Thursday, February 4, 2016

One More Storm To Get Through, Then Spring!

Tuesday, February 4, 2016
4:25 pm

A dreary afternoon at Cannon Beach, OR. Credit: Surflook Surf Cams

Today was one of the grayer days I have witnessed in my 23 years upon this Earth. The skies were gray, the lake looked gray... heck, even my countenance looked gray. It wasn't sunny enough brighten my mood, but it wasn't stormy enough to keep me interested. It was just one of "those days."

Thankfully, "those days" are over, at least for the foreseeable future. We've got a relatively potent storm headed our way tomorrow, and after that, we get our first taste of spring as a MASSIVE ridge of high pressure settles directly over our area.

Tonight, clouds will increase, and we won't have much in the way of precipitation until tomorrow. The picture below shows a pretty solid swath of precipitation off our coast at 7 am, but the I-5 corridor should remain relatively dry until the afternoon, as this batch of rain will be slow to progress eastward. Overall, expect around 1 inch of rain on the coast, 0.5 inches here in the lowlands, and 1-2 inches in the mountains, with the highest amounts on the southwestern slopes of the Olympics.

Valid 07:00 am PST, Fri 05 Feb 2016 - 27hr Fcst
Credit: University of Washington Atmospheric Sciences

This front will deliver a pretty good blow to Western Whatcom County and the San Juan Islands, where a high wind warning is in place for gusts up to 60 miles per hour. There are wind advisories further south in Skagit and Island Counties as well as the Coast and the Strait of Juan de Fuca for gusts up to 50 mph. Winds gusts should stay below 40 in the Puget Sound lowlands. It won't be a blowdown by any stretch of the imagination, but there will be enough wind around to keep things interesting.

Credit: National Weather Service - Seattle Office

Snow levels will be high - over 5,000 feet - so this won't be a big snowmaker for the mountains. However, the Cascades could pick up a half foot or so of snow Friday night into Saturday morning as the front moves on through and cooler air with post-frontal showers move on in.

We calm down on Sunday and stay that way for a while, as one of the strongest ridges I can ever remember seeing for this time of year sets up camp right over our area and stays there through the first half of next week. Just take a look at the picture below! You don't have to be a meteorologist to know that that is one helluva big ridge.

Valid 10:00 am PST, Mon 08 Feb 2016 - 102hr Fcst
Credit: University of Washington Atmospheric Sciences

This ridge could still give us some areas of pesky morning fog in the South Sound, but overall, it will give us much warmer lowland temperatures than the ridge that settled over our area in early January. Freezing levels will soar to over 11,000 feet, daytime highs could make it into the 60s, and for the first time in several months, it will definitely feel like spring.


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