So what are these strange weather events we call “microbursts”? Don’t let the prefix “micro” fool you into thinking this is a small deal. In fact, as you’ll see in a moment, it’s quite a BIG deal. Remember when we were going through that long series of thunderstorms in July?  The most basic ingredients for thunderstorms are: moisture, unstable air and lift. This “lift” can usually form from fronts, ocean breezes or mountains. In our case, we had a lot of lift from the Cascades, as that is where these storms originated.

Now, a microburst is one of the many demon children of thunderstorms (the others being hail, tornadoes, etc). One of the most prominent meteorologists of all time, Ted Fujita, coined the term “microburst”, which is a downpour that can affect an area within a 2.5 mile diameter or less. (Ever heard of an “F-1” or “F5” tornado? The Fujita scale for measuring tornadoes came from him too!) A macroburst is anything larger than 2.5 miles.

These microbursts can be described as rapidly sinking air in a thunderstorm that is, as previously mentioned, less than 2.5 miles in diameter.

Weak updrafts followed by strong downdrafts are a perfect recipe for a severe, albeit short, burst of rain, hail and/or damaging winds. In fact, there are “dry microbursts” which usually contain strong gusty winds, but no rain. Conversely, the stronger the updraft is, the weaker the downdraft, yet as you can see flash floods and hail are not uncommon in these situations.

So, with this knowledge in mind, let’s take a look at an incredible microburst near New Berlin, Wisconsin that made the visibility go to zero. If you don’t want to watch the whole thing, skip to the 2:00 mark and watch from there. Posted by Steve Paluch:

Just amazing how Mother Nature works, huh? For those of you who were hoping this post would lead to an eventual confession that we could be experiencing a microburst soon, I hate to disappoint. So, let me assuage your mind by pointing out that the National Weather Service has discussed the potential of some wandering thunderstorms tonight into tomorrow. Again, the “lift” we talked about will be provided by the Cascades, so that’s the biggest threat, but you never know which ones could trickle our way.

The rest of the forecast? Well…it looks like I’ve been too liberal with the temperatures and sunshine, so you’ll probably notice the forecast doesn’t look nearly as warm or sunny as it did a few days ago, but I’m sure many of you are OK with that 🙂

Make it a great weekend!

Matthew Leach

Forecasting Kitsap

The “T”-Rex Block: How is it affecting Kitsap County?

According to the poll I conducted on the right hand side bar, many of your are eager to read about things pertaining directly to the Kitsap Peninsula. That’s not too surprising to find, as this blog is called “Forecasting Kitsap” after all! But I hope you will forgive me for the lack of coverage of weather events within the peninsula lately, as summer tends to yield the same weather over and over again in the Northwest: sunny skies and mild temperatures.

However, as I was reading a forecast discussion provided by the National Weather Service in Idaho Falls (I know, that’s random!), I noticed they used the term “Rex block” in describing our current weather pattern. I must admit, I wasn’t exactly sure what that was, so naturally I looked up the definition on the NWS site. Now, before we talk about the Rex block, let’s discuss what blocking means in meteorology!

First of all, this term can be broken down through a personal example: if you encounter a road block on your way to work due to construction (which probably is hitting home to some of you more than others!) what options are given to you? Usually if the project is wide-scale enough, they’ll provide a detour. Such is the case in weather. Sometimes “road blocks” are set up in the atmosphere and this will usually cause the jet stream to take a detour. Here’s an example:


This is called an “omega block”, primarily because of its shape of the jet stream: Ω. As you can see from the picture, a ridge of high pressure built in the interior west and forced all our would-be active weather up and over our region and sliding it down into the northeast. This is definitely not an uncommon pattern during El Nino years! We get a handful of these “omega” blocks, and…well, my personal bias is…they’re not fun!

