A meteor shower and other interesting weather tidbits this weekend
From a meteor shower to the lack of April showers, there is a lot of little weather blurbs that are noteworthy for this weekend.
1) The clearing skies this weekend are coinciding nicely with the Lyrid Meteor Shower, which peaks in the pre-dawn hours both early Saturday morning and Sunday morning (April 21-22). The shower isn't among the best of the year, but can showcase as many as 15-20 "shooting stars" per hour as the Earth passes through Comet Thatcher.
We get an added bonus this year that it's coming at the time of new moon, so no pesky moonlight to wash out the night sky. The meteors will be coming out of the Lyrid constellation in the southern sky. Here is a NASA video with more information:
2) A dry weekend will make three in a row -- the first such stretch since 5 weekends in a row that spanned late August into early September last year. (And actually, that streak goes to 9 if you count a trace as dry.) But what is more amazing is that the long range models suggest the weekend of April 28-29 could also be dry.
If that happens, it would be the first time in Sea-Tac recorded history that every weekend in April went dry. (We'll have to see how much the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival paid for that kind of weather magic this year!)
3) On the other hand, the middle of the weeks have been quite wet. Check out the rainfall totals from the rainy storm that spanned Thursday night into Friday morning. Some spots had over 1" with a few spots over 2 inches!
4) The new 30- and 90-day extended forecasts were released on Thursday. The 30 day forecast for May shows high chances of a cooler than normal May, but also significant chances of a drier than normal month. The Climate Prediction Center says our cooler forecast stems from lingering effects of La Nina and cooler ocean temperatures offshore. What this probably spells is extra marine cloud days where we'll have stubborn morning clouds then clearing, keeping us dry but cooler than normal. We'll see.
The 90 day forecasts for late spring into summer show the effects of La Nina finally dying off and a transition to neutral conditions -- in fact, their discussion notes that La Nina was removed from their forecasts as a forecasting influence. The general theme of the West Coast is for a dry and warmer than normal late spring/summer, but there is a noted exception to Western Washington, where no signal is noted and they give "equal chances" the summer could go either way.
5) Let's finish with some eye candy. Check out this video from Dr. Dale Ireland in Silveradle - of the "standing wave" or lenticular clouds that formed over the Olympics on Thursday:
Have a great weekend!