A Winter trip into the Olympic Rain Shadow

Classic cold front swept through this afternoon, Friday January 7th, creating a very nice blue hole in the Olympic Rain Shadow, which I crossed into during a well timed trip from downtown Seattle to Sequim.

Saturday the 8th was post-frontal, convergence zone, type weather which, per the expected, produced a gorgeous, spring-like bright sunny day in the Shadow.

Here is the play-by-play on Friday with some attached photos….

Below that, the play-by-play on Saturday with many more attached photos…

Commencing from Seattle at 2:30 pm in miserable wind driven rain, I passed into the Shadow at about 4PM in the area just east of Discovery Bay, and ended with mostly clear skies in Sequim as the sun was setting.

Here is the play-by-play with some attached photos….

Seattle  – dreary with wind driven rain

Edmonds 2:30 PM – dreary with wind driven rain

Edmonds Kingston Ferry ride – sub 1 mile visibility, rain, wind, cold

Hood Canal Bridge looking south 3:30 PM – gray and ominous!

Discovery Bay 3:50 PM – Bring on the Blue Hole!

Diamond Point approaching Sequim Bay, looking south – Shadow here, dark up there!

Sequim Proper – Sun had set, pavement dry

The solar radiation on the weather station today did not peak above 200 w/m^2 , likely registering a dreary day,  but it was a little jagged…and that typically indicates bursts of sunshine.

More from a perception point of view, even half an hour of deep blue sky and sunshine leaves a lasting impression on someone who hasn’t seen it for a while!

Saturday, January 8th, 2011

Saturday dawned clear and sunny in the heart of the rainshadow, and the day was brilliant and blue.

Jamestown Beach  1:04 PM – Looking east, clouds gathered toward Everett

Jamestown Beach  1:18 PM – Looking north, Victoria, Dungeness lighthouse bright sunny

Sequim Proper Highway 101 2:58PM – Looking north into the shadow, clear as a bell…

Diamond Point 3:11 PM – looking north, edge of the shadow…..

Approaching Discovery Bay 3:17 PM – Bye Bye shadow, hello showers!

Mid-span, Hood Canal Bridge 3:40 PM – Looking north, grey

Mid-sound, from Kingston Ferry 4:13 PM – Looking north, grey, but some hope

Edmonds 4:30 PM – some grey, some sun sneaking out of the shadow, but rain, and rainbow to the north

Downtown Seattle 4:56 PM – Looking SW a bit ominious

Downtown Seattle 4:58 PM – looking NE toward the rainshadow, but nice clearing over NW neighborhoods

Scott Sistek, of Komo news fame in Seattle, and also a local from Port Angeles, took the play-by-play a bit further, and worked with his parents to record live video of the drive along the same route, in early June 2010. Per our discussion on climate, late spring often sees an active weather pattern, with very well defined rain shadows. In case people haven’t seen that, here is his article with his video on that…

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