Forecasting Kitsap

Aspiring weatherman Matthew Leach talks about the complex and intricate weather patterns over Kitsap.
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New ‘Forecasting Kitsap’ blog schedule

Tuesday, March 12th, 2013

Hello, all! You have likely noticed this blog has been the quietest since I left for my two year mission to South Africa. There are a couple reasons for this and I wanted to take a moment and explain some of the changes that have occurred over the past couple weeks:

  1. I want to make my forecasts more easily accessible and have therefore decided to spend most of my time preparing daily weather updates which can be found every weekday morning on the Kitsap Sun homepage. The Sun will also host links to their Facebook page.
  2. This blog will not be updated as frequently as before as most of my time will be spent providing daily weather forecasts. However, expect weather updates, with accompanying graphics, one to two times a week on this blog and on my Kitsap Weather Facebook page.
  3. As always during moments of extreme weather, I will update this blog as frequently as needs be.

I hope you will find this new format more efficient and satisfying your daily weather needs. I’ve promised a long range outlook for a while, so look for one tomorrow!

Have a great day,

Matthew Leach

Forecasting Kitsap

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


You thought 50 degrees was impressive? Let’s shoot for 60 this weekend…

Wednesday, February 27th, 2013

sunnyskies

Hello, everyone! Sorry for the lack of posts the past couple days. Hope you’ve been able to make it to work or school OK without my life-saving forecasts! ;)

We are about to say goodbye to February, a month that has featured fairly cool, wet and cloudy weather. We now look with anticipation for the marching in of…well, March on Friday.

They say March rolls in like a lion and in one sense that will be true. After a wet and somewhat mild day tomorrow, we’ll get a break from the action on the first day of March. A cold front will stall off the southern B.C. coast, so we’ll be on the warmer side of the system. Remember how we made a big deal about exceeding 50 degrees a week or so ago? Yeah, well we’re about to outdo ourselves again with the possibility of reaching 60 degrees on Friday. The last time we reached 60? October 16th, 2012.

Unfortunately for those with spring fever, we cool down slightly for Saturday, then cool down quite dramatically on Sunday with high temperatures falling into perhaps the mid 40s (hey, that cold front can’t stall over B.C. forever! ;)).

So I’ll be on the look out for the 60 degree reading! Spring is almost here, I can feel it!

Matthew Leach

Forecasting Kitsap

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

2-27-2013


Valentine’s Day forecast looking “not so lovely”

Wednesday, February 13th, 2013

Happy Wednesday, everyone! We’re half way through the week. Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day, or as I have come to affectionately call it, “Single Awareness Day”.  However this upcoming day is known to you, one thing is for sure: The weather won’t be playing along.

In fact, tomorrow’s weather will be the opposite of lovely. Remember “Pacific Storm Rambo” that was *supposed* to make landfall this morning? Yes, well, completely contrary to the nature of its name, this storm has been dragging its feet and will roll through the region early tomorrow morning instead. So expect a fairly wet first half of the day, followed by scattered showers and possibly a few sun breaks.

Perhaps the best weather news I can deliver for tomorrow is that highs will come dangerously close to breaking 50 degrees. Remember, we still haven’t managed to do that since early November!

The remainder of the forecast also doesn’t look overly lovely, but at least things look fairly tame out there in the deep, dark Pacific Ocean. Showers will dominate the weekend pattern, with a few sunbreaks reserved for Sunday. Clouds and showers return for the new week.

Stay tuned for a long range forecast update on Friday! Have a great day,

Matthew Leach

Forecasting Kitsap

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

2-13-2013

 


Pacific storms “Rambo”, “Batman” to slowly dribble through Northwest

Monday, February 11th, 2013

(Photo by: Mario Tama/Getty Images)

With the recent passing of Nemo (I’m talking about the winter storm here ;)), many meteorologists have had a flurry of discussion over The Weather Channel’s naming of winter storms.

The concern comes from the meteorological tradition of naming hurricanes and tropical storms. The L.A. times interviewed George Wright, a meteorologist and the founder of Wright Weather Consulting in New York, who said, “A named storm should be a hurricane, and only a hurricane. A hurricane is something that’s more unusual and devastating. If you start naming other storms, people will suddenly think this might be a hurricane.”

What do you think about the issue? Is The Weather Channel qualified to take upon themselves the duty of naming winter storms, or should they leave it alone? I have created a new poll on the right hand sidebar where you can cast your vote.

