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      • Photos: Sunrise brings spooky clouds to Mt. Rainier

        ...- Scott Sistek
        One of the little quirks of living in the Puget Sound region is when you see that either Mt. Rainier is wearing a cap of clouds, or has clouds nearby that look like aliens are descending on the region, it's actually a sign of impending rain.Sure enough, th
      • Photos: 100-year anniversary of Seattle's greatest one-day snowstorm

        ...- Scott Sistek
        Sure, many of you are celebrating Punxsutawney Phil's annual day to shine in the spotlight, but did you know February 2 holds another special place in Seattle's weather history?Tuesday marks the 100-year anniversary of Seattle's greatest one-day snow storm
      • Seattle sloshes way to 2nd wettest start to rainy season

        ...- Scott Sistek
        Rain in autumn and winter around here is about as surprising as a five-adjective coffee, but this rainy season has nearly been the wettest of them all.Since October 1 -- what Seattle calls the official start of the rainy season -- the Emerald City has rece
      • Map this, Google: Cloud 'streets' spotted over Kitsap County Saturday

        ...- Scott Sistek
        It's the streets your GPS won't find no matter how updated your apps are: cloud streets.The Seattle National Weather Service office noticed the rather interesting cloud displays were visible over Kitsap County on Saturday, via the high-resolution MODIS sat
      • Watch: NOAA simulates great Pacific Coast tsunami of 1700

        ...- Scott Sistek
        Tuesday marks the 316-year anniversary of one of the greatest earthquakes on record along the Pacific Coast - the estimated 9.2 Cascadia quake that struck just off our coast on Jan. 26, 1700. To coincide with the anniversary, NOAA and the Pacific Tsunami W
      • El Nino starting to weaken, even better news for skiers next winter?

        ...- Scott Sistek
        SEATTLE -- Could it be all the Emergency Kitten therapy videos I've been posting in my weather blogs for skiers and snowboarders to help get through a second-expected off-year in the mountains were never needed?The record-breaking or record-tying depending
      • New NOAA project maps out how a flood would look before the rains fall

        ...- Scott Sistek
        River flooding is a rite of autumn and winter in the Pacific Northwest, but what if you could see on a map just how much land will be covered in flood waters -- before the rain even begins to fall?The National Weather Service has undertaken a massive proje
      • Tom Brady posts awesome storm pic before Pats game. Too bad it's fake

        ...- Scott Sistek
        A big battle was brewing today in the football world between the New England Patriots and the Kansas City Chiefs, but the battle in the sky? Not so much.Hours before the game began, New England quarterback Tom Brady posted a photo on his Facebook page show
      • Hurricane Pali sets record for being earliest; closest to equator

        ...- Scott Sistek
        Chalk up another wacky weather element to this winter's near-record El Nino churning in the Pacific Ocean.Hurricane Pali just set a record for the earliest hurricane on recordin the Central Pacific Ocean, getting the classification on Jan. 11 at 10 p.m. E
      • 0 degrees in Minnesota, but what if it's twice as cold tomorrow?

        ...- Scott Sistek
        With all the attention given to the icy blast the Seahawks are facing in their Wild Card game against Minnesota Sunday, I thought I'd dust off the old weather joke that's been making the rounds for decades:If it's 0 degrees today, and it'll be twice as col
      • Seahawks set to play coldest game in franchise history

        ...- Scott Sistek
        UPDATE: It was indeed both the coldest game in both Seahawks -- and Vikings history. Game time temperature was -6 tied for the third coldest game in NFL history.Minnesota is expected to be 5 this weekend for the Seahawks game.When that phrase is interchan
      • Forget 'lightsaber', try this 'icesaber' (and other amazing frozen ice pics)

        ...- Scott Sistek
        Seems even Mother Nature is getting into the Star Wars spirit around here.Check out this amazing 'icesabre' that Mary Blair found Tuesday morning in Des Moines.I walked outside and noticed the top of the fence post off, she wrote to me. I went to replace i
      • Seattle's had more snow this winter than Philadelphia

        ...- Scott Sistek
        The city of Seattle has had a few hours here and there of snowflakes falling from the sky this fall and winter -- not enough to officially measure in the city some of the outlying areas have had an inch or two but enough to say we've seen some snow. In fac
      • Photos: Sunrise brings spooky clouds to Mt. Rainier

        ...- Scott Sistek
        One of the little quirks of living in the Puget Sound region is when you see that either Mt. Rainier is wearing a cap of clouds, or has clouds nearby that look like aliens are descending on the region, it's actually a sign of impending rain.Sure enough, th
      • Photos: 100-year anniversary of Seattle's greatest one-day snowstorm

        ...- Scott Sistek
        Sure, many of you are celebrating Punxsutawney Phil's annual day to shine in the spotlight, but did you know February 2 holds another special place in Seattle's weather history?Tuesday marks the 100-year anniversary of Seattle's greatest one-day snow storm
      • Seattle sloshes way to 2nd wettest start to rainy season

        ...- Scott Sistek
        Rain in autumn and winter around here is about as surprising as a five-adjective coffee, but this rainy season has nearly been the wettest of them all.Since October 1 -- what Seattle calls the official start of the rainy season -- the Emerald City has rece
      • Map this, Google: Cloud 'streets' spotted over Kitsap County Saturday

        ...- Scott Sistek
        It's the streets your GPS won't find no matter how updated your apps are: cloud streets.The Seattle National Weather Service office noticed the rather interesting cloud displays were visible over Kitsap County on Saturday, via the high-resolution MODIS sat
      • Watch: NOAA simulates great Pacific Coast tsunami of 1700

        ...- Scott Sistek
        Tuesday marks the 316-year anniversary of one of the greatest earthquakes on record along the Pacific Coast - the estimated 9.2 Cascadia quake that struck just off our coast on Jan. 26, 1700. To coincide with the anniversary, NOAA and the Pacific Tsunami W
      • El Nino starting to weaken, even better news for skiers next winter?

        ...- Scott Sistek
        SEATTLE -- Could it be all the Emergency Kitten therapy videos I've been posting in my weather blogs for skiers and snowboarders to help get through a second-expected off-year in the mountains were never needed?The record-breaking or record-tying depending
      • New NOAA project maps out how a flood would look before the rains fall

        ...- Scott Sistek
        River flooding is a rite of autumn and winter in the Pacific Northwest, but what if you could see on a map just how much land will be covered in flood waters -- before the rain even begins to fall?The National Weather Service has undertaken a massive proje
      • Tom Brady posts awesome storm pic before Pats game. Too bad it's fake

        ...- Scott Sistek
        A big battle was brewing today in the football world between the New England Patriots and the Kansas City Chiefs, but the battle in the sky? Not so much.Hours before the game began, New England quarterback Tom Brady posted a photo on his Facebook page show
      • Hurricane Pali sets record for being earliest; closest to equator

        ...- Scott Sistek
        Chalk up another wacky weather element to this winter's near-record El Nino churning in the Pacific Ocean.Hurricane Pali just set a record for the earliest hurricane on recordin the Central Pacific Ocean, getting the classification on Jan. 11 at 10 p.m. E
      • 0 degrees in Minnesota, but what if it's twice as cold tomorrow?

        ...- Scott Sistek
        With all the attention given to the icy blast the Seahawks are facing in their Wild Card game against Minnesota Sunday, I thought I'd dust off the old weather joke that's been making the rounds for decades:If it's 0 degrees today, and it'll be twice as col
      • Seahawks set to play coldest game in franchise history

        ...- Scott Sistek
        UPDATE: It was indeed both the coldest game in both Seahawks -- and Vikings history. Game time temperature was -6 tied for the third coldest game in NFL history.Minnesota is expected to be 5 this weekend for the Seahawks game.When that phrase is interchan
      • Forget 'lightsaber', try this 'icesaber' (and other amazing frozen ice pics)

        ...- Scott Sistek
        Seems even Mother Nature is getting into the Star Wars spirit around here.Check out this amazing 'icesabre' that Mary Blair found Tuesday morning in Des Moines.I walked outside and noticed the top of the fence post off, she wrote to me. I went to replace i
      • Seattle's had more snow this winter than Philadelphia

        ...- Scott Sistek
        The city of Seattle has had a few hours here and there of snowflakes falling from the sky this fall and winter -- not enough to officially measure in the city some of the outlying areas have had an inch or two but enough to say we've seen some snow. In fac
      • Seattle 2015 weather recap: Hotter than ever, then it rained

        ...- Scott Sistek
        I'm not a cartoonist...But if I were, I'd draw up our region's weather last year this way: symbolizing 2015 as one of those big, mean bandits from the old westerns who would dramatically bust open the swinging doors to the saloon, a stern growl on its face
      • Photo: Freezing weather brings intricate natural ice sculptures

        ...- Scott Sistek
        As temperatures consistently dip into the 20s these past few days, it sure has made for some interesting ice sculptures around the Sound.As mentioned in last week's blog, these towers are caused when the surface of the of water freezes first, sealing in th
      • Chilly weather creates 'Strait effect' clouds

        ...- Scott Sistek
        It's a blazingly sunny day to send off 2015 with clear skies across much of Western Washington.I didn't say all of Western Washington, because there was one small thin line of clouds today hanging out over the middle of the Strait of Juan de Fuca.Fog? Nope
      • Update: Second chance at Northern Lights to end 2015?

        ...- Scott Sistek
        Thursday Update: The original solar storm fizzled, but the wake solar flare has energized the atmosphere a bit, triggering some increased solar activity Thursday evening. Conditions have gone from unlikely to marginal for Northern Lights viewing around the
      • Feeling chilly? Seattle will be colder than the North Pole Wednesday morning

        ...- Scott Sistek
        A storm that brought severe weather to the southeast over Christmas has moved out into the Atlantic, re-strengthened into another monster storm bearing down on Iceland...And has somehow managed to make it to where Santa's elves at the North Pole are enjoyi
      • Snoqualmie Pass has snowiest December on record; Seattle pretty rainy too

        ...- Scott Sistek
        With all the heat records destroyed this year, Mother Nature turned her eraser to modifying some rain records too this autumn... and giving skiers a bit of an I'm sorry present for ruining last year's season.Fresh off the worst ski season BY FAR last year,
      • Cool videos and pics -- let's call it holiday stocking stuffers, weather blog style

