Forecasting Kitsap

Aspiring weatherman Matthew Leach talks about the complex and intricate weather patterns over Kitsap.
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Archive for November, 2012

October was wet, November is wet, December is looking…wet

Wednesday, November 28th, 2012

**A COASTAL FLOOD ADVISORY is in effect. Please click here to read more about how a coastal advisory is different than your typical flood advisory**

Inches, upon inches of rain. That’s just a brief summary describing this upcoming week and, well, beyond.

Ah, but it’s Christmas time in the Northwest! Wouldn’t you feel less holiday spirit if we didn’t have rain? As a kid, I got used to sledding on wet grass come Christmas morning. Of course, bailing the sled was never a fun experience, but that’s why mom was always there at the bottom of the hill with a First Aid kit in hand ;)

Where were we? Oh yes. The next seven days will be quite wet, although I wouldn’t go so far as to say it will be a washout comparable to the week leading up to Thanksgiving. Regardless, we’ll still get a lot of precipitation and, as the famous Christmas song goes, “it doesn’t show signs of stopping.” Indeed, between now and as far as long range forecast models will go, about 90% of the forecast is rain.

So how much rain this time around? Let’s take a look at the trusty 24 hour rainfall total map, ending Saturday at 4 am:

 

As usual, the southwestern tip of the Kitsap Peninsula will receive most of the rain with totals perhaps making it to as much as 2.50”, but most of the peninsula will receive 1.00-1.50”. In 24 hours, no less!

The bright side of this forecast is at least the weekend looks somewhat nice. If you’re longing for a positive break in the clouds and rain, Saturday will likely be your day! Hmmm…maybe reserve that day to do some Christmas tree shopping? It won’t be completely dry, but it could be among the driest in the next seven days!

Try to stay warm, dry, and safe out there! It’s been a treacherous couple months on the roads, especially in Kitsap County, so please take it easy!

Have a great day,

Matthew Leach

Forecasting Kitsap

E-mail: forecastingkitsap@live.com


Up for a breath of air before the next batch of rain storms roll through

Monday, November 26th, 2012

Oh, don’t worry. I won’t bring up the time between July and October when many locals (including myself!) were complaining about the lack of rain. But boy have we made up for it in a big way!

From Friday the 16th to Friday the 23rd, we racked up an astonishing 9.17” of rain! Amazing to think we haven’t reached our monthly average rainfall total yet, but still! Nearly 10” of rain in a week is insane, even by Western Washington’s standards.

So, with that in mind, I think these next few days will be rather pleasant for most as Mother Nature is letting us come up for air in between storms. If you found yourself squinting as you left the house for work or school, you weren’t alone. It’s been a while, but for those who have forgotten, what you were seeing was the influence of what meteorologists call “the sun”. Mysterious and bright as it is, scientists have confirmed it is normal to see a bright, golden orb make an appearance every so often in the winter time.

Oh, but we can’t have too much of it, can we? Because then we’d be getting spoiled. That’s where the  next couple weeks comes in. For kicks and giggles I peeked ahead at the long range and while that cold snap I’ve been talking about is still scheduled to happen towards mid month next month, until then one storm system after another will continue to grace this region with its presence. Needless to say, by the end of the year we will have more than made up for any dry days since January.

The weather won’t really start to turn nasty until Thursday and after that there will be a few breaks in between, but generally cloudy skies with rain and highs in the upper 40s to near 50 degrees will be the theme.

Meanwhile, I’m busy trying to find some interesting weather topics to talk about until something exciting happens! Looks like I have a lot of research to do… ;)

Matthew Leach

Forecasting Kitsap

E-mail: forecastingkitsap@live.com




Flood Advisory and Wind Advisory Issued

Monday, November 19th, 2012

Photo by: Meegan Reid—Bay Street, Port Orchard

There are already lots of reports of localized flooding around the peninsula, especially southern locations like Port Orchard and Belfair. I will echo what a lot of people are saying: slow down out there! It’s already extremely wet and slippery, and it won’t be getting any better throughout the day.

First things first: the NWS as issued a Flood Advisory for Kitsap County:

AT 1153 AM PST…PERIODS OF HEAVY RAIN CONTINUED ACROSS THE AREA.

IN THE SIX HOUR PERIOD ENDING AT 11 AM PST…A HALF TO 1.5 INCHES

OF RAIN HAS FALLEN ACROSS THE AREA. THIS AMOUNT OF RAIN HAS LED

TO PONDING OF WATER ON NUMEROUS ROADS…LOW LYING AREAS…AND

SOME HIGHWAY UNDERPASSES. AN ADDITIONAL HALF TO 1.2 INCHES

OF RAIN IS EXPECTED BY 7 PM PST THIS EVENING. THIS COULD CAUSE

SOME SMALLER STREAMS TO OVERFLOW THEIR BANKS AS WELL AS TRIGGER

LANDSLIDES.

A Wind Advisory was also issued:

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN SEATTLE HAS ISSUED A WIND
ADVISORY...WHICH IS IN EFFECT UNTIL 4 PM PST THIS AFTERNOON.
* SOME AFFECTED LOCATIONS...CENTRALIA...LACEY...TACOMA...AND
  SEATTLE.
* TIMING...THE STRONGEST WINDS ARE EXPECTED TO OCCUR BETWEEN 11 AM
  AND 4 PM PST TODAY.
* WIND...WILL INCREASE FROM THE SOUTH AT 20 TO 30 MPH WITH GUSTS
  NEAR 45 MPH.
* IMPACTS...THE STRONG WINDS WILL LIKELY SNAP TREE LIMBS AND CAUSE
  SCATTERED POWER OUTAGES.

Of course a major concern with all of this rain isn’t just the flooding, but landslides as well. All the rain we’ve had lately has soaked soils around Western Washington, which has put the concern of landslides at moderate.

So when does the heavy stuff end? By this evening the steady, heavy rain will subside and frequent showers will take its place. Steady rain will continue through Thanksgiving Day and beyond, so it will be a while yet before we come up for air, so to speak. The long range forecast sustains this idea, with above normal precipitation expected over the next 14 days.

Stay tuned to this blog and the Kitsap Sun for regular weather updates!

Matthew Leach

Forecasting Kitsap

E-mail: forecastingkitsap@live.com


Kitsap to be among the wettest in Western Washington by Monday

Saturday, November 17th, 2012

Well, there’s a minor tweak to the forecast I issued a few days ago. You know how I said it would be a typically wet Thanksgiving this year? Well, that forecast still stands, but it’s the days preceding Thanksgiving that have turned out to be a little more tedious than first expected.

The NWS in Seattle has issued a special weather statement on the soaking wet weather pattern to affect the area today through Wednesday, perhaps lasting into Thanksgiving Day itself. We are used to all the rain, so what’s the big deal? Let’s take a look at the 24 hour rainfall totals ending Monday at 4 pm:

Remember about a month ago when we observed a map that looked similar to this? Well, it has arrived again, and this time about 85% of the Kitsap Peninsula will be under the possibility of receiving anywhere from 2.56-5.12” of rain…in 24 hours.

So the real heavy rain (and breezy conditions, although we’re not looking at a windstorm by any means) will arrive Sunday evening and continue until late Monday. And, with the mild temperatures associated with this storm, the mountains will be on the verge of rain and rain/snow. Frequent systems will plow through the area until Thanksgiving itself, making skies cloudy and the ground sopping wet. Travel plans shouldn’t be too hectic after Monday, so if you can hold off until after the worst of the storm hits things will probably move a little smoother.

After Thanksgiving, rain will still be an issue (isn’t it always?! ;)), but things won’t be nearly as dramatic. This should spell good news for all those anticipating Black Friday sales! But get there early, as the rain jackets will likely be sold out early ;)

Have a great weekend!

