Sunday, January 31, 2010
Wow. It has been a long time since I last posted something. I've been very busy with finals and studying. Now though, I hope I'll have a bit more free time.
Right now we are stuck in a pattern of storms coming to our south and us getting the fringe effects of them. While central California will get a lot of rain, we will not get much, and we will continue to remain a couple degrees above average. This Janu,ary will be the warmest on record, with an average temperature of 47 degrees (combined high and low). The average temperature for the month is usually around 40 degrees, so we were wayyy above normal for the month. Of course, some people are rejoicing, but I'm pretty frustrated cause there is hardly any snow in the mountains and models do not show any in the future. Thankfully, they don't show any huge pineapple express events either.
There are no notable weather events shown in the models for a longgg time. I'll let you know when something shows up.
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Hey guys. So as I'm sure you noticed, we were very warm today. The high at Komo's downtown TV station was 60 today, and the low was a balmy 52. Even though the jet stream has gone to our south, we are still under the influence of a warm, moist air mass originating from further south. The weather in Southern California has been extremely severe. Los Angeles had a tornado warning and flooding over Long Beach, while the coast saw winds up to 80 miles per hour. I'm actually not surprised one bit that they did get a tornado; events like these are actually fairly common in the storms that hit Southern California. They have much more of a tropical element to them and they can be much more intense than a lot of our Pacific Northwest storms (at least in my opinion). They don't exist as often as ours do though, and usually they only occur on El Nino years. But they can be very powerful.
I'm sorry I really have to and study for my three huge tests tomorrow (and NONE of them are finals! That's next week.). Once the semester is over I'll have more free time to update the blog.
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
Hey everybody. Just a brief update now... I have to catch the bus soon... but we saw some pretty heavy rain amounts here as a Pineapple Express was stalled over the area. Amounts of an inch, higher south, were common in the Puget Sound area, while places in the Olympics received 5 inches and I wouldn't be surprised if some mountainous locales on the southwestern slopes got over a foot of rain. Of course, with high freezing levels (around 6000 feet), it is pretty much all falling as rain in the mountains, and this is sending many rivers over their banks. The Skokomish River has a Flood Warning on it for minor flooding until early Wednesday morning.
What does our extended look like? Unfortunately for skiers, continued warm. It won't be as wet, however. Thursday will be nice, and rain will return Friday and for the weekend, though it won't be as heavy, and I don't think the air temperatures will be quite as warm.
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
Hello everybody. The models today have been showing some interesting stuff in the long run. And although the job of meteorologists is exactly to NOT do what I am doing now - hyping up predictions in the computer models - I'm going to do it anyway because it's fun and I always like to have a record of possible predicted storms for our region and ask myself the question, "what if"?
First, let's go over the general weather pattern predicted for the rest of this week into early next week. A ridge of high pressure is currently over us and will stay parked over us for two whole days, giving us dry conditions and normal temperatures, what most people would call "good weather." Thursday may be a bit chillier than average however, as the ridge is centered over British Columbia and will direct some chilly (but not cold) air into our region.
Later Friday into Saturday, a weak system will arrive, but this won't have much affect on the area besides a few periods of light rain and some clouds. By Sunday, high pressure will rebuild in the wake of the cold front, but it won't be strong enough to keep all the clouds away. It will dry us out temporarily though.
Later Sunday night into Monday marks the beginning of a series of storm systems beginning to hit the West Coast. These storms look to have a slightly subtropical origin, so they will have heavy rain and above average temperatures. At this point, the temperatures and freezing levels don't look to be rediculously high (upper 40s in the lowlands and 4000-5000 feet in the mountains, except at the surface in the passes due to a cool easterly flow in them from cold air entrenched east of the Cascades), but flooding could still occur on some rivers, particularly the Skokomish, the most flood-prone river in the Pacific Northwest.
This image shows the predicted 24 hour precipitation from 4 P.M. Sunday to 4 P.M. Monday. The most intense precipitation is centered on Vancouver Island but we look to get pretty wet too, especially if the storm comes in further south than expected. We could also be quite blustery, especially on the coast, as the storm center is predicted to be around 969 millibars as of right now in the computer models and that is more than enough to set the winds howling to storm force at places like Tatoosh Island off of Cape Flattery. The duration of the rain will also be long, lasting from late Sunday to early Tuesday in many places.
I really hope this prediction comes true! El Nino winters can be boring but they can often bring "atmospheric river" or "pineapple express" events, even though this looks to be like a weak one at this time. Have a great day, and thanks for reading! You guys are awesome!
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
This is the current jet stream over the Pacific and western North America. Notice how there is a large circle in the middle of the screen, above where the jet stream winds turn purple. That is a low pressure system. Then, look by the Pacific Northwest. High pressure is dominating the area, forcing the jet stream, now considerably weakened, to split into two and go north and south. Even though California and Canada seem to be spared of active weather as well with this particular scenario, they often get hammered while the Pacific Northwest stays dry. It's that type of weather that makes me resentful and jealous, and the only good thing about El Ninos is that they reduce upwelling off of our coast, bringing in tuna that I can fish for in the summer. But I dislike everything else about it.