July 2009

July 30, 2009
4:03 P.M.

Today went as expected; highs were again near 100 or above near the foothills, but temperatures were in the 60s at the coast due to a strong onshore flow. For the rest of us in between, highs topped out at “only” the mid 90s. There aren’t many situations where you can call 90 degrees cool, but this is one of them. Convection has again developed over the Cascades, but it isn’t as strong or widespread as yesterday. In the meantime, we can expect a similar scenario of temperatures in the mid 80s until next week, when we will finally see the 70s again, which, may I remind you, are quite pleasant.

July 29, 2009
5:16 P.M.

Hottest day in the history of Seattle: July 29, 2009 (well at least so far).
Today officially broke the record for the hottest temperature ever measured at Sea-Tac airport. The thermometer reached 103 degrees today, 3 degrees hotter than it has ever been in Seattle. I’m on a limited time schedule since I’m on vacation at Whidbey, but I can give you some brief things and I will definitely later make a writeup about the hottest day in Seattle ever. Today was so hot, we were hotter than Tuscon, Arizona, which had a high of 101. How often does that happen?
Temperatures were even hotter towards the foothills, with readings of 110 degrees common in that area. There are some places where it has been dramatically cooler though. Due to the extreme temperatures and relatively humid air of this heat wave compared to others, strong thunderstorms have developed over the Cascades, and with no upper-level air movement to move them around, flash flooding has resulted. In fact, a FLASH FLOOD WARNING has been issued for the towns of Mineral, Elbe and Alder until 5:45 p.m. near Mt. Rainier due to stalled thunderstorm. Rain is falling at the rate of 2 inches per hour. Also, current doppler radar imagery shows a thunderstorm with TORRENTIAL rains; I’d estimate 3-5 inches per hour, developing in the geographic center of Snohomish county. I’m gonna try to convince my mom to drive me there so I can get some footage on my camera, but I don’t think it’s gonna happen. I’m vacationing with out of town guests who I must entertain. Now, if THEY want to see that thunderstorm, then I might be lucky. So those places, in addition to being flooded, the temperatures are much cooler. Also, the mercury at our beachhouse on Whidbey never climbed above 85 today since it is right at sea level. So, if you want to get relief from the heat without seeking air conditioning, go to the water or a thunderstorm.
Tomorrow looks very hot with highs at 100, but hey, that’s cooler than today! Again, there will be thunderstorms in the mountains. Friday looks much cooler, with highs “only” in the mid-upper 80s. Monday and Tuesday, temperatures will finally cool into the 70s and more clouds will appear.

July 27, 2009
9:22 A.M.

Hey everybody. I just got back from a jazz camp in Port Townsend, and now I am vacationing around the state with some family friends.Right now, I am in Port Angeles.
So the weather for the next couple days looks rather eventful.We are going to be extremely hot as high pressure builds across our region and a thermal troft resides along our coast. A thermal troft is a weak area of low pressure that serves to give us not rain but hot and dry conditions.Since winds follow low pressure, a thermal troft on our coast will draw in winds from the east and west. Since we are to the east of the thermal troft, easterly downsloping winds will envelop us as they slope down the cascades. Due to adiabatic warming (the process of air warming and drying as a parcel of it decreases in elevation due to the characteristics and, most importantly, pressure, of our atmosphere,the air downsloping off the cascades will be very warm and dry when it gets down here.
You can check Komo for the actual forecast (or as they like to say, 4cast) but I can tell you that Wednesday will be our hottest day. Even along the coast, temperatures will break 90, and closer to the cascades at places like North Bend, where the forces of adiabatic warming are in full effect, temperatures will break 100. In Seattle, temperatures should peak out at just below 100, but it will be close. I’m going to say 99. Thursday should be a few degrees cooler, and Friday should be around 90. We won’t see any definitive cooloff, but temperatures will settle into the mid-low 80s and clouds will be on the increase this weekend. It will also be interesting to see if any thunderstorms will come off the cascades as temperatures drop, but humidity increases.

July 14, 2009
3:13 P.M.

Yikes. Yet another long stretch of no forecasts. Oh well. It’s summer. The more free time you have, the less you accomplish.
The fairly stable summer weather we have had recently will continue, and temperatures may even be above average for the next couple days, reaching into the 80s. Friday should be mostly sunny and the warmest day of the week, and highs will climb all the way up into the mid 80s. After this, however, we will get a typical marine push and temperatures will fall back down into the 70s. Whoops! Looks like it’s time for me to get a haircut. Enjoy the beautiful weather!

July 2, 2009
2:44 P.M.

Well, I told you that I’d explain what a pyrocumulus cloud is, and explain I shall. Theo Floor entertained me with a guess that pyrocumulus are meteor showers, but unfortunately this is wrong. Props to Mr. Floor for trying though!
Pyrocumulus clouds are cumulus clouds formed by fires. Fires release vast amounts of heat into the air, and as this heat rises and expands, it condenses! This means that fires can create rain! Pretty interesting stuff, and pretty ironic as well.
The forecast remains the same as summer is in full swing around the region. Get outside and swim! It is fantastic beach weather and the lake has warmed up nicely.

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