Matthew Leach

Forecasting Kitsap

E-mail: forecastingkitsap@live.com


Taking a look at Thanksgiving Day weather and beyond

Tuesday, November 13th, 2012

I don’t imagine it’s too early to talk about Thanksgiving, is it? I mean, after all it is almost 9 days away. I am very excited to celebrate Thanksgiving with my family after two years of not celebrating it at all. South Africans are very gracious, thankful people, but for obvious reasons the Thanksgiving holiday isn’t really a priority for them ;) In fact, Thanksgiving 2010 was spent in 115 degree weather with a horrible stomach flu. There’s a really funny story surrounding that experience, but now is not the time or place…

ANYWAY, with the holidays quickly approaching many of you are eager for some travel plans. “What will the mountain passes look like?” “Will we have to roast our turkey on an open fire because of an approaching windstorm that will knock out power to hundreds of thousands?” Whatever your questions may be, I have answers! Well, tentative answers :)

I would probably venture to guess most of you haven’t exactly needed a meteorologist (or aspiring meteorologist!) to give you the latest forecast. I mean, let’s be honest here: it’s November in western Washington! And with no significant windstorms or arctic outbreaks in our record books so far, many of you have either been happily or miserably bored.

What if I told you Thanksgiving Day will more than likely be rainy with highs in the mid to upper 40s? While the lowlands will be putting windshield wipers to work, those traveling over the mountain passes will have to put their snow chains to work! Periods of snow, heavy at times, will continue to fall in the Cascades between now and the Thanksgiving break. Temperatures will be fairly close to freezing, however, so most of what you encounter on the roadways, if you must travel to higher elevations, will be slush.

And then the trusty long range forecast! I’ll try to contain my enthusiasm, but let’s just say things look to be getting fairly chilly and moist towards the beginning of December. This is actually the first time this season I’ve seen any potential for lowland snow in the long range forecast, so if you happen to love a snowy scene right before Christmas, it may be coming!

In the meantime, try to make the best of the rain! It could always be worse :)

Have a great day everyone,

Matthew Leach

Forecasting Kitsap

E-mail: forecastingkitsap@live.com


23 degrees last night and October 2012 weather stats

Saturday, November 10th, 2012
Matthew Charchenko Photography (2012)

Photo showing the effects of freezing fog by: Matthew Charchenko. For more great pictures, check out his Facebook page! http://www.facebook.com/CharchenkoPhotography

November is certainly showing us who’s boss! Many Kitsap locations recorded lows in the LOW 20s last night (most specifically, 23 degrees at Bremerton Airport)! Although not too professional of me to say, I absolutely bombed that one. And I mean big time. But rest assured, tonight will not get that cold. A system moving onshore will actually spread clouds in tonight offering a cold rain for tomorrow morning, which could be mixed with snow initially on local hills.

Ok, so I’m a little late in posting this, but better late than never! So, by a show of hands, how many of you felt like this October was…well, freakishly wet? Yeah, I thought so. Let’s just cut to the chase here. Bremerton records had us at 11.58” of rain for the month. That’s over 7” above normal! Ah, but we knew it was wet. How about temperatures? However cold it might have felt this past month, it was only slightly deceiving.

Lest we forget, rewinding to the beginning of last month bring us to highs in the 70s—and several of them at that! But of course, this pleasant weather really only lasted a week before rain dumped on us like buckets from heaven. You’ll be interested to see the temperature map! If this were a roller coaster at Wild Waves, it would be among the most popular at the park!

Putting this all into perspective, here’s the temperature rundown:

OCTOBER HIGH/LOW TEMPERATURE AVERAGE: 55.8/40.6

OCTOBER HIGH/LOW TEMPERATURE ACTUAL: 57.7/42.0

OCTOBER MEAN TEMPERATURE AVERAGE: 48.2

OCTOBER MEAN TEMPERATURE ACTUAL: 49.8

So, as a whole, October averaged about 1.6 degrees above normal. This was due in large part to the warm period early last month and a series of very mild low temperatures.

In comparison to my Fall 2012 forecast, I predicted a milder and drier than normal October with mountain snow and periods of chilly weather in the lowlands. Overall, however, my forecast called for a fairly tame month. My biggest bomb was, of course, in regards to precipitation. We were MUCH wetter than anticipated. However, the mountain snow, chilly lowland temperatures, and overall tame month prediction was pretty accurate.

My mean October temperature prediction: 49.1 degrees compared to the actual of 49.8 degrees. So not TOO bad ;)

Well fellow Kitsapites, it’s time for a weekend break :) But I wish you all a safe and fun weekend! See you back here on Monday!

