Category Archives: Uncategorized

Thunderstorms return, and could stick around for a couple days

**UPDATED 10:56 AM, Friday July 13th, 2012.

**As you’re out storm chasing today, snap some cool  photos and send them to me at: !


Well, hello Friday the 13th! How appropriate that we’d be talking about thunderstorms on a day like this 😉 Did you notice it feels a little more humid this morning than usual? The weather lately has been more reminiscent of Kansas City, Missouri than Seattle, Washington, especially when seeing the humidity at 85%!

Like many of you, I was up last night tracking the brief hail/rain shower than moved through the central Kitsap area which also included thunder and lightning at times. Now it appears we could be under the threat for more of these storms over the next couple days as the atmosphere remains rather unstable and easterly flow pushes a lot of these storms from the mountains into the lowlands.

Currently we are under cloudy skies as a result of the marine layer that moved in overnight, but the issue here is what’s ABOVE the marine layer. The unstable airmass aloft combined with persistent easterly flow will keep the threat for thundershowers, hail and periods of lightning in the forecast through Sunday night.

Feel free to help in tracking the storm by using the comment section below to describe what’s happening in your area! More updates this afternoon…


More proof of Kitsap’s many micro-climates

Ahh…81 degrees, mostly sunny, a slight breeze…can it get any better? This is the one and only time of the year where I’m not obsessed with reading weather models and tracking storms on an hourly basis and, for two months out of the year, it’s nice to get the break. But once the pleasant summer months go by, it’s back to low pressure systems and arctic outbreaks 🙂

Summer months in the Pacific Northwest are indeed among the most pleasant you’ll find anywhere. Of course, that’s my opinion, but it’s hard to beat a Washington summer. Although we’re so close to the Pacific Ocean, the air remains dry and humidity stays low until fall. On occasion, however, we get some interesting summer weather (like Monday morning!) and on even rarer occasions, those very weather events repeat themselves. This is a fancy way of saying…if you missed the lightning show late Sunday night/early Monday morning, you MAY get another chance to see some flashes this upcoming weekend.

But first, I’d  like to share a picture Forecasting Kitsap blog reader Andrew shared with me a couple days ago. Below, you’ll see an annual rainfall  map for Western Washington. Notice the multiple shades of color on the Kitsap Peninsula, reminiscent of the temperature shades we observed a few days ago on a different map!

The micro-climates on this peninsula never cease to amaze me. Observe how the northern tip of the peninsula averages about 20-30 inches of rain while areas around Shelton and Belfair experience between 60-80 inches per year! Imagine…we all live in the same general area, yet annual precipitation totals can average a difference of as much as 60”! Incredible.

Luckily we won’t have to start worrying about precipitation amounts for a little while, but we could get a little damp over the next 24 hours due to a low pressure system sliding it’s way into our region, triggering more in the way of morning clouds and drizzle followed by afternoon sun. Highs the next few days will struggle to get as warm as they got today, although we’ll still we temperatures bounce to the mid and upper 70s after the low cloud cover burns away.

But! Be it known: the atmosphere will destabilize this weekend as a result of the incoming low pressure system, so the the mountains and foothills are highlighted for a risk of thunderstorm activity, but all we need is the right ingredients to get some of those storms blown our way and we could have a repeat of Sunday night. Of course, this is really all speculation, but the chances are at least there. We’ll see what updates occur between now and then.

The long range forecast is quite uncertain. I don’t recall seeing weather models struggle this much forecasting weather events in the summer months here, but there doesn’t seem to be a firm grasp on whether we’ll return to very warm, very cool or seasonable temperatures over the next 5-10 days. For now, I have projected seasonal temperatures Monday onward, but keep checking back for further updates!

For now, enjoy the seasonable weather ahead!

Matthew Leach

Forecasting Kitsap

Oh, that darn marine influence…

Ahhh…now THIS is more like it. Today’s official high temperature at Bremerton airport is 79 degrees (as of 4:15 this afternoon, anyway) while other weather stations in Poulsbo and Port Orchard are showing 83 and 81 degrees, respectively. Are you ready to get warmer? This weekend will be the nicest one we’ve had since…mid May! And even then, temps were “only” in the upper 70s/low 80s.

