Winter Weather Taking a Break

After the Tri-Cities received only it’s 8th white Christmas in the last 106 years on Tuesday, it looks like winter will take a back seat for awhile.

Temperatures will generally stay in the mid to upper 30’s for the next week or so and we’ll keep the partly to mostly cloudy skies around.

In fact, plan on even warmer weather towards the middle of next week with the temperatures getting back into the 40’s.

Long range forecasting models, the ones that forecast out over a week, actually cool us back down.  But we have discussed this before, those can change in the blink of an eye.

So for those planning on snow, I wouldn’t expect anymore for another week and a half at least.


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White Christmas Update

I still have a lot of people asking me if we will have a white Christmas tomorrow.  So here is an update on the situation.

The storm that we talked about moving in yesterday brought us a mix of rain and snow.  Not really enough to accumulate or anything.

Now as we head into Christmas Day, there will be another chance to see snow.

Are we going to wake up Christmas morning and have snow on the ground?  No, that won’t happen, but there will be a chance for snow as the day goes on.

The situation gets tricky, because it looks like the precipitation should arrive around noon.  Will we be cold enough by that time to see snow?  It will be close.  I will say it could start out as some wet snow, but then start to mix with rain in the afternoon.

It could turn to all snow showers later into the evening, but we aren’t looking for much in the way of accumulation.  Maybe a trace at most.

May need a Christmas miracle for those hoping for snow…

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Will we have a white Christmas?

Instead of me wasting a solid portion of today’s post of explaining why I haven’t posted in a couple months, I am just going to get right down to it.

I have had some people ask me over the last few days if the “rumors” are true that we have a chance for a white Christmas in the Tri-Cities.

Before I get into the forecast, let’s talk about some historical white Christmas data.  First of all, since 1905, the Tri-Cities has only had seven white Christmas’.  That makes our chances of actually seeing one right around 8%.  So if you are looking for frozen precipitation on December 25th, that chances aren’t very good.

So here’s the deal.  We are under a weather pattern right now in the Tri-Cities where snow is incredibly difficult to forecast.  The snow level the past few days has fluctuated between 400 ft. to about 1500 ft.  Obviously, your location needs to be at or below the snow level to receive any of the white stuff.  Depending on where you live in the Tri-Cities, your elevation can be between about 300 ft.  to 500 ft. (or higher).  Thus far, we have seen either wet snow or just rain.  

Forecast models are now hinting at the snow levels dropping down to the Tri-Cities this Sunday night.  So looks like starting sometime Sunday evening we will see some snow mixed with rain with it eventually turning to all snow overnight into Christmas Eve on Monday.

Monday’s forecast gets our temperatures back into the upper 30’s with a little bit of sunshine.  Therefore, any snow we do receive will likely melt, with the exception of a snow fort or snow man.  Those tend to last awhile.

So technically, we could have some snow on the ground Christmas Day on Tuesday already.  However, another round of precipitation will be moving in on Tuesday too.  This could start out as snow in the morning, but will likely be rain in the afternoon.  We will play the elevation game again.  The higher you live in elevation, the better chance you have of receiving snow.

To sum it all up, we will likely receive snow Sunday night.  Then there is a chance for a few snow showers on Christmas morning.

If I had to give some odds I would say instead of an 8% chance of a white Christmas this year, I would give us a 35% chance.  

Hope that brings some clarity to the situation.

Merry Christmas!

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Fall weather on it’s way to the Tri-Cities, winter weather too?

So from my last post you saw that fall unofficially started because Starbucks is now offering their premiere coffee beverage that takes on the flavor of pumpkin, otherwise known as a pumpkin spice latte. 

Then of course our calendars told us that we reached the end of summer and that fall had begun.

Well, the final cue is on the way, the weather is going to start resembling fall.  

Let me just say, this is an excellent time of year to save money on things like gas and electricity.  See, the outside temperature has been ranging in the upper 60’s to low 70’s during the day and down into the 50’s or 40’s at night.  At my house we have turned off the AC and the heat for days now as the house stays at a comfortable temperature most of the time.

