Category Archives: This Blog

Cool and wet for now, but the heat is coming

We’re still dealing with the typical showers and sunbreaks for now, but a large ridge of high pressure building in the southwest United States will serve to bring sunny and much warmer temperatures by the weekend, perhaps lasting through Independence Day. How warm will we get? I’ll discusses the details in today’s video forecast:

Have a great day!

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:

First warm spell of 2013 to bless Kitsap County


It’s definitely hard to choose a favorite season, so I’m going to choose two.

Spring and fall. Why these two? Glad you asked!

In the spring, we anxiously await our first 60 degree reading, our first 70 degree reading, and perhaps even our first 80 degree reading. We look forward in anticipation to our first hailstorm, our first thunderstorm, and last windstorm.

In the fall, we get all giddy to experience our first day with highs in the 40s, our first frost, and our first windstorm. Our throats run dry as we obsess over when our first snow might be, when news stations will start throwing out the “Arctic Blast [Insert Year Here]” logo, and when schools might shut down for the first time of the season under an inch of sloppy, wet snow.

Or maybe it’s just me.

Either way, I have some great news for those who still haven’t thawed over the past few months. Increasing high pressure, as well as an early-season influence of offshore flow, will provide our region with its first real warm spell of 2013. The details are definitely fuzzy, and some forecasting models have been overly dramatic to put it lightly, but it looks like we may get a little taste of late May/early June weather for this last weekend in March.

Just like when you turn on the kitchen stove, it takes a little while to heat up. So expect partly to mostly cloudy skies for your Thursday with just a few light showers. Friday will clear up and warm up with partly sunny skies and highs in the low 60s.

Of course, our little stove doesn’t run on much power because we’re only in late March, but things will be noticeably more comfortable as we head into Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. Skies will get progressively clearer, temperatures will get progressively warmer, and the citizens of Kitsap County will progressively emerge from their homes at bask in the early spring rays.

High temperatures this coming weekend will be in the mid to maybe even upper 60s. Are we looking at 70 degrees yet? I’m not willing to put such a large number on the 7 day forecast graphic just yet, but let’s just say it wouldn’t surprise me to see some 70s floating around the peninsula on Saturday or Sunday.

And wouldn’t you know it, cooler, but still mild weather persists into next week.

I don’t know what we’re doing to find so much favor in Mother Nature’s eyes, but whatever it is, we’re doing it right 😉

Matthew Leach

Forecasting Kitsap

Questions? Comments? Photos? Send them to me at:


Why the weatherman is often wrong

I’ve heard the joke a thousand times, “Oh, you want to be a weatherman, huh? That must be the only job where you can be wrong 90% of the time and still be employed.”

Sheesh, that’s a little harsh! While certainly nowhere near missing 90% of their forecasts, meteorologists all around the world struggle to understand and even explain why the forecast goes sour. Brigham Young University engineering professor Julie Crockett says something called “internal waves” are to blame, and that once we understand the nature of these waves forecasts will become more accurate.  Check out the video below:

You can also check out the story in text form here. What are your thoughts? Could Ms. Crockett’s observations be the key to revolutionizing the way we predict the weather?

All I can say is I hope these internal waves don’t mess up the weekend forecast, because I think all of you will enjoy what the seven day forecast has to say. In the mean time we have a little more rain to get through.

Tuesday will be mostly cloudy and seasonable with highs in the mid 40s. A front moves through early Wednesday morning, although the southwestern portion of the Kitsap Peninsula will be shadowed from the worst of it. Central and north Kitsap, however, will be in for another rainy day.

Showers linger on Thursday before literally every drop of rain goes *POOF* on the weather models and we’re in for a dry Friday, Saturday, and most of Sunday. Highs will be nudging 50 degrees as well. We have been so sun starved that I’m betting I’ll see lots of picnics this weekend. The ridge of high pressure flattens late Sunday, paving the way for some light rain through Monday.

So just remember: If my forecast for this weekend ends up being wrong, it’s not my fault. It’s the internal waves! 😉

Matthew Leach

Forecasting Kitsap

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



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

Raindrops have entered the forecast!

Excuse the exclamation point, it’s just been a while 😉

Although Seattle is known for its often cloudy, wet weather most days of the year, the summers here are known for being pleasantly cool, dry and storm free. But the closer we get to September and the fall season, the more likely it is to see raindrops entering the 7 day forecast. And wouldn’t you know it, after a month of waiting, you’ll find Western Washington back to doing what it knows best. Well, to some degree anyway.

Didn’t it feel a little chilly this morning? Some Kitsap locations woke up with low temperature readings into the 40s and we didn’t warm up to our high temperature of 72 degrees until…well, 15 minutes ago. In fact, we spent a good chunk of today 10-12 degrees below our average high temperature. But it’s amazing what a few sun breaks can do!

Tomorrow’s forecast won’t have much to do with sun breaks, nor will it feature much in the way of warm temperatures, but at least you’ll get a sneak preview of what we’ll experience this fall. In any case, it’ll be a cool day with a few spot showers around. In fact, snow levels will drop as low as 6,000′ Thursday night! :

This won’t be a Kitsap County Fair washout by any means, so don’t let this forecast detract from your plans tomorrow! But if you insist on “fair” weather, just wait until the weekend!

Skies will clear Friday and Saturday providing temperatures the opportunity to reach the low and mid 70s. I’m glad the forecast models have changed their tune for the weekend. It’s looking a lot nicer than what was advertised a couple days ago.

And just as the festivities wrap up, so does the warm and dry weather. Sunday through Tuesday look like a mix of clouds and showers with only a few sun breaks. The most widespread chance of rain will be on Monday, but it’ll be hit and miss on Sunday and Tuesday. Highs will cool back down to the mid 60s and lower 70s.

Whew! While you’re going on the YoYo and Ring of Fire this week, who says Mother Nature can’t do the same? 😉

Have a great day everyone!

Matthew Leach

Forecasting Kitsap

Hint at more summer time temperatures next week

Just a short blog post this afternoon. My family and I are traveling to Utah to visit family for the week, so posts on this blog will unfortunately be less frequent over the next seven days. It’ll be hard for me to take a long vacation, partially because weather never takes a holiday, but I’m sure you’ll all survive without consistent updates for a week 😉

I want to share some thoughts on a building upper ridge which should offer some more summer-like temperatures next week. How warm is still an area of uncertainty, but here’s what it’s currently looking like on the latest models:

The above picture is a snip-it of the WRF GFS model for Thursday of next week provided by the University of Washington Atmospheric Sciences department. This is advertising temperatures in the mid and upper 80s. You’ve probably noticed I use this model a lot to forecast temperatures and precipitation amounts. Another output I don’t feature too often on this blog is the European model (ECMWF) which has all the imperfections any other weather model has, but it serves as another fresh opinion, especially when trying to nail down a hot or cold event, storm or anything in between. Because in weather forecasting, opinions from all the weather sources matter!

So here’s what the ECMWF has to say:

Looks like the same picture in terms of potential. We have two areas of high pressure: one parked out west in the Pacific, another further east. As a result, it appears this will serve to pinch the warm air in between and distribute it all along the west coast. As heights build, so will the heat. As of now it doesn’t look like a major heatwave. In fact, current models are projecting this second wave of warm air could only last a couple days.

It will take a few more model runs and consistency to say for certain how this will all pan out, but so far it looks like our warm August weather is about to reload.

Have a fantastic weekend everyone and be safe!

Matthew Leach

Forecasting Kitsap

Comments? Questions? Weather pics? E-mail them to:

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Why an Indian Summer may be in the forecast


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Hello everyone! It’s good to be back. You know how they say real summer in Western Washington doesn’t occur until after Independence Day? Well it appears the new normal in these parts is to reverse the “beginning of summer” from Independence Day to Labor Day.