A slowly building ridge of high pressure is amplifying the conditions for warm and dry weather this weekend, although we don’t really have anything out there weather-wise helping us reach record highs. Remember July 2009 when we reached the triple digits? Yeah, that wasn’t just due to natural summer sunshine, that was due to anomalous heat spilling over from Eastern Washington in what is termed as “offshore flow”, hence the flow was coming off the mountains, not the beach. But over the next several days, while “onshore”, or “marine”, influence will be slight, there will be just enough of a cool ocean breeze to keep temperatures from achieving their full potential.

This is similar to what happens in the winter here. Remember, if we want a good snowstorm we need lots of moisture (the ocean) and lots of cold air (the Cascades), but we must get both of those ingredients from opposing sources. Any cold or heat we get from the east is usually extreme in nature, but because of our close proximity to the ocean, more often than not things end up getting neutralized.

With that being said, tomorrow and Sunday both will continue to be very warm with highs in the low to mid 80s, although don’t be surprised to see periods of high clouds or haze throughout the day. We’ve been trained by now to see clouds and think rain, but that won’t be the case for at least the next 10 days 🙂

Monday through the week next week looks largely comfortable and pleasant. Clouds will increase as the week goes on, as well as the marine push, but high temperatures will still stay near or slightly above average despite the sea breeze. Expect daytime highs in the mid 70s with lows in the low to mid 50s.

This looks to be the trend for quite a while, so get out an enjoy the summer weather! 🙂

Have a fantastic and safe weekend,

Matthew Leach

Forecasting Kitsap

Summer weather for all, but not all to be treated equally

Happy Independence Day everyone! What a beautiful day it has been. This afternoon my family and I went to the Mariners vs. Orioles game in Seattle and we experienced two months in just a few hours. Our seats were in the shade a good part of the game and a persistent cold breeze caused all of us in the shade to shiver. It felt so cold, many people were asking, “Is it February or July?!”

So at around the 7th inning we moved from our location in the shade to a sunnier spot a couple levels down and what a difference that made! It finally felt like summer to me, and it has taken since May 19th when I came back from my mission to South Africa to experience such exquisite weather. Luckily, that means tonight’s viewing of fireworks will be seen under mostly clear skies, although temperatures will fall into the 50s overnight, so bring along some sweaters. And, as promised, it’ll get warmer from here.

Now, I’d like to show you an image from one of the temperature maps I saw today detailing what Monday, our potentially warmest day in the next 7, will be like:

Remember, this blog is dedicated to the citizens of the Kitsap Peninsula, so the 7 day forecast graphic has to reflect a sort of “average” of temperatures all over. With that being said, how many different colors do you see on the above temperature map for the Kitsap Peninsula? I counted 4, and that’s quite the range of temperatures! We could be anywhere from 83-86 degrees in the southern most regions of Kitsap, 80-82 degrees in central Kitsap, 77-79 degrees in north Kitsap and 73-76 degrees in the far northern regions of Kitsap!

Now, this isn’t an unusual case for those who have lived on the peninsula a long time, but I felt the need to highlight the variables all over the area so you’ll know where to go for the warmest temperatures of the weekend/week. It certainly appears those closer to the water/far northern regions will be warm, but not too warm as the marine influence will stunt temperatures quite a bit. But just like the Hood Canal region hogs all the snow in the winter, it will be the place to go for the warmth in the summer.

Temperatures Friday onward look to average in the low 80s with only some slight marine influence early next week. But even then, temperatures should stay solidly on either side of 80 degrees for the next week or so. Long range models are inconsistent as to where to go from there, but that’s ok. It’s sometimes best to take things 7 days at a time 🙂

Enjoy the festivities tonight and be safe!

Matthew Leach

Forecasting Kitsap 

Long Range Thoughts: 80 degrees, here we come!

