Monthly Archives: November 2009

The “West Side (Weather) Story”


Ah, West Side Story. A classic, even for young’ns like me! But you may be asking yourself, “What does this have to do with weather?” It has A LOT to do with weather, actually! But maybe more indirectly than directly 😉

As Anita once said, “Come in! We won’t bite you until we know you better”, Mother Nature looks to be heading down the same road. November 2006 featured an impressive outbreak of cold, and later snow. January 2007 featured another helping of the goods. December 2008 spilled the coldest air in 20 years over the Northwest whilst dumping impressive amounts of snow in the lowlands.

And now…is 2009 next? Mother Nature bit us in 2006 and has continued to give us periods of extreme temperature anomalies since that time and it appears…”she knows us better” and could bite again.

If long range (heck, even short range!) models are correct, we could, at least momentarily, enter an “ice box” of sorts starting next weekend. Is everything set in stone? Heck no! But models have been toying around with this idea for a few days and has increased the strength and timing in certain models.

Now here are the things we need to make sure we understand going into this:

1. We have this big barrier that separates us between the Intermountain West: the Cascade and Rocky mountains (Click here to read KOMO Weather Producer Scott Sistek’s explanation on this). Often times models don’t take them into consdieration and give us more cold air than what is realistically possible. However, seeing such cold air show up as soon as next weekend gives me the impression that regardless of the mountains we’re going to get cold.

2. Models tend to sway between East and West with cold air. Sometimes too far east…sometimes too far west…we need it “in the sweet spot” so it hits us directly. At this point, we want a little more westward movement. That’s what made December 2008 the classic “West Side (Weather) Story”!

3. This cold air will be VERY dry. At this time (let me repeat this…) at this time (let me repeat it again) at this time snow does not look likely. The air is just too dry. BUT, we seem to find a way to make snow around here during our coldest periods. November 2006 and December 2008 both looked very dry before they actually struck…

And as I write this entry, the newest update is even colder for our area. But don’t be surprised to see a bit of wiffling and waffling before the actual event occurs…

As for this week, expect chilly nights in the 30s but partly to mostly cloudy days with highs in the mid 40s to low 50s. Pretty seasonable, if not slightly warmer than seasonable, for this time of year. Next weekend, however, could be a much different story.

As always, stay tuned to this blog for further updates and catch me on Twitter! (

Matthew Leach

Forecasting Kitsap

Questions? Comments? E-mail me at:



Long Range Forecast: Turning Much Drier and…???


I hope you all have had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday! Luckily, most of Thanksgiving’s rain occurred early in the morning, leaving the daylight hours mainly cloudy with a few sprinkles.

It’s time to venture out into the long range world once again, but this time I’m not going to be forecasting extremely wet weather! In fact, just the opposite. Long range forecast models have been very consistent in building a huge ridge of high pressure over our area keeping us dry for at least a week and a half, if not more.

Now I have a bit of good news and bad news depending on what kind of weather enthusiast you are. Weather models have been going back and forth between how dramatic the temperatures will be by next weekend and beyond as the ridge continues to strengthen. I’m not exactly seeing any warm anomalies in the models, mainly cold. I’m not even going to mention how cold, but we could be flirting with some cold days and nights in the not too distant future if models are right.

Of course, the next question is: “If we’re going to be cold enough for snow…will it snow?” Before we even talk about snow, we need moisture, and it appears we’ll be lacking if any cold air does arrive because it looks like a “dry cold”, similar to the November 2006/January 2007 arctic intrusion. Yeah we had some snow, but not a whole lot, and it was mostly powdery and dry.

Because of the high uncertainty regarding model guidance, I am too chicken to make any long range predictions at this point. I’ll continue to monitor each run to see if I can find further consistency.

Until then, enjoy the dry weather! Today will be wet at times, but next week will be wonderful for the first week of December!

Matthew Leach

Forecasting Kitsap

Questions? Comments? E-mail me at:



Thanksgiving Weather Forecast: A lot to be Thankful For!


I love September-December. Such an exciting period of time. The leaves change, the weather starts to get interesting again, the fun holidays occur all within the span of 3  months, the family comes together…there are many things to be thankful for!

Another thing to add to that gratitude list is calmer weather in the forecast for the next 7-10 days. Sure, there will be rain for your Thanksgiving Day, a little over the weekend and the beginning of next week, but it appears a ridge will strengthen through most of next week, allowing sunnier, but cooler weather to enter our region for the first week of December. Won’t that be nice for a change?

Of course, long range models turn the hose back on during the 2nd week of the new month but hey…enjoy the pleasant weather while it’s here!

I hope you all have a great and safe Thanksgiving!

Matthew Leach

Forecasting Kitsap

Questions? Comments? E-mail me at:



“Forecasting Kitsap” on!


**Follow me on Twitter! @kitsapweather (**

My good friend and mentor, Scott Sistek, published a blog post about my long range winter forecast that appeared on the main page of this afternoon and it is one of the top stories as of this evening! He is a big reason why I decided to pursue TV weather broadcasting as a career. I started writing him when I was 11 and have kept in good contact through the years.

Anyway, I found this exciting to see! Click here for his blog post.


Benign is Divine!

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I think by now many of you are ready to catch your breath: windstorms, rainstorms, thunderstorms, funnel clouds, hail, flooding, heavy mountain snow and even some lowland flakes…all in less than a month! But this week?





Indeed, our dear Mother Nature has seen our white flags of surrender and is giving us a break this week. Does this mean absolutely no rain, clouds or wind? Not exactly…but it does mean nothing significant is expected to roll through the region, meaning Thanksgiving travel should be relatively stress free.

Other than a few showers tomorrow, Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday, nothing too notable looks likely for the next 7 days. Looking ahead at the long range weather models, we may even begin a little dry streak this weekend into the first few days of December. Now wouldn’t THAT be nice!

Have a great evening everyone and safe travels!

Matthew Leach

Forecasting Kitsap

Questions? Comments? E-mail me at: