Weather Blog

Clear skies allow brief viewing of Comet ISON's 'pre-game' show

Clear skies allow brief viewing of Comet ISON's 'pre-game' show
Comet ISON shows off its tail in this three-minute exposure taken on 19 Nov. 2013 at 6:10 a.m. EST, using a 14-inch telescope located at the Marshall Space Flight Center. Photo Credit: NASA/MSFC/Aaron Kingery

It's been perhaps the most anticipated astronomical event of the year as Comet ISON makes its way toward the sun on a path and proximity that has some experts believing it might end up as one of the more spectacular comets in a long time.

If all goes right, Comet ISON could be so bright, it would rival a full moon at night and could even be visible during daylight. But that's a big "if".

What's it like living in space? Col. Hadfield shows us the answer

What's it like living in space? Col. Hadfield shows us the answer »Play Video
Col. Chris Hadfield looks out towrad Earth from his view on the International Space Station (Photo: NASA)

There are plenty of places that you could argue have the best view on Earth. But as far as the best view above the Earth? Col. Chris Hadfield has seen it, hands down.

Hadfield served six months on the International Space Station earlier this year and in doing so, became the first Canadian ever to command the station.

But in the social media circles, Hadfield might be best known for sharing his incredible office view from his perch 230 miles high and posting them on his Twitter account @Cmdr_Hadfield and posting to his Facebook page.

"I took 45,000 pictures of the world.... and sent as many of them as I could down in real time to try and let people to the best of my ability see that perspective as it looked through my eyes," Hadfield told KOMO News. "And a lot of people came on board and shared it and that perspective is good for us all."

From towering, snow-capped volcanoes to intricate swirls off the the Italian coastlines, his gallery is a treasure trove of information about our home and showcases many planetary features that can't be appreciated the same way from the ground.

The beauty Nature brings after the sun goes down

The beauty Nature brings after the sun goes down
Photo courtesy John Eklund time lapse video: "Purely Pacific Northwest"

It doesn't matter whether you live below the clouds like most of us, or are on a mission high above like those on the International Space Station, the Earth can be a very beautiful place, especially at night.

One of largest storms in recorded history strikes Philippines

One of largest storms in recorded history strikes Philippines
Visible satellite image of Super Typhoon Haiyan taken by the Japan Meteorological Agency's MTSAT at 0630Z on November 7, 2013.

The numbers are unreal.

Sustained winds of 195 mph. Gusts to 235 mph.

It's not Hollywood, it's an actual storm -- a Super Typhoon -- that was bearing down on the Philippines with strength mankind rarely sees.

Would a Super Bowl in Seattle likely have miserable weather?

Would a Super Bowl in Seattle likely have miserable weather?

Traditionally, Super Bowls have been played either in Florida, Arizona or California -- spots where you would expect to find warm, sunny weather in the dead of winter -- or if in more northern locales, in a domed stadium.

But this year at least, the NFL is trying something different. The 2014 Super Bowl is being held in Meadowlands Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey just outside New York City -- about as synonymous to warm, sunny weather in February as Canada. And at least if the Farmer's Almanac is right, it might look like a poor choice with predictions of a big snowstorm there the weekend of Feb. 2.

But now that the precedent has been set for a northern team in an outdoor stadium to host a Super Bowl, why not Seattle? The odds of a February super snow storm hitting here during a Super Bowl are certainly less than New Jersey's (although admittedly, not zero).

It hardly ever rains on Seahawks' 12th Man -- except when the 49ers are here

It hardly ever rains on Seahawks' 12th Man -- except when the 49ers are here
Despite rain, thunderstorms and a weather delay, the 12th Man showed up big in the Seahawks win over the San Francisco 49ers on Sept. 16, 2013. (Joshua Lewis / KOMO News)

With the Seattle Seahawks square in the national spotlight this year amid dreams of a Super Bowl season, those who have been watching the games here and around the nation have been treated to not just our dominating defense, our powerful offense and our ear-shattering 12th Man but also a solid reinforcement of Seattle's rainy reputation.

The thought really came to me after watching the weather debacle of this year's home opener against San Francisco that fateful Sunday night on national TV which featured soaking rains and an hour-long thunderstorm delay -- which came on the heels of a soaking rainstorm against those same 49ers during a Sunday night game late last season.

I'm sure many thought whoever had the bright idea to move the team and fans out of the comfy, climate-controlled confines of the Kingdome years ago and build an open air stadium for the heart of Seattle's stormy season must have been "a few yards short of a first down" in the brain department.

But should playing a game in Seattle automatically be linked to a drenching rain as Lambeau and Soldier Fields often mean playing in -15° wind chills?

Before these past few games, I didn't really remember too many rainy or cold games there, so I decided to go back and check the weather over every regular season home game that has been played at Seahawks Stadium/Qwest Field/CenturyLink Field since it opened in 2002.

The goal: To see just how many times it's rained on the 12th Man, how many times it's been chilly or hot, and how windy it's ever been. The answer was surprising to me: Despite playing in the heart of the worst weather on Seattle's meteorological calendar, Mother Nature has gone relatively easy on us.

Just don't tell that to the San Francisco 49ers, who seem to bring out the worst in Seattle weather.

Northwest getting hit by virtual ''anti-wind storm''

Northwest getting hit by virtual ''anti-wind storm''
A layer of fog hangs over Seattle on Oct. 20, 2013. (Photo courtesy: Puget Sound Clean Air Agency Visibility Camera)

Missing: Isobars. Last seen about a week ago...

The last part of October is the traditional start of the stormy season in the Pacific Northwest.  But Mother Nature is going in the totally opposite direction, bringing what you might call an "anti-wind storm" -- a wide swath of area that will not have *any* wind.

Forget Waldo, can you spot the lonely rain shower?

Forget Waldo, can you spot the lonely rain shower?
It's tough to spot the lonely rain shower on this forecasted rainfall map for the morning of Oct. 20.

You might have heard it's going to be a rather dry week around here, courtesy of a strong ridge of high pressure.

But the strength of the ridge is quite surprising, especially for October, taking up much of the Pacific Coast.

The picture above is high-resolution forecast model showing expected rainfall for Sunday morning, which would show up as colored blobs.

110 mph winds in Frederickson tornado? How do they know?

110 mph winds in Frederickson tornado? How do they know? »Play Video
Alan Hursh walks past a tree that fell on his family's home in the Frederickson neighborhood after a tornado moved through the area earlier in the day near Puyallup, Wash., Monday, Sept. 30, 2013. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Last week brought a very rare sight to Western Washington - a tornado that damaged two roofs near the Frederickson Boeing plant and toppled several trees around and into nearby homes.

The National Weather Service would later rate the storm an EF-1 on the Enhanced Fujita Scale with top wind speeds of 110 mph.

But obviously, they didn't have a lucky anemometer right in the tornado's path to record the wind speed, so how can they tell how strong the tornado was?

Alaska forecaster uses hidden message to plea for paycheck

Alaska forecaster uses hidden message to plea for paycheck
Photo of National Weather Service office in Anchorage, AK. (Photo: National Weather Service)

The effects of the government shutdown have far reaching effects - even spreading all the way into Alaska -- as whoever was on shift as the lead forecaster at the Anchorage National Weather Service office early Friday morning made a rather unusual plea for the shutdown to end.

This was the beginning of their forecast discussion, which is updated every six hours, posted at 5 a.m. Alaska time. At first blush, it's a rather mundane forecast -- a weakening storm system.

That is, until you note the first letter of every sentence: