Weather Blog

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.

Weather at Los Angeles' LAX Airport finally off autopilot...

Weather at Los Angeles' LAX Airport finally off autopilot...
Image courtesy Flickr user dsearls. (Creative Commons 2.0 license)

Los Angeles' LAX Airport is not only home to one of the busiest travel hubs in the United States, it might also be home to the world's largest thermostat.

The weather at the airport has undergone an amazing stretch of consistency -- so much so that it makes you wonder why they even need a thermometer.

Surf's up -- in the skies over Mukilteo

Surf's up -- in the skies over Mukilteo
Kelvin Helmholtz clouds over Mukitleo on Aug. 15, 2013. (Photo Courtesy: Kelly Woodworth)

 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.

Welcome to the Northwest -- check your rain at the border

Welcome to the Northwest -- check your rain at the border

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).

Watch the mountains create their own weather patterns

Watch the mountains create their own weather patterns
Towering cumulonimbus clouds form over the Cascade Mountains on Aug. 4, 2013. (Photo: Skunkbayweather.com)

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.

Watch: Tornado trashes streets in Italy as cameras roll

Watch: Tornado trashes streets in Italy as cameras roll

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: