Weather Blog

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:

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.