        ...- Scott Sistek
        As we head toward the end of 2015, there are few little tidbits and videos I haven't had a chance yet to feature in the blog, so here are a few things to enjoy as you munch on some leftover cookies or Google search how to effectively, and subtlety, get rid
      • It's colder in Tucson than Barrow, Alaska -- at least at 18,000 feet

        ...- Scott Sistek
        The Desert Southwest doesn't seem like much of a desert these days -- at least temperature-wise. Highs in Arizona were in the 40s as a very cold upper level low pressure center sat parked in the region.But high up above the Arizona skies, it was so cold, y
      • Christmas heat wave? Northeast to have warmer holiday than Phoenix

        ...- Scott Sistek
        Forget dreaming of a White Christmas along the Eastern Seaboard. Usually it's about a 10 percent chance in mid-Atlantic region, but this year, a White Christmas there will only happen if a truck load of whipped cream bumped into a truck carrying marshmallo
      • 12 feet of snow at Snoqualmie, 10" of rain in Seattle in December

        ...- Scott Sistek
        To say this year's weather is a little bit different than last year's weather would be saying like a watermelon is just a little bit different than popcorn kernel.As storms continue to make the Pacific Northwest their home this autumn...and now winter... S
      • Despite rainy autumn, forecasts double-down on warm, dry El Nino winter

        ...- Scott Sistek
        The new 90-day forecasts are out for the new year, and they stay with the same tune: A better than average chance of a warmer -- and drier -- winter.But wait! you say. Those maps have been all red and brown for warm and dry for months. And yet you yoursel
      • Watch: Stars, moon light up Mount Shuksan

        ...- Scott Sistek
        Meg McDonald took advantage of what must have been the only few hours of clear skies this autumn to head up to Mt. Shuksan to get a great glimpse of the mountain and the stars. "I was very lucky to get perfect moonlight -- just enough to light the mountain without obscuring the stars -- on an unexpectedly clear night," McDonald said.
      • Snoqualmie Pass passes last year's entire snow total by mid-December

        ...- Scott Sistek
        It's a statistic that skiers and snowboarders have to love: Snoqualmie Pass now has more snow already this year than it had for its entire winter season last year. (Then again, the bar was set really low...) With 25 inches of new snow (and counting) between Thursday morning and Friday morning, Snoqualmie Pass has about 110 inches of total snow in 2015, of which about 55 inches was still on the ground as of Friday morning.
      • Poll: Seattleites narrowly prefer sunny, hot weather to rainy, windy weather

        ...- Scott Sistek
        If you had to choose between sunny and hot or cool and stormy, which would you prefer? Seattle has given us the chance to have extended periods of both this year, so I conducted a very unscientific poll on Facebook to find out which one was more tolerable. You might think sunshine would win hands down, but as a long time Seattle meteorologist, I'm well aware that there is a pretty large contingent of locals who prefer the rainy, stormy days to the sunny, hot days. I'm one of them -- a self-proclaimed "spokesperson for Seattle's rain fans" (which it says on my Twitter profile, so it must be true.)
      • 'Liquid Mountains': Photographer captures Lake Erie's fury

        ...- Scott Sistek
        Dave Sandford has photographed LeBron James on a drive to the hoop; been mere inches away when the Stanley Cup trophy has been hoisted in victory, and has captured Olympic skiers as they race down the mountain at breakneck speeds. But it's his passion for photographing the raw power -- and grace -- of nature where he really feels at home.
      • Massive storm blasts Alaska's Adak Island with 122 mph winds

        ...- Scott Sistek
        Alaskans are certainly used to taking the worst that Mother Nature can dish out, but she tried her best Saturday evening. A massive 928 mb (good luck finding that on your barometer) storm churning in the Northern Pacific just off the Aleutian Islands is bringing not just any hurricane-force winds to the region, but what would qualify as Category 3 hurricane force winds had the storm been an actual hurricane.
      • Stormy week brings some jaw-dropping tidbits

        ...- Scott Sistek
        There's been so many amazing weather facts over the past few days with the series of storms to roll though Western Washington that I figured they needed a blog entry all to themselves. First up, an interesting way to put just how much water goes into a flood into perspective: At noon Wednesday, the Snoqualmie River near Carnation was running at a flow of 56,800 cubic feet per second -- putting it in "Major" flood category.
      • Drought-stricken 2015 now above normal for rainfall in Seattle

        ...- Scott Sistek
        It just might go down as the wettest drought you'll see, especially in the Pacific Northwest. On Tuesday morning, Seattle climbed over 37.49 inches of rain for the year so far, which means despite going through a fairly significant drought this spring and summer, the record books will note that Seattle ended up the year with above average rainfall.
      • Legion of Gloom? Monday was 2nd darkest Seattle day in 21st Century

        ...- Scott Sistek
        Did it seem a bit gloomy Monday? I mean, gloomier than usual on a rainy Seattle December day? Turns out, it hasn't been quite this gloomy in December in several years, and there's only been one darker day in the 21st Century so far.
      • A peek behind the scenes of the windstorm that wasn't

        ...- Scott Sistek
        Well, that was an adventurous 24 hours! The forecast for Thursday's storm went from ho-hum Wednesday morning, to an alarming forecast Wednesday night of widespread damaging winds across the region, only to find out the storm was a bit more ho-hum after all.
      • How can planes land at Sea-Tac in the dense fog? Holograms!

        ...- Scott Sistek
        Scott's Note:This blog was originally published in 2013, but figured with the dense fog around this week, it was a good time to bring it back from the archives:It is a marvel of human technology that in fog so dense that driving just 35 mph on a local Seattle street still has you straining to see that traffic light just a half-block away, a plane traveling well over 100 mph on final approach can not only find, but land with pinpoint accuracy on an invisible airport runway -- and still find its way back to the terminal. In years past, the answer was just to divert inbound planes somewhere where it wasn't foggy and not allow outbound planes to leave until the fog lifted. But no more. Now Sea-Tac Airport, as many others across the globe, has an Instrument Landing System that helps transmit signals to help incoming planes find their way.
      • New weather model predicts vivid sunsets before they happen

        ...- Scott Sistek
        Western Washington residents have been treated to some dramatic sunsets this year -- one of the many benefits of living in an area framed with dramatic mountains and shimmering waterways. Most nights, they kind of sneak up on us - sure, a sunset happens every day but you need specific conditions for nature to put on a show-stopper. Yet when those conditions come together, it's 30 minutes of sheer beauty rarely matched anywhere else. But what if you knew ahead of time the upcoming sunset was going to be worthy of a drive to your favorite vista point?
      • Freezing weather brings out mysterious 'ice spikes'

        ...- Scott Sistek
        It might seem it's been so cold, even gravity is affected! Check out these photos from Pamela Maring of a column of ice that rose out of a dog dish in Marysville Wednesday morning. A frozen version of the Loch Ness Monster attempting to escape from its icy prison? Nope, just some neat physics in play.
      • Social media a blessing -- and a curse -- for meteorologists

        ...- Scott Sistek
        As I stared at my Twitter feed blowing up on Thursday with excited Tweets about potential snow -- for the following Tuesday -- it really dawned on me just how things have changed in the meteorology field over the past 10-20 years. We're publically talking about a marginal snow event -- in Seattle -- already? When it's still five days away?!?!?

      • ...- Scott Sistek
        Fog and sunrise: it's a lovely combination around Seattle. Michael Reid of Mike Reid Photography was in the perfect spot Friday morning to get this video (shown above) of the sun rising as a layer of fog was draped over Downtown Seattle.
      • As El Nino rages, still a warm winter foreseen, but 2016's looking wetter

        ...- Scott Sistek
        SEATTLE -- It's probably the first time in several months an update to the long range seasonal forecasts hasn't been met with total dread by skiers, snowboarders, and anyone else who is a fan of a snowy winter. That's probably because November has been kind to snow lovers so far with a parade of storms that have brought enough mountain snow for some ski resorts to open before Thanksgiving!
      • Wind speeds hit a high as 137 mph at some Cascade ski resorts Tuesday

        ...- Scott Sistek
        Scott's Note:In the original text, I erroneously crowned White Pass the wind champ at 119 mph, but it turns out I didn't runMission Ridge's data back far enough. Lo and behild, they hit an eye-popping 137 mph gust Tuesday evening!The Olympic Mountains may be home to Hurricane Ridge, but it was some of the Cascade ridges that took on hurricane-force winds during Tuesday's windstorm. As an intense low pressure system passed by just to the north, it created an incredible pressure difference along the eastside of the Cascades, bringing triple-digit wind speeds to some spots.
      • Seattle rattles off (almost) 37 consecutive hours of rainfall

        ...- Scott Sistek
        SEATTLE -- November is traditionally the rainiest month in Seattle, and 2015 is sure following suit. Through early on November 15, the month has already collected over 6.5 inches of rain -- already filling the typical monthly average (6.57") with still half a month to go.Both Friday (1.32") and Saturday (1.86") were the second-wettest November 13th and 14th (respectively) on record in Seattle, and Sunday November 15 was already approaching another inch of rain.
      • Cool, blustery day manages to set another Seattle heat record

        ...- Scott Sistek
        Saturday will be remembered a soaker of a day, registering the second-wettest November 14th on record with 1.86" of rain in Seattle.It was also the first time since Feb. 1 -- yes, the day of the Super Bowl -- that Seattle failed to reach 50 degrees (getting a high of 49 just after midnight, the cooling from there.)
      • Remembering the great Friday the 13th storm of 1981

        ...- Scott Sistek
        As the Pacific Northwest goes through a fairly potent storm on Friday the 13th in November, I figured this was a good time to bring back a blog I wrote three years ago detailing another big storm that hit the Northwest on a Friday the 13th in November. Of course, this storm had an impact on my life and, as you'll read, a much greater impact on many others.
      • Could Des Moines, Iowa have had the craziest weather day ever?

        ...- Scott Sistek
        Think of all the weather stories your dad or granddad told you were a kid about how difficult it was. Probably had nothing on what Des Moines, Iowa had on Wednesday. We've joked during our own storms about needing "weather bingo" to account for all the different events. We lose. The morning started simple enough: Cloudy skies gave out a little drizzle. Temperatures in the mid 50s warmed into the low 60s at lunch. Clouds were pretty low and thick, but winds were only blowing at 15 mph.

      • ...- Scott Sistek
        "If you have never had a chance to stand on top of the clouds, put it on your list." So says local photographer Don Jensen, who earlier this year got to spend a night doing just that, and the results were incredible.

