Here’s bringing up some old news: I spent Christmas in Island
Park, Idaho and missed the snow event here on the Kitsap Peninsula.
Thankfully, some of you e-mailed in your Christmas snow pictures.
Here are a few of them:
by Don Geidel, taken by a friend)
(OLYMPIC HIGH SCHOOL AREA): Photo by Tyler
Thanks to all who sent in photos! Seemed like another fun day
around the peninsula.
As far as the forecast is concerned, we’re going to switch gears
from a dry spell (July-October), a wet spell (October- mid
December), and a cold/snowy spell (mid December) to a cool/foggy
spell. As is often the case around here when a large ridge of high
pressure sets up over the region after a long rainy period, fog
will be a key ingredient the next few mornings. There is so much
moisture in the air and on the ground that even the smallest dry
spells call for more fog than sun.
Still, things are at least looking fairly dry with a few
sunbreaks until the first weekend of 2013, which sounds so far away
even if it’s only in 5 days 😉
Taking a peek into the long range, things look fairly seasonable
in terms of rain and sun over the next week and a half. After the
past couple weeks, I can say I am OK with a break in active
Merry Christmas, everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful day.
Just a brief update this evening.
I received a flurry of text messages this morning (no pun
intended) and Facebook notifications about how it was raining
instead of snowing! Naturally my heart fell to the ground as I
thought about all the kids (and adults!) who were expecting a White
As you know, snow forecasts are incredibly difficult, and the
pressure is especially intense when a major holiday such as
Christmas is involved. Well, the snow DID come, although a bit
later than expected, and you were gracious enough to put down your
pitchforks and throw water on your torches 😉 But all jokes aside, I
was definitely relieved to hear that the snow showed up and am
happy so many of you took advantage of it and had some fun. I am
currently in Idaho and would have been unsure how much we received
and when if it wasn’t for you!
Things went generally as planned: 5+” along the Hood Canal, 1-4”
in Central/South Kitsap, and a trace to just plain cold rain for
North Kitsap and Bainbridge Island. Here are some unofficial snow
amounts reported from Forecasting Kitsap blog readers,
Kitsap Sun readers, and friends as of 5 PM:
Port Orchard: 1”
Any other towns with corresponding accumulation totals you’d
like me to add to the list?
Of course, amounts within cities and towns varied according to
elevation. Overall, most locations saw snow, even if it was for a
short amount of time, and it turned to rain by the afternoon. Ah,
but we knew that would happen. This is Western Washington after all
Stay tuned for Christmas snow pictures in a couple days! If you
haven’t sent them in, please do! My e-mail is:
I’m sure plenty of you are ready to hear about something else on
this blog. Or maybe not 😉
As the sun sets on this beautiful Christmas Eve, many of you are
anxious about tomorrow’s weather. There still remains a lot of
uncertainty, and a lot of the fine details likely won’t be resolved
until the event unfolds Christmas morning. Despite all this, here’s
my best estimate for what will happen over the next 24 hours. First
order of business:
The HOOD CANAL AREA is under a WINTER STORM WARNING from
4 AM to 3 PM Christmas Day
(tomorrow). This area could receive anywhere from
5-10”, perhaps as much as a foot of snow by the late afternoon.
Another surge of moisture pushes through Christmas evening, though
some areas may be cold enough to add another several inches of
snow. Most locations should’ve turned to rain by the time this next
system arrives, however.
Click here for more info.
The rest of Kitsap County is under a
ADVISORY from 5 AM to 1 PM Christmas Day
(tomorrow). This area could receive anywhere from
1-3” with locally higher amounts the further west you go.
Click here for more info.
Here’s the updated snow map:
Again, travel conditions will deteriorate the closer to Hood
Canal you are. Roads will be slick and snow will struggle to change
over to rain in places like Seabeck and Brinnon.
PLEASE, take pictures! I would love to see your Christmas snow,
so send it to my e-mail at:
Thank you all for your help the past couple weeks with bouts of
snow, wind, and rain. I can’t forecast effectively without you!
Have a very Merry Christmas everyone and enjoy this special
**A WINTER STORM WATCH has been issued for the Hood
Click here for more details**
EDITED (5:30 pm, Sunday): Adjusted snow totals ever so
How does it feel to be among the exclusive 10%? On any given
year, the Seattle area has a less than 10% chance of receiving a
White Christmas. We might just have our second one in four
It looks like things are holding together since we last talked
about this possibility. A relative lull in the weather pattern
through Christmas Eve will set the stage for perhaps one of the
most dramatic weather scenarios we’ve seen in years: A chance for
snow Christmas Eve night into Christmas Day. Who will be affected
and what will that mean for your travel plans? Let’s see if I can
clear some of those questions up. Here’s a general overview:
Now here’s how the evolution of this storm comes into play.