Back to the main point.  People may read this blog to hear me go off on weird tangents or they may actually think that I have some inside information on the weather forecast that the TV forecasters won’t reveal.  Either way, I can give you my best guest of what is going to happen and I don’t care if I’m wrong.  I don’t have the integrity of a TV station to hold up.  All I have is this FREE WordPress page I started and my ego.

Ok, really to the main point now.  What’s this fall weather you speak of?  So I have been looking at the forecast models for the last few days and most of them are coming into agreement that we are going to be having some cooler air invade the region starting this weekend and lasting into next week.  When I say cool, we are talking about high temperatures slowly dropping into the low to mid 50’s starting this weekend and bottoming out by the middle of next week.  Overnight lows will likely fall into the 30’s.

Now, beyond that is when things get a little interesting.  Let me preface this by saying that long range computer models, any forecast outside of 5 days, are highly inaccurate.  Why do you think most TV stations have 5 day forecasts or at most 7 days?  You notice I put “Winter” in the title of this post, mainly to get more readers, but also because there could be some “truth” to that.

Typically when we see a fall push of cold air, the temperatures will rebound.  Long range computer models show that we actually get colder.  By the end of next week high temperatures will start to fall into the 40’s and perhaps the 30’s by the week after.  Now, this is not unheard of as we have had cold snaps around Halloween before, but certainly this is noteworthy since it is the first major push of cold air of the season.  If you look way out on the long range models, they even suggest some snow towards the beginning of November.  I probably shouldn’t have even put that in, as it will likely change.

Nonetheless, cooler weather is on the way.  Will we get wintry cold beyond that?  Maybe…


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Summer is over because Starbucks said so

You know, there was a time when mother nature controlled the arrivals and the exits of the earth’s seasons.  In today’s world that is not so.

Think about it.  Regardless of the current season the calendar dictates, we can really get in the mood for any season at any time.  I could start asking my family what they want for Christmas over Labor Day weekend then go to Costco and see that they already have holiday lights and wrapping paper on display and think to myself, “oh wow, I am really starting to feel the holiday spirit.”  Then only to walk outside, get into my 113 degree car that has been baking in the sun then chug a glass of ice water when I get home to remind myself we are still in the sweltering summer season.

At the beginning of the month I saw a post on Facebook from Starbucks that showed a picture of people looking at the sun setting and the caption said something like “Thanks for the memories summer.”  Even though the officiall end of summer wasn’t till weeks later, Starbucks is persuading (brain washing) you into thinking the season is over and to get ready for fall.  Why would they prematurely put an end to warm weather, the beach, and tans?  To get their top selling $4.13 hot pumpkin spiced lattes out the door, that’s why.

Now granted, their marketing is effective, being a long time lover of pumpkin pie, pumpkin carving, and pumpkin candles, I bought their drink, but I stuck it to them and ordered it iced!  I showed them, I think.

Point is, seasons are all about marketing and retail dollars these days.  Sure the sun is getting lower and lower in the horizon as the earth tilts away from it, but don’t you think it’s a little too early for the sun to set on my patio sitting and golf outings?

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Remember when I used to post blog entries?

Yeah so I stopped making posts on this blog back in February.  Yes, I realize it’s September.  So what happened?  Well, for one the weather got less interesting and less interesting.  I was mainly posting when winter weather was moving in to the Northwest.  It seemed at the time a lot of people relied on that information.  Then the weather decided to get nice, like it usually does in spring and summer.  You know partly cloudy, temperatures in the 70’s and 80’s.  Then the summer hit and temperatures were in the 90’s and sunny pretty much for the last decade (or so it seems).

People who know me know that I like to be funny, so when thinking about jokes or something witty to say about sunny skies and temperatures in the 90’s over and over again, I couldn’t really think of anything, which led to my seven month absence.  So, sorry to the six people ( I like to think it’s more, but you will feel more sorry for me if I give out a lower number) who depended on the information I would put out.

So here is something weather related.  I decided that with summer winding down I would add a little color to my pasty body before we hunkered down for the fall and winter.  I proceeded to the back patio to do just that.  The plan was to lay in the sunshine just enough to add color and not to over do it.  Well, I became enthralled in a magazine I brought out and maybe stayed out a little too long.  Long story short, I have a pretty bad burn on my chest and arms.  It hurts, it’s annoying, and I am ready to be done with it.  But it’s my own fault right?  Oh well, it will be gone before long.