      • ...- Scott Sistek
        Why would a pack of mules be carrying weather equipment up into the OlympicNational Park this October? It's all in the name of weather research!NASA has undertaken an ambitious research project this fall and winter called OLYMPEX (Olympic Mountains Experiment) to cover the Olympic Peninsula -- even its most remote locations -- with all sorts of weather instrument goodies in an effort to help NASA calibrate some new advanced weather satellites.

      • ...- Scott Sistek
        GIG HARBOR, Wash. -- It's a bit early for the snow season around here, but Gig Harbor got enough hail Sunday evening to at least catch a glimpse.

      • ...- Scott Sistek
        Most times when you see a video of the Northern Lights, it's in time lapse so you can get a better idea of the shimmering waves of color. Not this time -- not needed. Check out this video taken over Lake Superior from Marquette, Michigan on Friday night, courtesy of Lake Superior Photo.
      • 'Godzilla' El Nino not really a death sentence for local ski resorts

        ...- Scott Sistek
        News sites (and weather blogs) have been filled with stories about how the raging El Niño in the South-Central Pacific Ocean is set to rival, if not surpass the strongest event on record in 1997 and have accompanied daunting forecasts of what could happen in El Niño years. For the Pacific Northwest, El Niño years have typically meant warmer and drier winters with less than average mountain snowpacks, and the long range forecasts have been consistently trending that way. So much so that it's become somewhat of a tradition in this weather blog to have cute "Emergency Kitten" video therapy for snow lovers who happen upon the forecast.
      • Slimy mystery: Thousands of worms cover Auburn sidewalk after rainstorm

        ...- Scott Sistek
        Turns out in Auburn, if you're a bird who likes to sleep in, you still won't go hungry.Crystal Clarity was out for a walk in Auburn Sunday afternoon after the heavy rains that hit on Saturday, only to find a rather gross, slimy situation."At first, we didn't know what to make of it. There were so many of these odd, pink clumps all over the sidewalk. From a distance, it looked like raw hamburger," she said."But once we got close, we realized each of these clumps was actually tens of thousands of intertwined, living worms!"
      • Yemen facing strike by perhaps first hurricane-like storm on record

        ...- Scott Sistek
        A rare and raging cyclone -- essentially a hurricane, but with a different name -- was bearing down on the country of Yemen in what could be the first hurricane-type tropical system ever to strike the country, or at least in recorded records. Cyclone Chapala was a Category 3 storm with winds gusting as high as 126 mph in the storm's center, according to the Navy's Joint Typhoon Center, which is certainly not used to tracking storms in the Arabian Sea. The storm is expected to make landfall on Tuesday as a Category 1 storm.
      • October goes down as 2nd warmest on record in Seattle

        ...- Scott Sistek
        Well, the "Blob" of warm waters off the Pacific Coast that's been giving our temperatures a boost for a year and a half now has sure done one thing: It's making its records hard to break.
      • 13 FEET of snow, 65 mph winds -- just another day atop Mt. Rainier

        ...- Scott Sistek
        You think it's been a little stormy around Seattle this weekend? Child's play to the Mt. Rainier summit. How's this for a weekend forecast: Between 122 and 162 inches of snow (10-13 FEET!), 65 mph winds, and temperatures in the 20-30 degree range, making wind chills near zero.
      • Watch: 'Most intense turbulence' as NOAA flies through Hurricane Patricia

        ...- Scott Sistek
        If you're someone whose heart rate jumps a bit when your 737 hits a few bumps while soaring over the Cascades, then this job is not for you... An extremely brave crew of 13 "hurricane hunters" spent much of their Thursday and Friday intentionally flying a NOAA P3 aircraft right into the heart of Hurricane Patricia -- what turned out to be the strongest storm on record in the Western Hemisphere. As you might imagine, flying around in 200+ mph winds amid towering thunderstorms and swirling updrafts, the "Fasten Seatbelt" sign was on for a vast majority of the flight (not that it really has one.)
      • At 200 mph, Patricia sets record for strongest hurricane ever

        ...- Scott Sistek
        The numbers are staggering: A hurricane bearing down on western Mexico has been measured to have winds stronger than Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Andrew -- and even Hurricane Camille. In fact, put any name there and Hurricane Patricia tops them all: 201 mph!The National Hurricane Center said Friday morning that based on data from hurricane hunter aircraft, Patricia had strengthened into a monster Category 5 hurricane with peak *sustained* winds at 175 knots -- or 201 mph -- with even higher gusts! That is 6 mph more than the 195 mph winds measured by satellites in Typhoon Haiyan which caused massive destruction in the Philippines in 2013. In NorthAmerica, Hurricane Allen had 190 mph winds in 1980.200 mph is also the baseline windspeed of an F5 tornado.
      • Forget the Cubs, McFly, warn us of the 103 degree day!