Recent weather models have actually slowed the timing of this storm
down a little bit, resulting in an increased chance of warming as
the morning progresses. However, this is more of an issue for most
other lowland locations in Western Washington. You see, the Kitsap
Peninsula has an interesting superpower that comes into play during
situations like this, and it’s called hoarding.
Most snow lovers know that during cold, snowy weather events,
the Kitsap Peninsula tends to hang on to the cold air a little
longer. This will be particularly true Christmas morning. A fairly
persistent, cold east wind will ramp up late Christmas Eve night,
which will filter down the foothills, across the Puget Sound and
dam up against the Olympic Mountains. That’s step 1.
Step 2 involves intensity of the incoming precipitation. With
cold air already in place, the heavier precip will begin as snow,
and it’s no easy task to scour it out. Thus locations closest to
the Hood Canal, which in turn are closest to the Olympics, run the
risk of seeing snow first and heaviest on Christmas Day.
This area includes places like Seabeck, Holly, Brinnon,
Hoodsport, Belfair, and Tahuya. Similar to Wednesday’s event, this
area could see quite a bit of heavy, wet snow. In fact, latest
accumulation projections point towards close to a foot of snow for
these areas, but a conservative estimate would be between 5-8”.
Snow will start between 5-7 am and likely continue through the
early evening hours. Expect a Heavy Snow Warning or Winter Storm
Warning to be issued for these areas if all pans out as
This area includes places like Bremerton, Silverdale, Bainbridge
Island, Port Orchard, and Olalla. This is an area where elevation
will make a HUGE difference. As a general rule, snow will begin
around 6-8 am and continue through the afternoon before switching
to rain for most areas. Snow accumulation could range anywhere from
a trace to as much as 4” on the highest hills.
This area includes places like Poulsbo, Kingston, Hansville, and
Suquamish. Again, elevation will be key. Accumulations will be
quite spotty here, with highest totals in the Poulsbo area (2-3”)
and a mix of rain and snow or sloppy wet snow farther north
As you can see, this weather pattern will continue the theme of
variability, with most snow reserved for far western locations of
the peninsula, with lighter amounts farther east and north.
Elevation will determine how much one neighborhood gets over
another. Amazing to say the Kitsap Peninsula as a whole could see
anywhere from a trace to as much as 8” of snow. That’s quite a
range! Also note the mountain passes will have plenty of snow
during this time frame. Click here for pass reports
The long range forecast is also a treat for those who are sick
of the rain. It appears partly to mostly sunny weather returns for
Stay tuned for a final Christmas Eve/Day forecast tomorrow. By
then things should be even clearer.
Have a great Sunday!
Questions? Photos? E-mail me at:
**The Severe Weather Shelter is open today.
Click here for more details**
I read a comment on one of the Kitsap Sun news stories about our
recent snow that read something like, “Well, at least they didn’t
call it Arctic Blast 2012″. That got me to thinking: What should we
name this most recent snow event? Some Kitsap locations recorded
over 3 feet without any arctic air, so surely “Arctic Blast”
wouldn’t be the most appropriate name.
Then it hit me: SNOWPOCALYPSE 2012! So very fitting.
Here are some photos to remember this “snowpocalypse” by
(December 15th-19th, 2012):
Photos by: Don Geidel
HOODSPORT AREA- Photos by:
Ida Graham (with Jerry Seterdahl)
**BONUS: Digging out the
Northway ski lift at Crystal Mountain– Photo by: Jim
There you have it! Snowpocalypse 2012
Of course, several of us may not
necessarily be done with the snow pictures this year. Forecast
models are still very consistent in bringing in another round of
heavy, wet snow for at least the western 2/3rds of Kitsap County
and Mason County. I’ll give another Christmas snow update tomorrow
Until then, enjoy your Saturday!
Questions? Comments? Photos?
E-mail me at: email@example.com
Have you ever had that awkward moment when your invited guest
stays just a little bit too long?
I know many living on the Kitsap Peninsula have had such a
moment, because some of the very people who were wishing for snow
and all its glory are now wanting to see Frosty burned at the
stake. Snow does strange things to a person.
Anyway, that guest, in the form of snow, is wanting to make
another reappearance today. Now, we’re not looking at repeating
Wednesday’s headache-of-a-day, but things could get increasingly
dicey around here before precipitation turns back into rain later
this afternoon. Some extensive clearing last night gave way to
subfreezing temperatures, and the approaching storm system from the
south will likely prompt some light snowfall over the western
half of the Kitsap Peninsula until the late morning hours. Most
will likely see a mix of snow and rain, but several locations could
start out as all snow before turning to rain. Accumulations will
range between a trace to 1”.
Periods of rain and sloppy wet snow are possible for Hood Canal
regions through Christmas.
Speaking of which, now for our second order of business. I
mentioned a couple days ago how most of you should be expecting a
“green Christmas”, but that there was a concern for some locations
to receive additional snow. This concern has grown tremendously
over the past 48 hours. At this point, I’d rather mention this
possibility now and have it NOT materialize instead of ignore it
and pay the consequences later!
Here’s the latest 24 snowfall projections Christmas evening:
**Ok, now pause. I don’t want to join Frosty on the
stake. This is a possibility, but not a slam dunk. When is
it ever a slam dunk? In addition, I’m not predicting
everyone will see a white Christmas. Latest models suggest at
least half of the peninsula runs the risk for heavy, wet snow
Christmas morning starting at about 7 AM. This is still a couple
days about, but current thinking is some locations could receive as
much as 8” of snow closer to the Canal. Absolutely incredible.
This bears intense watching, but for now just prepare for
generally smooth traveling conditions for most parts of Western
Washington through Christmas Eve. Be sure to check pass conditions
before driving over the mountains as well.
Also, stay tuned for a special blog post soon, which will
highlight some incredible pictures of our most recent
Have a great morning and stay safe out there! I mean it! It’s
PASS CONDITIONS BEFORE VENTURING ACROSS THE MOUNTAINS THIS WEEK.
SEVERAL RESTRICTIONS/DELAYS APPLY. CLICK HERE
Afternoon snow at Island Lake
(12/19/2012)- Photo by: Terrence O’Leary
The weather has been different on literally every point of the
Kitsap Peninsula, which makes the forecast from here on out
increasingly difficult. Thank you all for your patience as I
scramble to track the storm systems and try to pinpoint when we
will slowly but surely wiggle our way out of this chilly, marginal
There’s at least one report of over 30” of snow near Lake
Cushman, which of course added up since Saturday. A friend out in
Seabeck told me he has nearly a foot of snow on the ground with
more coming down. I live near Ridgetop and, as of 3:30 PM, it is
snowing heavily outside my window. The temperature is now at 32,
but 36 degrees in downtown Silverdale. I have also heard many
reports from those living along the Hood Canal that it is either
still snowing or rain has changed back to snow. The Seattle
National Weather service assures us we will transition to all rain
later this evening.
This situation is localized, however, and not everyone will be
running into this problem. With that said, the general forecast is
for rain to continue through the night into tomorrow before the
precip breaks apart and we’re thrown into a showery pattern through
the weekend. For local hills mainly on the western half of Kitsap
County (including northern Mason County), wet snow or rain/snow
showers will continue through the evening, hence the new weather
advisory. I am not seeing much more in the way of additional
accumulation for most spots, although the usual suspects along the
Canal could pick up another 1-2” of the white stuff before we shut
off the snow tomorrow. IF you can believe it 😉
And the forecast for the remainder of the week through Christmas
Eve? Showers and sun breaks with highs in the low 40s. Are we done
with the snow altogether? I’m not holding my breath. Things look
very marginal, yet again, from the 23rd to the 25th.
For now, most of you should have a green Christmas. I’m probably
not ready to say everyone will fall into that category.
I’m leaving tomorrow to celebrate Christmas with the rest of my
family in Idaho, so you may not hear from me for a couple days. But
I’ll definitely fit one more update on this blog before Christmas
Happy Holidays everyone!
10:00 AM UPDATE: There are still reports of
moderate to heavy snow along the Hood Canal and on higher hills
around the peninsula, including Silverdale, which has amounted to
nearly 4”. Why is the snow continuing? The predicted south wind
changed course and took a south westerly turn. It has therefore
become more difficult for the snow to change over. For all those
sick of the snow, we WILL switch over to rain, but it is going to
take a little longer than expected. Stay tuned for further updates
as they come!