Interestingly, within the past few years in the Northwest, August and September have produced some of the warmest weather of the summer season, with this past September even flinging us well into the 80s. Why the seasons are lagging a little behind is definitely a question to ponder, but if this year follows the pattern of the past few, we may be headed for a warmer and drier than normal end to summer and fall season.

This is what we call an “indian summer”, which is an unseasonably warm period of weather in mid autumn usually preceded by a substantial period of cool weather. Another factor in favor of this warmer than normal fall forecast is the fact that as we speak an El Nino is brewing in the Equatorial Pacific, which could spell warmer and drier conditions in the Northwest through the winter. Although the current sea surface temperatures indicate a fairly neutral pattern as of now, it does have the potential of forming into a full blown El Nino event.

So while this doesn’t spell good news for you skiers and snowboarders, it will at least offer some of those summer fans an opportunity to enjoy a period of warmer weather often missed the past couple months.

Speaking of warmer weather, there is even more good news for you summer fans! The next few days will feature more of the same partly to mostly cloudy skies with highs in the low-mid 70s, but Friday through Sunday look gorgeous as of now (don’t you love that small caveat: as of now? ;)) with skies clearing and temperatures rebounding into the upper 70s and low 80s. I’ll keep an eye on the models, but it could even get warmer than that, so stay tuned!

Sure, the weather does cloud up a bit and turn slightly cooler for the new week but…let’s just focus on the positives for now 😉

Have a great evening everyone!

Matthew Leach

Forecasting Kitsap


Farewell to “Forecasting Kitsap”…At Least For a Little While

Well, Kitsap…I knew this day would come, but it has arrived way too fast!

I am leaving for South Africa on Wednesday and will not have the opportunity to run this weather blog while being on the other side of the world for 2 years. My parents have agreed to update a blog following my mission adventures, however. Because this is a “Staff Blog” and the blog about my mission is not affiliated with the Kitsap Sun, I won’t post the link here, but if you’re interested shoot me an e-mail at:

It isn’t all the way finished yet, so some of you who have already requested a link should be getting one in the next day or two.

I have had so much fun tracking the storms and heatwaves that have graced our region with all of you. Sometimes I have found myself very successful and proud of the forecasting I’ve done, and other time I have hung my head in shame 😉 But you know what? That’s the life of a weatherman. I only hope to get better from here!

My dream career is to become a Television Meteorologist. When I come back from my mission and go to school, I’d like to continue blogging about Kitsap weather while at the same time getting my broadcasting degree.

Thanks to my supportive parents, Angela Dice (web editor at the Kitsap Sun), Scott Sistek (KOMO-TV Weather Producer who has been my mentor for several years) and all of you who have followed me through this 1 1/2 year string of predictions, videos and amazing weather pictures. I’ll see you all in 2 years!!!


Matthew Leach

Longtime KIRO Weatherman Harry Wappler Dies at 73

Harry Wappler was one of my favorite on-air meteorologists. Definitely someone an aspiring weatherman would look up to. My condolences to the Wappler and KIRO News families.

(Copied from the AP)

SEATTLE – Longtime former KIRO-TV meteorologist Harry Wappler has died.

KIRO-TV reports that Wappler, 73, who worked at the station for 33 years, died Wednesday at Overlake Hospital.

Wappler joined the television station in 1969. He was the face of weather coverage there until he retired in 2002.

He graduated from Northwestern University and earned a graduate degree at Yale Divinity School. Wappler was also an ordained Episcopal priest.

“Harry was just a remarkably wonderful person,” said KOMO Weathercaster Steve Pool. “I don’t think that man had a mean bone in his body. He was so supportive of me when I just started. Even though we were across the street, we were kindred that we did the same thing and were both supportive of each other. He will be missed.”

After his retirement in 2002, his son Andy took over as Chief Meteorologist at KIRO until 2008.