Friday, March 31, 2017

A Modest Northern Lights Show

Finally…. A clear night and a bit of a show from Aurora Borealis… And..  I had my new camera running. The Kp index is a value that represents the approximate intensity of the event. Typically it has to be above 6 for us to begin to see the Northern Lights. Last night it topped out a little below 5 and the new camera still picked it up. It’s not a huge show, but they are there….

Recently I added a nice graphic that shows the history of the Kp index.  It is located near the bottom of my site.  

Sunday, March 26, 2017

A Few Time Lapse Videos From This Past Week

The cumulus were really busy on March 25th. No measurable rainfall, but the folks to our North sure got it!

The day before was very similar.  I did a panorama time lapse of March 24.

We had a very nice end of day on the 21st.

Just an awesome sunset with LOTs of vertical instability...

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Back To Back Meteors...

The last two nights Cam 3 has picked up a meteor...  Roughly the same direction, slightly different trajectories and one is a bit smaller.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Enough is Enough!

As I type we are at 1.47" in less that 24 hours.... A breathtaking sustained wind in the mid to upper teens which puts the wind chill down to mid 30's..... Gust to 40mph overnight. My front yard (100x115) has accumulated 87,945 pounds of rain in less than 24 hours.... True calculation..... 

A beautiful time lapse day..... HD Time Lapse Link

Friday, March 17, 2017

Back To Back Meteors Last Night

Last night there were a couple of meteors that were visible within a few minutes of each other.  The first one occurred at 9:38pm and was huge.  It was viewed in WA, BC, OR and ID.  Below is a video that was captured on a security cam by Betsy Ross in Seattle.  This was visible in the Eastern sky.

Sixteen minutes later my cam picked up a much smaller meteor to the North (image below).  For a while, there was a bit of confusion on Twitter that my image was of the much bigger event in the video above.  



Saturday, March 11, 2017

USS Independence

The USS Independence just passed by us one last time.  I caught a couple of images:

Today was a pretty awesome day for time lapse.  This is a time lapse that covers most of the day.  You can see the USS Independence being towed away.  Best viewed in HD here: HD Version

or on YouTube here: 

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Wind storm coming and a “Cheaters Guide” on how to read weather Tweets by meteorologists…

First, it looks like early Friday morning we will have some wind… Details are still sketchy depending on the track and strength, but regardless, it looks like we should prepare now…. There is a “Special Weather Statement” that was posted by the NWS at 1:41pm today.

...Windy Conditions Expected on Friday... Impacts from winds on early Friday morning are possible. This would include scattered power outages and tree damage. The timing of the wind would bring impacts to the metro area during the Friday morning commute. At this time, the most likely outcome is as follows. The increased winds are expected between 3 and 9 AM on Friday. The strongest winds would be found across the central and southern Puget Sound area, including the Seattle Metro Area, for sustained Southwest winds of 20 to 35 mph and peak wind gusts around 50 mph. Uncertainty in exact specifics remains and wind speeds will be subject to the exact strength and track of the low pressure system, as well as localized effects of hill tops and valleys. The system is expected to track across the northwest Olympic Peninsula early Friday morning. Changes in tracks or storm strength would produce higher or lower wind speeds and more or less impacts. Stay tuned for updates on the most likely outcome and forecast of wind speeds in Western Washington for this storm system.

Over the next 48 hours, there will be a plethora of tweets by local meteorologists…. To the average layman, they can be very confusing and hard to read. A few days ago, Scott Sistek posted a great blog that clearly explains a lot of the cryptic tweets by local meteorologists.  A good read for those who want to follow the weather closely on Twitter....
 Click Here For Scott's Blog

Monday, March 6, 2017

Wicked Convergence Zone Passing Through

Today we had a classic convergence zone roll through with lots of convection that brought some hail, graupel and wind....  Pretty awesome display by Mother Nature.

Click Here For HD Video

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Large Budget Cuts Proposed To NOAA

I am at the Pacific Northwest Weather workshop right now.  It started yesterday.  Last night was the banquet and I was talking with Cliff Mass….  He shared with me the budget cuts that the Trump administration has proposed to NOAA……  Let’s put it this way….  The mood in this crowd of meteorologists was not real upbeat with this development.  Take a few moments to read Cliff’s blog…..

Cliff's Blog About NOAA Budget Cuts

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

How Cold and Wet Has It Been So Far This Year.... At Least In Skunk Bay....

A couple of days ago I posted a unique metric that measures how cold this winter has been so far.  I defined a “Winter Minute” as any minute where the temperature was less than or equal to 35 degrees.  The truth is, I stole this idea from Scott Sistek and put a different spin on it.  Scott has blogged about “Summer Minutes” in the past.  He defines a Summer Minute as any minute where the temperature is above 80 degrees.  I am looking at the other end of that equation....

So, we close the books on February today and have new “Year To Date” numbers as well.  It begs the question…. How cold and wet has 2017 been so far…. 

First, let’s look at “Winter Minutes”.  I only have 4 years of data with this level of granularity…  Since I have two temperature sensors, I have analysis for both.  The sensor on the water side will be warmer in the winter and colder in the summer.  So, for “Winter Minutes” the protected side numbers will be higher….  As you can see, 2017 Winter minutes are roughly double any other year.  On the water side we didn’t have a single “Winter Minute” in February of 2015 and 2016. 

Here are the totals: 

So, we now know that it wasn’t our imagination…..  It was COLD…..  Which begs the question, “Was it COLD and WET? …..  I have 11 years of data for this…. 

Here are the totals:

So….  Notice that 2017 Year to Date totals are the highest in 11 years….  Yup, it HAS been “Cold and Wet”.

There were some comments in my previous post about high energy bills and firewood consumption.  There is a common metric that is used to calculate energy needs to keep a building warm.  It is calculated using a base temperature when a building will start requiring energy to heat.  This can be a very complex formula that is used by engineers to do heat calculations in large buildings.  But, for the sake of the average layman, this can be a very simple calculation.  The metric is called "Heating Degree Days".  The baseline temperature is typically 65 degrees.  The formula calculates the difference between the baseline temperature and that actual outdoor temperature over a period of time.  In plain English, it measures the temperature difference between the base temperature and the actual outdoor temperature over a 24 hour period.  A very simple example would be if the average temperature over a 24 hour period was 45 degrees, the Heating Degree Days would be (65-45=20) 20 degree days.  This really is an approximation of the energy needs, but with this formula it gives us a nice static benchmark to understand energy requirements to heat our homes.  I have 11 years of data with this metric.   

These are the Year to Date numbers:

Well....  No surprise.....  2017 proves to be the coldest, wettest and the biggest energy hog in years….  :)

I have now added current, real time “Heating Degree Days” to my site.  SkunkBayWeather  I also have this data available on my Weather Station History link:  Historical Data  It is available on a daily, monthly and yearly summary.

I guess Punxsutawney Phil nailed this forecast.....