Thursday, October 7, 2010

February - May 2009 (Sporadic Forecasts)

May 12, 2009
9:18 PM

For some reason, the atmosphere failed to really destabilize, and the expected thundershowers failed to flare up. Tomorrow, in the plains, there will be a huge outbreak of severe weather. I suggest you read about it in the blogs on

May 11, 2009
6:38 PM

Just like the passage of a contrail disintegrating into the atmosphere due to low relative humidity 37,000 feet up, the AP Euro exam has passed out of us sophomores lives. An anti-climatic climax it was, at least for me, as I could have done more useful things with my time then creating a 45-page outline of the entire year which I didn’t even use. Still, it is a testament to the prowess and power man possesses, which is still reminiscent of the Italian renaissance, especially in individualists such as Pico della Mirandola (Oration on the Dignity of Man).
But now I seriously need to get that stuff out of my life, and get back to weather. That is what this page is about. But still, weather has become a part of me so much that it’s almost difficult to distinguish what it is and what it isn’t. That’s why I ramble on things most people would find totally unrelated to weather. I see the resemblance, and I never erase any of my work. I just type as things come to me. And if you don’t like my approach, you can always look elsewhere. Q13 Fox! Oh joy! The pinnacle of forecasting, the very essence of the art. Yeah right. Q13’s weather is like the kid trying to nudge his head into a circle of kids having a conversation, with only his head being visible between the frames of others. Anyways……… yeah. Ok. Back to weather
I’m mainly looking forward to tomorrow. A cold area of low pressure is spinning due west off of our coast right now, and it is expected to track inland tomorrow. It is currently very weak, but what it will do is offer the cold air needed to spark off instability in the atmosphere. With the sun at a very high angle, the development of showers and thunderstorms will be rapid and swift. Expect a high in the mid 50s with thundershowers at times, especially in a possible PSCZ (convergence zone) between Seattle and Everett. Wednesday will feature a more traditional Seattle storm, one that is stronger but more stable. Thursday will feature residual showers. Highs those days will be in the upper 50s.
This weekend looks splendid. Highs in the upper 60s with brilliant sunshine. Definitely a good time to get outside. Have a great day people!

April 30, 2009
6:29 P.M.

My internet has been very strange lately, and many people can confirm the fact that my typing has been really weird. It is fine in Microsoft Word though, so that is where I am typing it right now.
But today, to mix things up, I thought I’d do a Swine Flu forecast since it’s all the rage.
Madrona K-8, Aki Kurose, and Stevens are all closed for one whole week due to possible swine flu infection. What’s next is the question.
A good analogy for this situation is “the pig is out of the sty.” I mean this in the sense that there is no longer a question of swine flu becoming a pandemic. We can take precautions, but swine flu has spread all over the world in less than a week, which gives it enough credentials in my opinion to be called a pandemic. And although the flu has only affected a handful of people, it is doing so at a very quick rate. The thing that makes flu pandemics so deadly and destructive is not necessarily that the virus is more powerful than other viruses, but it is that we have not been exposed to this type of flu and therefore do not know how to combat it. Seasonal influenza consists of similar strains, but H1N1 Swine Flu came from pigs. Needless to say, pigs and humans are very different creatures, and diseases that affect them are different. This pig flu mutated with a human strain however, so now you have the worst of both worlds; an unfamiliar influenza strain that has the ability to pass from person to person. This is not just a strain that we can fight off; the infectious rate is prodigiously high, which explains the rapid pace at which this flu has spread.
I do expect many schools in Seattle to be closed in the next week or so as cases erupt across the county and state. Garfield is a prime location for swine flu to spread since it is a large school that brings people all across the city together. Many of the events coming up, such as the Spring Waltz, will only serve to worsen the situation. Unfortunately, we have already passed the pivotal point of quarantine, but that does not change the fact that it is extremely important to wash your hands and keep yourself clean. Unfortunately, the flu can still spread even when people haven’t started showing symptoms yet, so although I’m not recommending everybody completely stay away from each other, it is prudent to possibly use less physical forms of salutation. Schools are a perfect environment for flu to spread, and I feel like it is our duty as students not to just act in the best interest of ourselves but in the best interest of others as well by taking steps to reduce the spread of this extremely virulent disease. Remember, the Spanish Flu started with one person as well. It ended up killing 100 million. Let’s not let this happen again by keeping clean and using common sense.

