November 03, 2010

Record Heat

Today was just extraordinary around here...Sea Tac got to 74F, which tied the ALL TIME RECORD HIGH TEMPERATURE for the month. That is a big record to tie.

But Sea-Tac was not alone...Vancouver, Wa got to 72F, which also tied its all time record November temperature.

Astoria at 73F set its all time record November temperature, as did Salem at 74F.

Renton got to 75F...I could go on and on. And all under full sun. Perfection.

The reason for this warmth...we started with relatively warm air over us and that was supercharged by strong downslope easterly flow across the Cascades.

You could tell we had good downslope flow by eye...notice how clear the Cascades were? That is a sign of dry, downslope air (my book discusses how this works). Here is a image of Mt. Rainier courtesy of the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency at 9 AM this morning. You see how clear it is? The excellent definition of the terrain?

I hate to gloat...but the UW ensemble-statistical forecast system ( really nailed it the high temps today. When it comes to warm, clear days it is unbeatable and did for better than the National Weather Service or its statistical aids.

Tomorrow's record high is 74F, which we won't get near and then the records drop down noticeably into the mid-60s. There have been a number of nice first weeks of November, but they rarely last into the second week.

And ANY measure...rain, wind, you name it...the worst week of the year is the last week of November. I will prove that in some later blog. So by early December we are through the worst. You don't believe me I suspect.

The offshore flow is weakening a bit and tomorrow should be a bit cooler (mid-60s). But this is still 10F higher than normal.

A weak front will move in on Friday, with some light showers and more rain and clouds on Saturday.


  1. Cliff --
    By "being through the worst of it" in December, do you mean the worst of weather *for that calendar year*, or the worst of our fall-winter blended season? Because I seem to remember plenty of nasty January-February stretches...

  2. At least as we go through this, there is hope. The only other time it reached 74 in November, it was followed just a couple months later by the coldest and snowiest month on record in Seattle, including 57 inches of snow and the all-time record low of 0 that still holds. Can it happen again? Time will tell.

  3. A lovely day! I happened to be up at around 3:30 am (working, not partying) and looked out the window to see a huge fireball, its tail streaming behind it, arc down from the sky and fall behind the trees. Brightest, most colorful meteor I have ever seen, bar none. Apparently it was related to Comet Hartley. I would love to know if anyone else saw it!

  4. Even spiffier...

    The Seattle November record of 74° was set back in 1949. The winter of 1949~50 went on to be the coldest and snowiest in Seattle history.

    Just sayin'...

    Bob ^,,^

  5. I do believe you about the last week of November being the worst and December's weather being calmer. Just from my own observations from moving here nearly 11 years ago. I never looked so forward to December when I lived in the southeast!

  6. High of 58 wednesday at waterfront on Bainbridge Island (per Davis weather station). Still amazes me how big the difference in temps can be on nice days. Not complaining, just noting. Was an awesome day.

  7. OK, Professor, it's Weather Witch time.

    As long as there has been a coven of Weather Witches in Cottage Grove, OR (Lane Co south of Eugene 20 miles), (my sister is a member of that coven) there has been a reliable predictor of the first sea-level winter episode with a hard freeze.

    That predictor is a swarming of "fuzzy, blue-assed bugs", some sort of ground-dwelling beetle that flies to mate. Yesterday, huge swarms of these bugs appeared, lending a blue cast to the evening sunlight. The intensity of the swarm is an indicator to the Witches of the intensity of the oncoming winter event.

    Therefor, the Weather Witches of Cottage Grove predict that winter weather at valley floor level is 2-3 weeks off, which should mess up Thanksgiving nicely.

  8. You are wrong. The worst weather in Seattle is the last week in June up to July 4th.

    we stare hopeless at the weather of the world, warm, sunny. Kids playing in water as we put on our warn out fleece and gortex, carting our kids off to baseball practice or outdoor swim practice.

  9. I absolutely love this blog. Cliff, you da man!

  10. Well now, right after I made the Weather Witch comment (preceding), I took a gander at the 12Z GFS SLP run, and out at it's end, on 11-19, there appears to be an Arctic Outbreak forming up.

    Could the little critters be right again?

  11. Rivrdog...Love your "weather witch" prediction! I hope they're right! I'm looking forward to a long, hard, cold, snowy, windy, wonderful winter! I found this article on it interesting...thought I'd share...

    If Wednesday's record heat in the Puget Sound area was any indication, we may be in for a major deep freeze this La Nina winter.


    The high temperature at Sea-Tac Airport Wednesday was 74 degrees. That was four degrees higher than the same day back in 1970.

    It also tied the all-time November record, which was set Nov. 4, 1949. What makes that interesting? Just like this year, 1949 was the start of a La Nina winter.

    The National Weather Service provided us with this graphic showing what happened after that 74 degree day in 1949.

    In early December, a major arctic outbreak hit, driving temperatures to around the freezing mark.
    In mid-December, another arctic wave kept temperatures below freezing.
    Another one hit just after New Year's Day 1950.
    In mid-January, another arctic freeze.
    The low point came in late January and early February when temperatures fell to around zero degrees.

  12. "And ANY measure...rain, wind, you name it...the worst week of the year is the last week of November. I will prove that in some later blog. So by early December we are through the worst. You don't believe me I suspect."

    Oh, I believe you. The only time our house has been hit by a falling tree was in late November. Ditto many years ago our shop building. I hate November!

  13. Bring on the "fuzzy, blue-assed bugs"!

    Too darned hot out, and my cat needs the practice chasing them... ;^}

    Bob ^,,^

  14. Rivrdog said: "That predictor is a swarming of "fuzzy, blue-assed bugs", some sort of ground-dwelling beetle that flies to mate."

    The "fuzzy, blue-assed bugs" are (Hemlock) Woolly Adelgids. They're a potential pest on Hemlocks.

    They appear in large numbers (like the big European spiders you see) every fall especially on slightly warm, dry days than average. They are especially obvious when the sun is out.

    They have very little skill in long range weather forecasting :-)

    This is a selective observation (something folks don't notice followed by something they do).

    Speaking of selective observations I can't say I ever rely on the ensemble to give an accurate daily temperatures. It always seems off (sometimes way off). But perhaps that's my own observation effect. :-)

  15. Eric is off by about a month. The worst weather in Seattle is the last week of July up until about August 4th. :)

  16. This site has the funniest comments! Gotta love the weather witches.

  17. Off topic comment :)

    We went up to the North Cascades on Sunday and I was lucky enough to see these beauties! The clouds were absolutely amazing!

    I took that looking east from the tiny town of Diablo :)

  18. Scrubjay93, you weren't alone in seeing a fireball the morning of Nov 3rd. I didn't see it, but a number of folks here in the Columbia Gorge did. The only report I can find about it online is here:

  19. By the last week of November we are not through the worst in terms of length of day nor in terms of temperature.

    And how does this square with your frequent comments that La Nina will bring us colder and wetter conditions after jan 1?

  20. The worst day in my opinion is 12/14, the day of the nasty storm in 2006. Two weeks after the last week of November. I don't think you could say that on 12/1/06 we were through the worst of it.

    I think that comment is too general.

  21. Yet here in Redmond it was in the 40s all day.


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