Weather Blog

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:

Weather photographers lament: 'Hey! That's *my* photo!'

Weather photographers lament: 'Hey! That's *my* photo!'
A double-stacked lenticular cloud appears at sunrise over Mt. Rainier on Nov. 20, 2004 (Photo: Jim George, Puyallup, WA)

An interesting thing happened to me Friday on a journey from my Twitter feed to a national news web site after they proclaimed they had just posted a gallery of weather photographs submitted by readers.

Anyone who has seen this blog before knows I'm a sucker for gorgeous weather photography and so I had to take a peek. But while rummaging through the photos, I came upon one I had seen before of two lenticular clouds stacked upon themselves over Mt. Rainier at sunrise. Only the caption had it taken during the summer of 2012 by an Aaron T.

I knew the picture has been around for ages, and after some Google sleuthing, came upon the original photographer and his Flickr stream, showing two more photos taken the same day.

Latest winter outlook not exactly music to snow lovers' ears

Latest winter outlook not exactly music to snow lovers' ears
File photo of Mount Hood Skibowl by EncMstr (Wikimedia Commons).

It's the third Thursday of the month, and that means it's time for NOAA's Climate Prediction Center to update their seasonal forecasts. And there are a few changes from their predictions from August.

The August prediction so far has correctly predicted the Northwest would have a warm September. Through Wednesday, the average temperature was running 4.4 degrees ahead of normal.

But going into October, it now predicts a rainy start to fall, with above average chances for a wetter than average month, and equal chances for temperature:

So much rain fell in Boulder we can measure in milk cartons

So much rain fell in Boulder we can measure in milk cartons
How much 8.62" of rain in a standard rain gauge fills a gallon jug of milk -- just short of half way!

The Boulder, Colorado area just suffered through some historic flash flooding at the hands of some incredible rainfall that for many around here would be impossible to fathom.

If you look at this map below, it is a 24 hour rainfall total measurement from the volunteer CoCoRahs rainfall network taken the morning after the torrential downpours in Boulder County:

Hurricane Humberto thwarts record for hurricane futility by 3 hours

Hurricane Humberto thwarts record for hurricane futility by 3 hours
Tropical Storm Humberto swirls off the African coastline in the Atlantic Ocean on Sept. 10, 2013.

Mid-September is the midpoint of the Atlantic Ocean Hurricane season, but so far it's been very quiet.

And it was just 3 hours away from being record-quiet.

The Atlantic had gone the entire year without a hurricane until early Wednesday morning, with just eight named tropical storms, including Tropical Storm Humberto which officially became a hurricane at 5 a.m. EDT as it swirled off the west African coast.

'BOK' 'BOK' 'BOK' is HOT! HOT! HOT! (again)

'BOK' 'BOK' 'BOK' is HOT! HOT! HOT! (again)

One of the sure signs that a heat wave is building into Western Washington and Oregon is to just take a peek at the temperature for Brookings on the southern Oregon Coast. ('BOK' is their NOAA Weather code)

Temperatures were well into the 90s again Monday after reaching 92 Sunday. Perhaps even more amazing is it only cooled to 80 degrees Sunday night -- and again, Brookings is right on the coast!

Meteorology and fashion collide to make...a weather shoe?

Meteorology and fashion collide to make...a weather shoe?
Photo: Nike.com

Forget the trendy occupations like doctor or firefighter or stunt devil. Meteorology has made the big time on the cool factor, and we're not talking because of some big arctic high pressure system moving down from Canada...

Nike, who has put its stamp on worldwide trends with the Air Jordan,"Just Do It" and... shattering the myth that a shoe should only need 1-2 colors has now added weather maps to its hallowed ranks of what it thinks people will want to wear on their feet.

Behold the "Nike Weatherman Pack" basketball shoes.

Are you sure it's August? Temp drops to 9° in Canadian town

Are you sure it's August? Temp drops to 9° in Canadian town
Web camera of Eureka, NU, Canada on Aug. 23, 2013, courtesy Canadian Network for Detection of Atmospheric Change

If you were to take a trip to the upper reaches of the Arctic Circle, you would probably not be expecting to, say, sunbathe by a pool in shorts. But these past few weeks you might have needed a heavier coat than you brought.

The area near Eureka -- a Canadian research outpost in Nunavut at 80 degrees North (See map) -- has seen a nearly unprecedented start to winter this month.

According to UW research meteorologist Mark Albright, there is already 7 inches of snow on the ground and the temperature Friday night dropped to 9 degrees -- its lowest August temperature reading ever and as far as I can tell, the third lowest August temperature reading ever recorded around sea level in North America. (The research post "Alert" at 82N has recorded late August temps of 5F and 8F on Aug. 31 and 30 according to their record lows). Certainly Eureka's 9F was the coldest August 24th temperature recorded in North America.