So, if you haven’t given up reading by now, let’s take a look at the Rex block, named after the meteorologist who discovered the pattern. I call it the “T”-Rex block for three reasons: 1) it’s stubborn, 2) it can be aggressive (for those on the other end of the block!) and 3) it eventually goes extinct. So, with that horrifying blood-thirsty monster firmly planted in our minds, let’s look at its counterpart in weather:

Very often in a Rex block scenario, an area of high pressure is situated to the very north of an area of low pressure, and air flow tends to move very slowly during this process which can mean the same type of weather for weeks at a time. Take a look at this weather chart that depicts where we are right now:

**Note: Commenter Donna noticed an actual shape of a dinosaur right over the coast! Do you see the curved head and large nose over the Canadian coastline into the Pacific? Thanks, Donna, for pointing that out!**

The area of high pressure (signaled by a small “H” along the coast of western Canada) is directly north of an area of low pressure (situated southwest of LA). This of course is the reason why we’ve been stuck on repeat the past several weeks and the northeast has been so chilly!

And it looks like this block will remain stubborn for at least the next week or so. Aside from areas of morning clouds/fog over the next couple of days, we’ll remain largely pleasant with seasonable highs in the upper 60s/low 70s under partly sunny skies. It also looks like we’re still on for a pattern change within the first few days of October.

So the next time you have to take a detour, just think of good ol’ Rex!

Matthew Leach

Forecasting Kitsap

Long Range Thoughts: Mild, sunny weather till the end of the month

Good afternoon, everyone!

A Forecasting Kitsap reader commented a week or so ago about whether the idea of seasons lagging from year to year is accurate. For instance, have you noticed the summer doesn’t really start until July? And for the past several years it hasn’t ended until late September? Or doesn’t it seem winter won’t really kick in until January and somehow extends until May? Of course I don’t have any scientific information to back the theory up, but somehow I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that we need to tweak our winter and summer solstice a bit, at least here in the Northwest.

This theory is ringing particularly true this year. Remember June? How could you not?! It was my first full month back from South Africa and I was shivering from head to toe. Now, it could partially be due to the reason I had just come back from South Africa, but still! It was a dark, wet month. Let’s now compare that to our current state. The temperature right now is 79 degrees! In fact, 12 days out of our 17 so far this month have registered with a high of 75 degrees or above. Then when you add the fact that roughly 85% of the days this month have featured clear skies, the jaws continue to drop.

So now let’s look into the crystal ball and see what’s in store. Are you loving this weather? If so, you are SO spoiled as Mother Nature has deaf ears to all pleas and cries of fall weather fans. Here’s a current look at the 6-10 day forecast from the CPC:

That massive red gob over the Northwest is not usually something snow fans want to see during the winter, although at this time of year we might as well use it up. The above map is color coated depending on % chance. So for instance, we have a 50% chance of registering above normal temperatures in the next 6-10 days. For those who are interested, the 8-14 day forecast, for what it’s worth, is the same.

The accuracy of the CPC has certainly  increased since I’ve been gone, so I’d bet good money this verifies. So what does that translate for us? Remember, just because the map says “50% chance of above normal temperatures” does not mean we’ll be exceeding 80 every day between now and October. In fact, our daily average high temperature drops every day, even if only a half of a degree. So realistically 80 degrees looks less and less likely each day. Also, these maps don’t tell you how much above average we could be.

With that in mind, latest numbers suggest we’ll eventually fall into the mid 70s through next week and cool down quite a bit once October rolls around. It’s hard to say how cool we’ll get, but fall weather will likely arrive along with October, which is usually the case.

For now, enjoy the sunny, mild weather!

Matthew Leach

Forecasting Kitsap


Why all the smoke?

A firefighter sprays flames of a brush fire. Two brush fires closed Highway 3 Thursday afternoon. JOSH FARLEY / KITSAP SUN (Read more here)

**The Kitsap County Fire Marshal has just announced that a Phase 2 burn ban will go into effect Saturday, meaning ALL outdoor burning is prohibited, even recreational fires and camp fires.** (via

Good afternoon fellow Kitsapers! Kitsaponians? Kitsapites?

It certainly has been a busy couple of days, especially with the breezy, dry and warm weather we’ve been experiencing. Unfortunately, this is a perfect set up for ongoing threats of wild or brush fires, something I’m sure many of us didn’t even think possible a couple months ago. I am also grateful to hear the Bremerton Airport fire along Highway 3 was contained! It isn’t very common we here of fires on this side of the water.

A Forecasting Kitsap blog reader e-mailed in this morning asking about the thick and persistent nature of the smoke. Is it true we’re choking on smoke burning in Wenatchee? And what effect is that having on the air quality? Let’s take a few moments to analyze these questions. I’ll quote part of the explanation I sent out in an e-mail earlier today:

There are a few different reasons why we could be experiencing such severe smoke in the Kitsap area. First, for the past couple days the winds have been coming from the NNE, as evidenced from the airport records:

Although the wind speed was never too strong, it doesn’t take much for smoke to rise, get caught in the jet stream and travel. The wind direction you see above is actually a perfect set up for the smoke to filter into our area because at the same time, the winds in the Wenatchee area were coming from the E/SE, as evidenced from their weather station:

This propelled the smoke north while our northerly winds helped slide it down into our area as well as the Seattle area. Notice how the winds eventually shifted to the W/NW, thus ending our threat or theirs for more major smoke. But then a new wrinkle emerged. Two brush fires near Bremerton Airport on Highway 3 broke out, which took firefighters 10 hours to battle. As this battle with the fires went on, winds went from blowing northerly to strictly calm. This allowed the smoke to filter over the peninsula instead of being pushed further south.

And, as we speak, or at least as of 2:30 this afternoon, winds are again coming from the ENE (click here for the NWS Bremerton Airport weather info) and fires continue to burn in Central Washington, so expect more episodes of wandering plumes of smoke for at least the next day or two.

This now leads to air quality. It’s been a little while since we had substantial rain, so where are we sitting? Feel free to visit the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency by clicking here. The current forecast is for moderate air quality today, stabilizing tomorrow as we switch to onshore flow which means we’ll be in the “good air quality” range. Places along the cascade foothills, however, are still in the “unhealthy” zone.

The seven day forecast still looks dry and mild as ever! Currently we’re only running about +.2-+.4 degrees above average, which isn’t much at all. It probably feels a lot warmer than what the numbers are saying, but so far it looks like it’s been a pretty average first half of September! Latest projects show periods of very warm weather with sunny skies for the next 7-10 days. In fact, we could see yet another return to the 80s around the latter part of next week.

You heard it here first! An Indian Summer is definitely looking likely 🙂

Have a marvelous weekend everyone!

Matthew Leach

Forecasting Kitsap

Questions? Comments! Send them my way at

First frosts vs. first flakes: Is there much of a correlation?

*A FIRE WEATHER WARNING IS IN EFFECT. Click here for more details**

In honor of the chilly mornings we’ve been experiencing the past few days, I decided to conduct a study that would ultimately prove to be not nearly as exciting as I hoped for, but it’s an interesting study nonetheless. Have you ever wondered when our average first frost is? No? Well…darn. I thought you might. Well, then have you ever wondered when our average first snow is? No?! Really?! Wow…then I DEFINITELY need to share my findings!

Amidst busy college projects and reports, I’ve set aside time to check the past 10 years of weather records (2001-2011) to see when the Bremerton area received 1) their first frost and 2)their first flakes. The criteria for frost is freezing or below and the criteria for flakes is they must be flying in the air, not necessarily sticking. So here’s what I found:

  • 2011 Frost: October 16th; Flakes: November 18th
  • 2010 Frost: October 14th; Flakes: November 21st
  • 2009 Frost: September 30th; Flakes: December 14th
  • 2008 Frost: October 10th; Flakes: December 13th
  • 2007 Frost: October 27th; Flakes: November 1st
  • 2006 Frost: October 30th; Flakes: November 26th
  • 2005 Frost: October 27th; Flakes: December 1st
  • 2004 Frost: October 24th; Flakes: January 6th (ouch!)
  • 2003 Frost: October 29th; Flakes: November 20th
  • 2002 Frost: October 13th; Flakes: December 28th (ouch again!)
  • 2001 Frost: October 28th; Flakes: November 28th

You wouldn’t believe how much I’ve looked over these numbers trying to find some sort of correlation. Does a later frost lead to a later snow? Not necessarily. In fact, one of our latest frosts in 2007 brought us our earliest snow in the past 10 years on November 1st. So does that mean a late frost means an early snow?!?! Hold your horses. Remember October 24th, 2004? Our first flakes weren’t spotted until…gulp…January 6th, 2005! Makes me nauseous to even think about it…

Ah! What about the time span in between the first frost and first snowflakes! Surely that will tell us something! Well, not really. In fact, 5 years are two months apart, 5 years are 1 month apart and one year is a week apart (2007). Drat! Looks pretty 50/50 to me.