7:00 AM UPDATE: The (deadly) warmer south wind
has kicked in and temperatures are slowly on the rise. Several
Kitsap locations are now reporting snow changing to rain. Most
western Kitsap neighborhood’s are still reporting moderate snow, so
if you are planning to travel out towards the Hood Canal, proceed
with caution! Again, everything should start winding down by 8
5:32 AM (Wednesday, Dec. 19) UPDATE:It appears most everyone is seeing sticking snow this
morning. I’m hearing reports of heavy, wet snow all across the
peninsula with some school districts closing as a result. It is
very possible we exceed the predicted 1-2” for many locations.
Please take it easy on the roads as continued snow is expected
until at least 8 am before we warm up and most everything turns to
rain. In the meantime,send pictures if you have
them! It’s a beautiful one out there**
The past 48 hours have certainly been anything but easy in the
forecasting world. Here are some brief highlights:
Gusty winds (exceeding 35 mph) Sunday night into Monday raced
through places like Bremerton and Port Orchard, while many other
Kitsap locations came away with literally no wind.
Moderate, wet snow fell in great abundance along the Hood Canal
(some areas receiving close to a foot) Saturday and Sunday, while
several other Kitsap communities experienced rain/snow showers or
Yet more snow fell on the peninsula early this morning with a
wide range of accumulations, from 2” as far west as Seabeck to a
trace as far east as Bainbridge Island.
This has been another episode of “Crazy Microclimates”, brought
to you by the Kitsap Peninsula! If there’s one thing I’ve learned
while living on the Kitsap Peninsula, it’s the necessity to prepare
I was talking to a friend and fellow weather enthusiast from
Bainbridge Island last night, and we discussed how close we were to
a potentially historic Kitsap snowstorm. Within the past 72 hours,
the rain gauge picked up 2.24”. However, most of that rain was in
the middle of straddling 34-36 degree weather. Think of the
possibilities: If we were just a couple degrees colder, we could
have been measuring snow in feet, even at sea level. And
quite easily, we could’ve experienced record snow of “Day After
Tomorrow” proportions (OK, that part was a little dramatic…). As a
weather geek, it makes me sick to think we were so close.
Anyway, what is in the past will stay in the past. As we look
forward to the future, however, we have another weather wrestling
match to participate in, and this time there will likely be more
competitors. We haven’t escaped the mid 30s all day, and what
little clearing we have will only serve to pull the temperature
down a few notches before our next weather system moves onshore. As
is usually the case, the Kitsap Peninsula tends to hoard cold air
longer than most other Western Washington locations, thanks to the
Olympic Mountains, so we may have a messy commute tomorrow morning.
The following map presents the worst case scenario:
As the front moves in, the precipitation (and there will be
quite a bit of it) will likely start out as snow for most Kitsap
locations, granted temperatures remain near freezing. By the time
most of you get up for school and work, there could be a sloppy
inch or two on the ground with locally higher amounts on area
hills. Of course, the jackpot in this situation will, once again,
be the locations hugging the Hood Canal/Olympic Mountains. Snow
projections show as much as 6” of wet snow in places like
Hoodsport/Brinnon with perhaps as much as 4” in the Seabeck/Holly
If there’s one thing I’m confident about, it’s the warm up. It
may take a few hours, but by late morning even the Hood Canal area
should transition to rain/snow or plain rain. It’s a shame the snow
couldn’t last until Christmas, but at least it’s a pretty reminder
of the holidays.
Looking ahead, we don’t exactly warm up. In fact, we may face a
few more wet snow scenarios Thursday before all is said and done.
Right now, the remainder of this week and next week look fairly
seasonable, with highs in the low 40s under rainy skies. It’s not
looking like a White Christmas this year, but it’s not like many of
us were expecting that, right? 😉
Stay tuned, though, because even if we can’t manage a White
Christmas, there’s a chance we actually skate by dry. We’ll see!
For now, stay safe out there and have a great rest of the day!
Questions? Comments? Photos? E-mail me at:
Another picture of Kitsap snow, 4 miles
up Lake Cushman Hwy from Hoodsport. Taken Saturday, December 15th,
2012. Photo by: Ida Graham
Rain/snow continues to fall over the Kitsap Peninsula and will
continue through the night with possibly heavy accumulations along
the Hood Canal until early Monday. Meanwhile, a powerful Pacific
storm, likely the biggest we’ve seen this season in terms of wind,
will be barreling through the region late tonight into tomorrow
afternoon. This will produce all sorts of unstable weather for
Western Washington, but for Kitsap County it will present an
interesting split in weather:
A HIGH WIND
WARNING has been issued for the HOOD CANAL
AREA from 10 PM SUNDAY (this evening)
to 4 PM MONDAY. This means southerly winds of 15
to 30 mph will develop this evening, then switch to southwest at
30-40 mph with gusts as high as 60 mph.
