Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Happy New Year!

2018 is in the books and in a single weather word, it was... DRY. Not just dryer than average, bone dry semi-desert dry. But Rod, you live in Western Washington, how dry could it be? How about a paltry 25.32 inches of rain in the calendar year 2018. Yes precipitation years are measured like school years so we are only a couple of month's into the 2018-19 water year., but none-the-less 2018 was semi-arid and that total is barely better than half my 17 year average for precipitation.

While on the subject of precipitation, December ended up with a dry 4.25 inches of rain and just a spattering of snowfall that came in a light wintry mix on the 9th. That is barely over half my typical December rainfall number. The soggiest day delivered nearly an inch of rain, that came on the 18th with 0.95 inch. We had a total of 15 days with some rain and 7 days with sunshine. Nearly half of the wet days produced a quarter inch or more.

On the temperature front, the month was toasty warm compared to a "normal" December. Month 12 only produced 7 subfreezing lows and every day managed to get above the freezing mark. In fact, all but 2 days pushed the merc above 40 degrees. Despite the month being some 3 degrees warmer by day and night than average, there were no real warm days. The warmest temp I measured was a nice 56.5° on the 18th but that came with all that rain. The warmest overnight low was 45.5° also on the 18th. That was some pineapple express happening there. The coldest morning low arrived on the 6th with a 23.2°, nowhere near any kind of record but it was the chilliest December 6th since 2005. The coldest daytime high was closer to a typical high measuring 39.6° on the 9th.

Looking ahead to the rest of the winter, we are not looking good on snowfall, rainfall, and temps are running warmer by more than just a little bit. Things can change quickly and we have yet to have an outbreak of arctic air. I would expect at least one bout with a cold air mass dipping south into the Pacific Northwest and odds are some sticking snow will arrive during the next 6 weeks.

In the mean time, Happy New Year and hello 2019. Let's all continue to soak it up, my friends, soak it up.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Last Month of the Year! Happy Holidays.

Well that was a rather uneventful November. November is typically one of two very wet months in the Southwest Washington and Northwest Oregon climate, yet this year November was a little on the dry side. November is usually the month I record my first hard freeze, and that did happen, despite the overall warmer than average temps.

The 11th month yielded a few notable events. The warmest day was the very first day of the month when the merc shot up to 64.9°. Both the first and second days of November were the warmest temps on those days, I have recorded at this location, however the all time records were not in jeopardy.  The warmest overnight low of a balmy 55.9°, arrived on the morning of the 1st and likely contributed to that day being the warmest of month.

On the cold side of the thermometer, the chilliest temps was a 28.2° morning on the 11th, not cold enough to beat my daily low record but the 29.5° morning on the 19th did set my local daily low record. The coolest afternoon high was a 44.6° day on the 12th hardly any threat to a record there.

Overall last month delivered 5 subfreezing mornings, 14 mornings under 40°, 12 days above 50°, 10 days with sunshine, 9 rainy days, and no snow or ice aside from a few brief flakes mixing in with rain.

Now that rain was mentioned, only 3.2 inches landed in the bucket less than half my typical 7.98 inches. The soggiest day came on the 22nd when 2/3 of an inch fell one of only three days above 1/2 inch and six days at 1/4 inch or more.

Is this a precursor of the rainy season to come? Who knows? The science guys are still trying to determine if El Niño will settle in at all and if so how strong. El Niño tends to send a sizable chunk of our rain further south towards Northern California, good for them, not so much for us. These weather years can still bring cold winter weather down tot he valley floors but in general temps are a bit warmer than average under these conditions. Only time will tell for sure, but this wet season has started out a little dry.

December is here and with it the question about holiday snow. Here at my low elevation of just 267 feet, I have had just two Christmas Snow events with an inch or more of snow on the ground on Christmas Day. December 24th-25th, 2008 I had 2.25 and 2.0 inches of fresh snow respectively landing on top of a foot that was already on the ground. Then last Christmas out of nowhere came a dusting of 2 inches on Christmas Eve, followed by a few more flakes on Christmas Day. Ho, Ho, Ho, Christmas snow!

Odds are of course that it will be a green Christmas since snow events are not real common to begin with and then asking to have them randomly occur on Christmas is bit much to expect. Above 1000 feet the odds improve significantly and at 2000 feet it's almost a given.

May you holidays be filled with joy... and whether your Christmas be white or green, frosty or wet, be sure to soak it up, my friends, soak it up.