07/02/15: The weather will be great for the holiday, but leave the fireworks to the pros

That shouldn’t even have to be said, but there are people out there who don’t seem to follow logic. With the lack of moisture and high heat we’ve been getting, the entire state of Washington is basically a tinder box, just waiting for the spark(ler). If you do plan on doing fireworks on your own, at least make sure people around you are aware, and keep the phone/hose ready. OK, now that the PSA is out of the way, let’s get to the weather.

Recap

Wednesday – High 89°F, Low 68°F; The low is closer to the normal high for this time of year. So there’s that. Clear skies all day, with winds picking up in the afternoon.

Thursday – High 92°F; Clear skies, with breezes in the afternoon.

WARNINGS – There are a few warnings out right now. For the water, we have a Small Craft Advisory in effect for the Strait. On our side of the Cascades, there is a Heat Advisory that will be expiring tonight, but could be extended to tomorrow. Stay hydrated! On the other side of the Cascades, there is a Fire Weather Watch as well as the Heat Advisory. For more info, please see here.

FIRESThis report is current as of 4:46pm. There are only 4 major fires to report on tonight, one new and the big one more contained. First, the Paradise fire on the Olympic Peninsula near Quinault is still burning, and only 21% contained and 1,060 acres consumed. Next, we have the Saddle Lakes fire near Desert Aire. This one is 50% contained, and has consumed 14,357 acres. The new fire is the Monument fire, located near Quincy. At 20% containment and 1,953 acres consumed, this fire is also threatening 21 structures. Finally, we have the Sleepy Hollow fire near Wenatchee. The fire fighters have been able to get a handle on this with the break in the weather, as it is now 83% contained. With 2,950 acres consumed, it has unfortunately destroyed 29 residential and 3 commercial structures. For a map of the fire locations see here, and for details on the fires themselves see here.

Not a whole lot will be changing with the jet stream and upper level systems. The jet stream will still be to the north, keeping all of that very warm southern air over us. This will be the case for the entire weekend.

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Hot air will stick over us for the weekend, and probably into next week. SOURCE: UW Models; 36km 500mb; Temps, winds, heights

High pressure will continue to dominate our side of the mountains as well. The pressure will drop slightly as you move east of the Cascades, but not enough for clouds it looks like. We’ll test that theory below, but I won’t be posting this model.

As I was expecting, no rain this weekend. With the high pressure we will be having as well, it looks like we’ll be in the same situation as last forecast: very little chance of convection forming for thunderstorms. The CAPE model is still showing a couple of blooms, mainly on the east side of the mountains. This is probably due to the slightly lower pressure and the high heat. Once again, I’m not expecting thunderstorms, but there’s still the slight chance for some dry lightning. We’ll see for sure below.

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A couple blooms show the possibility of some thunder/lightning, but no associated rain. SOURCE: UW Models; 12km Surface; CAPE (Convective available potential energy)

Clouds will follow the same trend as the last forecast: hazy in the morning, clearing up a little bit later in the day. There may still be some haziness due to the high pressure keeping pollution and air particulates down, but it shouldn’t be too bad. Now for the interesting bit. Remember the CAPE model above, with the blooms on Friday (Olympics) and Saturday (Cascades)? Well, the cloud model is showing some clouds developing in those same areas. So there is a pretty decent chance of something forming in the afternoon/evening. It’s still entirely possible to have a thunderstorm with no rain, as if it is really hot the rain can evaporate before it hits the ground. This is where we get dry lightning from. Now I’m not promising anything, but if you happen to be in either of these areas on either of these days (like me), keep an eye out for possible lightning. Remember, we’re in a tinder box right now…

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Clear skies all weekend, with some haziness thrown in for good measure. You can also see the possible rainless thunderstorms. SOURCE: UW Models; 4km Cloud; Column-integrated cloud water

The winds will also follow the same trend as we’ve seen, with Saturday being slightly on the calmer side. That trend being calm in the morning, picking up in the afternoon/evening. What is concerning me is Friday afternoon/overnight. The winds in the Cascades will start to pick up in the afternoon, but will stay that way overnight and won’t calm until Saturday morning. This is concerning because there may still be some wild fires over there, and the winds give the possibility of fanning the flames. So we’ll have to see how that goes, hopefully the fires will be mostly contained by then.

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Calm in the morning, breezy in the afternoon, with windy conditions in the Cascades for most of Friday evening/Saturday afternoon. SOURCE: UW Models; 4km Surface; 10m Wind Speed; Western WA 10m Wind Speed

Temperatures will continue to be hot over the weekend. Friday will see highs in the high 80s for most of the Sound, warming to the south. Lows will drop down to the low to mid 60s, this time cooling as you move south. Saturday will be about the same for highs, but lows will be in the mid 60s. And as a teaser/warning for Sunday, expect significantly warmer temperatures, like in the mid to high 90s.

TL;DR: Hot holiday weekend, windy in the mountains, possible thunderstorms, and excessive heat on Sunday. This normally doesn’t happen until later in the summer.

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06/30/15: Back with hopefully full weeks of forecasts in the near future!

In case you missed the update post yesterday, I have made the decision to temporarily shift my forecast schedule by a day. Now the posts will be Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday. It’s not my first choice, but given my workload at work, this is what it needs to be to have a full week of forecasts.

Since I’ve been gone for so long, I will be skipping the recap, but I’m sure you don’t need one. It’s been hot and muggy. Sadly, it doesn’t look to change too much this week, which is even more unfortunate with the fires…

WARNINGS – At this point, we only have a few warnings out. For water, we have a Gale Warning in effect for the Strait, which should expire early Wednesday morning. For land, we don’t have anything on our side of the mountains, but there is a Red Flag Warning and Heat Advisory for areas east of the Cascades. For more info, please see here.

FIRESFire report current as of 3:42pm. Well, it’s finally that time. It’s been that time for a few days but haven’t had a chance to include the fires in my forecast until now. There are 4 major fires I will write on, and I will work my way up from least to worst. First, we have the Paradise fire located northeast of Quinault in Grays Harbor County. It is currently 21% contained, and has consumed about 1,025 acres. Next we have the SE Benton Complex, southeast of Kennewick. This one is a little more under control, with 50% containment, and 2,400 acres consumed. The Saddle Lakes fire is located east of Desert Aire, and still on the uncontrolled side it seems. It has 1% contained, and has consumed around 10,000 acres. Now, for the one that everyone has heard about, the Sleepy Hollow fire. Located north of Wenatchee (very close, around a quarter mile), it is 10% contained, and has already consumed 2,950 acres and 24 residences. With no rain in the forecast, there isn’t much help coming their way, but hopefully the fire fighters can get a handle on it. For a map of the fire locations see here, and for details on the fires themselves see here.

The slight cool down we saw on Tuesday won’t last for too long, so enjoy it while it lasts. A small short wave trough will keep things the way they are through Wednesday, but by Thursday it will be on its way once again, making way for the warmer air from the south. Not a whole lot to say on this one.

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A short wave trough will move in to cool things down slightly, but we’ll still be well above average for temperatures. SOURCE: UW Models; 36km 500mb; Temps, winds, heights

Even with the short wave trough, the pressure will be staying on the high side. This should help hinder the thunderstorms on our side of the mountains at least, but the pressure drops a little once you hit the east side of the mountains. We’ll talk a little more about that possibility below, but I won’t be posting this model.

I’m not seeing too much in the way of rain over the next couple of days, which definitely won’t help the fire fighting efforts. With that said, there is still a bit of CAPE on the east side of the Cascades (and partially in the Olympics), mainly in the afternoon/evening hours. It looks like Wednesday has the most potential. This CAPE may produce either dry lighting (bad), or possibly some thunderstorms with precipitation (not as bad). I know I said the precipitation model isn’t showing anything, but there is still the chance of some precipitation, just either very little or too scattered for the 4km resolution to pick up. I won’t post the precipitation model, but you can see the CAPE below.

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There may not be thunderstorms with precipitation, but the CAPE is showing possible convection east of the mountains both days. SOURCE: UW Models; 12km Surface; CAPE (Convective available potential energy)

The next couple of days will be clear blue skies, so don’t expect too much of a break from the temperatures/sun. We may see some haziness in the mornings, but not too much. Thursday will see some scattered high clouds move through, but that’s about it. I posted the model so you can at least have something else to look at.

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Clear for both days, with possible haziness in the mornings and a scattered cloud or two on Thursday. SOURCE: UW Models; 4km Cloud; Column-integrated cloud water

I can’t really say anything for sure about the winds east of the mountains, but it looks like we’ll have our normal summer winds over the next couple of days. Calm overnight, increasing as the day progresses. Stronger winds will be over the waterways.

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Calm in the morning, breezy in the afternoon. SOURCE: UW Models; 4km Surface; 10m Wind Speed; Western WA 10m Wind Speed

As I’ve been hinting at throughout the post, we’re still going to have above average temperatures, but it will be slightly cooler. Not by much though. Highs on Wednesday will be in the mid to high 80s for the entire Sound, cooling slightly to the north. Lows will be in the mid 60s. Thursday will see the start of the warm up, reaching into the high 80s for everyone. Lows will be in the low to mid 60s.

TL;DR: Hot. Very hot. Keep hydrated!

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Update/slight change of plans.

So. If you’ve been reading (and I know some of you have), you’ll know I’ve been having issues making my post for Mondays because of workload at work.

Well, it doesn’t seem to be getting better. I barely had time to breath today. I spoke with a couple people in the office, and it doesn’t look like it’ll get better in the immediate future.

Because of this and me wanting to update you as often as I can with the wild fires (like the one in Wenatchee), I am altering the post schedule. Starting tomorrow, I will move my posts to Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday. I don’t really like it because I want to give you a full weekend forecast, but this is how it will be for the foreseeable future.

With that said, I will more than likely miss the first Sunday post as I will be out of town (assuming the Wenatchee area is still standing).

Thanks for your understanding, and I will be back tomorrow with the forecast and an update on the fires.

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06/17/15: No forecasts this week or next :(

I tried posting on Monday, I really did. Unfortunately, Monday’s just haven’t been nice to me lately. At least I’m getting the other forecasts in!

With that said….I will be going out of town right after work on Friday and be gone for a while, and since it won’t make a whole lot of sense to post a forecast today since it will be the only one this week, I will be skipping this forecast.

Long range models are looking to keep us on the warm side. I see a few showers moving in on Friday, and then we’ll stick to warm weather for the next week. I wish I could tell you confidently about if there will be rain next week, but long range models aren’t very good at that. Regardless, they are saying showers on Sunday and Monday.

Again, I apologize for the lack of forecasts, but hopefully work will have slowed down some by the time I get back, and we’ll be back to full weekly forecasts!

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06/12/15: Maybe the clouds will chase the tourists away…

We all know the Seattle Summer is the (not so) best kept secret we have. Will the sun be coming back any time soon?

Recap

Thursday – High 79°F, Low 57°F; The day started out fairly clear, with increasing clouds through the day.Winds were on the breezy side throughout the day.

Friday – High 70°F; Mostly cloudy for the morning, clearing up a little bit as the day progressed. Winds were on the breezy side all day.

WARNINGS – We have a Small Craft Advisory for the Strait, a Hazardous Weather Outlook for the Cascades regarding possible fire weather conditions, and a Red Flag Warning for parts of the eastern Cascades. For more info, please see here.

What we see saw on Friday with the jet stream is basically what we’ll have for the weekend. The jet stream will be just to the south of us, keeping a cooler air mass over us. On Sunday, a small ridge will sneak its way in to possibly warm things up for at least a little bit. It wills till be over us at the end of the forecast, but looking ahead it will leave sometime Monday.

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A small ridge will warm things up for the weekend. SOURCE: UW Models; 36km 500mb; Temps, winds, heights

High pressure will continue to stay off the coast, but the lows around us are starting to make a little headway. No frontal systems to speak of, but it looks like the pressure will start to drop some over the weekend. No need to post this model today.

Showers will stay up in the mountains for the weekend, mainly on Saturday. Sunday looks to be mostly dry. Temperatures will be cool enough to keep the CAPE at bay, so the showers moving in to the Red Flag areas will hopefully help things out.

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Showers in the mountains on Saturday, dry on Sunday. SOURCE: UW Models; 4km Precip; 3-hour precipitation, WA 3-hour precipitation

Clouds will clear out a little bit overnight, then start to increase again towards the afternoon. The clouds will mainly stick towards the mountains where the showers are, but areas of central and south Sound may see a few more clouds than north Sound. Sunday is actually looking quite a bit clearer, so expect mostly sunny skies all day. Maybe take a trip to the CLink to the Seahawks Family Funfest. That’s where I’ll be!

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Saturday will have some cloud cover, mainly in the mountains, with Sunday staying mostly clear. SOURCE: UW Models; 4km Cloud; Column-integrated cloud water

Here are the 24hr precipitation totals. I’m including both days because some of the showers happen overnight on Saturday, which is where the amounts are coming from for the Sunday image.

