Monday, December 7, 2015

The Darkest Seattle Day in December in Over Nine Years

For those of you who might feel a little gloomy today, here is a factoid from Mark Albright, research meteorologist and data guru here at the University of Washington:

Today was the darkest December day in Seattle in nearly 9 years.

Specifically, today here at the UW we only measured  0.44 MJ/m2 (mega Joules per square meter, a joule is a unit of energy), the lowest amount since 14 Dec 2006, when only 0.39 MJ/m2 was received.

Take a look at the solar radiation plot of the last three days:



Compare that to during Thanksgiving:


See the difference?

Here is what things looked like at noon from the Space Needle Cam:



Why so bad?   The sun is weak this time of the year and we have very thick cloud cover and substantial rain.  The clouds at 11 AM tell the story:




Remember, a light box is always the perfect gift.  Or a trip to southern Mexico.

Save KPLU

KPLU is a public jewel and listeners are determined to stop its needless destruction by a secret deal between PLU and UW administrators.  Administrators that seem to have little understanding how important this vibrant radio station is to hundreds of thousands of local listeners for wonderful news coverage, NPR programming, and jazz.  Administrators that are spreading incorrect information (such as the suggestion that the only way to save KPLU's jazz programming is by a UW/KUOW buyout).  KPLU could easily stand on its own as an independent station if given the chance.

Want more information about PLU's ill-conceived sales plan and how you can stop it?
Go to  http://savekplu.org

The key thing now is to email the PLU administrators who want to sell KPLU and tell them to give KPLU time to find its own financing:

PLU President: Thomas Krise: krisetw@plu.edu
PLU Communications VP: Donna Gibbs: gibbsdl@plu.edu


If you want to save KPLU (and have my weather segment available each week), please email these folks asap..  Next priority, the PLU regents.....thanks, cliff

21 comments:

Ansel said...

I always consider the first part of the winter to be the worst. By mid February it feels like spring by comparison.

Hope this will up the snowpack. It's a little on the warm side.

johnd523 said...

A friend with a solar panel said that this was also his lowest power day since installation last year. I had to look at the clock at 2:30 PM because it looked like 3:45. Large heavy rain-train was overhead around 2:30 but boy it was dark.

Rod said...

You bet, Cliff. Today I visited my 98 year old mother, and she commented: "It is so dark out and it is only 2:00 o'clock."

-Rod

richard583 said...

Funny. (No seriously. And with my not poking fun more here. This is pretty funny, looked at from without and afar.) Just looking at the low-level cloud-cover main vis image explains why the darker conditions of course. An interesting, and if again funny, factoid.

Hindu said...

Interesting day here in the mid-Columbia. Very wet for us - .5 - 1+ inch of rain. It rained during the day - which is also rare lately (curious about this). Had a thunderstorm develop and pass by my office on Red Mountain around 3pm. Lightning and thunder in Dec. Fun stuff in a place that usually has the most boring weather in WA.

Anita Elder said...

With all the rain we're getting in the Puget Sound, how are our mountains fairing? Are they getting a lot of snow?

David B. said...

It was astoundingly gloomy at 2:30 in downtown Seattle. Felt like dusk. Normally the gloom doesn't get to me much but I noticed it today.

Wilson Reunion said...

Thanks so much for your comments on KPLU. It is a sad situation that there is even consideration, let alone deal making, to sell the station.

Upupaepops said...

Around 200 I said to my co-workers " The sun looks like it has packed it in for the day. I think we should go home too."

K.R. Burgess said...


Maybe, this is why Seattle is considered the "suicide capital of the U.S.

Tim Melbourne said...

Cliff,
The KPLU sale strikes me yet another instance of an itinerant administrator trying to pad their résumé by showing bold leadership in leaving their mark on an institution as they climb the administration ladder towards a presidency on the far side of the country. They show up for a year or two, they force adoption of a new IT this, or a 'total cost accounting' reform that, or a 'resource centered management' overhaul that, or sell this unit and merge that unit, etc, but always, always, they are long gone into their next job in Chicago or Atlanta or Miami before the real damage becomes widely apparent. Seen it at UW, seen it at NASA/JPL, seen it at CWU. It's a real shame. I stream KPLU over here in Ellensburg and pin the radio on 88.5 when over there because it's the best, and really only, thing going as far as decent radio goes. Raise hell and I'll help out as I can through email.
-Tim M.

Kevin said...

Hi Cliff,

Looking at the latest GFS, it looks like a potential lowland snow situation setting up on the Sunday/Monday period. The ECMWF has the storm system further north and looks less snowy.

Do you have an opinion in the chances of snow?

Thanks!
Kevin

Rrrnay said...

Would love to see Tuesday's results as well.

Rooster The Kid said...

Never would have guessed! By the way, this story and your blog were just featured on The Weather Channel so watch for your numbers to go up!

killahkarl said...

Ur name was mentioned on weather underground about this post by Dave Swartz. Congrats on national recognition.

Anne said...

@KR Burgess
Seattle is not the "suicide capital" of the US. Seattle is not even in the top ten. Look it up.

CP said...

There is a common conception that Seattle has one of the highest suicide rates in the nation­.
However, with a suicide rate of 12 in 100,000 residents, Seattle is below average compared to other U.S. cities.

Look at the numbers for these 15 cities:
http://www.businessinsider.com/most-suicidal-us-cities-2011-7

I hope this educates about this urban legend…

The state ranks 21st nationally in suicides.

Floatplane said...

Can someone explain why KUOW and KPLU broadcast shows like "all things considered" at exactly the same time? A merger would allow such conflicts to be resolved and let those who like Jazz (I don't) hear some from 4-7pm. I also like the fact that the weekend funny-shows (Car Talk etc) are on at different times. When I miss part of it, I listen to the remaining part and then turn the dial to the other station to listen to the first part!

sara alexis Miller said...

Second reason it was the darkest day is Mother Nature is a Portland Timbers supporter! Hahahahahaha!

CP said...

I got a nice qualifying answer from Mark Albright as to "Darkest December day" or "Darkest day of any month"

Mark's answer:
Ultimately I ended up checking Nov, Dec, and Jan, the 3 candidate months for darkest days.
I checked back to Jan 2000. 7 Dec 2015 was the 2nd darkest day of the 21st century, only 14 Dec 2006 was darker.
Also darker, just barely, in 2000 was the 0.43 on 3 Jan 2000, but 2000 is not part of the 21st century.

PS: My apologies, but nice last name Mark!

CP said...

I got a nice qualifying answer from Mark Albright as to "Darkest December day" or "Darkest day of any month"

Mark's answer:
Ultimately I ended up checking Nov, Dec, and Jan, the 3 candidate months for darkest days.
I checked back to Jan 2000. 7 Dec 2015 was the 2nd darkest day of the 21st century, only 14 Dec 2006 was darker.
Also darker, just barely, in 2000 was the 0.43 on 3 Jan 2000, but 2000 is not part of the 21st century.

PS: My apologies, but nice last name Mark!