November 10, 2016

Amazing Warmth Doesn't End

We are living in interesting times, and I am not talking only about our recent election.  Specifically, we are living through the warmest early November in the history of the Northwest.   Temperatures more reminiscent of late September than the normally dismal month of November.


On November 8th, we hit 70F, the latest 70F day so late in the season for Seattle.
This month Seattle has experienced 8 days with temperatures of 60F or more, a record.   To illustrate our torrid conditions, here are the temperatures for the past two weeks at Seattle, with normal highs and lows.   Amazingly, the daily lows have approximately the normal daily highs.  Only two days in the last two weeks have had low temperatures near normal.
As shown below, a number of days have equalled or exceeded daily records (shown by short red and blue lines for high and low records).
The minimum temperatures have really been is a plot of difference of the minimum temperatures from normal over the past week.  Most of the western U.S. has been crazy warm, with many locations over Washington and Oregon being 9-12F above normal.  No wonder my grass is still growing.  No frost.

There a lot of folks that are interested in the BLOB, the warm water feature that has been off our coast.  But you can't blame the BLOB for our warm period.   Why?  Because the  BLOB is dead.  Deceased.  Finished.

Want the proof?   Here is the sea surface temperature anomaly (difference from normal) yesterday.  See all that blue off our coast?  Colder than normal water.  No BLOB.  What killed it?  Low pressure centers and stormy conditions over the NE Pacific.

Here is a similar graphic for roughly two months ago.  Healthy BLOB.  You can see the difference.
Finally, for those ready to blame our warmth on global warming, here is a global perspective of surface temperature anomalies.  North America is very warm, but much of northern Asia and Europe are colder than normal.
Tomorrow is the last warm/dry day.  Saturday will bring the beginning of warm/wet period like we saw in late October.   So take a walk in a park or rake your leaves tomorrow.

Finally, with warm air aloft and long nights for surface cooling, low-level temperature inversions and fog have been forming overnight.  Take a look at the spectacular scene from the Space Needle Cam this morning....very beautiful.


  1. Dr.Mass

    What's next,after I-732 ?

  2. What's your take on the recent National Weather Forecast for our area regarding the possible return of La Nina conditions? I think they gave it more than a 50/50 probability.

  3. Hi Cliff, I've been following a lot of the buzz online about Planet X and am wondering if that could be the cause of our extreme temperatures. Also, I have noticed a strange anomaly in the sky the last few months. It looks like a circular patch of rainbow in the west before sunset. It appears larger now than it did when I first started seeing it. Have you seen this? Is there a scientific explanation for it? It is difficult to photograph because usually the sun is too bright, but I have one pretty good photo I could send you.

  4. I have been watching the Blobs demise with great pleasure! And, hoping, just hoping the PDO flips back cold sometime this winter, but for heavens sake will someone PLEASE cool down the ridiculously warm Arctic!! Anyone? Please? Bueller? Bueller?? Anyone??? ;)

  5. Exactly when did the Blob hit the grave? I've been Googling but couldn't find anything.

    Also while we're on this let me say that La NiƱa is officially born!

  6. Cliff,
    I totally get it that global warming is not implicated in causing the recent warmth in our region.

    But can you say something more about The Blob? Last Winter/Spring, you predicted that the Blob would be gone by Summer 2016. But apparently the Blob was still in fine fettle this past summer, as salmon fishers know only too well.

    What can explain the unexpected long lifetime of the Blob?

    Abe Jacobson

  7. I agree with the previous commenter, it was extremely disappointing to see I-732 go down. I'd love to hear some thoughts post-election.

  8. I-732 won in King County (hooray!) but failed spectacularly outstate. Any advice where we can go next to pool our support? Some organizations (Sierra Club, etc.) have shown that climate change is not their top priority.

  9. BLOB.. One needs to look at the subsurface sea temps to know if the blob is actually dead or just napping.

    Last time the blob was not really dead, because we still had a subsurface warmth anomaly, which allows the surface to warm again as soon as a prolonged ridge sets up. Personally, I see the BLOB and ridging, as a bit of a which came first?? .... The chicken or the egg.??

    This mild weather is excellent for Western Washington fresh produce farmers. Go buy some leafy greens from LOCAL farmers this weekend.. It's a better way to reduce carbon emissions than the I732 was.

    Next time come up with incentives instead of punishment. I 732 was truly flawed, at least from a farmers perspective. It would have punished local farmers and encouraged trucking in produce from our of state. Actually, Increasing, net global emissions.

    Save the planet and buy local..

  10. No blob. No El-Nino. Yet warmest November ever. Maybe we skiers really are $&@#ed already.

  11. Organic farmer,
    I suspect you have not read the initiative. In fact, agriculture is protected from the carbon tax for a very long time (pays 5% of the tax initially. Everyone loves local organic produce. That is NOT the point. The point is that global warming is a very serious threat and something must be done. I732 gives back all the money it collects and economic analysis suggests it will foster much more job growth. I732 is not "truly flawed" and certainly will not increase global emissions...that makes NO sense. Raising the price of carbon will result in less usage of carbon. There is no doubt about that...shown to be true around the world...cliff

  12. There have been a few news articles recently highlighting the blob. I was wondering if this blog, and the articles could simultaneously be right if you have focused on the winds and SST, while they are focusing on vestigial patterns at deeper layers.

  13. Seems like the anti-blob is strengthening and getting bigger. Is there positive feedback between it and the weather conditions that create it?


Please make sure your comments are civil. Name calling and personal attacks are not appropriate.

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