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24hr precipitation totals as of Saturday evening. SOURCE: UW Models; 4km Precip; 24-hour precipitation; WA 24-hour precipitation

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24hr precipitation totals as of Sunday evening. SOURCE: UW Models; 4km Precip; 24-hour precipitation; WA 24-hour precipitation

Winds will follow the same patter that we’ve been seeing (and probably will see for the rest of the summer), but not as strong as recent days. So calm in the mornings and overnight, picking up in the afternoon as things heat up. Stronger winds will be close to and over the water.

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Winds will be calm for the most part in the mornings, picking up as the day progresses. SOURCE: UW Models; 4km Surface; 10m Wind Speed; Western WA 10m Wind Speed

With the cloud cover we had, today should be the coolest of the bunch. We can expect a little bit of a warm up this weekend. Highs on Saturday will be in the low 70s for the Sound, warmer to the south. Lows will be in the low 50s close to the water, cooling as you move inland. Sunday will be the warmer of the two days, with highs in the high 70s. Lows will be in the mid to high 50s.

TL;DR: Gradual warming for the mostly sunny weekend.

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06/10/15: This may not be a surprise, but this isn’t normal.

Yes, around this time of year we can expect more sunny days than cloudy/rainy, but this hot? We’ve been above average so far for the year, but we’re only slightly below the average rainfall amounts. So at least we’re on track for that. But with the dry winter we had, we’re still going to have some problems this summer, including the possibility of more brush fires on this side of the mountains. I’ll keep an eye out for that, but in the meantime, make sure you make it harder around your house for fires to start (keep your lawn alive, trim the shrubbery, etc.).

Recap

Tuesday – High 86°F, Low 56°F; A little warmer than expected, but everything else was on par. Mostly clear through the day, with winds picking up in the afternoon.

Wednesday – High 80°F; Another warm and clear day, with breezy conditions in the afternoon.

WARNINGS – Warnings are just about the same as the last forecast. We have a Gale Watch in effect for the Strait, with a Small Craft Advisory in effect for all other waterways with the exception of the Sound. In the mountains we have a Hazardous Weather Outlook for the north Cascades mainly on the east slopes for the potential of fire weather. Areas including around Yakima and Lake Chelan are under a Red Flag Warning for present fire weather conditions. For more info, please see here.

The jet stream will continue to push south, which will continue the gradual cool down. By Friday morning it looks like we finally make the transition into a cooler air mass, even if it is just the edge. The mass will stall by the afternoon, so it looks to at least stick around at least overnight. I don’t anticipate any rain systems moving in since we’re on the tail edge of it, but we’ll see for sure below.

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With the jet stream dropping, temperatures will start to fall back to normal. SOURCE: UW Models; 36km 500mb; Temps, winds, heights

High pressure will continue to stay dominate, but with lower pressure on the east side of the mountains, we could see some windy conditions. I won’t post the model since we’ll see the winds below, but be aware if you head over the mountains.

We’ll stay dry for all of Thursday, but with the clash in pressure and the upper level trough knocking on our door, it looks like we can see some showers on Friday. Now we won’t have any in the lowlands, but both mountain ranges will see a few cells here and there. Definitely nothing to write home about. High pressure is keeping the CAPE down as well, so these showers will not have any thunder and lightening.

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Only a few showers in the mountains on Friday. SOURCE: UW Models; 4km Precip; 3-hour precipitation; WA 3-hour precipitation

Even with the high pressure, it looks like a few clouds will start rolling in as the jet stream comes down. There might be some patchy fog Thursday morning, but that will mainly be towards the coast. Any fog we get should clear out later in the morning. We’ll have some clouds moving in towards the afternoon, but things should still stay on the mostly clear side. Friday will start out with more clouds/fog, and will work on clearing up, but we probably won’t see as much sun as we did before. I’m expecting mostly to partly cloudy skies for the rest of the day.

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Patchy fog in the mornings, with increasing cloud cover on Friday. SOURCE: UW Models; 4km Cloud; Column-integrated cloud water

Here are the 24hr precipitation totals for Friday.

