Saturday, December 20, 2008

5 PM Update

It is clear that the snow moved in in a few hours early...not an unusual timing error. A larger error is the easterly winds--which are substantially weaker than forecast by the high resolution models. They have picked up and will pick up further...but if they are weaker than expected that will increase the snow east of the Sound (since there will be less downsloping)...

6 PM...winds started to really increase aloft....and gusts increasing at surface sites...cliff

78 comments:

christopher said...

so does it follow that the predicted 1-2 feet of Kitsap snow needs to be modified downward? 6 inches to a foot maybe?

gshall said...

Not snowing yet on the west side of San Juan Island.

Anonymous said...

steady snow in Carnation, no wind. I'm disappointed!

mortonmanor said...

Any updated predictions on the models and snowfall amounts for Seattle?

Anonymous said...

What this stuff called that's falling? Like tiny ice crystals, doesn't seem to be flakes.

Never know whether Bainbridge Island falls into the Kitsap prediction or the Seattle prediction. We shall see!

Anonymous said...

The west hill of the Kent Valley - 20+ mph winds and very light but steady snow - both less than anticipated/warned.

cornbread said...

Wind is picking up on Lake Wilderness in Maple Valley, but way less than prdicted so far... Snowing as well, can't see the lights across the lake.

Anonymous said...

Great blog, Cliff! I first heard about you and your book on NPR radio, and has been following your posts in the last few days since I heard your interview on NPR.

A quick question: how strong will be the wind be on Issaquah Highland? Two years ago, we lost power for 4 days. Is it going to be as bad as last time?

thanks.

Anonymous said...

After the multi-day power outage with the Hanukkah Eve storm, I'll gladly take more snow for less wind...

Anonymous said...

Disappointed in the lack of wind? You obviously have a powerful generator and a lack of compassion for your fellow man. And for all those kids freezing on Christmas morning when PSE is still days from getting the power back on.

Please, please be wrong about he wind, oh mysterious modeling software!

Editer said...

Cliff, any indication whether the wind is just late, or will really be less than predicted?

cary_collins said...

I am also in Maple Valley. Gusts 10-20 MPH with light but steady snow.

gshall said...

Now it's snowing lightly on the west side of San Juan Island.

Anonymous said...

"Disappointed in the lack of wind? You obviously have a powerful generator and a lack of compassion for your fellow man. And for all those kids freezing on Christmas morning when PSE is still days from getting the power back on.

Please, please be wrong about he wind, oh mysterious modeling software!"

DITTO TIMES 10!!!

And how!

Anonymous said...

I'm really confused about what's going to happen in Duvall overnight - are we going to have a taste of what happened in the Hannuka 2006 storm all over again? How does this storm compare, wind-wise?

charles said...

More snow; less wind? Perfect! At least here just south of 148th in lovely Lynnwood/Edmonds.

Again, what would top the night off would be a major slippage of the Cascadia fault, and a four-minute long, 9.0 quake.

Now you'd really feel the cold!

Noone thought the housing-bubble driven stock market would ever slip either...stay warm!

Scott K said...

I'm also very curious as to the reasoning behind the lack of wind. My *guess* is that the cold dense air here west of the cascades is causing the cold dense air on the east of the cascades to not make as much of a pressure difference? Am I way off on this?

Usually the wind forecasts are spot on here, so I'm really curios now if the wind is just going to be later than expected or...?

Mr. Potratz said...

Thank you for the frequent updates!

Anonymous said...

so it just snowed 2 inches in west seattle. Its now snowing lightly i hope it snows even more!

So maybe another inch or two.

cary_collins said...

Maple Valley Update at 6:30 PM: Snow has decreased and not much at all right now; winds have also backed off. Still getting gusts but nothing major at all. Hope this is not the calm before the storm.

Anonymous said...

this one was a monster. I tracked it, but am an amature. I am just happy it is how it is so far.

Allen Moore said...

Wind picked up briefly in Redmond, subsided, now starting to snow.

Bernard said...

Steady snow, albeit small "flakes" (particles) in Shoreline. Shoreline specific updates being Twittered to the Shoreline blog: http://ronaldbog.blogspot.com/

LK said...