**Updated 7 Day Forecast to reflect positive changes in the weather system to affect us today. It moved through much faster than expected this morning. As a result, expect partly sunny skies with only a few showers possible (especially in and around the Puget Sound Convergence Zone) until 2-3 pm, then we should dry out…for good :)**

Ready for some more of that summer weather May offered us about a month and a half ago? Lately weather models have been trending that way. In fact, the Climate Prediction Center is forecasting that the next 6-14 days will feature a fair chance for above normal temperatures and below normal precipitation which means we should at least get some decent summer weather over the next couple weeks.

A gradual but dramatic warming process begins tomorrow. From July 4th onward we’ll be well on our way towards swimming weather as a large ridge of high pressure builds in offers mostly clear days and pleasantly warm temperatures through most of the weekend and into next week. In fact, most long range projections beyond 7 days are showing no precipitation at all, although there is the chance we could have a few mornings with low clouds clearing away to sun which could stunt temperatures a little bit.

But overall, we have some great summer weather to look forward to. And wouldn’t you know it? The saying rings true again: “Summer in Western Washington doesn’t really start until July 5th.” 🙂

Have a great evening,

Matthew Leach

Forecasting Kitsap

Your 4th of July forecast

The past few days have definitely offered many of us some hope for a “brighter future” as far as summer is concerned, although there are still a few wrinkles in the forecast to overcome before we can kick up our feet and relax. The weather models have been showing less and less in the way of intrusive rain systems over the next week or so and more in the way of sunshine and blue sky. However, tomorrow won’t exactly be the shining example of what we have to look forward to.

Wouldn’t you know it…the weekend looks pretty cool and showery, with Saturday being especially wet. Most of this rain will occur in the morning, although if you live in central/north Kitsap, don’t be surprised to see showers continue throughout the day as a Puget Sound Convergence Zone may set up. Don’t remember what that is? Here’s a picture illustrating this unique, yet frequent weather event:

Skies clear on Sunday which will pave the way for a mostly sunny and “warm” day on Monday (that is, if you find 74 degrees warm :)). Clouds increase throughout the day, however, ahead of our “last” truly wet weather system on Tuesday. Highs will nosedive to the mid 60s before making a dramatic comeback through the rest of next week.

So what does this mean for your 4th of July plans? I see virtually no rain whatsoever to dampen your patriotic spirits Wednesday evening. Highs will be in the low 70s which means it will be a chilly night for watching fireworks as temperatures will drop to the 50s by dusk.

And then, as alluded to, the rest of next week looks progressively warmer, sunnier and a lot more like the REAL Washington summer we all know and love. Sure, there are signs for 80+ degree weather in the future, but we’ll talk about that once I see more consistency with the weather models.

As of now, enjoy next week. We’ll see more sun next week than we’ve seen for…maybe months 😉

Have a great weekend,

Matthew Leach

Forecasting Kitsap

A closer look at “fire weather”

From time to time in this blog, we discuss a little bit about weather events outside our bubble that are of popular interest and concern, such as the devastating wildfires wreaking havoc on regions in and around Colorado Springs, CO. In a CNN article posted just a few hours ago, weather is referred to as “an enemy” with regards to maintaing the growing fires. So far, 35,000 residents have fled their homes in anticipation for worsening conditions.

Fire weather can consist of any of the following: extreme heat, high winds, thunderstorms and/or very dry conditions. Currently, the weather in Colorado will feature all of the above as highs over the next several days will stay in the 90s with a chance of thunderstorms. Tonight will be an especially frustrating night for firefighters as winds could gust as high as 30 mph. To read more about the fires, please click here.

Remember to keep those suffering from these devastating fires in your thoughts and prayers. The best thing they could have right now is some rain, although for the next seven days it looks pretty dry.

In this part of  the western U.S., our weather will be quite run-of-the-mill. Tomorrow will be the start of an unfortunate downhill trend for cloudier, cooler and wetter weather through at least the first half of the weekend. Next week looks to start off beautifully with highs stretching into the low and mid 70s under mostly sunny skies (maybe even mid and upper 70s Tuesday).

I won’t ruin the forecast by telling you what happens after that 😉 For now, enjoy the weather we have right now!

Matthew Leach

Forecasting Kitsap

Washington summer tradition continues

The weather cooperated (at least for the most part) for the Rock and Roll marathon that took place in Seattle today. Despite periods of rain, it was overall cool and pleasant running weather. Of course, to most it probably felt more like a November run than a late June one.

Most of my family is in Utah right now where it could very well reach 100 degrees tomorrow. And while that might sound nice to some around here, in the outskirts of the Salt Lake City area they are currently battling wild fires and there are warnings posted for potentially new fires springing up due to high winds and very dry conditions. So I guess no matter where you go, there will always be some troubling weather event to be concerned about.

Our burden for the time being will be much less dramatic than the blazing fires to our southeast. In fact, it will be the exact opposite. Today’s high temperature was about 11 degrees below normal at a “frigid” 59 degrees. Will there be any relief for tomorrow? Things are definitely looking up as clouds are already clearing as we speak. We’ll see some residual showers tonight which will give way to clearing into tomorrow morning. So our Sunday should be generally partly sunny with showers from time to time. Highs will rise to the mid 60s.

Monday will be very similar, but Tuesday through Thursday looks like our terrific trio of nice weather days this coming week. Skies will be partly sunny with highs in the upper 60s Tuesday to mid and upper 70s Thursday (which is kind of like a carbon copy of this past week!)

Then…wouldn’t you know it…clouds thicken and showers enter the picture once again for our Friday and into the weekend. Still no signs of incredible warmth to envelope the region anytime too soon, but I’ll keep my eyes on the long range 😉 Have a great weekend,

Matthew Leach

Forecasting Kitsap

Old man winter hacks into the National Weather Service

So who remembered yesterday was the first day of summer? Be honest!

With the hustle and bustle of yesterday’s work and other projects, I forgot it was the first day of summer! It may not have felt like it to most, as highs only managed to reach the low 70s, but today’s high of 75 degrees might have reminded a few of you that summer is indeed here.

We all know the temperature gauge at Bremerton Airport has a few glicthes from time to time, but the temperature reading of 16 degrees yesterday morning at 5:55 am was quite a major glitch. The only thing I can think of is Old Man Winter is at it again and competitve as ever. Despite the temperature extremes yesterday, rest assured it didn’t get to 16 degrees and we won’t get that cold for quite a while. However, it will definitely get a lot cooler over the next 48 hours.

You might have noticed the increasing clouds this afternoon. That is because we have increasing onshore flow which will make for a rather cool and cloudy day tomorrow, especially as opposed to today’s “perfect” weather (well, at least according to the poll 50% of you think today’s weather was perfect ;)). Highs will cool to the low and mid 60s.

Showers and clouds will linger into our Saturday and Sunday, although we’re not looking at anything close to a washout. Just your typical Washington summer drizzle. Highs will again struggle to make it much past the low 60s.

And then…ahhh…clearing and warmer weather for next week. How clear? How warm? These are two VERY good questions that I probably shouldn’t answer with too much confidence yet. But models are trending towards a more seasonable and dry weather pattern for next week. Keep your fingers crossed! Old Man Winter has done enough damage already!

Have a great evening,

Matthew Leach

Forecasting Kitsap

A (small) taste of summer

It’s a shame this forecast couldn’t be for the weekend, but nonetheless the next 36 hours will be beautiful and could finally showcase Western Washington’s famous “perfect summer weather”.

Today is already off to a wonderful start. As expected, skies are mostly clear (yes, I did just turn around to look out the window. I have to be sure! ;)) and the temperatures are rising. Expect highs to make it to the upper 60s and low 70s around most of Kitsap County today.

If you voted partly sunny skies and highs in the 70s as your favorite summer weather, get ready for tomorrow! Forecasting models have fluctuated a bit on temperatures, but the general consensus is that we’ll at least make it to the low 70s, if not the mid 70s. This will be our first true taste of summer since…May!

Unfortunately, just like May’s warm spell, this one will end rather abruptly as several systems move through the area making for a pretty cool and cloudy weekend. Highs will range from the mid 60s Friday to lower 60s Saturday. Both days will feature periods of rain and much cooler temperatures.

Luckily, next week looks sunnier and drier than the past several weeks have been, but we’ll still struggle to make it much beyond 70 degrees. Something tells me that won’t be a problem with too many people 😉

Matthew Leach

Forecasting Kitsap