October 2008

Today was cloudier than expected due to moisture streaming over the top of our ridge of high pressure. It was still dry though. A semi-zonal flow will keep things moist at times for the week ahead with some sunny periods in between.

Forecast:
Monday: 56 45 showers
Tuesday: 56 43 partly cloudy
Wednesday: 54 41 partly cloudy
Thursday: 57 46 light rain
Friday: 55 45 showers

Extended:
No real clear pattern developing here, but it looks as though we will have a weak ridge of high pressure direct systems mainly to our north for the next week or so, with some moisture streaming into Western Washington.

October 10, 2008
Predicted: 54 38
Actual: 55 44

Today was awesome! It was a great day to run around and play outside, especially if you were like me and didn’t have school! There was blazing sunshine, but it was nice and cool at the same time. I love these fall days, where football, pumpkins, and a relaxed feel just seem to coincide with each other. I must have played 3 hours of intense football today but taken 3 hours of mellow down time as well. If this were just another gray day, I could not have possibly had the great day I have had. 🙂

Forecast:
Saturday: 59 41 sunny
Sunday: 61 43 mostly sunny
Monday: 59 46 mostly cloudy
Tuesday: 58 44 partly cloudy
Wednesday: 59 45 partly cloudy

Extended:
Same deal here… weather models are unable to converge on any one situation but they all agree on a gradual transition to a wetter and cooler pattern.

P.S. I will not have access to a computer tomorrow and will therefore not be able to do the forecasts. Sorry!

October 9, 2008
Predicted: 52 41
Actual: 52 40 (grr… why didn’t I see that one degree earlier?)

Today was a pretty cold day, both aloft and at the surface. An upper level low pressure system originating from the Gulf of Alaska brought us cool, ocean-chilled temperatures and cold air in the upper atmosphere. The combination on low pressure, cool air in the upper atmosphere, and solar heating is what caused us to have the showery and erratic weather we had today. In fact, as I was driving to my saxophone lesson, I came upon a very localized but still intense swath of of slushy hail and ice pellets. I think I describe the dynamics of how we get these showers here in Seattle sometime back in April or May, but what I think I will do is start discussion topics for hot weather topics such as La Nina or Pineapple Expresses so that you don’t have to search through archives to look them up.

Forecast:
Friday: 54 38 skies clearing
Saturday: 60 40 mostly sunny
Sunday: 62 46 partly cloudy
Monday: 60 45 light rain
Tuesday: 59 45 partly cloudy

Extended:
This tranquil pattern will end eventually, but it may take a week or more before the jet stream rushing off the Pacific ushers in stronger storms again.

October 8, 2008
Predicted: 58 44
Actual: 56 44 (so close!)

One of my biggest goals with these forecasts is to get a day where the actual and predicted temperatures match. It’s so hard to get it right around here though… especially in the fall and spring. A shower or sunbreak can ruin the whole thing. I’ve gotten pretty close, as I did here. It has to do with a little skill, but frankly its mostly luck. Still, it’s fun to pass it off as prodigal skill when you get it right. 🙂
Our little stormy period is a period of the past, and we are in the process of switching to a cool, crisp, and clear fall pattern. I always have associated fall days when the tree leaves are falling down and soccer is in full swing with these days, and I always will. If I had to pick a favorite type of boring weather, this would be it. It is definitely a breath of fresh air. Before we get to that though, we have a residual, weak upper level low pressure system (remember all the snow last spring? It came from these!) dropping down from the Gulf of Alaska. Places such as Stevens Pass saw their first snow of the year yesterday, but places as Snoqualmie Pass and perhaps as low as Hyak will see their first snow of the 2008-2009 season on Thursday. The ridge of high pressure that will take hold will direct cool, continental air into Western Washington. If this were to happen in the winter, we could get much colder temperatures.

Forecast:
Thursday: 52 41 showers and periods of light rain
Friday: 55 41 mostly sunny
Saturday: 58 42 mostly sunny
Sunday: 63 43 mostly sunny
Monday: 68 50 periods of rain

Extended:
The ridge providing the tranquil weather we will soon experience will break down on Monday, ushering in a new set of storm systems off the Pacific.

October 7, 2008
Predicted: 57 48
Actual: 59 52

Not much has changed in the extended forecast. The weather models pretty much show an exact copy of what they showed before. Everything is on track. I’ll only do a forecast for tomorrow because of this. One point of interest is that snoqualmie pass could see their first snow this week as the snow level will drop to about 2,500 feet and a little bit of moisture moves in. Bring on winter!

