Monthly Archives: September 2009

Weekend Weather Planner: Chilly and Wet

One of the many things I love about my job is I will walk into work (which, by the way, couldn’t be more opposite from meteorology: orthodontics!) and the assistants start off by asking me what the weather will be like on a certain day. And, when we get closer to the weekend, my life is at stake because of the question: “Matt, will my weekend be beautiful so I can take my kids to the zoo?”


But today I had to answer: “Not exactly…” as a cool, but brief, trough will enter our region this weekend dropping temperatures into the mid 60s with rain Friday night through the first part of Saturday. The rest of Saturday and Sunday look mostly dry, but chilly as the trough takes a little longer to exit the region.

But fear not, warm weather fans! (You spoiled brats… 😉 ) Summer returns Monday and Tuesday with highs in the upper 70s and lower 80s. In fact, summer will be basking in Autumn’s limelight as we could be in the 80s on the first day of Autumn which is on Tuesday.

More seasonable weather returns for the rest of the week.

Awesome! I’ll have some good news to share with the assistants next week 🙂

Take care,

Matthew Leach

Forecasting Kitsap

Questions? Comments? E-mail me at:

**S0rry…my computer is acting weird and I can’t access my weather maps/icons, so check back later this evening for a map!**

The Higher We Climb, the Harder We Fall


Sorry about the “Danny Downer” title, but I couldn’t help thinking as I was cleaning up spit and blood at the orthodontics office that:

  1. This massive ridge sitting over us HAS to end sometime


     2. When it does end, what follows will probably be pretty dramatic.

I’m not intentionally being pessimistic here, I’m just stating what has historically happened in our area. Think about it: very dry and benign fall 2008 followed by the coldest and snowiest December in 20 years… a hot summer and warm fall in 2006 followed by the wettest November on record preceeding a blast of arctic air and snow, then flooding…the list continues.

Mother Nature seems set on keeping the pendulum swinging around here and I think the “swing back” will happen relatively soon, at least by the end of this month.

Models have been advertising some pretty chilly air around the last week or so of this month which would be on par with my 2009 Fall Forecast prediction. We’ll see if it ends up happening, but remember: each day we continue with this warm ridge of high pressure, the more I’m thinking we’ll make up for it later this fall into the winter. Our only saving grace will be the El Nino, but 1997-1998, the strongest El Nino on record, delivered arctic cold and very wet weather as well…

Now that we’re all depressed, let’s get to the 7 day forecast! The rest of the week looks pretty seasonable with partly sunny skies, light showers at times and highs in the mid 70s.

This weekend looks seasonably cool with highs dropping a little in the upper 60s/low 70s with some rain on Saturday but early next week there are signs we’ll hit the 80s with blazing sunshine…again. It just doesn’t seem to end!

Enjoy! 🙂

Matthew Leach

Forecasting Kitsap

Questions? Comments? Contact me at:



El Niño Update: Moderate to Strong by Winter 2009/2010

It’s been a while since I’ve commented on the El Niño brewing in the equatorial Pacific Ocean and figured it’d be a good time to give a brief update on it’s strength and position. The NOAA gave an update on the strength of the El Niño on September 10th and had this to say about it:

“A majority of the model forecasts…suggest El Niño will reach at least moderate strength during the Northern Hemisphere fall …Many model forecasts even suggest a strong El Niño…during the fall and winter, but current observations and trends indicate that El Niño will most likely peak at moderate strength. “

This is pretty obvious when we look at the latest sea surface temperature map which was updated today. The El Niño along the equtaor is glowing!:


Certainly not encouraging news for those hoping for a stellar ski/snow season but we must also remember the PDO and solar cycles also play a big part in the weather here and sometimes El Niño or even La Niña doesn’t act it’s typical way because the atmosphere just isn’t supporting it.

The winter of 1968-1969 featured the snowiest winter on record in the Seattle area with 60”+ of snow by the end of the season. To put that in perspective, imagine last winter times two. Why am I talking about that winter? Because it too was a moderate, west-based El Niño and that season wasn’t supposed to be as good as it was. But the PDO was just negative enough to give the Pacific Northwest a fighting chance.

IF this El Niño acts it’s typical way, we can expect a very dry and mild winter ahead with very little snow and a disappointing 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics. But there are still signs that this winter will not be a typical El Niño winter, just like 2006-2007 wasn’t.

Stay tuned for more El Niño updates…for the short term, we can expect sunnier and warmer weather tomorrow (today’s forecast flopped! Sorry about that!) with more seasonable weather throughout the week and cooler weather arriving by this weekend.

Are the 80s gone for good? Maybe…but maybe not. If 80s do return, we can’t blame it on El Niño because it has very little effect on fall weather patterns around here!

Have a great day,

Matthew Leach

Forecasting Kitsap

Questions? Comments? Contact me at:



Pacific Ocean is…Empty?!

Pretty odd to characterize the Pacific Ocean as “empty”, but meteorologically speaking…it is! Take a look at this satellite photo:


Typically by now, we should be seeing MUCH more action sputtering around in the big mass of water to our west, but this certainly supports my prediction of a continued dry and warm September weather pattern. You can also clearly see the ridge of high pressure building in the Northwest. The moisture that IS in the Pacific is curving north as it hits against the big wall of “ridgyness”.

So here’s what that means for your weather: more steamy weather tomorrow with highs in the mid to upper 80s, possibly breaking some records, but Sunday should be a *little* cooler with highs cooling into the upper 70s and lower 80s.

Partly to mostly sunny skies with highs in the mid to upper 70s looks likely all week with periods of cooling, but at this time it appears El Nino is living up to its name, at least this month, as long range models continue to show warm and dry weather continuing.