ADVISORY has been issued for the BREMERTON
AREA (rest of Kitsap County) from 10 PM SUNDAY to
4 PM MONDAY. This means southwest winds at 20-35 mph will
rapidly develop this evening and gust as high as 55 mph through
Of course, the slightest change in the storm track could mean
higher and lower wind speeds in areas.
Please be advised the WINTER STORM WARNING
issued for the mountain passes has been upgraded to a BLIZZARD WARNING, which
will be in effect tonight through Monday. Snow totals could amount
to as much as 3 feet by the end of tomorrow. Wind will also roar
with 40-60 mph gusts affecting mainly Stevens Pass southward
including Snoqualmie Pass. It would not be wise to make any travel
plans over the passes tomorrow.
We’re going to start the new week on a pretty chilly note.
Monday will be windy and rainy, but the really cold air moves in
late Monday and sticks around through Wednesday. At this point
we’re still on track to see some rain/snow or wet snow showers
throughout the day on Tuesday and Wednesday with highs in the 30s.
In fact, we may see another good 1-2” of sloppy accumulation in the
Hood Canal area both days. As always, this will need to be
We’ve covered all the immediate highlights. For now, stay safe
and go get some batteries for those flashlights! I’m fully
expecting some power outages with this one,
**Kitsap County is currently under a HIGH WIND WATCH
from late Sunday afternoon to Monday morning.
Click here for more information**
Ludvick Lake, near Holly. Photo taken at
9:00 am by: Don and Doreen Geidel
Almost 3 1/2” at Ludvick Lake! Photo
taken at 11:00 am by: Don and Doreen Geidel.
**UPDATED 1:00 PM: Snow continues to fall along the Hood
Canal and mix with rain in the Central Kitsap area. As you can see
from the above picture, there are select portions of Kitsap County
recording as much as 3 1/2” of wet snow!**
Whew! There are lots of things to check off the list this
morning. Might as well start at ground level!
POTENTIAL DOESN’T END TODAY
We are VERY borderline with temperatures this morning. Most
Kitsap locations are hovering just a couple degrees shy of
freezing, so a mix of rain and snow or wet snow is expected through
the morning, especially in the heavier showers. Highs will struggle
to make it out of the 30s all day, so expect this wet and
cold/borderline weather pattern to continue for a little while
Several cold, moist storm systems will make their way into
Western Washington for the next five days or so, and each storm has
the potential to drop some nighttime/morning snow showers, perhaps
with a little bit of accumulation. So here are the days that have
the most likely chance of producing some rain/snow or snow showers:
TONIGHT, MONDAY NIGHT, TUESDAY, TUESDAY NIGHT. The
best opportunity to see any accumulation is looking like Tuesday,
when highs will really struggle to warm up after Monday’s cold
weather system and precipitation will be readily available. This
will need closer watching, so please stay tuned to the blog.
Other than the rain/snow events over the area, there will be
periods of significant rain, especially on Sunday and Wednesday of
It’s always difficult to pinpoint where a storm system will
track, but the current thinking is that on Sunday night into
Monday, a vigorous frontal system will swing well south of our
area, bringing high winds with it. The coast and north interior
will be the main target, but we could experience gusts as high as
50 mph on the peninsula. Again, this will need watching. At any
rate, it’ll be a stormy night!
Ah, yes. The mountain snow pack. If you’re going to be traveling
over the passes this weekend, please monitor
road conditions and forecasts as it will be particularly stormy
at higher elevations (I have included a link to the WSDOT site for
webcams and road conditions on the right hand side bar). By midday
Sunday the mountains could receive as much as 10-16” of snow, with
another 1-3 feet of snow by late Monday. Conditions will be
treacherous for a good part of next week in general, but this storm
in particular will be the most dramatic.
Highs over the next 7 days will largely be in the 30s to low
40s. As predicted, we have entered a much cooler phase of weather
and according to the long range forecast, it will continue for
quite a while. I’m not seeing any dramatically cold or snowy
weather in the future, but we’ll be on the fringe several times
within the next couple weeks.
In the meantime, please stay safe and warm out there! Have a