Monday, May 13, 2013

A Welcome Change

Monday, May 13, 2013
12:18 P.M.

I'm a huge fan of streaks, particularly of sports and weather streaks. Whether it's Brett Favre's streak of 321 consecutive games started or Seattle's recent streak of 48 dry days this past summer. Speaking of that dry streak we had, I was super frustrated when I learned that 0.01 inches of rain put an end to it, and that we could have had a 60+ day dry streak if that one pesky little rain shower missed Sea-Tac. Sometimes, I get stuck in a predicament between wanting interesting weather and wanting a streak to continue. Inversions are exceptionally boring, but if we had an inversion in Seattle for 30 straight days, you might as well keep the streak going as long as possible. It's almost like you get bragging rights for being in a certain place when a record streak, no matter how pathetic, was broken.

The beginning of May was exceptionally warm and dry. The previous record for the most number of days to start May with zero rainfall and highs above 65 was 8. This May, the first 10 days were dry and had highs over 65. Now, normally I'm not a fan of that warm, dry weather that everybody loves so much, but when that record was going, I was hoping to extend it for as long as possible.

But I'd end any warm/dry streak for a day like today.

Here's our brief synopsis. We have a small trough swinging through our area as we speak, but there is a lot of convection associated with this trough. There's this thing called CAPE, which stands for Convective Available Potential Energy, and we are going to have a lot of it over our area today. CAPE is complicated and the amount of CAPE corresponds to a variety of factors, but the main thing to know is that the higher the CAPE, the higher the potential for convective activity and thunderstorms. Here is the CAPE forecast for 2 P.M. today from last nights 00z WRF-GFS run. I retrieved this picture from the National Weather Service's graphical area forecast discussion here.

As you can see, there is relatively high CAPE over the Puget Sound lowlands. Midwesterners may scoff at this CAPE, but it's pretty good for the Puget Sound area. We'll take what we can get.

The picture I posted at the top of this blog was the radar picture an hour before the present. Let's take a look at what the radar looks like now.

Zounds! Look at that squall line developing! By the time many of you read this post, it will be over the Seattle area.

Stay dry, and take some pictures/video of the squall line coming through! I don't know when the next time we will see one of these is, so savor the moment.


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