The waters of Puget Sound were relatively calm Thursday night off the shores of Mukilteo. But up in the skies, it was time to Hang 10...
The wavy clouds are known as Kelvin Helmholtz clouds (or, because scientists love acronyms just as much as the government: "KH clouds"), in honor of Lord Kelvin and German scientist Hermann von Helmholtz.
You might recognize Kelvin from such other scientific staples as the Kelvin temperature scale, of which we get absolute zero from.
A strange dichotomy popped up on NOAA's monthly map showing statewide ranks of where their month's rainfall stacked up against their record books.
Relatively speaking, Oregon had the driest July in the nation -- and set their driest July in their 119 years of records. Washington wasn't too far behind at 8th driest in the past 119 years (remember, Seattle didn't get any rain, but there were enough thunderstorms roaming around in other towns to bring our state average off the bottom).
It's been blazingly sunny in the lowlands for the most part this summer, but those hiking in the Cascades have probably noticed at times a few more clouds around than when they left Seattle.
On Sunday, it was particularly noteworthy as some lingering unstable air from Friday's trough of low pressure brought conditions ripe for thunderstorms in the mountains.
But why there and not here? The mountainous topography is the key. As air flows over the mountains, the lift the hills provide is the key trigger to start the process of creating tall cumulonimbus clouds that eventually become showers and thunderstorms.
Two photographers in Milan, Italy somehow managed to escape serious injury when a tornado roared literally right next to them as they had their cameras rolling.
Reports are that 12 people were hurt but thankfully no one was killed when the tornado touched down on Monday.
The videos show the incredible debris that this tornado was carrying along for the ride.
The first one was taken by someone who had the tornado come down his street -- you can actually see a bit of the tornado about 1:30 in:
One of my all-time favorite blogs was about the "Tarp-nami" -- when a massive thunderstorm suddenly struck a Knoxville, Tenn. minor league baseball game and blew the tarp around, nearly smothering a member of the grounds crew.
Well, thanks to another impressive thunderstorm that struck Albuquerque on Friday, we now have the sequel.
As I chronicled in my last blog entry, the storm brought 89 mph winds and a ton of rain.
It just so happened the storm also struck just as their minor league team, the Albuquerque Isotopes, were just getting under way.
Their grounds crew tried to apply the tarp as well, also with no success.
They're in the middle of the desert, but you can forgive those around Albuquerque if they felt they were suddenly in the middle of the tropics -- well, at least a dusty tropicale.
An extremely intense thunderstorm brought a microburst of wind and rain to the town, blasting the city with winds usually reserved for tropical storms.
The Albuquerque airport first reported a gust of 89 mph as the edge of the thunderstorm approached. Those winds were generated from an intense downburst of rain -- think of dumping a bucket of water and the blast of wind created on the ground when the water strikes the pavement.
If the warm days of summer have you pining for some cooler weather, perhaps a trip to Mars is in order.
Sure, you'd need to build a spaceship, ask your boss for about 2 years off from work, and solve that whole "Mars has no oxygen, water, or Starbucks (yet)" issue but if you could get there, it would definitely be colder than a Seattle summer.
Tony Rice, a fellow weather blogger and volunteer with the NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador program, maintains the @MarsWxReport Twitter feed, which gives the current weather once a Martian day (40 minutes longer than an Earth day) from the Mars rover Curiosity.
Clear skies over the past few days have given quite a show for photographers eager to capture the full moon as it rose over the Cascades. But there might have been a little confusion over what to call it.
Some referred to it as the "Thunder Moon", others the "Super Moon" and others still, the "Buck Moon."
Turns out, they're all correct.
The Northern Lights have been making relatively frequent appearances over the Northwest this summer, but the green tinge captured in photographs above Mt. Rainier on the night of July 12th wasn't the aurora.
It was instead what's known as "airglow."
Unlike aurora, airglow covers the entire planet and is there all the time, caused by reactions between solar energy and certain air molecules. It's just not visible in daytime due to sunlight and is hard to spot at night from other light pollution.
Social media and water coolers were abuzz Friday with the next DVD blockbuster sci-fi (emphasis on the 'fi') movie "Sharknado" that aired on the Sy-Fy channel Thursday night.
But this jaw-dropping (jaw-clenching?) story brought up an important facet of meteorological studies that have been historically and woefully underfunded: The science of shark-infested tornadoes from hurricanes that strike the Pacific Coast of the United States.
If you needed an excuse to perhaps grab an ice cream cone or a Popsicle, you can say you're celebrating the 100 year anniversary of the hottest temperature ever (reliably) recorded on Earth.
It was July 10, 1913 when Death Valley, California recoded a high temperature of 134 degrees -- a number yet to be matched anywhere else on the planet (at least, officially).
That hot day was among a stretch of heat where Death Valley would reach 130° two days later and then 131° on the 13th. It stands today as the only three recorded temperatures at or above 130 degrees there stretching back to 1911. (There is more to that story I'll get to in a bit.)
First the fireworks on Thursday night, then some natural sky lighting early Saturday morning.
A solar flare triggered another display of the Northern Lights that was visible around the Puget Sound region. Eddie Murdock was out at 1 a.m. snapping dozens of photographs as the lights came on display over Anacortes and turned them into a nice time lapse video. (See above)