In our neck of the woods, The Weather Channel wouldn’t waste their time trying to name any storm systems that blow onshore because, well, they would run out of names. But for the heck of it, let’s see how it sounds!

Pacific storm “Rambo” will slice its way onshore early Wednesday morning, providing a steady, ruthless stream of rain all day. Highs will be in the mid 40s.

Pacific storm “Batman” will swoop into the region early Saturday, but this band of precipitation will be small and harmless. Like a bat.

And then there’s Pacific storm “Sherlock”, which will suavely maneuver its way onshore Monday, only to disappear by the afternoon. Highs will remain in the mid 40s.

Ok, ok, I’ll admit it. Naming weather systems is kind of fun. If anything, this makes Western Washington weather sound really cool ;)

Have a great evening,

Matthew Leach

Forecasting Kitsap

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

2-11-2013


Groundhog Day prediction: Six more weeks of…?

Saturday, February 2nd, 2013

The groundhog is the only rodent with its own holiday

Photo by: Jeff Swensen/Getty Images

Once again our loveable rodent, Punxsutawney Phil, set out to make “the most important weather prediction to be found anywhere on the globe,” according to Pennsylvania Lieutenant Governor Jim Cawley.

Early this morning, in front of a large international crowd, Phil emerged from his burrow and…did not see his shadow. Therefore, an early spring is in the forecast. But how accurate is this over-sized ball of fluff? According to groundhog.org, he is right 100% of the time. You might also find this experiment interesting, where the National Climatic Data Center put Phil’s predictions to the test.

For our sakes, I hope he’s right! The short term forecast doesn’t look very spring-like, and we still haven’t exceeded 50 degrees since November 6th, but we must maintain hope that today’s clouds eventually burn off.

So take this pro-spring forecast how you will!

Have a great weekend,

Matthew Leach

Forecasting Kitsap

forecastingkitsap@live.com

2-2-2013


When was the last time we exceeded 50 degrees? It’s a lot longer than you think…

Thursday, January 31st, 2013

question-marks2

So when exactly was the last time we registered a temperature above 50 degrees? It’s been quite chilly lately, but surely our goose-bumped skin has been exposed to such mild weather sometime recently!

Actually, no, not at all. But before I reveal the specific day we last saw 51+ temperatures, here’s a little representation of what the temperature spread has been since November 1st:

NUMBER OF DAYS WITH THE FOLLOWING TEMPERATURE READINGS SINCE NOVEMBER 1ST, 2012 (Bremerton Airport):

  • 50+°= 12 (First six days of November being 51+ degrees, and then six other days during the past three months with a 50 degree reading)
  • 40+°= 57
  • 30+°= 22
  • 20+° (low temperature)= 26
  • 10°+ (low temperature)= 4

It shouldn’t be surprising that we registered most days 40° and above, but what should stand out even more is how often we hit the 30s, 20s, and teens, and how infrequently we’ve been over 50. The Bremerton area usually averages about 8 days with highs in the 30s during the winter and we’ve nearly tripled it.

And now we wait in suspense. The weather this weekend is a real tricky one. If we reach 51 degrees or more tomorrow, that will be the first time since………November 6th, 2012! We will have gone almost three whole months without seeing the big 5-0 on the seven day forecast, but the first weekend of February is taking on the challenge.

A ridge of high pressure is building, but we run the same risk of seeing low clouds and fog Friday night into Saturday morning. The little fly  in the ointment is that the fog doesn’t completely burn off on Saturday, which could keep our temperatures in the upper 30s/lower 40s a good part of the day. If skies clear, we could see highs easily hit the low 50s. For now, I expect skies to become at least partly sunny by Saturday afternoon with highs just over the 50 degree mark.

Sunday is another 50+ contender before skies cloud up and temperatures fall. We get so close to touching 50 and then it gets taken from us! All the more reason to enjoy this weekend. If the sun refuses to come out on the peninsula, head to the Cascade foothills! It’ll be plenty mild up there :)

Matthew Leach

Forecasting Kitsap

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

1-31-2013


From fog to rain with little break in between

Saturday, January 19th, 2013

Well Kitsap, I tried.

