Tag Archives: Olympia

Don’t try to make sense of the winds

Olympia sits near sea level, near Puget Sound and surrounded by the Olympic and Cascade mountain ranges. Surface winds, as a result, aren’t often reflective of the winds found at higher reaches of the atmosphere. This made figuring out the temperature trends rather interesting when looking at the wind direction. It was apparent that the narrow temperature variance on Thursday was a result of overcast conditions, while those clouds cleared out on Friday, and the temperatures were warmer in the afternoon and cooler in the morning. This was because the flow switched from westerly to southerly. Meanwhile, at the surface, wind trends did just the opposite. It cleared out and got warmer when winds at the surface became northwesterly. Mountains are the worst. Forecasts were fairly mediocre, but The Weather Channel collected the top forecast for the day.
Actuals: Thursday – High 72, Low 57
Friday – High 83, Low 45

Grade: C-D

Olympia, Washington

Tomorrow – Mostly sunny, High 73, Low 50
Friday – Breezy but warmer, High 77, Low 46

TWC: Tomorrow – Mostly cloudy skies early, then partly cloudy in the afternoon High 74, Low 52
Friday – A mainly sunny sky. High 81, Low 48

AW: Tomorrow – Nice with some clouds, then sunshine High 74, Low 50
Friday – Areas of low clouds and fog, then sunshine High 80, Low 46

NWS: Tomorrow – Cloudy through mid morning, then gradual clearing High 74, low 50
Friday – Mostly sunny, High 79, Low 49

WB: Tomorrow – Mostly cloudy in the morning, then becoming mostly sunny, High 72, low 53
Friday – Sunny, High 78, low 49

WN: Tomorrow – Mostly sunny, High 77, Low 50
Friday – Mostly sunny, High 81, Low 50

FIO: Tomorrow – Partly cloudy starting overnight. High 74, low 54
Friday – Partly cloudy until morning. High 79, Low 51

Not so bad, especially along the Puget Sound, where they traditionally don’t get this toasty.

Olympia, Washington to New York, New York

Well we just did a cross country road trip, so why not do another one? This family is a glutton for punishment. Today, we embark on a 2800+ mile road trip from the capital of Washington to The City That Never Sleeps. It’s going to take a full 6 days to make the trip, so here we go!


Today starts our intimate trip of I-90 as we’ll be spending plenty of time getting to know it on this trip. A trough is continuing to push through the Pacific Northwest and into the Northern Rockies this weekend, kicking up widespread rain showers from Olympia through the Cascades. They’ll taper off a bit as we push through Central WA, but as we start to head through the tiny bit of Northern Idaho and eventually into western MT, we can expect some snow showers to greet us thanks to the elevation change. It will probably be some slow going for the evening as we end our night in Missoula, Mt.


Today isn’t going to be much better than the end of Day 1 as the storm system starts to slowly push out into the Plains. However, the snow focused along the inverted trough will keep snow over a decent chunk of our trip today. Billings looks at getting a few inches throughout the day, which is where we’ll have to drive through as we eventually make our way to Wyoming. We’re only making it to Sheridan tonight, darn snow!


Today will be a long day as we try and make up some time, but we’ll still be somewhat vexed by the storm system we’re “chasing” it seems. The early part of the drive through northwest WY should be cloudy but otherwise fairly quiet, and looks to stay that way until we pass by Rapid City, SD. As we continue eastward on I-90 through the state, we could see some more rain/snow showers by the time we make it to central SD. Luckily any activity should be fairly light and spotty, and eventually we make our way into Sioux Falls, SD for the night.


Finally we’ve escaped that storm system! It kinda fizzled out as it pushed into the Great Lakes overnight as high pressure built in behind it over the Upper Midwest. That bodes well for us as today’s trip through Southern MN and southern WI should be fairly uneventful. We end the night in Rockford, IL, only 30someodd miles from my hometown!


High pressure will continue to sit over the Great Lakes region throughout the day, so other than some morning clouds, another dry day is in store for us. We’ll traverse our way through Chicago and northern Indiana before negotiating some road construction in Northern Ohio. We’ll end our day in Youngstown, OH, only 1 day to go!


High pressure still controls the Northeast although a weak boundary is kicking up some showers over NY and southern MI. Luckily, our route through PA and northern NJ will avoid any of those precipitation hiccups. Partly to mostly cloudy skies are expected, but should be smooth sailing weather-wise into NYC for the evening!

Olympia, Washington to Fond du Lac, Wisconsin

We are three days into the New Year, and this is our shortest road trip of all of them. It’s been a lot of driving so far, and we have a 3 1/2 day trek ahead of us, covering 2,002 miles. We’ll be flying along I-94, which will allow a pace of 69mph, which will provide us with 552 miles covered in a day. That is a heck of a pace. Make sure to catch a ride, otherwise it will be in the next state before you know it.

DAY ONE (Wednesday)

Low pressure is moving ashore in northern California, and will extend it’s reach further east through the day tomorrow, with snow spreading through the Rockies and all the way to Nebraska, The good news, however, is that the snow will be unable to stretch north to I-90 close to the Canadian border. Of course, it’s going to be crazy cold, but high pressure will do an excellent job suppressing the northward advance of any precip. We’ll stop in Bearmouth, Montana, which is east of Missoula. I know the weather will be dry, but I’m not sure how comfortable being in a place called “Bearmouth”. Hmmm….

DAY TWO (Thursday)
Montana is a big state. One can never cover it in just one day, and we will end up on the eastern edge of the state, near Wilbaux on Thursday night. In the interim, there is a chance we see a little bit of light snow around Billings, thanks to a broad, sickly upslope flow, but it is more likely that we will only encounter a few clouds on our journey. On Friday, we will leave Montana.

DAY THREE (Friday)
The threat for that upslope flow is going to increase in Montana through the day Friday, so maybe we’ll want to get going a little sooner, but other than that, we will enjoy a third precip-free day as we barrel eastward through North Dakota and into Minnesota. We’ll be approaching the Twin Cities as we close out our Friday. They’ve recently had some very significant freezing rain, all followed by some bitterly cold temperatures, so it will likely still be icy from Fargo to the Twin Cities, if not on the roads, then in parking lots and on sidewalks when we stop. We’ll make it to Monticello, just on the fringes of the Twin Cities metro, before we call it a day.

DAY FOUR (Saturday)
This is it! We’re off on the last bit of our trio of lengthy trips that have started this year. High pressure and westerly flow will ensure that it will pass without too many issues. Of course, that westerly flow over the Great Lakes will mean some fun times in Michigan, but we aren’t going that far! Just the chilly burg of Fond du Lac, on the shores of Lake Winnebago

Augusta, Georgia to Olympia, Washington

For some reason, we are starting the year with a gruesomely long trip, crossing the entire country. We are going 2800 miles, as compared to the 3100 miles yesterday with Anthony. The trip will last 5 days at a pace of 67mph and 538miles a day. That 5th day will conclude after a bit longer on the road, but by that point, it’s not even going to matter. It’s going to be long all the way through.

DAY ONE (Tuesday)

A system is producing very severe weather across the southeast, which has proven fatal in parts of Alabama, and as of this writing is responsible for a tornado watch in Augusta. The remnants of the boundary will still be in place as we depart Augusta, and we will likely be driving through heavy rain through about Madison or Covington, with a break in the action between there and the Tennessee border. This is good news, as snobody wants to drive through Atlanta in good weather, and rain would be even worse. We’ll hit the cold side of the system in Tennessee, though, and by the time we reach Nashville, we will experience a chilly drizzle that will last until we cross the Ohio River, at which point some flurries will mix in. The day will finish in Vienna, Illinois.

DAY TWO (Wednesday)
Winds will be brisk, cool and from the west as we continue on our way towards Washington, but it will also be dry. We will cross Missouri and make a northerly turn towards Iowa. We’ll end in Hamburg, just over the border in Iowa, where it will be cool and windy, just like the day’s drive. Snow is likely in our future, but tonight, we will enjoy dry skies.

DAY THREE (Thursday)
High pressure will be building from the north late in the week. Don’t get me wrong, it will be a very cold wave of high pressure, but it will be one that presses developing instability south from the central Rockies towards the southern Plains. The roads will be clear and dry along our route, and the winds will be tapering off, which is a concern this time of year that needs to be addressed. We will make it to New Underwood, east of Rapid City in South Dakota without a weather worry. Well, aside from the chill. Hopefully our cars turn over in the morning!

DAY FOUR (Friday)
We will spend a lot of time driving through Montana on Friday. For the most part things will be fine for us, but on the western flank of high pressure spilling into the Plains, there might be some upslope flow in the central part of the state. Because of this, there is the threat for a few flurries between Billings and Livingston, but it should all wrap up by the time we reach our destination of Anaconda. With a name like that, I feel as though we might have additional concerns than just a bit of snow.

DAY FIVE (Saturday)
Let’s finish this. The drive through Idaho and eastern Washington will be just fine, but a strong area of low pressure moving in from the Pacific will be arriving on the coast through the day on Satrday. As we descend into the Seattle metro, the threat for precipitation will increase. Fortunately, it will start when we are low enough in elevation that it will fall as light rain. Unfortunately, we will need to navigate Seattle and Tacoma in worsening conditions, and overnight in Olympia, it will continue to deteriorate. Maybe this wasn’t the time to drive to Olympia.

The heat comes back in a big way

Olympia started the forecast period with a little more robust a marine layer than expected. Temperatures only hit 72, which was significantly cooler than anticipated. When those clouds burned off, however, it was under a thermal ridge. Temperatures soared back up into the middle 8s, which was anticipated only by Forecast.io. While it sounds like they may have won the forecast, that’s not quite true. The deciding factor was the chilly overnight lows brought on by that clearing. It was Accuweather that pegged the lows, and it was Accuweather that had the top forecast in Olympia.
Actuals: Thursday – High 72, Low 52
Friday – High 85, Low 47

Grade C

Olympia, Washington

Westward ho! This forecast shouldn’t be too late in the evening for Washingtonians.

At 554PM, PT, Olympia was reporting a temperature of 71 degrees with mostly sunny skies. There was a brisk west wind off the Pacific that was helping keep temperatures around Puget Sound cool. A lobe of upper level low pressure is swinging through the Strait of Juan de Fuca, helping to encourage the blustery conditions, and even some sand storm reports inland in Washington.
The wave will rotate quickly into Alberta overnight tonight, which will help put a lid on the gusty conditions. A weak ridge will build back into the Pacific Northwest tomorrow afternoon. There will be some clouds and maybe a bit of fog, but temperatures will warm up in the evening, and be significantly warmer with a light southeasterly flow on Friday.
Tomorrow – Clearing, High 76, Low 54
Friday – Mostly sunny, warmer, High 80, Loe 52

TWC: Tomorrow – Partly cloudy, High 80, Low 54
Friday – Sunny, High 84, Low 53

AW: Tomorrow – Pleasant with times of sun and clouds High 79, Low 52
Friday – Mostly sunny High 83, Low 50

NWS: Tomorrow – Mostly cloudy, then gradually becoming sunny, High 77, Low 51
Friday – Mostly sunny, High 79, Low 50

WB: Tomorrow – Mostly cloudy in the morning then becoming mostly sunny. High 77, Low 51
Friday – Mostly sunny High 79, Low 50

WN: Tomorrow – Partly Cloudy High 77, Low 52
Friday – Partly Cloudy High 79, Low 50

FIO: Tomorrow – Partly cloudy until afternoon. High 80, Low 53
Friday – Foggy overnight. High 85, Low 54

Depends on who you ask, but it looks like it will warm up a little bit (or quite a bit) by the end of the week. Olympia jas a nice dry window at the south end of the whirling mass northeast of Puget Sound.

Weekend washout

Olympia saw over 2 inches of rain over the weekend, which even for a region with a reputation for being damp is a lot of rain. Everyone foresaw the rain coming, so the forecast came down to the temperatures. The biggest separator was the low temperatures, which were cooler than seemed possible on Saturday, but a few degrees warmer than expected by many on Sunday morning. In all, Accuweather put together the best forecast, but a heavy reliance on model data meant that nobody was too far behind.
Actuals: Saturday – 1.77 inches of rain, High 53, Low 33
Sunday – .38 inches of rain, High 58, Low 48


Olympia, Washington

We head west the capital of Washington for today’s long distance forecast. Well, I guess the forecast isn’t long distance, just the forecast location.

At 838AM, PT, Olympia was reporting a temperature of 48 degrees with overcast skies and a little bit of fog near the surface. Despite the gloomy conditions at present, the Pacific Northwest is under a ridge which should allow for the low overcast to burn off this afternoon, and for sunny skies to arrive for the afternoon.
The ridge across the region is driving the latest wave along the semi-permanent low over the Gulf of Alaska northwards to the Alaska Panhandle. Southerly flow and mostly clear skies will be possible through the morning, but the related cold front associated with the aforementioned wave will move inland shortly after noon. It is expected to carry with it quite a bit of heavy precipitation, and torrential rain will fall through Sunday morning before beginning to taper off after sunrise. The environment will still be muggy and cloudy, however, as postfrontal westerlies won’t allow much clearing through the end of the day. In fact, it wouldn’t be surprising to see drizzle throughout the afternoon on Sunday.
Tomorrow – Starting sunny, then heavy rain through the afternoon, High 52, Low 38
Sunday – Heavy rain early, tapering off becoming overcast and drizzly, High 55, Low 45

TWC: Tomorrow – PM Rain High 56, Low 39
Sunday – Rain High 57, Low 49

AW: Tomorrow – Cloudy with rain in the afternoon High 55, Low 36
Sunday – Mostly cloudy with a couple of showers High 56, Low 46

NWS: Tomorrow – Rain, mainly after 10am High 56, Low 39
Sunday – Showers. High 56, Low 49

WB: Tomorrow – Mostly cloudy with a chance of rain in the morning… Then rain likely in the afternoon. High 56, Low 44
Sunday – Showers. High 56, Low 49

WN: Tomorrow – Scattered Showers High 55, Low 39
Sunday – Showers High 55, Low 48

Rain in Western Washington. All of your stereotypes are confirmed! The milky clouds over western Washington reflect the low clouds and fog in the area right now.

Olympia, Washington to Washington, DC

For those curious, it is a 2789 mile drive from Olympia, the capital of Washington, to Washington, the capital. We will take a full 5 day trip along this route, at a pace of 65.2mph. This means, for 4 days, we will cover 522.2mph, covering a bit more on that last day, which will be Saturday. That’s a heck of a lot of driving, so we had better hit the road, Jack


We have actually found the first window in about a month with no real rain or anything around Puget Sound. We will drive northeast to Seattle and even through the rest of Washington State. The only threat for any precipitation will be in the Idaho Chimney, where some isolated valley drizzle may get trapped, reducing the visibility at some spots. We will finish our day in the northern Rockies, southeast of Missoula, in Milltown, Montana.

Montana is a vast, empty state. We will not leave it at any point on Tuesday, going from Milltown to Ashland in the southeastern corner of the state. We are still outpacing any significant, unpleasant weather, so it should be a long, empty day.

We will start the day in pretty decent shape, once again. Most of South Dakota will be enjoyed in relative silence, with no rain or clouds or anything climactically interesting. Things will begin to change when we hit the Missouri River near Chamberlain, however, as at that point, a system well to our route’s south will begin to eject moisture north. We will contend with a few rain showers from then until we arrive at our Wednesday night destination, Hartford, South Dakota, which is on the outskirts of Sioux Falls.

Our drive through the Upper Midwest will be fairly decent, though don’t be surprised if it’s cloudy for much of the day. Weak instability through most of the Mississippi Valley will mean showers and storms across the majority of Iowa, into northern Illinois. We won’t hit those showers until we ourselves are in northern Illinois, stopping for the final time in Belvidere, Illinois.

OK, so the timing and distance of this drive? Longest day ever. The ride will be slower, the distance long, but we will be able to do it. I’ve done 14 hours in a day before. And besides, there’s really nothing to worry about on the drive, as high pressure is going to develop across the remainder of our route, allowing us to finish our grueling drive with this windows rolled down. It won’t be that warm, but it will be nice to get a little fresh air.