South Fidalgo Island Weather Station Journal

August 29, 2015:  An historic August windstorm passed through delivering 90 mph (145 kph) winds to the Washington coast.  I was at work during the event, but I had a blustery 6 a.m. commute with branches blowing across Interstate 5.  Peak winds at my station were only 30 mph (48 kph) but it was enough to snap off two of the neighbors' fir trees blocking my driveway and crushing a section of garden (photos).  Our drought conditions probably rendered the trees more brittle than usual.

January 16, 2015:  Current Weather is displaying once again.  The problem turned out to be due to a change in ICANN rules and verification of the site owner (me).  A little more bureaucracy and it was up and running again.

January 15, 2015:  Since yesterday morning, the Current Weather page has not been updating.  The problem is at the host where the page is uploaded.  A support ticket has been submitted.  This also affects data uploads to the Northwest Weather Network.  For the time being, you can check current reports for South Fidalgo Island at Weather Underground or at WeatherLink.

December 30, 2014:  Another atmospheric pressure record has been broken.  At 9:00 AM Sea-Tac Airport in Seattle reported a high pressure of 1045.5 millibars (30.87 inHg).  This surpasses the previous record set December 1, 2011 (see below).  Between  9:25 and 10:25 AM, my station near Deception Pass recorded 1045.2 mb (30.86 inHg).

July 10, 2014:  Since 04:41 this morning the weather station sensors have not been transmitting temperature, humidity or rain data.  Wind speed is on a different station and that is working normally.  Barometer data comes from the console and that is also working.  Davis Instruments support has been contacted.

December 1, 2011:  At midnight, a weather record was broken.  A barometric pressure of 1043.4 millibars or 30.81 inHg was recorded at Sea-Tac Airport.  This is the highest pressure recorded since records began in 1948.  The previous record high pressure was 1043.0 millibars (30.80 inHg) on January 28, 1949.  There was a reading of 1043.9 millibars (30.83 inHg) on December 3, 1921, but the location was downtown Seattle.  On December 1, 2011, the midnight South Fidalgo reading was 1042.7 millibars (30.79 inHg).  At 10:51 PM November 30, the reading here was 1043.0 mBar (30.80 inHg).

February 23, 2011:  Snow!  South Fidalgo got about 6 inches, but Mount Vernon received at least 14.  Shortly after leaving for work, my power went out and took the weather station offline.  At about 8:00 PM, thirty miles of Interstate 5 was shut down between Arlington and Alger.  Drivers were overwhelmed by the amount of snow and the speed at which it arrived.  I elected to stay in Arlington to avoid the night drive home.  This was a fortunate choice as it turned out.  State and county road crews did a remarkable job getting the roads cleared and open again, and they deserve our appreciation.

September 17, 2010:  Intermittent internet and cable TV outages are affecting weather station data uploads.

June 2, 2010:  After such a dry winter, this spring has been one of the wettest.  May brought 3.5 inches of rain at my station which may be a personal best.  We normally expect around 1.6.  The garden has been loving it; it never looked better.  Further affects of El Niño, no doubt

March 28, 2010:  This winter was unusually warm, dry and sunny, not at all the Northwest style.  There is apparently an El Niño in play.  Deception Pass State Park was never nicer in January.  All of my rhododendrons seem to be blooming a month early. 

November 16, 2009:  At 1:50 PM today the wind finally stopped blowing.  What a relief the calm is.  It has been blowing continuously since last Thursday afternoon, November 12.  Now we are told another front is coming onshore tonight with gusts possibly reaching 60 mph.

November 13, 2009:  Friday the thirteenth and 50 mph!  At 5:01 AM the weather station clocked peak winds at 50 mph.  At the same moment, the barometric pressure bottomed at 29.58 inches.  Repeated 50 mph gusts continued during the next 40 minutes.  We lost power for about two hours, but surprisingly, my big trees received no major damage.

July 29, 2009:  History was made today on South Fidalgo.  The weather station hit 93° F (34° C) today.  Anacortes reached 101° F (38° C) today, which is an all-time record high.  Seattle also broke its record high today at 103° F (39° C) with data going back to 1891.

July 26, 2009:  Hot weather!  Yesterday, it reached a smidge under 80° topped off by a Midwest style thunderstorm, complete with hail.  Around here, this is extremely rare in the summer.  Now they predict several days in the high 90's for Seattle, and the mid 80's here, also a rare event.  We had record cold last winter, followed by record flooding, now record heat.  What was that they said about climate change?

January 8, 2009:  Western Washington rivers are experiencing major flooding.  After all the December snowfall, we are now getting a huge, wet, warm system off the Pacific.  I-5 is closed south of Olympia and the Chehalis River is predicted to crest as much as 10 feet over the freeway.  All of the Cascade passes are closed due to flooding, mudslides and avalanches.  This means northwest Washington is cut off from the rest of the state. 40,000 people have been evacuated.  My I-5 exit to work is closed where the Stillaguamish has exceeded 60-year flood levels.

December 20, 2008:  Another unusual winter: abnormally cold temperatures over several days, snow and ice-covered roads.  From Bellingham to the Oregon border, driving in Western Washington has been nearly impossible at times.  It began Sunday the 14th with about 3 inches of snow locally and it hasn’t let up.  On Tuesday the 16th, South Fidalgo got another six inches, and we would end up with about fourteen inches total.  Areas to the south got up to two feet.  Tonight, the Cascade foothills and the ocean beaches are under blizzard warnings.  More snow and winds gusting to 75 miles per hour are predicted.

February 25, 2008:  No extraordinary weather events this winter except for many clear and sunny days.  It has been colder than usual, thanks to La Niña, but not really very bad.  The wind storms didn't amount to much either.  Interesting.

July 11, 2007:  Today it was 89° and yesterday it was 86°.  These are not records, but they are 20-25° above normal.  It was 99° in Hoquiam yesterday which is just off the ocean.  Interestingly, it was 73° today in Los Angeles.

January 14, 2007:  Sunday, 0700, chilly, clear skies.  While driving to work, I noticed an odd streak low in the ENE sky.  For the first time ever, I was seeing a comet, McNaught!  Astronomers call it C/2006 P1.  It was long and straight and parallel to the horizon.  It remained clearly visible even after sunrise.  It was a very auspicious day at work

December 17, 2006:  Back home at last. Power on, furnace running.  My weather station clocked sustained winds at 38 mph near the house.  Must move the anemometer to a more open location.

December 15, 2006:  Back to check on the house.  No power, of course, but everything is intact.  Broken limbs and debris everywhere, all over the roof, all over the yard.  The top half of a big Douglas fir is in two pieces in the driveway.  This will require a logger to clean up.  My neighbors took a tree in their bedroom.  Trees and power lines are down all along the road.  Reports of 1 million customers without power in western Washington.

December 14, 2006:  Big wind coming! 90 mph gusts predicted.  I have been through 70 here, but I am leaving town for this one. Taking a motel room in Arlington.

November 28, 2006:  It snowed two days ago, about 3 inches.  No problem there, but the power went out late in the afternoon.  There was no wind, so I don't know why.  Today it is still out and it is 16° F outside and 42° inside.  Ultimately, we lived like this for three days before the power was restored. 

South Fidalgo Station Charts for 2015

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