Monday, September 10, 2012

Sooooo close!!!

Monday, September 10, 2012
8:18 P.M.

.01 inches. The smallest measurable amount of precipitation possible. And that is what ruined our dry streak of 48 days.

I was actually thinking that Seattle might make it through this front without getting any rain. I was outside from 5 P.M. to 9 P.M. that night walking and running around Seattle with a fabulous friend, and we loved the breeze and prayed for a lack of rain. I was pretty tired when I got back home and took a nap.

I got back up at around 11:30 or so. Anxious to see if we had made it through the night without any rain, I quickly went to the UW Atmospheric Sciences weather website and looked at their radar. Much to my dismay, it looked like a small shower had made it through Sea-Tac while I was sleeping. I still had hope though. It didn't look like much, and we need measurable precipitation to end our streak, not just a trace.

I waited anxiously until midnight to check the weather statistics at Sea-Tac for the previous day. My hopes were high. I must confess, I am somewhat of a "wishcaster" (somebody whose forecasts are often based upon their personal wishes instead of empirical model, radar, and satellite data), and I really was hoping we made it through the night without measurable precipitation.

And then I saw that .01 inches of rain had fallen just before midnight Monday morning.

As my neurons transmitted this unfathomably disappointing information to my cerebral cortex, immediate psychological and physiological changes to my temperament and homeostasis occurred. The physiological changes were immediate: an increase in blood pressure, an increase in heart rate and pulse, an increase in body temperature, a decrease in salivary gland production, a dilating of the pupils, a flushing of the skin, violent convulsions, and minor (but still significant) amounts of steam exiting my ear canals. The psychological changes were profound as well, but they were manifested in different stages.

First, everything was numb. Lights looked brighter, and the few quiet sounds of the night, such as the ruffling of the leaves in the breeze, or the quiet hum of my computer hard drive, diminished until they were no longer audible. 

Then came the anger, and, along with it, disturbing impulsive thoughts, such as smashing the guitar I barely know how to play, or making my bed and ripping all the sheets off, and repeating the process. Thankfully, I did not act on any of these impulses, and around five minutes later, my fury subsided into a drowsy sadness, and I drifted off to sleep.

I know... I know... most of you could care less. But to me, this was a huge deal. Let me tell you another story. When I was at the ripe young age of 10, I ran a cross-country race, and I was in position to win, until I took a wrong turn the last 100 yards of the race, and had to settle for second place. I was a pretty competitive rapscallion back then, and second place, to me, simply meant that I was the best loser. But, I got over that flood of frustration in due time, and I have moved on since then.

And that is what I will plan to do with this 2nd place dry streak. You can't have everything in life, right? And in the 21 hours that have passed since my furious rage, I've learned to appreciate this dry streak for what it was, and look forward to the weather ahead.

The problem?

There's not much weather ahead.

Let's take a look at this evening's UW WRF-GFS model.

Valid 08:00 pm PDT Mon, 10 Sep 2012 - 3hr Fcst - UW 36km 00z WRF-GFS 500mb absolute vorticity, heights

You can see that the trough of low pressure has just passed our area, and a nice big ridge is waiting for us over the Pacific.

Valid 08:00 pm PDT Wed, 12 Sep 2012 - 51hr Fcst - UW 36km 00z WRF-GFS 500mb absolute vorticity, heights

That big ridge of high pressure is firmly implanted over us, and we will by dry and sunny. And honestly, I don't see this ridge moving much at all. It's a pretty safe bet that we will not see rain for at least ten more days. Temperature-wise, we will generally remain a few degrees above average. If you love hot weather though, look forward to Wednesday. Highs could reach the mid 80s in some locations.

Sooooo close!!!


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