Monthly Archives: January 2014

After several off notes in January, February may sing a different tune

If the month of January were trying out for “American Weather Idol,” I have a feeling Simon Cowell would not have let it go through to the next round. In fact, January has, by and large, left the Cascade and Olympic snowpacks between 45 and 65 percent of normal.

But the next contestant for American Weather Idol is February and, at least according to current long range trends, this month will likely be singing a different (and lovelier) tune:

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The latest long range forecast from the Climate Prediction Center is showing a 40% chance of below normal temperatures in the next two weeks with near normal precipitation, which almost always translates to snow at high elevations (and sometimes lower elevations) this time of year.

So what is causing this dramatic shift in weather patterns?

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We had a massive ridge of high pressure over our region for weeks on end, pushing the jet stream far to our north into B.C. That ridge is slowly disintegrating, and a series of fairly rigorous and cold low pressure systems look to plow into our region, making for a much soggier weather pattern.

This doesn’t necessarily mean the east coast will catch a break, however. Much of the northern U.S. will be caught in a pretty chilly and moist weather pattern through at least the middle of February.

Will we see any lowland snow before winter is over? That’s a tough call, but if the long range forecasts have any clout, we should at least see some snowflakes in the air before spring has sprung.

Have a great day,

Matthew Leach

Forecasting Kitsap

Questions? Comments? Photos? E-mail Matt Leach at:

A return to much wetter (and windier?) weather

It’s been quiet on this blog, and for that I apologize. But the truth is, there just isn’t much going on in the weather world at the moment.

Well, at least for us.

The east coast is currently slipping and sliding on ice, snow and sub zero weather while we have to “endure” the occasional pitter-patter of raindrops on the roof with the chance of a few sunbreaks by the afternoon if we’re lucky.

What a hard life!

Things are going to change starting Wednesday, however, which should make life a little more interesting:

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Gone are the days (for now) of snow maps. What you see above this text is a map illustrating 24-hour rainfall totals across Western Washington by Thursday morning at 4 am. Mason County looks to get in in close to an inch of rain, with most Kitsap locations getting about a half an inch. Still, this is relatively a lot of rain considering we haven’t seen a weather system this juicy since early November.

And this isn’t even an El Nino year!

Alas, our “wildcard winter” has, at least so far, been quite a dud. Ask any skier and snowboarder in Washington State, and they’ll give you an earful. So how are the mountains looking over the next few days? Marvelous for Stevens Pass, as these systems will be just cool enough to bring several inches of snow to the higher elevations. Snoqualmie won’t be so lucky, however, as most of what falls  there should be rain/snow, or just plain rain.

A stronger weather system moves in over the weekend, and this could provide quite a bit of rain and wind. In fact, gusts could make it between 40-50 mph, so that is definitely something to keep an eye on, especially since it’s game day in Seattle. But a little rain and wind has never stopped a true Seahawks fan!

Stay tuned. For now, have a wonderful week.

Matthew Leach

Forecasting Kitsap

Questions? Comments? Photos? E-mail me at: