Monthly Archives: October 2012

‘El Nino’ weather conditions die, neutral conditions on the rise

Good afternoon!

Have you ever watched a great movie or television show and your favorite character gets killed off? You know it’s a movie, but in watching it you actually feel something for the characters involved. My brother-in-law and I were finishing some episodes of The Walking Dead on Netflix and a character I had grown to really like got…well…devoured by zombies. As infuriating as that was, I had to remind myself that it’s JUST a movie.

However, I woke up this morning to find a headline that kills off a character I didn’t care so much for: EL NINO. And luckily this time, we’re not in a movie. Although this weather pattern will likely resurrect at some point and devour every skier and snowboarder’s dreams of a winter wonderland like a flesh-eating zombie, at least for now we could be in the clear.

Sea Surface Temperatures have not been nice to the El Nino and now we are looking at a period of cooling taking the place of previous warming in the Pacific. Now, we are not headed towards a La Nina as of yet, but one thing looks for sure: El Nino will play a minimal role in our winter, if any.

This of course makes the winter forecast a lot more difficult to predict. Neutral winters are termed as “wildcard winters” and there is really no indication either way of what to expect throughout the winter. The plus side is, it doesn’t look likely we’ll stay in a persistent ridge and consequent drought for the next six months. If anything, there are signs this sunny weather pattern will break down towards the middle of the month.

For now, the current sea surface conditions have little to do with the weather pattern we’re experiencing now. I think for most of us, 70+ days of no precipitation is more than just an El Nino-ish signal, it’s the longest streak of dry weather we’ve had in at least 50 years. But with the El Nino dying and flattening out to neutral by month’s end, we should see more seasonable weather.

In the short term, the forecast remains the same. I feel like I’m forecasting weather in Southern California: “Mostly sunny…light winds…comfortable temperatures…” Truly, for the next 7-10 days there doesn’t appear to be any dramatic changes to the weather pattern.

This weekend will be slightly warmer and sunnier than first anticipated, but other than that the forecast remains largely unchanged. Expect partly sunny skies through next weekend.

Until then, let’s hope this character called “El Nino” in our weather series doesn’t resurrect any time too soon 😉 Have a great weekend, everyone!

Matthew Leach

Forecasting Kitsap

September 2012 Weather Stats: Mild and very, very dry

**A SPECIAL WEATHER STATEMENT has been issued by the Seattle NWS. Click here to read more about the increasing fire danger in Western Washington**

Good morning everyone!

I will be honest: as I tried to compile statistical information for the month of September I got rather…bored. Although very much reminiscent of September 2006 AND September 2008, it was a very, very low-key month. Then again, that should’ve been about as much as we were expecting. After all, an Indian Summer was predicted long before September 2012 came around 🙂

With that being said, let’s just  take a look at the temperature anomalies for a minute:

I was going to change the background on this picture since it’s been used since the July 2012 stats, but I thought the bright, sunny orange/yellow background was fitting for this month.

Not only did we only manage a paltry 0.01” of rain the whole month, we spiked over 80 degrees five times! We even barely escaped hitting 90 on the 7th. Conversely, look how chilly our overnight lows got (yet another similarity to Sept 2008). We dipped into the 30s at least seven times the whole month, which pushed our average low temperature into below normal readings.

Skies were bright and clear the first half of the month, but then clouds and a series of cold fronts knocked the temperatures down as the month went on. Still, it wasn’t enough to knock us down to normal. Here are the numbers!

September Average High: 66.8  September 2012 Average High: 71.6      +4.8 above normal

September Average Low: 46.1  September 2012 Average Low: 44.7         -1.4 below normal

September Average Monthly Temperature: 56.5       September 2012 Average Monthly Temperature: 58.2        +1.7 above normal

September Average Monthly Precipitation: 1.55”     September 2012 Average Monthly Precipitation: 0.01”       -1.54” below normal

So as far as a daily high temperature is concerned, we were well above average. However, when looking at overall temperatures the spread really wasn’t so far after all.

Anything you care to add about September 2012? Feel free to use the comment section below! And how about October, you ask? Well, according to my Fall forecast, October 2012 is still on par to average slightly above normal in the temperature department with below normal precipitation.

With that being said, this week will finish off sunny and dry with highs slightly above average, if not close enough to seasonal norms. The weekend will cool off, however, and we’ll then see highs dipping into the lower 60s.

There have been many hints that our long lasting ridge will break down, but the question is when. As soon as the forecasting models start getting more consistent, we’ll discuss our rain possibilities! 🙂

Have a great day,

Matthew Leach

Forecasting Kitsap

How do hurricanes gain strength?

A map illustrating pathways of the 2012 Atlantic Hurricane Season

Good morning everyone! I’ll have our September 2012 weather stats available on Wednesday, but today I wanted to share something that I found fascinating.

In the Northwest we’re not accustomed to hurricanes, although we have from time to time experienced hurricane force winds which has in turn caused severe damage. But hurricanes or tropical depressions are something the east coast can depend on every year as “hurricane season”  typically lasts from June 1st to November 30th.

This year hurricanes and tropical depressions have been less frequent than last year’s hurricane season, but that’s primarily due to the cooler nature of the Atlantic. The NOAA has issued an incredible video which discusses how hurricanes are formed and where they get their strength.

Click here to view the video.

Thankfully we don’t have a lot of the issues and concerns associated with hurricanes in the Pacific Northwest, yet we have our own fair share of wild weather from year to year! Such will not be the case for at least the next week, however, as high pressure remains dominant and another rex block sets up off the coast. (Remember the T-Rex block a few blog posts back? ;)) Truly, this sunny, mild and dry streak is rare and impressive in this region and it doesn’t show any major signs of stopping.

A brief surge of Canadian air will cause both high and low temperatures to dip tomorrow, but as we progress throughout the week warmer, sunny weather will rebuild and provide more unseasonably delightful October weather through the weekend.

But I don’t think I hear any complaints 😉

Have a great day everyone,

Matthew Leach

Forecasting Kitsap