Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Moderate Rain Now, Lumpy Rain Friday, and Heavy Rain Tuesday

Wednesday, November 16, 2011
2:59 P.M.

Currently, we are seeing some moderate rain as a pretty strong system comes through. In addition, we will see some gusty winds tonight, as we will have a strong pressure gradient over us from this system. Take a look at the winds forecast at 1 A.M. PST tonight. You can see strong winds in most places, but there is an area of winds that are nearly calm over the Puget Sound region. If you can guess what this is, you are a true weather nut.

Valid 10:00 pm PST Wed, 16 Nov 2011 - 18hr Fcst - UW 12z 4/3km WRF-GFS SLP, 10m winds

It's a convergence zone! To give you proof, look at the 3-hour precip at that time, and see the convergence zone over central Whidbey Island.

Valid 10:00 pm PST Wed, 16 Nov 2011 - 18hr Fcst - UW 12z 4/3km WRF-GFS 3-hour precip

This storm is passing through though, and the story for Friday is the threat of "lumpy rain." I call it "lumpy" because it is basically all rain except for a little bit of snow that hasn't quite melted, so it isn't completely  liquid.

See that penguin above? He is a sad, sad penguin. Even though the models weren't quite showing it, he was hoping for some snow. Now, however, those snow chances are dwindling, and it looks as though he's going to have to deal with a lumpy rain.

The bigger story is the heavy rain event that will occur on Tuesday. It is too early to tell if there will be flooding on some of the area rivers, but it will be very wet regardless. Take a look at the 24-hour precip ending at 4 P.M. PST Tuesday.

Valid 04:00 pm PST Tue, 22 Nov 2011 - 156hr Fcst - UW 12z 12km WRF-GFS 3-hour precip

Pretty wet for us, with the Olympics getting particularly hard hit. This situation bears watching.

I wrote this post super super quick, because I have to attend a meeting on majoring in atmospheric science in 11 minutes! Seeya!



  1. read

    lloyd gilman

  2. There are numerous things wrong with this article. First of all, it was written in 1992. There was much more skepticism about global warming in 1992 than there is now, largely because we can see the trends that are occurring. This article was also sponsored by Exxon Mobil, so it, by default, is subject to bias via economic interests.

    The biggest problem, however, is when he lists the doubling of CO2 as resulting in a global temperature increase between .5 and 1.2 degrees Centigrade, he is NOT accounting for any positive feedbacks, particularly the decrease in snow cover and increase in water vapor, which is ironic since he points out that water vapor is the primary greenhouse gas to begin with. Carbon dioxide is a minor greenhouse gas, but it will set off a series of positive feedbacks that are currently predicted by NOAA models to warm the planet by 3-4 degrees Celsius by 2100. If we keep burning fossil fuels at the rate we are now, the temperature could rise even higher - perhaps as high as 5-6 degrees Celsius, with higher amounts over land, especially the arctic, and lower amounts over the oceans.

    Lindzen also proclaims that clouds are a net neutral feedback, which is completely untrue. Very low clouds, such as stratus and fog, tend to block out more sunlight than trap infrared, resulting in a negative feedback. Most clouds, on the other hand, have a positive feedback by trapping more infrared radiation than blocking visible radiation. Andrew Dessler's 2010 article on cloud feedback supports this.

    Lindzen recently stated in 2007 on NPR that "hurricanes are powered by the temperature difference between the pole and the equator and global warming will reduce that difference." Mid-latitude cyclones have a possibility of weakening because of these differences, but we do not know at this point. Hurricanes do not feed off temperature differences, they feed off of heat derived from warm water. Global warming is expected to raise sea surface temperatures worldwide. Lindzen's claims, even back then, were contradicted by the majority of scientific evidence. This article, written in 1992, is, for all scientific purposes, null and void.