The Blob: Not The Horror Movie, The Summer Weather Influencer

Jun 6, 2014

"The Blob" was the title of a 1958 sci-fi horror movie. It's also the nickname the Washington State Climatologist has given to a large patch of warmer than normal seawater off the Pacific Northwest Coast. This "blob" is unlikely to become the subject of another movie, but it will influence our summer weather.

Sea surface temperature anomalies in degrees C drawn from NOAA/ESRL database.
Credit Nick Bond

The big blob is centered about 700 miles off of the Washington and Oregon coasts. State climatologist Nick Bond says the water temps at the surface out there are about four degrees Fahrenheit warmer than normal for this time of year.

"The blob is basically a hangover from the unusually quiet and dry weather we had in the Pacific Northwest from October 2013 into February of this year," Bond said.

Bond expects the blob to persist through the summer. Prevailing winds off the ocean mean this will affect the weather all the way to the inland Northwest.

"So that air that is coming in is going to be warmed and moistened more than usual by this warmer water underneath," Bond said.

Bond sees high potential for a warmer and rainier late summer. No guarantees, but also conditions that favor development of thunderstorms.

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