Matthew Leach

Forecasting Kitsap

E-mail: forecastingkitsap@live.com




30 degrees this morning = First frost for many

Thursday, November 8th, 2012

Remember back in September when I did a blog post on the correlation between first frosts and first flakes? If not, you can click here to read that post. Interestingly, within the past 10 years the Bremerton area ALWAYS saw a first frost sometime in October, but not this time. Although we came close, we never got below freezing.

So yes, we broke a 10 year trend, but at least it wasn’t by much. Bremerton Airport reported a very chilly 30 degrees last night, resulting in areas of spotty frost and freezes. So what does this mean? Will the snow flakes start falling later because the frost arrived later? Not exactly. In fact, rather disappointingly, my study found that there was actually very little correlation between a first frost and first snow, so at least we’ve got that off our backs!

But we must also remember what weather pattern will be in play this winter: La Nada, or neutral. Neutral winters are so viciously wild card that literally anything can happen for any certain length of time. This certainly doesn’t make long range forecasting any easier, but at least it’s good news we won’t be too far into a drought or flooding scenario, which El Nino’s and La Nina’s tend to bring, respectively.

In fact, the rest of the week into next week doesn’t look anything close to a drought. Luckily, Mother Nature is pressing pause on our weather pattern enough to offer peaks of blue skies for any early weekend plans, but boy does the tune change when we start the new week. More mountain snow and lowland rain will fall from time to time throughout the week with highs near 50.

I honestly don’t see any signs of snow or a rain/snow mix in the long range, although temperatures will remain cool. As of right now it looks like a seasonably rainy Thanksgiving this year, but it’s still a bit too early to tell ;)

In the meantime, enjoy this upcoming weekend!

Matthew Leach

Forecasting Kitsap

E-mail: forecastingkitsap@live.com


Who does Mother Nature endorse for president?

Monday, November 5th, 2012

Ok, you caught me. The weather has been non-stop wet with inches and inches of rain the past several weeks and there just isn’t much out there  to talk about in regards to exciting weather. However, with Election Day tomorrow, I started thinking about all the newspapers and celebrities out there that have thought somehow up to this point their opinions and/or endorsements will persuade the undecided voter, which it sometimes has. But have any of you taken the time to consider what Mother Nature thinks?

Of course, this is no way a “Forecasting Kitsap” blog endorsement, or the views of the Kitsap Sun in general, but I decided to conduct a fun little experiment (as futile as it is…) which will give us an awfully rough estimate of who our president will be on January 20th. ;) Little did you know weather plays favorites!

Take a look at these weather observations on Inauguration Day in Washington, D.C. clear back when President Truman took office. Notice a trend?

Obama (D)- Sunny/cold

Bush, G.W. (R)- Rain/mild

Clinton (D)- Clear/cool

Bush, H.W. (R)- Cloudy/mild

Reagan (R)- Rain/mild

Carter (D)- Sunny/cold

Ford (R)- Cloudy/mild

Nixon (R)- Cloudy/mild

Johnson (D)- Rainy/cool

Kennedy (D)- Snow/cold

Eisenhower (R)- Cloudy/mild

Truman (D)- Snow/cold

Since Truman, Democratic presidents have largely had cold and/or snowy inaugurations while Republican president’s have had rainy, cloudy, and/or mild inaugurations. Latest long range projections have been consistent in predicting a colder than normal latter half of the winter season on the east coast, which would certainly impact Inauguration Day.

Hmmm…considering no Republican has had a snowy Inauguration Day since at least Truman, does that mean Mother Nature is endorsing President Barack Obama? Perhaps, unless Mitt Romney is the one who comes in and breaks a pretty consistent trend ;) Of course, this is all fun and games, but interesting nonetheless!

As for our Election Day weather? If you guessed “rainy”, you would be correct, although it will be slightly milder than normal. Highs will be in the mid to upper 50s.

Some colder, showery weather systems will impact the area through the week into next weekend, and high temperatures will fall into the mid and upper 40s. The good news is the mountains should be getting more snow here in the next few days!

The long range continues to look cold and wet through Thanksgiving. Too bad I haven’t found any correlations between cold and wet Northwest Thanksgiving’s and U.S. President’s! But I suppose even if I did, the election would still be a toss up because it’s always cold and wet around here during the holidays ;)

Have a great day everyone,

Matthew Leach

Forecasting Kitsap

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




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