April 20, 2009

Happy 420 everyone! Though I am not someone who practices that holiday. Expect a real update tomorrow.

April 19, 2009

Again, nothing new to report. And my keyboard is screwing up... arrrghggh

April 18,2009

What' new? Nothing.

April 17, 2009
4:02 P.M.

Never mind.
Remember how I said winter may finally be vanquished? Well for three days in a row the weather models have insisted on a rainy period lasting Wednesday of next week to Friday. Highs then should be in the mid 50s with periods of showers, interlaced with some sunbreaks. In the meanwhile, expect dry conditions with highs in the low 60s tomorrow. Sunday should be absolutely beautiful, and I would not be surprised at all to see the thermometer hit 70 in places. Monday looks even nicer, with highs in the low 70s. Tuesday, clouds filter back in as we get cooler air off the Pacific, and, as I previously stated, expect a chance of rain by Wednesday. Get out and see those cherry blossoms while you can!

April 15, 2009
7:19 A.M.

According to Scott Sistek of KOMO4, winter has finally been vanquished. We are at that time of year when it only gets warmer and warmer, and apart from a few showers Friday, the extended looks warm and sunny. Highs in the mid 60s from the weekend forward!

April 14, 2009
6:14 P.M.

Nothing new to report. Pretty day though, isn't it?
Go Mariners.

April 13, 2009
8:17 P.M.

Man, I've updated this thing twice already only to accidentally click on a link and have to start all over again. Oh well. Third time's a charm right?
The weather today was quite intense. You could say that it brought the ruckus. I don't think there were any reports of lightning but there were reports of marble-sized hail in SE King County and everybody who was out there today noticed some heavy rain and wind associated with the convergence zone showers that were stalled over the area.
This wild weather is very common for spring, and it forms when a large area of low pressure in the upper levels drops down from the Gulf of Alaska. What this does more than bring steady rain is usher in a cold, unstable air mass. In fact, the air aloft right now is just past its peak as far as warmth is concerned. The sun angle is also relatively high for us right now. The sun only serves to magnify the instability of the atmosphere by adding more heat (energy and instability) to the equation.
The forecast for the next week looks benign. Expect some rain on Friday, but temperatures should warm up each day until they settle into the mid 60s next week.

April 10, 2009
7:40 P.M.

I'm trying to get into the habit of updating this thing every day even if I don't really have anything new to say, just to let you know that I'm still alive and doing these forecasts. Not much has changed in my thinking on the forecast... spring is often a time where the best tool for forecasting is your eyes because the weather is often very localized and changes quickly. Forecasts show a threat of thunderstorms Monday as the high April sun shines down on cold air in the upper levels of the atmosphere, inciting instability. Don't be surprised if you get caught in some heavy showers Monday afternoon.

April 9, 2009
9:56 P.M.

Not too much new to talk about today... people on the citizen science field trip should have fine weather... there could be a few showers here and there but nothing too serious. Our next significant rain looks to be Sunday, then cold with thundershowers Monday and Tuesday, then drying out Wednesday. There could possibly be more steady rains by the end of next week, and then a dry period.
Feel free to invite your friends to this group because I love it when I can reach out to even more people with this group and teach more people about what I know.

April 8, 2009
7:36 P.M.

I'm back from Hawaii now, so I can resume these forecasts. And thanks to those all asking about how Hawaii went; it was a fun experience and I made a lot of new friends in addition to going to some great places.
The weather in Hawaii was pretty predictable. Northeasterly trade winds slam into the eastern side of the island, and as the air gets uplifted over the mountains, it condenses, creating clouds and rain. On the western side, the air dries and warms as it descends down the mountains, resulting in much drier conditions. The different levels of precipitation are quite amazing; it ranges from 10 inches or less on the high desert of haleakala to over 400 inches in the wettest places of the rainforest. Over the adjacent ocean, rainfall averages 25-30 inches per year.
Anyways, the weather here looks like it will be average for spring, with high temps in the low to mid 50s and lows in the upper 30s to mid 40s. A more organized system can be expected Easter Sunday, although it looks like the rain will hold off till the afternoon for the time being, meaning it shouldn't interfere with your morning egg-hunting plans.
Long range forecasts show warm weather next weekend, but that is an awful long ways off. At least it is something to look forward to!
March 20, 2009
12:08 P.M.

