Monthly Archives: May 2013

Any outdoor weekend plans? You might be in luck

What a wet Wednesday morning! Luckily things have begun to taper off, but not without achieving an impressive .25” of rain in the past 12 hours.

By the time March rolls around, we start to say things like, “Well, surely the snow can’t stick around much longer. Winter is nearly at its end!” And then after a few more bouts with snow, especially in and around the convergence zone, we tell ourselves, “This is the last one. I’m sure of it!” Of course, by April snow is a thing of history.

We’re sort of experiencing that same attitude here with cold, rainy days. Surely it will end soon, right?

April and May are the transition months from relentless rain to glorious Northwest sun. In fact, our summers are typically very dry in comparison to our winters. July averages only 0.86” of rain, which is less than we’ve experienced in the past 3 days! With that said, today will be the last real soaker in a while.

Forecasting models have been fighting over whether we’ll experience periods of troughing through the weekend (cooler weather with sprinkles) or ridging (warmer weather with sunshine). Either way, after Thursday it doesn’t look like we’ll be seeing much in the way of any rain.

Therefore, after Thursdays showers and sunbreaks, expect partly to mostly sunny skies from Friday through the weekend and into next week. Morning clouds and drizzle will definitely be a consistent pattern, but with the afternoon clearing high temperatures should manage to climb into the upper 60s to low 70s. This should make the upcoming weekend the nicest we’ve seen in at least two weeks!

In fact, the long range forecast models indicate we won’t be seeing much in the way of steady rain for several more weeks. This certainly makes sense, because just as March and April feature less and less in the way of snow showers, June and July feature less and less in the way of rain showers.

Stay tuned for Saturday’s blog post, which will discuss what “meteorological summer” is all about.

Have a great day!

Matthew Leach

Forecasting Kitsap

Questions? Comments? Photos? E-mail me at:


Cold spring weather systems eyeing Kitsap County next week

It’s been a busy weekend, with the Armed Forces Day Parade and Viking Fest going on among other things. The weather hasn’t been the most ideal, but it hasn’t been awful either. I think we got spoiled after our early May temperatures flirted with 90 degrees!

But such heat will be forcibly shoved in the back of our minds as a series of unseasonably cold weather systems march on through Western Washington, which will ultimately lead to some snow at the passes. More on that in a moment.

For now, expect mostly cloudy skies to continue through your Saturday. High temperatures will stay somewhere in the mid 50s, dropping off to the low and mid 40s overnight with only scattered showers around.

Sunday is turning out to be partly sunny with only a few early showers. Highs will be about 10 degrees warmer, rising to the mid 60s.

Although Monday appears partly sunny, dry, and mild with temperatures in the upper 60s to low 70s, we’re in for a big change starting Tuesday. Here’s a little visual explaining what is happening out there in the Pacific:

satellite image 5-18-2013

As you can see, the jet stream will be sagging far enough south to tap us in to cooler air from the north. This also translates to more showers and greater instability, which could produce a few thundershowers by midweek.

So, expect high temperatures to dip into the low to mid 50s on Tuesday and Wednesday with showers, a few sunbreaks, and a slight chance for some electrical activity. Of course, thundershowers are never an absolute around here, but we are entering that time of year when it becomes a very real possibility.

The mountain passes will also be getting in on the action, with periods of SNOW in the forecast for locations above 4,000 feet. It’s too early to tell how much snow will accumulate, but right now it doesn’t look like traffic over the passes Tuesday through Thursday of next week will be inhibited.

We rebound ever slightly for the end of next week, but if you’re looking for more 70 or 80 degree temperatures with sunshine, the rest of this month doesn’t look too promising. June is usually good to us in that department though 😉

Have a great weekend!

Matthew Leach

Forecasting Kitsap

Questions? Comments? Photos? E-mail me at:


From May heat to May showers

There’s something tremendously exciting about breaking weather records, especially when it has to do with temperatures. Think about it: At no other time in recorded history has the temperature been as hot in early May was it was over this past weekend. And this is really saying something, since Seattle has records that go as far back as the 1800s.

I’m sure you must have heard Seattle and Phoenix tied for the hottest major U.S. cities Monday, with a high temperature of 87 degrees. Even so, there was at least one point Monday evening when Seattle was actually the hottest city in the country!

For those of you who have felt slightly uncomfortable with all the heat, Mother Nature has heard your complaints. In fact, taking a look at the long range forecast, it might be a while before we experience such summery heat again.

In the meantime, we have some showery weather on our doorsteps that could quickly diminish any memory of our heat streak. In the short term, we’ll see a common theme of morning clouds, afternoon sunshine and temperatures remaining pretty solidly in the 70s.

That is, until this coming weekend. A series of small systems will bring periods of rain and cooler temperatures, most notably on Sunday. High temperatures will cool into the mid to upper 60s, which is still slightly above our average high temperature for this time of year.

I’m sure many of us wouldn’t complain too much, though. We’re not used to prolonged periods of hot weather. Rain is more in our comfort zone 😉

Have a great day!

Matthew Leach

Forecasting Kitsap

Questions? Comments? Photos? E-mail me at:

After exceeding the 70s last week, 80 degrees is not too far behind

Happy first day of May, everyone!

You would never have guessed it was May just by looking outside, however, as temperatures fell into the upper 20s and lower 30s across the Kitsap Peninsula. And I’ll admit it, I was pretty ticked about having to scrape my windshield so late in the spring. Frosts in April are not unusual, but frosts in May are practically unheard of!

Are you ready for a little more in the way of extremes? I’ve been tracking forecast models that indicate we could get unseasonably warm by this weekend. So warm, in fact, that we will likely experience the warmest start to May in at least 15 years.

15 years!

Then again, this time of year we don’t have access to a whole lot of “oomph” in the heat department, so we have to make do with what little heat we get. Still, though, I’m sure many of you would consider temperatures in the upper 70s to lower 80s “oomph” enough.

Let me show you what I’m talking about:

This is a snapshot of Sunday evening at 5 pm. Temperatures are very similar for Saturday as well. As you can see, the pink colors indicate temperatures in the mid to upper 70s, but the lighter pink into white colors suggest temperatures in the 80s. Indeed, some Kitsap locations, although not all, have a decent shot at reaching 80 degrees or above over the weekend.

This is enhanced by what is called “offshore flow,” which brings in the warmer air from over the Cascades from Eastern Washington into our neck of the woods. This same flow brings us the cold eastern air in the winter.

Wednesday through Friday we’ll slowly warm from the upper 60s to mid 70s, with warmer weather over the weekend, only cooling off slightly into early next week.

The long range forecast indicates we’ll continue to have bouts with warm weather, but nothing this extreme looks likely in the near future 🙂

Enjoy the warmth and start planning those weekend activities!

Matthew Leach

Forecasting Kitsap

Questions? Comments? Photos? E-mail me at: