Monthly Archives: December 2012

Stormy weekend update #1: Snow chances increase early Saturday

**Please use the comment section below to inform the readers what is happening weather-wise in your neighborhood!**

Hello, all! I apologize for the lateness of this post, especially after promising a forecast update this evening. Well, I suppose it’s still technically evening, but very late. I was involved in a minor accident just outside of Seattle which, as you can imagine, occupied much of the time I would have spent tracking down storms!

But everyone was OK and I am writing this entry safe and sound 🙂 We have quite the stormy few days ahead of us and I will talk about these in greater detail tomorrow morning, but for now I’d like to address something of interest: snow. Remember how I discussed the potential for some spotty lowland snow Saturday night into Sunday? Well, latest forecasting models have moved up the timing a bit and are projecting locations along the Hood Canal spreading east to the higher hills of Central Kitsap run the risk for an inch or more of snow (perhaps much more), but at the very least a mix of rain and snow.

This is not a slam dunk by any means, but by tomorrow afternoon there could be a few locations from about Silverdale eastward that see snowflakes fly, and possibly accumulate. Here’s the latest 3 hour snowfall map from the UW GFS:

So again, the likeliest places to see snow fall will be closest to the Hood Canal, but locations as far west as Silverdale could see flakes as well.

I will monitor the situation and give updates tomorrow morning! And I don’t plan on any more accidents, so I’ll be more prompt with the update 😉

Sleep well,


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“Wintertime Rag”: The rhythm of storms

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Good evening, everyone! We’re into the second week of December now and the holidays are upon us. I’ll give a more thorough holiday travel forecast in the coming days, but for now I’d like to focus on a couple potent storm systems headed for our region, one of which could be rather wintry in nature.

I was reading the National Weather Service’s forecast discussion this evening and I loved how they described this upcoming pattern. I quote a portion of the discussion here (bold added for emphasis):






A discernible rhythm. I like it! Well, I like the word choice, not necessarily the forecast 😉 Indeed, the Pacific Northwest forms this “Wintertime Rag” of sorts from about November to April with very few breaks in between. And this rhythm will be a little more fast-paced as we progress through the week.

It appears the rhythm is in 2/4 time as about every other day we’ll have wet, blustery conditions followed by breaks in between. So basically the forecast goes as follows:

Thursday, Saturday, Monday: Periods of heavy rain and gusty winds. Highs will be in the low to mid 40s.

Wednesday, Friday, Sunday: Showers and sunbreaks with highs in the mid 30s to low 40s. Breezy and cold.


Now, don’t start raising the alert level or stocking up on survival kits, but latest snow projections from the UW forecasting models have been advertising a potentially significant winter weather event for the Hood Canal area, perhaps extending as far east as Central Kitsap Saturday night into Sunday. Temperatures will be borderline, but freezing nonetheless, and they are projected to struggle to make it out of the mid 30s on Sunday. Couple that with quite a bit of precipitation around and…well, we have enough to create quite the winter wonderland.

I won’t even flirt with the idea of throwing out accumulation totals at this point, but there at least remains a chance portions of Kitsap and Mason County could be participating in a “wintry waltz” this weekend.

Until this event gets closer, however, we’ll just have to contain our enthusiasm. We wouldn’t want to be in for a major let down, now would we? 😉

Have a great evening, everyone!

Matthew Leach

Forecasting Kitsap



Mountain Forecast of the week: Stevens Pass

A lot of you have wondered about the mountain passes and what the weather will be like up there, especially as we head closer to winter break. So why don’t we talk about one resort in particular today: Stevens Pass.

Not only did ski season start on time, if not a little earlier than expected, but the snow will continue to pile up in the mountains. In fact, Stevens Pass recorded 21” of fresh powder in the last 24 hours! Oh, but it only gets better from here 😉

A WINTER STORM WARNING is in effect from 4 PM this evening to 4 AM tomorrow morning for as much as 10-20” of new snow, which will be heavy at times. And the snow will only continue to add up throughout the week. Here’s a 7 day forecast specifically for Stevens Pass:

That will be the day when I can create a forecast like that for the lowlands! As you can see, we won’t be suffering from any shortage of snow through the next week or couple weeks for that matter. If you want a White Christmas, there’s a 100% chance of it in the mountains! And that’s even greater news, because all of you who put “snowboard” or “skis” on your holiday wishlist will get to put it to great use!

…and then there’s the lowlands 🙂 No snow down here (except for the high hills east of Seattle!), but it’ll definitely feel seasonably chilly. Highs are only expected to make it to the low 40s at best tomorrow. Expect the next round of real steady rain to move through Tuesday, and then from there we’ll be facing more showers than steady, all day rain. Highs will be in the low to mid 40s.

Pretty typical, but don’t worry lowland snow lovers! Our time will come 🙂

Have a great weekend!

Matthew Leach

Forecasting Kitsap


Much cooler weather ahead

Tis the season for a holiday chill, and luckily those waiting in anticipation for that very thing will be pretty happy this weekend. Now I know what a lot of you are thinking right now: cut all the fluff and tell us if it’s going to snow or not. Patience, friends! Patience. I’ll tell you right now we’re not going to be experiencing a Roland Emmerich-type weather event this weekend, so if you were hoping to be able to crank out those ice skates instead of taking the ferry and glide your way to Seattle over the solidly frozen Puget Sound, you may want to stop reading.

But for those who have much more modest expectations, this forecast may not be a complete waste. First of all, weather models have been all over the place. It’s quite the challenge to decide what to make of this upcoming chilly pattern, so it looks like most meteorologists will have no choice but to be conservative. Taking an average of all the past model runs, here’s what I’m thinking will be the general pattern for the next week:

  • Wet, but not soaking weather through Thursday. Highs will be close to seasonal averages.
  • Much cooler from Friday through Sunday. At this time, highs will struggle to make it out of the 30s on Saturday with overnight lows close to freezing
  • Heavier precipitation early Friday and Saturday mornings could produce a few snowflakes on the highest hills. As always, the closest you are to the Hood Canal, the more likely it is you will see some wet snow.
  • If it does decide to snow, little to no snow accumulation is expected.
  • My eye is on the even colder weather that could manifest itself late next week

So these are the current observations. Without question the mountains will be greatly benefiting from all this cool/showery weather, so even if you don’t see some snowflakes fall where you are, at least you know where to find it 🙂

And of course the golden question: Will we have a White Christmas this year? Not only is it far too early to be talking about that, but since the models are having so much difficulty with the short term, why would they be any better in the long term? Sure, the current trend is for a colder than normal weather pattern as we get closer to Christmas, but at this time it is still too early to tell what that day might bring!

We’ll just take the forecast one snowflake at a time 🙂 If you see any flakes this weekend, please let me know!

Matthew Leach

Forecasting Kitsap


November 2012 Weather Stats: Flooding and mountain snow

Welcome to December! Most of you probably don’t want to relive this past month, but who doesn’t love stats? 😉

First let’s dig up some old news and look at my November prediction made back in September. The bold areas are the parts of the forecast I got right:

November will be our transition month. We’ll notice temperatures getting colder with many “first frosts” popping up around the peninsula. The most notable thing about November will be all the rain. Usually November is a wet month, but this year it’s projected to be quite wet. Temperatures will hover around normal for the month, but enough warmer, Pineapple Express-type rain storms could nudge the temperature up a tad. The jet stream will not have responded to the El Nino atmosphere quite yet, so expect a lot of cloudy, rainy days. The snow chance is up to 40%, meaning most of the month it will likely be too mild for snow, but we could have a few bouts of it towards the end of the month

So not TOO bad. We had many first frosts between November 9th-11th, which then gave way to a lot of rain storms, a few of them being Pineapple Express-type storms. Definitely the most notable thing about this month was all the rain. How much rain, you ask? Oh, not much. Just 15.45” worth! Ahem…5” above normal. Wow! Just slightly wetter than normal 😉
It was also a mild month in many ways. Let’s take a look at our trusty graph:
Just look at that dive in low temperatures! On November 10th we went head first into a 23 degree low temperature reading, which was certainly not called for. Several more freezes occurred after that before things started to warm back up. How mild did we get?
The average November temperature around here is 41.05 degrees. Our actual November temperature came out at a dead even 43 degrees, which was almost exactly 2 degrees above normal.
It seems mild/wet November’s have been the norm for a long time now. Kind of like our Indian Summer’s. Other than the excessive rain/flooding and bouts with dry, cold air, November was a fairly typical month. It is worth noting, however, that several ski resorts opened up before Thanksgiving, a goal which can’t always be met!
And yes, it still looks like a continued wet pattern is in store for December. If it’s any consolation, we shouldn’t be seeing November’s constantly rainy pattern extending into this new month 🙂
Have a great weekend, everyone!!
Matthew Leach
Forecasting Kitsap