        ...- Scott Sistek
        Happy "Back to the Future" day -- the date in the sequel where Marty McFly goes 30 years into the future and lands on Oct. 21, 2015. A major plot line of the movie was that he gets his hands on a sports almanac that would allow McFly to accurately predict the final score of every sporting event form 1985-2015, only it falls into the wrong hands and... I don't want to spoil the rest of the plot for the 4 of you who have never seen the movie. But I was thinking being the weather geek that I am, forget the sports almanac. If I found my 1985 self in 2015, I'd have gone straight to the National Weather Service (well, at least ask my parents to drive me there once the shock wore off) and get my hands on this book:

      • ...- Scott Sistek
        Local photographer Don Jensen has brought back a great time lapse video from the Great Prosser Balloon Rally from late September. It was too windy on Day 1 for the balloons to fly, but it did make for a great sunrise. Then Sunday, conditions were perfect and the pilots didn't disappoint!

      • ...- Scott Sistek
        Sometimes, Mother Nature's beauty is most apparent when we speed things up. The video above is of a spectacular lenticular cloud shot over Mt. Rainier by local photographer Jordyn Murdock.
      • New winter forecast: El Nino still in charge, but hope for next winter?

        ...- Scott Sistek
        "Hmmm.... it's the third Thursday of the month -- the day the new 30- and 90-day forecasts come out. Bet they still paint a rather bleak picture for snowy mountains this winter. I wonder if Scott has posted an updated emergency cute kitten therapy video yet in his blog?"Why yes they do, and yes I have:
      • Top 10 rejected headlines from Weather Channel Winter Storm names

        ...- Scott Sistek
        As has become recent tradition over the past three years, the Weather Channel is going to once again name winter storms. They just released their list of names for the upcoming 2015-16 season and one thing is for sure: Headline writers are going to have some options writing about the storms.
      • Rainier Beach really is rainier than anywhere else in Seattle

        ...- Scott Sistek
        When Seattle's neighborhoods were given their names way back when, it turns out "Rainier Beach" could have had an alternate name: "Rainiest Beach" The Seattle Public Utilities, which operates 17 rain gauges spread across the city, has gone back over their past 5 years of data and have discovered Seattle's rains are not equal. Some parts of the city get as much as 20 percent more rain per year on average than others. SPU has used this data to declare the wettest spot in the city: The Rainier Beach neighborhood.
      • Dramatic sunrise over Mt. Rainier signals approaching winter

        ...- Scott Sistek
        Those gazing at Mt. Rainier Friday morning at just the right time were treated to quite a show, with a dark streak across the sky lifting from the mountain's peak. It almost looks like the mountain is erupting, but instead it's just being a "better door than a window."
      • State's drought could spell early end to autumn leaves displays

        ...- Scott Sistek
        So in driving around town this September, it seemed to my untrained eye that the autumn leaves were turning earlier than usual, with some trees already golden brown or red and half empty. Could it be a by-product of the hot summer? I asked some experts at the University of Washington Botanical Gardens and it turns out it's yes and no. First of all, according to Dr. Sarah Reichard, the director of the University of Washington Botanic Gardens, there are some tree species around here that are typical "early shedders" of their leaves in September, like Red Maples and Vine Maples -- probably a lot of what I was seeing.

      • ...- Scott Sistek
        Once again, our clear early autumn skies have come at a great time -- this time to catch another show of the Northern Lights across the Pacific Northwest. Meg McDonald of Wild Northwest Beauty Photography just spent several days hiking around Mt. Baker and had her cameras at the ready when this dazzling display of the aurora peeked out Saturday night.
      • Mariners fans treated to near-record amount of sunshine this summer

        ...- Scott Sistek
        Beachgoers and outdoor cafe connisours weren't the only people to benefit from the summer of sunshine this year. So did the Boys of Summer.The super warm Seattle Summer of 2015 just narrowly missed setting a Safeco Field record for fewest number of times the roof has been extended in a season. This year, just 11 of the Mariners' 81 home games have been played with the roof closed for all or part of the game, according to team spokesperson Rebecca Hale (5 games under the roof from the start; 6 closed duing the game.)The rains Friday night left it one short of matching 2006 and 2012 for the fewest closures in a year.
      • 'Water year' rainfall nearly normal, so how are we in a drought?

        ...- Scott Sistek
        Happy start of the rainy season in Seattle! Sure, it's blazing sunshine of late again, but Oct. 1 is the official start and thus also marks the start/end point of the "water year." In addition to tracking rainfall from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, NOAA also tracks it from Oct. 1 to Sept. 30 (calling it the "water year" rainfall) since our rainy season goes from October to March, this way we can also get a good gauge of the autumn/winter as a whole and its impact on our water and snowpack situations. For 2014-15, Seattle ended up with 36.82 inches of rain, just 2/3" below the normal of 37.49 inches.But this year, it'd be real nice if "rainy season"lived up to its title, since our drought is still going stong.Now some are probably wondering: "Wait a minute, but you just said we weren't that far below normal for our past 'water year', how can it be a drought?" Indeed, last year we had about 39.11" for our 2013-14 water year -- just a little more than 2" than this year -- and we weren't in this bad of shape.
      • Cool September breaks Seattle's 18-month heat streak

        ...- Scott Sistek
        Seattle's 18-month streak of consecutive months with above normal monthly temperatures has finally (mercifully?) come to an end. September's average temperature was 60.5 degrees, coming in below our typical average temperature of 61.3 degrees. It's the first time we've been below normal for a month since Feb. 2014.
      • Loud 'crazy birds' update: Blame Greater White-fronted geese?

