Weather Blog

Here comes El Nino; forgive us if we don't cheer

Here comes El Nino; forgive us if we don't cheer
Plenty of snow up at Mt. Rainier's Paradise Ranger Station this year. Will next winter have nearly as much? (Photo Courtesy: Mt. Rainier National Park)

SEATTLE -- Hey everyone, there's a good chance El Nino might be around for next winter!

California: "Yay! The expected heavy rains next winter should help our drought!"

Midwest and East Coast: "Yay! It likely means no more of this 'Polar Vortex' and weeks below freezing!"

Gulf Coast and Eastern Seaboard: "Yay! It typically means less hurricanes!"

Pacific Northwest: *sigh*

It was the coldest winter on record... it was the warmest winter on record

It was the coldest winter on record... it was the warmest winter on record
Left: Megan Pederson is surrounded by snow as she helps clear a neighbors driveway Friday, Feb. 21, 2014, in Mankato, Minn. Right: The sun sets after the Match Play Championship golf tournament on Sunday, Feb. 23, 2014, in Marana, Ariz. (AP Photos/Mankato Free Press, Pat Christman and Ted S. Warren)

It's not really a tale of two cities, but more like a tale of two halves of a nation -- one basking in their warmest winter on record; the other wondering if they've become the new Antarctica.

With March signaling the end of "meteorological winter" (December 1 through Feb. 28), cities are crunching their data to find some surprising results!

Newest summer outlook for Portland: Hot and dry

Newest summer outlook for Portland: Hot and dry
Sun rises by Mt. Hood over downtown Portland. (Photo courtesy YouNews contributor: BigMike58)

We've been celebrating this week the jump in our mountain snowpack after a fairly wet February -- now up to 58-73 percent across the northern Oregon Cascades-- but new forecast data out by long range climate computer models suggests the rally in snowpack may be even more important than you might think.

Fresh data released a few days ago is now suggesting there are significantly higher chances of a warmer and drier than normal spring and summer across the West, including the Pacific Northwest.

The makings of a 'catastrophic, crippling' storm for Atlanta

The makings of a 'catastrophic, crippling' storm for Atlanta
A Georgia DOT sign warns drivers of winter weather as they travel a bleak section of Hwy. 141 on Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014, in Norcross, Ga. (AP Photo/John Amis)

The National Weather Service doesn't usually resort to dire language when giving forecasts for storms -- the two most famous examples I can think of are Hurricane Katrina and SuperStorm Sandy.

But NWS forecasters in the southeast are making no bones about the severity of an ice storm that is pushing into Georgia and parts of South Carolina.

These snippets are from the 3:39 a.m. forecast discussion on Feb. 12 from the National Weather Service office near Atlanta:

Photographer gets amazing pics of frozen bubbles and frost crystals

Photographer gets amazing pics of frozen bubbles and frost crystals
Photo courtesy: Angela Kelly, Kelly Images and Photography

Arlington photographer Angela Kelly, who made waves around the Internet with her gallery of frozen bubbles featured in this blog during our last cold snap in December, was out again in the frigid mornings this week trying to add to her frozen bubble collection.

But this time, she got an added bonus for her teeth-chattering troubles: A gorgeous display of ice crystals.

Photos: A hike through January's foggy inversion

Photos: A hike through January's foggy inversion
Photo of the fog layer below Angel's Rest. (Courtesy: Tyler Mode)

Tyler Mode decided he needed some fresh air -- and some sunshine -- amid the days long foggy stretch of weather we had earlier this month, so he went for a hike up Angel's Rest in the Columbia Gorge.

His reward? A few hours of warm, winter sunshine and some gorgeous photos along the way!

Interactive web site allows you to easily visualize Earth's wind patterns

Interactive web site allows you to easily visualize Earth's wind patterns

The planet's weather is full of complex interactions, but one web site aims to make the current weather a bit easier to visualize.

Check out this site from Earth.Nullschool.net which shows the current wind patterns around the globe at any moment.

* Link to current wind field pattern

You can click on the globe to move it around to the area you desire, scroll to zoom in, and clicking on the "Earth" button will give you other data to plot (cool!) For the wind map, the brighter the color, the faster the wind speeds.

122 mph winds wreak havoc with Oregon tourists

122 mph winds wreak havoc with Oregon tourists

You'd think when you register a 115 mph gust during a weather event, it'd probably be the strongest gust of your year, or... ever?

For one spot in Oregon, it's second place. Of the week.

The Crown Point Observatory on the western edge of the Columbia River Gorge outdid itself, kicking off the week Monday with a 115 mph gust and then topping it with a 122 mph gust on Friday:

Photos: Arizona desert puts on spectacular natural displays

Photos: Arizona desert puts on spectacular natural displays
Photo courtesy: Randall Kayfes

The Pacific Northwest is among the most beautiful spots on the planet, but it doesn't have a monopoly.

Photographer Randall Kayfes has lived much of his life in the Northwest, but recently moved to Marana, Arizona and how has a front row seat from his home to a desert landscape that can really put on a show.

"As far as the majority of the photos go, you may find this hard to believe but that is my 'backyard,' " Kayfes told me when I asked him where his amazing portfolio was shot. "I don't own any of it but it is protected land. The mountains are the Santa Catalina's. A lot of the panoramic photos are taken from my second story window."

Crown Point hits 100+ mph gusts amid blazing sun

Crown Point hits 100+ mph gusts amid blazing sun

There's a reason the Columbia Gorge has some of the best wind surfing around but even the most brave wind surfers might have had a challenge this weekend.

The Crown Point observatory near Corbett -- noted for its extreme winds -- really outdid itself with some unofficial peak gusts of over 100 mph Monday. The official wind gauge hit 87 mph but those with hand-held wind gauges recorded gusts of 103 mph with another person -- Steve Pierce with the Oregon Chapter of the American Meteorological Society -- registering an unofficial gust of 115!

How cold is the coldest place on Earth?

How cold is the coldest place on Earth?
NASA image courtesy the MODIS Rapid Response Team at NASA GSFC. Caption by Holli Riebeek.

The impending cold snap into the upper Midwest that's making big news this weekend comes on the heels of NOAA announcing it has discovered what it believes is the coldest temperature ever recorded on Earth.

Now, before I give the answer, I thought I'd give a quiz where you think that spot might be: