Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Major Inversion

Tuesday, February 9, 2016
11:37 am

Right now, we have a pretty impressive inversion over our region. This was something I expected, and honestly, I was surprised that it was not stronger yesterday. It will weaken as the day goes on and the sun heats up the surface, but right now, it is quite striking. 

Take a look at the temperature soundings from Sand Point below. You can see that temperatures approach 20 degrees Centigrade (68 degrees Fahrenheit!) a kilometer above the surface, but down at sea level, temperatures are 6 degrees Centigrade or so - low 40s Fahrenheit.

Credit: University of Washington Atmospheric Sciences

Inversions trap moisture and pollutants near the surface, and often result in fog. We've seen pretty widespread fog this morning, but it is in the process of burning off.

11:30 am PST, Tue 09 Feb 2016
Credit: University of Washington Atmospheric Sciences
11:30 am PSDT, Tue 09 Feb 2016
KOMO Columbia Tower Cam
Credit:KOMO News

Temperatures have been exceptionally warm aloft (Paradise was in the low 70s yesterday!) and they will be once again today. In fact, temperatures aloft are warmer now than our summertime averages. Quillayute hit 70 yesterday... their maximum average summer high is 69. We can get some nice weather during the winter, but it's a truly rare occasion when the coast and areas above 5,400 feet are hitting 70 degrees in early February.

Paradise Ranger Station.
Credit: National Park Service
Johnson Ridge Observatory
Credit: US Forest Service


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