2014 Weather in Review

Bruce Hedrick Bruce's Briefs Weather

RW Logo 1.6 MBThis is the official National Weather Service review and provides some very interesting data.  -BH

Ed. Note: Bruce is in the Northwest Yachting Booth at the Seattle Boat Show today and tomorrow. Stop by and try to stump him with some weather questions.

2014 WILL GO DOWN AS A WET AND RECORD WARM YEAR AS WELL AS A TRAGIC YEAR. THERE WERE 50 WEATHER-RELATED FATALITIES CAPPED BY THE 43 INVOLVED WITH THE SR-530 SLIDE ON MARCH 22ND. THERE WERE ALSO THREE AVALANCHE AND WIND-RELATED FATALITIES EACH AS WELL AS A RIP-CURRENT FATALITY. 19 PEOPLE WERE INJURED DURING THE YEAR AND WEATHER-RELATED DAMAGE TOTALS THROUGH OCTOBER WERE IN EXCESS OF 64 MILLION DOLLARS.

IT WAS A RECORD WARM YEAR. WITH ABOUT A WEEK LEFT BEFORE THE END OF THE YEAR…THE AVERAGE TEMPERATURE AT SEATAC AIRPORT WAS 55.5 DEGREES…EXCEEDING THE PREVIOUS RECORD OF 54.4 DEGREES IN 1995. THE AVERAGE HIGH TEMPERATURE WAS 63.1 DEGREES EXCEEDING THE RECORD OF 62.5 DEGREES IN 1992 AND THE AVERAGE LOW TEMPERATURE WAS 47.9 DEGREES, EXCEEDING THE RECORD WARM LOW TEMPERATURE AVERAGE OF 46.7 DEGREES SET IN 1995 AND 2013.

THROUGH DECEMBER 22ND…THERE HAVE BEEN ONLY 83 DAYS ( 23 PERCENT ) WITH BELOW NORMAL TEMPERATURES. SINCE JULY 1ST…THE PERCENTAGE IS EVEN LOWER WITH ONLY 27 DAYS BELOW NORMAL ( 15 PERCENT ). THERE WERE PLENTY OF WARM NIGHTS IN SEATTLE IN 2014. THROUGH DECEMBER 22ND…THERE WERE 176 DAYS WITH A LOW TEMPERATURE OF 50 DEGREES OR MORE. THIS IS A NEW RECORD AND CRUSHES THE OLD RECORD OF 157 DAYS SET IN 1995.

THERE WERE 114 DAYS WITH HIGHS 70 DEGREES OR GREATER. THIS IS SECOND MOST ON RECORD SURPASSED ONLY BY 115 DAYS IN 1992. EIGHT OUT OF THE TWELVE MONTHS WERE IN THE TOP 10 WARMEST. THE AVERAGE TEMPERATURE IN JANUARY WAS 44.3 DEGREES (10TH), APRIL 52.0 DEGREES (7TH), MAY 59.1 DEGREES (5TH), JULY 69.2 DEGREES (2ND), AUGUST 69.1 DEGREES (3RD), SEPTEMBER 64.8 DEGREES (2ND), OCTOBER 58.0 DEGREES (1ST) AND AS OF DECEMBER 22ND – 47.5 DEGREES (1ST). ONLY FEBRUARY HAD BELOW NORMAL TEMPERATURES.

IT WAS ALSO QUITE A WET YEAR. SEATAC AIRPORT REPORTED 47.21 INCHES, THE EIGHTH WETTEST YEAR ON RECORD. THE ALL-TIME RECORD IS 55.17 INCHES IN 1950. ANOTHER INCH WOULD BE NEEDED TO EXCEED THE 7TH RANKED 48.27 INCHES ESTABLISHED IN 2012.NatWeatherService

FOR ONLY THE SECOND TIME ON RECORD…SEATAC AIRPORT PASSED ITS ANNUAL NORMAL TOTAL FOR RAINFALL IN THE MONTH OF OCTOBER. THE ANNUAL NORMAL OF 37.49 INCHES WAS SURPASSED ON OCTOBER 30TH THIS YEAR. THE ONLY OTHER YEAR WAS IN 1950 WHEN THE ANNUAL NORMAL WAS SURPASSED ON OCTOBER 23RD.

THERE WERE FIVE MONTHS THAT ENDED UP IN THE TOP 10 WETTEST ON RECORD – FEBRUARY 6.11 INCHES (8TH)…MARCH 9.44 INCHES (1ST)…APRIL 4.18 INCHES (9TH)…MAY 3.15 INCHES (8TH) AND OCTOBER 6.75 INCHES (5TH).

IT WAS THE WETTEST FEBRUARY 1ST THROUGH OCTOBER 31ST ON RECORD, 35.17INCHES, SHATTERING THE OLD RECORD OF 31.11 INCHES SET IN 1950.

THE YEAR BEGAN WITH THE NEUTRAL PHASE OF THE THREE EL NINO SIBLINGS AND FINISHED WITH A WEAK EL NINO. THIS WAS THE FIRST TIME THERE WERE BACK TO BACK NEUTRAL WINTER SEASONS SINCE THE WINTERS OF 1992-93 AND 1993-94.

THERE WERE FOUR TORNADOES IN THE STATE THIS YEAR. WASHINGTON AVERAGES BETWEEN ONE AND TWO TORNADOES PER YEAR. THE STRONGEST TORNADO – AN EF1 – STRUCK LONGVIEW ON OCTOBER 23RD WITH NO FATALITIES BUT CLOSE TO ONE MILLION DOLLARS DAMAGE. THE OTHER EVENTS WERE A BRIEF WEAK EVENT IN EATONVILLE ON APRIL 27TH…A BRIEF TOUCHDOWN ON RATTLESNAKE MOUNTAIN NORTHWEST OF RICHLAND ON AUGUST 13TH…AND THE WATERSPOUT OFF ANDERSON ISLAND IN SOUTH PUGET SOUND ON OCTOBER 11TH.

BELOW IS A LIST OF THE YEARS SIGNIFICANT WEATHER EVENTS AND THE RECORD TEMPERATURES AND PRECIPITATION ESTABLISHED THUS FAR THIS YEAR.

HIGH WINDS

JANUARY 10-11 – COAST/NORTH INTERIOR/PUGET SOUND AREA – A SERIES OF THREE WIND EVENTS PRODUCED WINDS UP TO 55 MPH KNOCKING POWER OUT TO ABOUT 90000 CUSTOMERS.

FEBRUARY 15-16 – COAST/NORTH INTERIOR – A STRONG STORM PRODUCED WINDS UP TO 58 MPH.

MAY 31 – ISLAND COUNTY – STRONG WINDS UP TO 35 MPH RESULTED IN A 10-FOOT KAYAK CARRYING TWO MEN FROM THE SOUTHERN U.S. TO CAPSIZE. THE TWO MEN DROWNED FROM HYPOTHERMIA.

OCTOBER 21 – NORTH COAST AND NORTH INTERIOR – STRONG WINDS UP TO 58 MPH HIT THIS REGION AND RESULTED IN ONE INJURY FROM A LARGE TREE BRANCH THROUGH THE ROOF OF A HOME.

OCTOBER 25 – PUGET SOUND AREA – STRONG WINDS UP TO 61 MPH RESULTED IN ABOUT 150000 CUSTOMERS WITHOUT POWER. THE EVERGREEN POINT FLOATING BRIDGE CLOSED FOR A FEW HOURS THAT EVENING. A SAILOR DIED IN THE SOUTH SOUND AREA WHEN HIS BOAT CAPSIZED. A CYCLIST WAS INJURED BY A FALLEN BRANCH IN DOWNTOWN SEATTLE. DAMAGES EXCEEDED TWO MILLION DOLLARS.

NOVEMBER 6 – NORTH INTERIOR AND PUGET SOUND AREA – STRONG WINDS UP TO 58 MPH PRODUCED POWER OUTAGES TO ABOUT 50000 CUSTOMERS AND A HALF MILLION DOLLARS IN DAMAGES. A TREE FELL ONTO A VEHICLE ALONG SR-530 NEAR OSO INJURING THE MOTORIST.

NOVEMBER 14-16 – PORTIONS OF THE INTERIOR – AN STRONG OFFSHORE FLOW EAST WIND EVENT UNDER CLEAR SKIES RESULTED IN STRONG WINDS WITH GUSTS TO 50 MPH FOR A FEW DAYS WITH ONE NIGHT IN THE EAST PUGET SOUND LOWLANDS…GUSTS REACHING 60 MPH. THE EVENT RESULTED IN A NUMBER OF DOWNED TREES AND POWER OUTAGES TO ABOUT 150000 CUSTOMERS – SOME MORE THAN ONCE. DAMAGE TOTALS WERE NOT AVAILABLE YET.

DECEMBER 11 – MUCH OF WESTERN WASHINGTON – STRONG WINDS UP TO 65 MPH DOWNED A NUMBER OF TREES AND RESULTED IN 350000 CUSTOMERS WITHOUT POWER. A CYCLIST WAS INJURED WHEN HE ENCOUNTERED A DOWNED TREE ON A BIKE TRAIL.

 

WINTER STORMS LOW LAND SNOW EVENTS

FEBRUARY 8 – PARTS OF THE PUGET SOUND AREA AND SOUTHWEST INTERIOR 3 TO 7 INCHES OF SNOW FELL.

FEBRUARY 22 – FAR NORTH INTERIOR – WEAK FRASER RIVER OUTFLOW COMBINED WITH INCOMING MOISTURE FROM A PACIFIC WEATHER SYSTEM TO PRODUCE 2-4 INCHES OF SNOW IN WESTERN WHATCOM AND SAN JUAN COUNTIES.

NOVEMBER 29 – PARTS OF THE INTERIOR OF WESTERN WASHINGTON – A SURGE OF COLD AIR FROM WESTERN CANADA COMBINED WITH LINGERING MOISTURE FROM A PACIFIC WEATHER SYSTEM AND A PUGET SOUND CONVERGENCE ZONE RESULTED IN TRACE TO 3 INCHES OF SNOW IN THE REGION.

 

MARINE INCIDENTS INCLUDING COASTAL FLOODING/HIGH SURF AND RIP CURRENTS

JULY 27 – CENTRAL COAST – A GROUP OF EIGHT PEOPLE FROM OUT OF STATE WERE CAUGHT IN A RIP CURRENT NEAR OCEAN SHORES. ALL EVENTUALLY ESCAPED TO SHORE…BUT ONE PERSON WHO WENT BACK IN THE WATER TO HELP OTHERS WAS SWEPT OUT TO SEA – ONE FATALITY.

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Bruce Hedrick

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Bruce has raced and cruised the Pacific Northwest his entire life. He earned a Bachelor's of Science from the University of Washington in Biological Oceanography and learned meteorology "to keep from getting kicked around on the race course." <a href="https://www.nwyachting.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Brucekh.jpg"><img class="alignright wp-image-5597 size-medium" src="https://www.nwyachting.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Brucekh-300x224.jpg" alt="Brucekh" width="300" height="224" /></a>Bruce spent nearly two decades as Associate Publisher for Northwest Yachting Magazine, retiring in mid-2015, and was the chairman of the board of trustees for the Northwest Marine Trade Association in 2014.

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