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24hr precipitation totals as of Friday evening. SOURCE: UW Models; 4km Precip; 24-hour precipitation; WA 24-hour precipitation

We’ll see similar winds for the rest of the week, but with the clashing of pressures to the north and east of us, some of the areas will get pretty blustery. Lowlands will see calmer winds in the morning, increasing as things heat up. The Cascades will see increased winds throughout the forecast, mainly on the east side, with the strongest winds occurring in the afternoon. The hardest hit area will be the Strait since there is nothing to slow the wind down. It will follow the trend of the lowlands with calm conditions in the morning, but will pick up significantly in the afternoon. Sustained winds will measure up to 35kts (~40mph) at one point.

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Calm winds in the morning, picking up in the afternoon. Strong winds will be present in the Strait and Cascades. SOURCE: UW Models; 4km Surface; 10m Wind Speed; Western WA 10m Wind Speed

With the cooler air and clouds moving in on Friday, we can expect the gradual cooldown to continue. Highs on Thursday will reach into the low to mid 70s for most of the Sound, cooling to the north and warming to the south. Lows will be in the mid 50s. Friday will be lucky to hit 70, with highs in the high 60s for everyone. Lows will be in the low to mid 50s.

TL;DR: Clouds on the horizon, but don’t worry about it too much.

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06/08/15: Good news everyone! I can do a post today!

And if you’re a “Futurama” fan, you just read the title in a different voice! Hopefully more people will get this than my “5th Element” reference on the Facebook page in regards to the weekend forecast… By the way, if you haven’t seen that movie, do yourself a favor and do it. It’s one of my favorites! OK enough about TV and movies.

Recap

Saturday – High 85°F, Low 61°F; Not a whole lot happened. It just got really hot with mostly clear skies and some wind in the afternoon.

Sunday – High 88°F, Low 60°F; See Saturday, but less clouds.

Monday – High 86°F; See Sunday (notice a trend?)

WARNINGS – For once we have more than just a wind warning! There is a Small Craft Advisory in effect for all waterways except for the Sound. Over land, we have a few to touch on. The one affecting us is a Special Weather Statement, basically warning you about the high temperatures and to make sure you stay hydrated. The first of the two warnings that don’t really affect us is a Hazardous Weather Outlook for the east part of the northern Cascades warning about the possibility of critical fire weather conditions due to breezy winds and low humidity. The other warning is a little further south in the Yakima area. This one is a full-on Red Flag Warning, which means the critical fire weather conditions mentioned above are actually occurring. So if you find yourself in that area, be ready. For more info, please see here.

I just started checking the fire weather map since it’s about that time of year again. Nothing on their yet, but we’ll see how it goes.

The warm air mass will stick around for a bit, but the jet stream will start to move a little further south over the next couple of days, cooling things down a little bit. It looks like a small short wave trough will move through overnight on Tuesday, so we’ll have to see if there’s any rain coming with it.

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Warm air will persist, but a short wave trough will herald a cool down. SOURCE: UW Models; 36km 500mb; Temps, winds, heights

High pressure will be sticking around to keep things clear for the most part. I will skip this model this week.

No rain for this forecast. With the pressure staying on the high side, there isn’t a whole lot of CAPE to speak of either. So far it’s looking like a repeat of this past weekend. Which…there’s worse things in the world. I will be skipping the precipitation model/images and the CAPE model.

With the small short wave trough moving in, it will bring in a slight disturbance which will be enough to make some cloud cover Tuesday evening, mainly over the Olympics and north Sound. Wednesday should be mostly clear.

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Clouds will move in briefly Tuesday evening, but that’s about it. I’m really only posting this one so you’re not stuck with just 500MB and Winds. SOURCE: UW Models; 4km Cloud; Column-integrated cloud water

Since everything else seems to be a repeat from the weekend, why not the winds as well? Expect mostly calm winds in the morning, picking up throughout the day. Strongest winds will be over/closer to the water.

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Calm for the most part in the mornings, picking up in the afternoon. SOURCE: UW Models; 4km Surface; 10m Wind Speed; Western WA 10m Wind Speed

Everything will be about the same over the next couple of days with the exception of one thing: the temperature. Although it will still be hot and you need to stay hydrated/cover up if you’re outside for a long time, it should be slightly cooler. Highs on Tuesday will into the high 70s to low 80s for the entire area, warming as you move south. Lows will be in the mid 50s. Wednesday will see the start of the cool down, with highs in the high 70s for the area. Lows will be in the mid 50s once again.

TL;DR: Just like the weekend! Except you’re probably working this time!

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