        ...- Scott Sistek
        A mystery of what caused a very loud ruckus of birds over South King County Sunday night may be solved. Reports flooded in across a wide swath of area ranging from about Puyallup's South Hill to Enumclaw of birds that sounded distressed, circling for hours.Grant Canterbury, a biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Portland says the noisy birds were Greater White-fronted geese, who were on their fall migration.
      • Supermoon plus eclipse equals rare sky show Sunday night

        ...- Scott Sistek
        What happens when you combine a "Supermoon" with a total lunar eclipse this Sunday night? Something that is even rarer than once in a blue moon! When a full or new moon makes its closest approach to Earth, that's a supermoon. Although still about 220,000 miles away, this full moon will look bigger and brighter than usual. In fact, it will be the closest full moon of the year, about 30,000 miles closer than the average distance. (The moon's orbit is far from a perfect circle.)
      • Seattle summer (mercifully?) ends after breaking or tying 28 records

        ...- Scott Sistek
        Autumn officially began its reign in Seattle at 1:21 a.m. Wednesday and it was none too soon for those who don't have air conditioning and waded through the hottest summer on record. Many records were shattered to lengths that records are rarely broken -- such as 12 days at or above 90 degrees this year, topping the old record by 33 percent!
      • Since when does autumn begin on Sept. 23?!?

        ...- Scott Sistek
        Happy first day of autumn! Hey, wait, today's the 23rd, right? I don't know about you, but growing up, I learned the seasons changed on the 21sts of their month, but it seems like that's rarely the case. Autumn began on Sept. 23 this year -- the same year that spring began on March 19. It turns out, I don't know where we got Sept. 21 as a good date to teach us in school, because autumn hasn't started for real on the 21st in any of our lifetimes. The earliest start to autumn in the past 115 years is 7:50 a.m. (PDT) on Sept. 22 in 2012. To that effect, spring won't start on the 21st in most of our lifetimes either, unless you're super healthy (or perhaps reading this a grade school project) and live to the year 2102.
      • Photo puts massive Eastern Washington wildfires into perspective

        ...- Scott Sistek
        We already know it's been a record-setting wildfire season, with nearly 1 million acres burned across Eastern Washington. The fires are mostly out now, but their burn marks remain.

      • ...- Scott Sistek
        It wasn't the reincarnation of an Alfred Hitchcock movie, but we got several reports of strange, loud bird behavior in Southeast King County Sunday night. People emailed from Graham, Enumclaw, Bonney Lake and South Hill/Puyallup noting the bird commotion, asking us if we had any idea what was happening."Anyone know what's going on with the birds??" one person posted on a neighborhood Facebook post. "There have been a lot of them, and I do mean it sounds like a lot of them, over the last several hours. We've lived up here for 10 years, and never, until tonight, heard all this noise. They get quiet, then they start up again. At times they sound like they're in flight, but always close by."
      • Climbers create their own amazing shot of 'Brocken Spectre'

        ...- Scott Sistek
        It's not easy to create your own optical illusion, but mountain climbers and hikers who have ever been out and about on a sunny and foggy day did just that, creating what's known as a "Brocken spectre." Radka Chapin and her husband got to see the amazing sight while they were up at Tamanos Mountain on Saturday. "We got treated to a spectacular light show with Brocken Spectre," she said. "We spent several hours on the summit! We tried to leave several times but then the Spectre would start showing again and it was so magnificent, we had to stay and watch it. We ended up hiking out with headlamps :) "
      • Why does my phone say it's 106 degrees in Skagit County?

        ...- Scott Sistek
        Fresh off the report that we're in for a mild winter and hot summer, has the weather in Skagit County already taken it to heart? We had a few people remark that their cell phone is telling them despite the clouds and drizzle outside, we were experiencing triple-digit heat!
      • New forecasts still say mild winter, hot summer again for Northwest

        ...- Scott Sistek
        Despite September looking like it will break our streak of 18 consecutive months with warmer than normal temperatures in Seattle (although not a guarantee yet), the newest 90-day forecast maps from NOAA's Climate Prediction Center are pretty adamant we'll start the streak anew in October.And it's likely the new streak will get several months under its belt as well, as the maps still suggest high confidence we'll be warmer than normal through the winter. The confidence drops a little in spring and a little farther for summer 2016, but the odds given are still much better for more relative heat than relative chill.
      • Is Seattle's 18-month heat streak in jeopardy?

        ...- Scott Sistek
        The last time Seattle had a month that was considered cooler than normal by average temperature, we were all dancing in the streets (but only during the "walk" sign) celebrating the Seahawks Super Bowl XLVIII victory. A lot has happened since Feburary 2014, but one thing that has remained the same month after month since then: A plus sign next to Seattle's average overall temperature in regard to departure from normal. That's 18 months in a row, if you haven't been keeping track.
      • How to fix California's drought? They'd need to take our weather for a year

        ...- Scott Sistek
        We've all heard how bad the drought is in California, with the past three years particularly hard for lack of rainfall. According to NOAA, 97% of the state is in some form of drought, with nearly half the state in the most dire "extreme drought" category. Remember in 2013, San Francisco had 3.38 inches of rain -- for the entire year! And so far in 2015, they're still just over 3.5 inches of rain. (They're annual rain average is around 20 inches.) But now we have what could be a record El Nino coming this winter, and while that usually means a drier winter up here in the Pacific Northwest, it's typically a much wetter scenario for Southern and Central California -- in essence they steal our jet stream and corresponding rains.
      • Beautiful time lapse video of Milky Way galaxy over W. Washington

        ...- Scott Sistek
        The nights are starting to get longer as we head into autumn, but there's luckily been enough clear skies of late to where longer nights are welcome. Meg McDonald of Wild Northwest Beauty Photography has put together a time lapse video combining two stunning nights of work capturing the Milky Way (and the trillions of other stars out there) while at Olympic National Park and at Mt. Rainier National Park.
      • Is this the final 80 degree day of the year in Seattle?