So I am getting back into the swing of things with the blog.  I will make sure to post more frequently.  I think my next post will be about all this talk about sweaters and pumpkin spice lattes and people getting excited for fall.  Sure, I love fall as much as the next guy, but it is still 90 degrees and sunny out.  I will be blasting the AC on my drive home from work.  Not quite ready to throw the sweater on over my sun burnt body and order a piping hot pumpkin spice latte from Starbucks.

More to come….

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Late Winter Snow? Maybe…

Look, I know it’s been awhile since I have posted on here.  Mainly because the weather was a little boring, besides the two wind storms we had, and I was just being lazy.  All it took was the surprise snow Sunday night and a the possibility of some more this week to pull me away from watching “Kitchen Nightmares” and “Restaurant Impossible.”  Have you seen those shows?  Why do these people start restaurants when they have no clue what they are doing?  I mean……  anyway, on to weather.

So that stray snow shower Sunday totally caught me off guard.  Only a few received snow.  People in Richland saw practically nothing while Kennewick and Pasco had an inch or two.

Is more on the way?  I think so.  Will it be a lot?  No, unless you live in the mountains. And I am pretty sure out of the 13 people that will read this blog that nobody lives in the mountains.

A storm is going to be pushing in from the Gulf of Alaska Tuesday.  This will bring some cooler air and precipitation with it.  The only problem is that the mountains are going to squeeze out most of the moisture before it gets to us.

Tuesday night expect some rain in the Tri-Citiies area and perhaps some wet snow later in the evening.  I think that is the best shot for snow as we will start to run out of moisture as the night goes on. 

Bottom line is we could have another scenario where we see an inch at most of wet snow around the Tri-Cities area.  I know, not much, but enough to pull me away from my addiction to watching failing restaurants get turned around.

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Parkas to golf shirts

Now that the only snow left on the ground from last weeks winter storm are the piles of slush and dirt in the mall and grocery store parking lots, lets review the winter weather that hit the area and discuss if we will get anymore.

I think this picture I took a few days ago pretty much sums up our clash with winter.  It was inconvenient for everyone.  I mean, you know the conditions are horrible outside when our local IHOP can’t open till 7 AM and is forced to close at 8 PM.  Yeah I know, people are getting their cars stuck in ditches and accidentally ramming into snow banks, but you’re telling me I have to try and fit in a time to have my Cinna Stack Pancakes between those times?  Believe me I did, but I wasn’t happy about it.

Truth is, it would’ve been cooler if we got straight snow the whole time.  Last Wednesday we received about five inches.  Then after that it was sleet that fell.  Sleet is when Mother Nature can’t make up her mind whether she wants it to snow or rain, so then you just get what’s in between, frozen rain drops.  Then another few rounds of freezing rain fell after that.  The road conditions were ugly out there to say the least.

Fast forward a week (today) and we have high temperatures in the 50’s with the sun shining.  I kid you not, I saw golfers in short sleeve shirts this afternoon.  That’s the Tri-Cities for you, winter one day, then we are looking forward to spring the next.

Did our winter really only last a week?  It is very possible.  From the end of November through January are usually our best chances to see snow.  I have been looking at the long range computer forecast models and none of them are hinting at any cold snap for the next two weeks.  That means if we see any precipitation it will just be rain.

I’ll make a bold prediction and say we are done with any major snowstorms for the season.  Maybe we will get a trace here and there, but nothing major coming our way till late next fall or winter.

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Really? More Freezing Rain?

The National Weather Service slapped another Winter Weather Advisory on the Tri-Cities.  Primarily this is for freezing rain.  Look for the freezing rain to continue for the next couple of hours before we start to warm up after noon or so.

Really if it is this cold out we should see snow, but the upper levels of the atmosphere are too warm to support any.  Therefore we are left with the annoying rain that freezes after it hits the ground.

Freezing rain is annoying to me.  Not really fun to look at, makes things slippery, and it is annoying.

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Another day, another storm

Yesterday’s sleet and freezing rain brought more ice to the region and we aren’t out of the woods yet.

Another storm is moving in today and we will begin to see more snow/sleet/freezing rain in the afternoon and tonight.

I’am keeping it brief for now, but will update later.

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