Right now, we are seeing a slow moving, weak weather system over the area that is producing showers and snow at higher elevations. Unfortunately, the snow level is above the passes, and rain is falling. UPDATE: 3:14: A strong squall is coming through right now, bringing heavy rain and strong winds. The atmosphere is unstable and fast and I would not be surprised if we see a couple more of these intense showers before the day is through.

March 17, 2009
St. Patty's Day Special
5:49 P.M.

It's been pretty cold for this time of year the past week or so, with everything from showers to downright windstorms in the past 7 days. Sunday featured the strongest storm of the past couple months as a sub 980 millibar low stormed into Central Vancouver Island. We lost power for 12 hours or so, pretty much all day. Some people saw tons of snow to begin the day Sunday, but I didn't see a flake. My house is at a low elevation (+- 80 feet) and we rarely see snow compared to some other parts of Seattle.
There has been tons of snow in the mountains, with Alpental getting over 30 inches in the past two days. Expect this to continue for a while. On Wednesday and Thursday, a cold front will stall off NW Washington and slowly drift southward. Snow levels will be somewhat higher than they have been; about 4000 feet, but that is above most ski resorts with the exception of Snoqualmie Pass.
After that another cold, upper level troft will fill in behind the low, and although most of the moisture will go into Oregon, Washington will remain cool and showery, and the mountains will continue to see snow.

March 8, 2009
9:53 P.M.

I am sooooo tired
As for writing weather forecasts... I'm sorry about completely forgetting about it... I've actually had like NO free time the last month... like actually actually.
But I'm actually gonna write a weather forecast because there actually is a good chance of snow over the next couple days.
Tonight we are looking at cold (below freezing) with a few showers here and there, but nothing huge, and no real accumulations to speak of.
Tommorrow morning and afternoon is what we need to watch for. A convergence zone will set up around shoreling and slowly drift southward through the afternoon hours. Precipitation in this zone will be in the form of graupel, or snow pellets, and snow.
School on Tuesday? I'm guessing a two-hour late start, but it really depends on the roads (obviously). Monday night will be COLD and all moisture will freeze to the roads. Keep your fingers crossed!
And next time I don't write a forecast for a long time throw a shout out to me telling me to get on the ball. It's awesome to write these forecasts when the weather is really exciting, but I think I was spoiled by our huge snow event last December and now everything seems a lot less exciting.
One place we can be certain of snow is the mountains. They will probably pick up another 6-10 inches tomorrow.
Peaces people

February 9, 2009
5:09 P.M.
I'm sorry I haven't written a forecast lately. I've been busy with lots of stuff. But, duty calls! A forecast I shall write. :)
So, what the hell happened last night?
It is believed that the notorious Puget Sound Convergence Zone was responsible for the atrocities committed to my overinflated ego. I didn't think it was possible. The model soundings... they all pointed to something different! But... what can you do? The pesky ole PSCZ got the best of me.
I was expecting some accumulation on the highest hilltops, mainly like Issaquah and places on the Eastside. The convergence zone was stronger than expected and brought some snow to the area. Not too much to really worry about, though. My house got 1/10 of an inch (since we are so close to the lake). Other places got an inch or two.
So, what's up for tonight?
I can say with a lot of confidence that we will see no snow. Here's why.
1.) Temperatures will be below freezing, but only barely.
2.) The storm will hit Seattle later in the day when we have already warmed up.
3.) The biggest factor is that an easterly downslope wind off the Cascades will help to dry the air and migitate snowfall.
The same wind that will prevent snowfall for us will enhance snowfall for the Hood Canal region as this easterly flow rises and condenses over the Olympics, creating lift, condensation, clouds, and snowfall. The Hood Canal area could see up to a foot of snowfall. I would be surprised if Seattle saw 1/4 of an inch.
Just goes to show how our complex terrain makes forecasting difficult.
But that is what makes it fun as well.
Max Elvis David, make some omelets for breakfast tomorrow. You won't need those eggs.

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