Let’s analyze the colors for a moment. Blue indicates La Nina years while Red indicates El Nino years. This beautifully illustrates what these weather patterns do to our winter climate. Since 2007, La Nina has made more frequent appearances, and in all these years the frost came right on time (mid October) and the flakes followed shortly after. Conversely, look at the El Nino years. Aside from 2006’s anomaly, the flakes seemed to come consistently later. Yes, this is an El Nino year, but not a strong one, so we could go either way.

But a closer look could reveal something maybe only moderately intriguing. Then again, I get entertained easily. From 2001-2007, on average the first frost occurred at the end of October. Notice how from 2006 we get an earlier frost every year until 2009 where we peak at the earliest frost on record in the past 10 years: 2009. Then watch what happens after we hit 2009. 2010 we drop to Oct 14th, then on 2011 we drop to October 16th. Do these numbers look a little bit like a wave to you?

The first snows in each of these years, however, never seemed to come any earlier. In fact, these records show that pinpointing a first snow is still very much a gamble in this area, however if one insisted on betting I think sometime in November during an non-El Nino year would be a good shot. So that begs the question: when are we going to get our first frost?

According to the data I’ve received (which seems almost more like a mix of random numbers than a trend) I would go out on a limb and predict we’ll see our first *recorded frost in the Kitsap area in mid October, say sometime a little after the 16th.

Let me know if you see any other interesting trends in the numbers. Believe me, I tried hard! 🙂

Enjoy the rest of your week, everyone! We are well on our way to possibly reaching the 80s yet again on tomorrow.

Matthew Leach

Forecasting Kitsap


‘Old Farmers Almanac’ winter forecast complying with traditional El Niño values

Ah, the Old Farmers Almanac. Despite its name, these annual long range forecasts never get old. Reading more into the logic of their long range forecasting, the New Hampshire based company claims to derive its skill “from a secret formula that was devised by the founder of this Almanac, Robert B. Thomas, in 1792” which admittedly has been modernized as time and technology continually press forward.

I’ve been fascinated by the Old Farmers Almanac since my earliest days of forecasting. Of course, I’m not very advanced in years and couldn’t tell you how accurate they have been over the decades, but the almanacs that I have dating back to 1997 have been fairly accurate. But what can you expect from a super long range forecast? Anything above 50% is impressive to me in my book! In fact, if you’d REALLY like a sneak peek into how accurate the almanac was last winter, read Scott Sistek’s thorough analysis.

So what are the trusty farmers calling for this year, you ask? Perhaps it doesn’t surprise you there are a few stray elements of El Niño in the forecast, but it won’t be your typical El Niño. Yeah, it’s looking milder and drier than normal, but consistently through the winter.

“Winter time temperatures will be a couple degrees above normal, on average,” the almanac states. “Rainfall will be below normal, while snowfall will be near normal.” In fact, the almanac is predicting a nice little snow event for Western Washington a week or so before Christmas. This is also good news for skiers, as the snow pack likely won’t suffer.

Aside from a few snow possibilities sprinkled throughout the year, temperatures during winter 2012/2013 are forecast to average two degrees above normal with the exception of February, which could average as much as six degrees above normal. Precipitation will also be quite low, with December possibly averaging as much as three inches below normal.

A scan through the almanac’s detailed forecast for 18 regions of the U.S. reveals an interesting trend, however: this looks very much like a typical El Niño set up, although it looks like most places in the U.S. will be experiencing drier winters, which isn’t typical for the southeast during this type of pattern.

Take from this long range forecast what you will! I have been compiling some information the past few days and will release a fall forecast soon.

In the mean time, we will be clearing out and getting much warmer over the next few days! We may even hit 80 or more Thursday! Certainly doesn’t look like a fall forecast, but don’t worry. It’s coming 🙂

Matthew Leach

Forecasting Kitsap

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El Niño Update: Taking its sweet little time

So let me take a random stab in the dark and guess many of you are happy to see temperatures in the mid 80s exiting the 7 day forecast. Did you know Bremerton Airport recorded a high of 88 degrees on Friday? Sea-Tac airport broke a record with 90 degrees. So I guess my risky prediction still holds: we on the Kitsap Peninsula will likely not see 90 degrees again until 2013.

With all this unseasonably warm weather, many of you have been asking about the state of El Niño. Perhaps you cold and snow lovers will take solace in a statement released by the NOAA on September 6th saying:

 Most of the dynamical models, along with roughly one-half of the statistical models, now predict the onset of El Niño beginning in August-October 2012, persisting through the remainder of the year…Supported by the model forecasts and the continued warmth across the Pacific Ocean, the official forecast calls for the development of most likely a weak El Niño during September 2012, persisting through December-February 2012-13. (To read the full article, click here!)

The last weak El Niño we had was in 2006-2007, which offered some record cold, flooding and warmth along with an incredible skiing year, so the weaker the better! In fact, it’s very probable we remain “neutral” until the official onset of winter which means largely a wildcard weather pattern until then. Stay tuned to the NOAA website for further updates!

The short term looks drastically colder and wetter. You may have noticed the cooler temperatures and increase in cloud cover today and it will only get cooler and cloudier from here. Your Sunday looks mostly cloudy with a few scattered showers increasing in the evening. Highs will decrease from the upper 70s today to the mid 60s tomorrow.

Monday will be another cool and showery day with highs in the low and mid 60s. And while these weather days may feel more like a Washington fall, the skies will clear yet again and highs will rebound to the mid and upper 70s throughout the week next week. For most of us, the weather this upcoming week could be termed as “perfection”.

The long range forecast looks like continued dry and mild weather with no real end in sight. In fact, by the third week or so of the month we’ll probably average out in the low to mid 70s for highs. Overall, we’re looking at quite an impressive streak of mild fall weather!

Have a great weekend everyone,

Matthew Leach

Forecasting Kitsap

Will this be summer’s last “hoorah”?

After a summery high of 82° today, many are probably thinking, “Well surely this is it. It’s September after all, and days in the 80s are usually hard to come by!” While it is true that such temperatures are much above or daily average high, which usually settles in the upper 60s/low 70s this time of year, it is not so uncommon to see such temperature readings, even late into the month.

Remember, the last September we experienced no 80 degrees readings was in 2005, and if this offers any consolation to you cold and snow lovers, that winter was anything but mesmerizing. In fact, some of the warmest Septembers in the past 5 years have seemed to produce equally as cold anomalies in the winter. As a bonus fun fact, here’s what the National Weather Service said today about 90 degree readings in September:


So yeah…90 degrees is definitely less likely 😉 So, the million dollar question is: are we done? Is it over? Can we start celebrating the reign (or rain?) of fall? Not so quick! In fact, tomorrow could rival as one of our warmest days this summer season. Here’s what it looks like as of now:

At face value, these temperatures will yield temperatures *only* in the mid 80s, perhaps even upper 80s in spots, but considering the time of year this will be a hot one.

Let us not forget, however, that even though we’ll be experiencing some-late season heat, night time temperatures will have an awful hard time following suit. With clearing, longer nights and relatively low dew points, over night temperatures will largely be in the 40s over the next several days. This kind of weather–warm sunny days and cool nights–is perfect for providing the many trees we have here with brightly colored fall leaves. So don’t worry, fall weather fans! You will be reimbursed 😉

Saturday and Sunday will be a gradual transition to cooler, cloudier weather. Highs will eventually dip into the upper 60s and low 70s Sunday and Monday with mostly cloudy skies, and we may even see a few showers late Sunday into Monday.

Still interested in brightly colored fall leaves? Then you’ll absolutely love the weather for next week. As it stands, we’ll rebound to slightly above normal high temperatures, cool low temperatures and fairly sunny days. So as far as tomorrow being summer’s last hoorah, I think the chances of us getting well into the 80s again are growing dimmer by the day. After all, the first day of fall is in just a couple weeks!

Gotta love late summer in Washington! 🙂

Matthew Leach

Forecasting Kitsap