Sometimes weather forecasters and the general public believe that  if that little golden orb of light is shining on the 7 day forecast, such will be the case with no exceptions. Then again, if you’re from Washington you know that golden orb is taunting more than anything else. Take a look at this satellite image from this afternoon:

1-19-2013 fog

As strange as it sounds, if you travel closer to the foothills or coastline, you’ll find temperatures soaring into the 40s and 50s! A couple days ago some foothill locations actually recorded temperatures in the 70s. What has Kitsap been doing the whole time? Oh, I think you know. We are sitting in a bowl of freezing fog and freezing temperatures. Today was quite a bit warmer than yesterday, but still…the fog has overstayed its welcome.

So when will this inversion end, you ask? Well, we need some good mixing, and since we can’t get it in the way of strong sunlight or strong wind, we’re going to have to settle with rain. This means we’ll see locally thick areas of fog and freezing fog until early Wednesday morning when a moderate pacific system rolls through. Right now this looks like a fairly warm storm, so temperatures should rise dramatically.

From Wednesday we start to take another downward trend in temperatures. Right now I’m looking at mainly mostly cloudy skies with cold rain, but some forecast models show flakes in the forecast as soon as next weekend. Nothing is a slam dunk as of yet, but I’d say we definitely have a better chance at seeing colder than normal weather in the next 6-14 days than warmer than normal weather.

As always, stay tuned! For now, enjoy the weekend and try to escape the fog if you can :)

Matthew Leach

Forecasting Kitsap

E-mail: forecastingkitsap@live.com

1-19-2013


Mostly sunny with no chance of rain

Saturday, January 12th, 2013

I have to admit, I feel a little bad for my poor “mostly sunny” weather icons. They don’t get to gradually fill their way into the forecast, they were pretty much forced against their will to come out of hibernation and brighten up the next seven days for us. I’m sure they would appreciate your warmest regards.

It has actually been quite a while since we’ve entered a winter pattern that has allowed so much sun time. The Seattle National Weather Service said this afternoon:

THE LAST TIME THERE WAS A DRY SPELL OF

A WEEK OR MORE IN JANUARY WAS BACK IN 2009 (11 DAYS, 13TH THROUGH THE

23RD FOR SEATAC)

Kind of sad, isn’t it? But hey, we’ll take what we can get. Although none of us saw much snow out of this cold pattern, it is still fairly unusual to transition back to a classically rainy/wet Washington winter without some sort of Hood Canal overrunning snow event. Who knows if we’ll actually skate by without any drama, but for the foreseeable future we’re going to be riding one big ridge of high pressure.

But don’t be fooled. With cool, northerly flow it will be hard to increase temperatures dramatically. In fact, it may be a few days until we get the 40s back on the record books. Low temperatures will also remain quite cold as they remain, for the most part, in the 20s.

Speaking of lows, did you know we hit 19 degrees at Bremerton Airport this morning? I’m sure some of you were colder, but usually when Western Washington gets below 20 degrees it all feels the same ;)

I’ll keep my eyes on the models, but in the meantime stay warm and safe out there!

Matthew Leach

Forecasting Kitsap

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

1-12-2013

 


After the cold and snow comes the sun!

Thursday, January 10th, 2013

I will never pretend to understand the weather here, but I will always strive to predict it the best I can. The past month has featured some pretty crazy weather, and there appears to be a strange light at the end of the tunnel that I have a hard time trusting. Believe me, after spending two years in southern Africa I have seen my fair share of mirages!

But something tells me after Saturday’s overly complicated forecast we’ll take a break from our action-packed seven day forecast discussions and revert to cruise control. And let’s just say you won’t hear me complaining about it ;)

It was a cold day today with Bremerton Airport reporting a high of 36 degrees. Some of you reported a mix of rain/snow showers a couple times during the morning/afternoon hours, but for most of us it was a cold, showery January day in Western Washington. Temperatures will drop below freezing tonight, so watch out for slick spots! Skies will clear for the most part tomorrow, but don’t be fooled. Highs will still struggle to make it out of the 30s, with mid to upper 30s a common number around the peninsula.

And then there’s Saturday. Rumor has it we could see a widespread snow event on Saturday, and my honest opinion is…probably not. What it is looking like right now is a cold, partly to mostly cloudy day with the chance for some light snow showers. I still think some accumulations are possible, especially on the western half of Kitsap County, but this is in no way looking like a Hollywood blockbuster. Highs will stay in the 30s with icy lows in the 20s.

And you know, the darnedest thing happens after that. Skies will clear on Sunday which will pave the way for warming temperatures and a little string of partly to mostly sunny days through mid week next week. Highs will also get back to normal, if not slightly above. The main story will be the lack of precipitation over the next 7 days as a large area of high pressure builds in overhead.

I don’t hear many of you complaining about that ;) And I don’t know, if you ask me I still think we’ve got enough ammo in the jet stream to give us one more snow chance before winter is over.

Have a great evening!

Matthew Leach

Forecasting Kitsap

E-mail: forecastingkitsap@live.com

1-10-2013

 


Kitsap Weather 2012: Cloudy, cold and wet

Thursday, January 3rd, 2013
sunset larry steagall

Amidst the relentless clouds and rain of 2012, Mother Nature gave us some rare opportunities to enjoy the scenery. Photo by: Larry Steagall, Manette Bridge, December 16th, 2012

**UPDATE 6:20 PM (1/3/2013): Some of you have reported periods of snow, mostly close to the Hood Canal. Temperatures are a couple degrees above freezing with dew points in the 20s, but this should not extend past midnight and accumulations, if any, will be light.**

I know what many of you are thinking: “When do we not have a cloudy, cold and wet year?” But wait until you see the numbers. 2012 was FAR from normal.

I’ve been busy the past couple days compiling information for a “year in review” blog post and while I do have some interesting data, it is hard to compare it to past years. Why? All we really have to go by (as far as official data is concerned) is the numbers spit out by the Bremerton National Airport (KPWT). Luckily the weather station only shut down on us twice this year, and only for a few days at a time. Other than that, weather records were preserved.

Earlier today I spoke to a meteorologist from the Seattle National Weather Service who said, “Despite insufficient [weather] records on the Kitsap Peninsula, most areas in Western Washington were between their 5th to 10th wettest years on record, and I don’t imagine Kitsap would have been the exception.”

olympic college rain

Photo by: Larry Steagall, November 2012 (Olympic College, Bremerton)

With that being said, let’s get started with what little I have ;) Meteorologists certainly had a fun year. We have seen:

Even if I was only in the country for half the year, it kept us on our toes! So how did we do in terms of average temperatures and precipitation? I’ll let the numbers speak for their cold and wet selves:

Bremerton (2012)

Monthly Rain

+/- Normal

Avg. Temp

+/- Normal

January

6.54”

-2.35”

36.1

-5.9

February

3.30”

-2.92”

39.4

-2.6

March

8.44”

+2.49”

39.7

-6.3

April

2.30”

-1.27”

43.1

-6.9

May

2.29”

-0.17”

48.6

-8.0

June

2.78”

+1.09”

53.0

-7.5

July

1.07”

+0.21”

60.4

-4.6

August

0.00”

-1.03”

64.4

-1.6

September

0.01”

-1.54”

58.2

-2.8

October

11.58”

+6.69”

50.0

-2.0

November

15.45”

+6.06”

43.1

-1.9

December

12.25”

+2.18”

37.8

-2.2

AVERAGE

66.01”

+9.44”

47.8

-4.4

Needless to say, it was a cold and wet year! Especially from March-July. Wow, a minus 8 departure? I had to check and re-check my numbers, but they proved consistent.

Amazingly, we didn’t set any record low temperatures! We did set two record high temperatures, however. 89 degrees on August 4th and 96 degrees on August 5th.

On the Kitsap Peninsula we average just over 56” of rain a year, but there are still many locations that average more. Take this precipitation map for example:

rainfall_wa

How about sunshine, snowfall, and cloud cover? Not too surprisingly, it has been a pretty cloudy year. I don’t have averages, but I do have the 2012 statistics:

  • Number of days with measurable rain: 149
  • Number of sunny/partly sunny days: 130
  • Number of overcast days (>70% cloud cover): 235
  • Number of days with measurable snow: 13
  • Number of days 80 degrees or hotter: 20
  • Number of days at 85 or hotter: 8
  • Number of days at 90 or hotter: 5

It has certainly been an great weather year. For more interesting statistics and cool photos, check out Scott Sistek’s 2012 weather in review.

Peeking ahead at the long range forecast, it appears we could enter a pretty cold string of weather in the next couple weeks. Obviously nothing is set in stone, but things look to be getting interesting again real soon.

In the short term, expect a rain through the weekend and into early next week before tapering off to showers. Highs will stay near normal in the low to mid 40s.

Have a great evening everyone, and let’s make it another great year!

Matthew Leach

Forecasting Kitsap

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

1-3-2013

 


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