Monday, January 4, 2010

Refreshing Rain to Start 2010

Monday, January 4, 2010
5:28 P.M.

There was quite a bit of rain this morning, as I'm sure many of you noticed as you headed off to school or work. The radar certainly lit up, and I was impressed when I looked at it right before I darted out of the house this morning. It had been a long time since it was completely filled up like that, and there were quite a lot of yellows and even oranges there, representing heavier rain. We've almost got an inch of rain so far and although the showers are winding down, we could reach that one inch mark if a couple good ones roll through tonight. We are at .87 inches now in downtown Seattle.

El Nino is a Spanish word that refers to the pooling of warmer than average water in the tropical Pacific. El Nino literally means "Little Boy" or "Christ Child," since it often occurs right after Christmastime (what a coincidence!). The phenomenon itself can be devastating for fish in the region since the upwelling that usually occurs in that area no longer occurs and many fish die without adequate food. It has weather effects all over the world, which range from flooding in Peru to a warmer and drier-than-average winter here in the Pacific Northwest. Although El Nino has been implanted in that region since October or so, it now appears (at least to my ameteur eyes) to have leveled off in terms of strength.
What does this mean for us? I believe I've discussed this before, but it means drier and warmer than average weather. We saw this in December and we will continue to see it in January. Long range models don't show it being bone-dry, but they don't show a washout either, and they put us with above average temps and slightly below average rainfall for the next couple weeks. Expect a rainy period Friday, but fairly benign weather besides that, save a few showers tomorrow and Wednesday.
Have a great week!

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