Thursday, April 1, 2010

Weak storm coming

Thursday, April 1, 2010
12:05 A.M.
So there's a weak storm coming in later today. Not much to talk about.

The strongest storm of the year looks to come in later today and especially on Friday. So strong in fact, that I've cancelled my prospective visit to UBC to check it out. Models are in disagreement right now among the exact details, but they are in general agreement that we will get a strong storm. The GFS model, which is usually a little more accurate, is the weaker of the two. This frame of it shows the expected winds at 5 A.M. Friday and shows the strong 988 low pressure center off the coast. Peak winds in our area will probably occur around noon after the low deepens to 984 millibars at Tatoosh Island and heads into southern British Columbia. That scenario would give high winds to the coast and north interior wind wind advisory level winds (gusts up to 58 in isolated spots) in the Puget Sound area. What really caught my eye, however, is the NAM model.

This model shows a developing 984 mb low off of our coast, which will then mature to 980 millibars as it heads into Barkley Sound off southern Vancouver Island. This, I believe, could bring high winds to the lowlands, and it is something we will have to watch for. If this scenario came true, I predict we could see some damaging winds in the lowlands and some power outages. Get ready!

Another aspect of this storm will be the precipitation associated with it. Precipitation totals could be around an inch in the lowlands from this storm and nearly 4 inches in some places in the mountains. Much of that will fall as snow, meaning some places could see as much as 40 inches from this one storm! This above image, taken from the NAM model, not only shows the precipitation field associated with the storm but shows the bent-back occlusion, the trademark of a strong storm.

And, of course, there is the snow. This chart shows the 24 hour snowfall from 5 A.M. Friday to 5 A.M. Saturday. They are monstrous! Widespread amounts of 1 to 2 feet are found in the Cascades. Add that to the additional foot the day preceding and day following and you are talking about 3-4 feet of snow from this one storm in the mountains. These is very unusual for April. I hope it keeps up though! And models do show a weaker, cool storm settling in early next week for some more snow in the mountains. :)
Enjoy what may be the strongest storm for some while!

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