        ...- Scott Sistek
        It's essentially been a 2-for-1 summer heat sale for Seattle this year: Friday, Seattle hit 80 degrees for the 50th time this year, not only extending the record that had been 47, but has now doubled the average amount of 80 degree days in a year here (25). Saturday mananged to notch No. 51 with a preliminary high of 80, but will it be the last 80 degree day of the year? Several signs point to yes.
      • Welsh weather forecaster nails pronunciation of 58-letter town

        ...- Scott Sistek
        And you thought saying "Puyallup" was a challenge...You may or may not have seen this already, but I have to join the meteorological world in offering up kudos to Channel 4 (UK)meteorologist Liam Dutton, who managed to rattle off the correct pronunciation of the 58-letter Welsh town of (deep breath:)"Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch"-- during a broadcast earlier this week. He's now created his own internet storm and causing the most use of Microsoft's "copy and paste" function since the Eyjafjallajökull volcano erupted in Iceland a few years ago (yes, I copy and pasted that too...)
      • 'Godzilla' El Nino odds now 95 percent for winter, threatening record strength

        ...- Scott Sistek
        Things that are now as likely as an El Niño this winter: * You will spend at least 30 minutes getting from Seattle Center to I-5 via Mercer... * Marshawn Lynch will go Beast Mode... * You'll have buyer's remorse for that impulse purchase on Amazon Gold Box. (At least you can send it back...) Yes, NOAA was out with their fresh El Niño update and now they are giving a whopping 95 percent chance that El Niño will last into the winter, with gradual weakening foreseen into spring. This is about as confident as forecasters get-- heck, sometimes there's a token 5% chance of rain in Death Valley in the summer.
      • Northern Lights make brilliant appearance across Puget Sound region

        ...- Scott Sistek
        What a lucky night to have some reasonably clear skies! A solar storm brought a round of the Northern Lights early Wednesday morning and several local photographers were at the ready. "I have been privileged to witness some incredible aurora displays over the last year that I have been chasing them," said Holly Davison, who's photo is at the top there. "Last night's may have possibly been the best...or at least in the top 3. Wow! What a fun night."

      • ...- Scott Sistek
        "A lot of things can happen on the mountain when you take the time to relax and just watch." Local photographer Don Jensen is out with another time lapse masterpieces -- this one featuring two full days of video -- one day on either side of Mt. Rainier.

      • ...- Scott Sistek
        You've probably heard of wind shear before, but have you ever seen it in action? There was some great horizontal wind shear on Friday, as demonstrated by the time lapse camera at SkunkBayWeather.com in Hansville, Wash.
      • Well that's rare: British Columbia painted on tropical storm tracking map

        ...- Scott Sistek
        Hurricane and tropical storm tracker maps are a way of life in the Gulf of Mexico and along the Atlantic Seaboard (and Hawaii too) but British Columbia? The latest storm tracker map from NOAA for Hurricane Ignacio shows the weakening storm currently in the Central Pacific Ocean heading north, then curling back to the east, making "landfall" in central British Columbia on Wednesday.
      • UW Prof: 'Godzilla' El Nino to vanquish warm 'blob' of ocean waters

        ...- Scott Sistek
        Two weather entities have been battling it out for media attention of late: The warm 'blob' of water in the Pacific Ocean largely blamed for our year-plus long of warmer temperatures in the Northwest, and a budding El Niño of super strength that has been given a variety of monikers, from "Bruce Lee" El Niño to "Godzilla" El Niño. But University of Washington Atmospheric Sciences professor (and fellow weather blogger) Cliff Mass says only one can survive, and the two will engage in a meteorological battle that will rival those found on late night monster movies. Who will win? Mass reveals who he'd put his money on:

      • ...- Scott Sistek
        An approximate list of city elevations in feet using the free Google Earth software earth.google.com. Note some are ranges due to wide variance in elevation within the city, and I left off many places that are along immediate shorelines since their elevati
      • Photos: Dramatic images of record hurricane activity in Pacific Ocean

        ...- Scott Sistek
        Chalk up two firsts for the planet this year when it comes to hurricanes this summer -- a parade of three simultaneous hurricanes in the Pacific Ocean over the weekend, plus a rather odd record set in the Atlantic too. First in the Pacific, where three Category 4 hurricanes -- Kilo, Ignacio and Jimena -- were roaming the Central Pacific Ocean waters at the same time on Sunday. It's the first time in the satellite imagery era (think post 1950s) that three major hurricanes were observed at the same time east of the International Dateline, according to The CIMSS Satellite Blog via the University of Wisconsin (aka "the other U-Dub".)
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