Weather

Record Bin Roulette
6:00 am
Thu August 4, 2011

Can't do much about the weather but quote others about it

Lego Zeus
Dunechaser Flickr

This we talk about the weather, but as usual, don't do anything about it ... except offer some favorite sayings for your amusement, starting with the classic, definitive bad opening line of all time:

It was a dark and stormy night.
– Edward Bulwer-Lytton

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Weather
5:40 pm
Tue July 19, 2011

Why no summer? Will it end?

Lower than normal pressures (in blue) and higher (in green) correspond to where temperatures are below and above normal.
National Weather Service, 7-15-11

Grouchy Northwesterners are starting to call this 'The year of no summer.' While we may be secretly glad to miss the heat wave that’s punishing the Midwest, we're wondering why we’re stuck with clouds … and when will it end?

When I talked to experts, the first thing they told me: It is no coincidence.

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Weather
3:10 pm
Fri July 1, 2011

Average July 4th: sunnier and warmer than you might think

This Fourth of July, like almost all Fourths in Seattle, will have sunny skies and warm temps.
Brianna Flickr

The weather for the 4th of July this year is looking pretty good, with scattered clouds in the forecast and highs in the low seventies.  

That’s actually pretty typical, says Carl Carniglia with the national weather service in Seattle.  He looked back at local statistics from the late 1800s to the present and found the historical data contradicts the cliché of rainy weather for Independence day.

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Science
6:00 am
Mon June 20, 2011

Clues to Washington's summer weather...or not

Kids and adults alike enjoy a warm day on June, 4 2011. Will there be more sunny days on the way this summer? It's tough to call.
Erin Hennessey KPLU

With the first day of summer this week, it’s finally beginning to look like it outside. If you think that’s a good sign for the rest of the season, think again. There really isn’t a good way to tell how summer will turn out.

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WILDFIRES
2:21 pm
Fri April 29, 2011

Cold, wet winter likely to push back Northwest fire season

Ken Salazar gives an overview of what the 2011 fire season could be like for the West. He spoke at the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise.
Sadie Babits Northwest News Network

The southern part of the U.S. – Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California – will likely have significant wildfires this year. Already fire crews are battling more than a dozen fires just in Texas. But here in the Northwest, the fire outlook is much rosier.

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Weather
2:15 pm
Wed April 13, 2011

La Niña turns out less severe in retrospect

A woman strides under snow-covered branches around Seattle's Greenlake following a snowfall of several inches there overnight in 2005., a non-La Niña year.
Elaine Thompson AP

The Washington State Climatologist is out with a report card on how the weather phenomenon La Niña treated the Northwest. If you thought it’s been wetter and colder than usual since November, you’re right. But overall, this La Niña was milder than predicted. KPLU's Tom Banse reports:

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Environment
8:42 am
Thu March 31, 2011

Some river flooding, road closures after rains

A road near the Carnation Golf Course is covered with water Thursday morning, March 31, 2011, in this Twitpic image from KING-TV's Chris Daniels.
ChrisDaniels5 Twitpic

Some major western Washington rivers are expected to flood today, including "major" flooding forecast along the Snohomish and Snoqualmie, according to the National Weather Service.

Heavy rains the past few days, with heavy concentrations in the Cascades and Cascade foothills, and warmer mountain temperatures, have produced rapid runoff.

Flood warnings are issued for these rivers in Snohomish and King counties:

  • Snohomish
  • Skykomish
  • Snoqualmie
  • Tolt
  • Stillaguamish (north and middle forks)
  • Green (middle reach upstream of Auburn)
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Atmospheric Sciences
3:38 pm
Fri March 18, 2011

Construction begins on high-tech Washington Coast radar site

This is the Grays Harbor County site for the new Washington Coast Doppler radar facility. Construction starts next week, and the site may be operating by September.
Google

Construction should start as soon as Wednesday at a site near Copalis Beach in Grays Harbor County on a Doppler radar station.

Sen. Maria Cantwell's office says it could be operating as soon as September, giving the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) a better look at Pacific storms heading for the Northwest.

The new radar will fill in information that is missing because the Olympic mountains block the only other Western Washington Doppler radar station on Camano Island.

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Weather
5:32 am
Wed February 2, 2011

Why sunny in Seattle means snowy in Chicago

A skateboarder cruises past the Space Needle in Seattle during a sunny day on Feb. 1, 2011.
Gary Davis KPLU News

You might have wondered -- as you gazed out your sunny window and listened to news of record cold and snow sweeping the midwest and East coast -- is there a connection?

Yes, there is.

"Our weather often is the just the opposite of what it is in the eastern part of the united states," says Cliff Mass, professor of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Washington. 

"When we are cold, like it was just before Thanksgiving, they tend to be warm," says Mass.

The reason we're yin when they're yang, and vice versa, has to do with the jet stream and "ridges" of high and low pressure in the sky, as Mass explains it.

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Science
12:53 pm
Mon January 24, 2011

What's that weather forecast mean? Hard to say (clearly)

A typical online weather forecast from the National Weather Service (for Seattle, as of noon on Jan. 24th).
National Weather Service/NOAA website

You might not have realized it, but weather forecasts have been getting more accurate for the past ten to twenty years. Forecasters have a lot more precision about when and where different weather systems will hit.  But, this isn’t always communicated very clearly.

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Science
3:44 pm
Fri January 21, 2011

Meteorologists bring you ... Weather Fest

You can handle a weather rocket, create a flooding torrent of mud, and learn how to make a cloud inside a one-gallon jar this Sunday. 

It’s all part of a one-day exhibition called Weather-Fest, which pops up once a year as part of the American Meteorological Society annual conference.  The meeting this year is in Seattle, from Sunday through Jan. 27th. 

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Weather
3:46 pm
Tue January 4, 2011

Puget Sound burn bans lifted

Burn bans are ending in King, Kitsap, Pierce and Snohomish counties.  

The Puget Sound Clean Air Agency says air quality is improving, due to a new weather system moving into the region today.  

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News Roundup
5:56 am
Thu November 18, 2010

Thursday morning's headlines

Workers place updated signs outside the remodeled Cinerama in downtown Seattle last month. The movie palace reopens tonight for a midnight showing of the latest Harry Potter sequel.
Gary Davis/KPLU

Get Ready for Brrrr


Are you ready for snow? There's a possibility you'll see some late Sunday or early Monday in northwest Washington. The north Olympic Peninsula, the San Juan Islands and Whatcom County have the best chance for snow.  Conditions may bring it south to the Seattle area.

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