Forecast:
Wednesday: 58 44 partly cloudy

October 6, 2008
Predicted: 62 49
Actual: 58 52

Internet/cable outages have prevented me from creating these forecasts, and I apologize for that. This weather hasn’t been characteristic of October! Still, it is not uncommon for us to have huge windstorms in October. The Columbus Day windstorm of October 12, 1962 was the fiercest, costliest, and deadliest windstorm to strike the West Coast in recorded history. Another huge storm struck the Pacific Northwest on October 21, 1934. We had a blustery storm last year on October 18 that knocked out power to over 300,000 people. Our storm a couple days ago was stronger than expected and stronger than your normal October storm, but it was nothing compared to the storms of 1934 and 1962.
I have had my eye on the storm coming in today. It was forecast to track north of Vancouver Island, but it hasn’t exactly made the curve, in fact it was traveling toward the north washington coast as of 3 P.M. This could be a huge difference in the wind that we receive from this storm. In my mind, the windier the better, unless of course the huge trees to the south of our house fall on me and crush me in my sleep. Then there would be no more weather forecasts. 😦
I am predicting rain for the rest of today and showers for the next couple of days after. We could see a dry period after that though!

Forecast:
Tuesday: 57 48 showers
Wednesday: 56 43 mostly cloudy
Thursday: 54 41 showers
Friday: 58 45 mostly cloudy
Saturday: 62 47 partly sunny

Extended:
It looks as if our ridge of high pressure will effectively block parts of the systems coming off of the Pacific but not all of them. We may see some high clouds and weak showers streaming in from time to time, but we should be cursed (or blessed in everyone elses case) with tranquil weather. 😦 for me, 🙂 for you.

October 2, 2008
Predicted: 62 53
Actual: 68 58

Today was mainly a transition day between patterns. The ridge of high pressure shifting off to the east allowed a weak system to come through, but this weak system didn’t have much punch to it because of the high pressure. Still, the high pressure is our of the way, and the door is open for systems to roll off of the Pacific. Today, we got warmer and more humid than expected with a warm southerly flow, and we have had a few popup storms as well. Looking at the radar at 5:12 P.M., I can see a pretty legitimate storm moving North near Olympia. I think the brunt of this cell will head west of us, but we will probably still see some effects. When you have an unstable atmosphere like this, showers and thundershowers randomly pop up and can catch you buy surprise. Tomorrow, the individual bouts of rain will be less intense, but we will have a much stronger system coming through, with more rain overall and for longer periods of time. October has finally arrived!

Forecast:
Friday: 62 52 rain (sorry marching band!)
Saturday: 60 51 showers
Sunday: 61 49 am showers
Monday: 62 49 mostly cloudy with rain developing later
Tuesday: 58 50 cool with showers

Extended:
Same deal… the weather models are making no sense. It should be wetter and cooler than normal, but we can’t pinpoint when those exact wet and cool periods will be.

October 1, 2008
Predicted: 75 56
Actual: 74 50

Today was probably your last 70 degree day until spring. There is still a chance we could see some warmer weather but that chance is declining the deeper we step into fall. I hope you got outside and enjoyed it. As for me, well I’m looking forward to stormy skies and snowy mountains. And while it is a little too early for snow, we should see a pretty sizeable weather system roll in on Friday, making for a wet and breezy day. This system had the potential to be a major windstorm, but as it approaches our coast, the upper air conditions and jet stream will be unfavorable for development and actually stall the system off of our coast. This means that the winds will be fairly tame considering the size of the storm but they should also last for a pretty long period of time since the low will be around for a pretty long period of time. The coast will bear the brunt of this storm because it is closer to the low pressure system and there are no obstructions between it and the lowest pressure. The Olympic mountains provide a wind barrier to some extent, but we should still get gusts up to 40 mph. At least I hope we will. I’m tired of this lame weather. Bring on winter!

Forecast:
Thursday: 62 53 showers
Friday: 62 52 rain
Saturday: 60 51 showers
Sunday: 62 49 few showers
Monday: 63 50 mostly cloudy

Extended:
Models diverge on solutions. We have a zonal pattern across most of the pacific with the jet stream in a line hurling systems from asia across the international date line, but we have a complex setup with high pressure partially blocking some of the systems in the eastern pacific. When weather forecasters see this, they go for the classic “showers and sunbreaks” forecast, and that is what I am going to do to! Chances are, one way or another, that we will see showers, mixed in with some breaks of sun.

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