*Yawn*…wake me up when action returns to the Pacific! 😉

Matthew Leach

Forecasting Kitsap



Monthly Long Range Outlook: A Very Warm September Possible


I just have a few thoughts about where I think we’re headed with the weather pattern for the rest of the month. I know, I know: “But how accurate is a forecast 16 days out if forecasts just 3 days out aren’t very accurate!”

Well, the trick to long range forecasting is not excatly specifics, but more so general trends. Not too general, but not too specific either.

Bottom line is this: I have been noticing a pattern in the long range weather models for the past couple of weeks that have remained rather consistent which gives me an idea of what to expect for the rest of the month and personally…I don’t like it.

There are 3 main long range models I look at: The GFS (American model), ECMWF (European model) and the Canadian model. While not all models have been on board with the same information at the same time all the time, there has certainly been a noticeable trend for where they want to gear this month to.

SEPTEMBER 2009 PREDICITION: Based on this information, I am going all out and predicting a very warm and dry finish to the month. This doesn’t mean there’s absolutely no chance of a few showery and coolish days, but overall it is looking unseasonably dry and warm.

In fact, on most of the models I have looked at temperatures are projected to hit the 80 degree mark frequently between now through the end of the month.

There’s not so much a correlation between warm Septembers and winter, but there is definitely a trend between what the monthly weather average of October ends up being and what our winter weather will be like. I will write more about that tomorrow.

For now, I will say this: summer is far from dead if we are to believe what the weather models have been regurgitating. I already gave part of my fall forecast away, but look out for it this weekend!

For now…stay classy,


Perfect Day for a Bike Ride!


**Before I get to the topic of this post, I’d like to mention a quick little tidbit. Since 2006 I have been producing fall and winter predictions for the region and I then grade myself when winter is over. I’d like to try that on this blog this year, so look out for my FALL 2009 WEATHER OUTLOOK (Late Sept through November) this weekend! My winter forecast will be released sometime in early-mid November.**

Today I purchased a new mountain bike. I’ve been meaning to get out more amidst my busy schedule and I have made a goal to bike every day before work on the days I work in Port Orchard and TO work on my Silverdale days. Let’s just hope this winter doesn’t end up being too wet or I might be scary looking to some orthodontic patients on those rainy days 😉

Anyway, the weather today was almost as perfect as perfect can be. Morning rain followed by a beautiful rainbow:


And the rest of the day was generally mostly cloudy, but there were plenty of sunbreaks and highs got into the 70s. Overall, a very good day to test out the bike.

If you’re itching to do something outdoorsy this weekend, you’re in luck! First we’ll have to get through tomorrow which will be easy considering partly sunny skies will dominate with highs temperatures again bouncing into the low and mid 70s.

Friday through Sunday will feature temperature well above normal (normal is 72 degrees, by the way) with mostly sunny skies and highs jumping anywhere from the mid 70s to mid 80s. I’m thinking temperatures won’t get as warm as some models are insisting, and it would be wise of me not to overachieve on the numbers. Why? Well, I think we’ve all noticed daylight is getting shorter and shorter every day and longer nights mean a stunt on how warm the temperatures can be each day. But with a little east wind we could make up for the lost time so stay tuned.

Cooler weather with more showers looks likely early next week but…let’s focus on what appears to be summers last hiccup!

Have a great evening,

Matthew Leach

Forecasting Kitsap

Questions? Comments? E-mail me at:



F1 Tornado Confirmed in Enumclaw


There was some question as to whether there really was a tornado, and the National Weather Service is the only thing that could officially qualify it as such. Well, yesterday the National Weather Service made it official—an F1 (the weakest type, but a tornado nonetheless). KOMO News has an interesting write up on the very, very rare event which can be read here.

The forecast for today features no chance of tornados, but rather partly to mostly sunny skies with highs bouncing into the low to mid 70s.

Tomorrow will be a slightly different story with more in the way of clouds and light rain. Highs will drop back into the 60s.

But Thursday through the weekend we dry out and warm up with  the Friday-Saturday timeframe the warmest with highs close to if not above the 80 degree mark.

Beyond that is still a bit fuzzy so I won’t comment on the long range just yet 😉

Have a great day,

Matthew Leach

Forecasting Kitsap

Questions? Comments? E-mail me at:



80 Degree Weather Returning to Kitsap County!

I’m going to let my personal bias bleed through juuuust a little bit here and say I’m not exactly estatic over news of 80s returning to the 7 day forecast. But I know a lot of folks out there would like an extra few days to soak up the rays and maybe hit the lake one more time before fall really kicks into gear.

Yesterday was an incredible weather day with 0.51” of rain in the rain gauge, the most rain received in one day since early May. There was also hail, gusts of wind, brilliant sunshine and even funnel clouds! Truly a fun and exciting day for those who like weather-watching. From Saturday through Labor Day morning (11:00 AM) the rain gauge has picked up a total of 0.73”—a wet, cold and stormy Labor Day Weekend indeed!

The rest of today will feature lighter showers, sunbreaks and clouds with cool highs in the low 60s (yesterday we reached just 60 degrees, nearly 15 degrees below normal). The sun will make a more grand appearance tomorrow, but it Wednesday’s forecast seems to keep deteriorating with each model run. I expect more clouds and rain possible, but exactly how much rain is spotty…overall expect a cool and showery day.

Now on to when we may see the 80s return to the forecast. Thursday looks partly sunny with highs nearing 80, but this upcoming weekend is looking positively goregous with mostly sunny skies and highs in the low to mid 80s. Again, models have been waffling on the details, but I’d bet for a very pleasant weekend next weekend.

Cooler, more fall-like weather returns for the following week.

Have a fantastic day!

Matthew Leach

Forecasting Kitsap