Before the power goes out here - my wind gauge, 30 feet attached to the side of a fir tree has had gusts 45mph+ for the last 4 hours. Add 10-15mph out is the open in Palmer. The wind has been ramping up since 7am. Snowing steadily and blowing all over. Should be interesting in the next few hours.

Sno Valley Girl said...

Very light wind and steady light snow in Carnation. Let it Snow!!!

Scott K said...

Snowing small flakes, but fairly moderately here in lake Stevens. Winds are breezy, maybe 20mph or so right now.

I'm wondering if I was just expecting the winds to be stronger earlier in the afternoon? I might have jumped the gun on thinking the wind would be strong this early, hoping they pick up later in the evening.

Chris said...

I am in Enumclaw and there is no wind at all, very calm and quiet. The snow has let up too....

charles said...

Cliff: Let's face it. You were wrong. The other major forecasters were wrong. This is turning ouit to be the typical "FOX NEWS" style "sound the alarm" forecast designed more to sell advertising than to offer proper advice.

This storm is NOTHING. A little snow, no wind -- GET OVER IT!

You're prediction was RADICALLY WRONG (admit it)

AJ said...

Still snowing with poor visibility in Tacoma. 4x4's are out prowling the streets looking for people to tow, however it appears they're the only ones out driving.

No wind though, tree branches are absolutely still. Not complaining mind you, just sayin'.......

cornbread said...

No need for hostility Charles.

I am glad it is mellower so far.

Anonymous said...

Scott K: Why is it that you're hoping for strong winds? Do you enjoy power outages in below-freezing temps?

Anonymous said...

Alki, steady snow but calm so far.

cary_collins said...

7:05 PM in Maple Valley: A little light snow but only a few breezy flakes. A little wind but not much at all. Maybe 5-10 MPH.

Anonymous said...

Just started light snow on west side of Orcas Island

Douglas said...

@Charles:

Chuckles, you're such a ray of bitter sunshine.

Here in Bothell, there's no snow, no wind. I'm curious as to what variables changed, but I'm grateful that none of the weather's hit here (yet) - and hoping that none of it hits at all.

Just let me make my red-eye to Boston tomorrow night. :)

Anonymous said...

Why does every blog seem to have a "charles" type? Lots of great, informative, and entertaining entries, then this guy shows up. Keep up the great work Cliff, we know you're putting together the best forecast possible!

YEOMALT STATION said...

Yeomalt Cabin - Bainbridge Island:
Wind - calm; 28 degrees; very light snow now with total accumulation of 1" since 2:30pm

http://www.pnwlocalnews.com/kitsap/bir/news/27542484.html

Jim said...

Bremerton and Shelton Airports are reporting "Ice Fog"- I don't know how that manifests itself? Pretty heavy snow falling here near Vaughn Bay

Anonymous said...

Charles, let's save the cocky jerk backyard quarterback posts till after tomorrow morning, K? I'd really rather not have him be right, just off on the timing. (Remember Wednesday's snow, which delivered quite well on Thursday.)

And for the record, Cliff is the first to even postulate that the winds might not be as bad as threatened.

Also, Charles, please link to your weather prediction blog so we can all enjoy your superior talents!

YEOMALT STATION said...

Yeomalt Cabin - Bainbridge Island:
Weather observations from very near Camp Yeomalt

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camp_Yeomalt

Wind - calm; 28 degrees; very light snow now with total accumulation of 1" since 2:30pm

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with Charles. Academics love to work with models and meteorologists do so more than most but the reality is that Cliff's model clearly didn't work in this situation in predicting winds. There is nothing wrong with pointing that out. And compared to how the economic modelers have done recently, Cliff's error is rather benign.

cary_collins said...

7:30 PM Maple Valley update: Same as a half hour ago. Stopped snowing except for a few light flakes and wind is maybe 5-10 MPH.

AJ said...

I live in downtown Tacoma and can't SEE downtown Tacoma. Visibility is maybe 500ft. Snow accumulation is about 2" so far. It's been snowing here since around 2:30.

Have to say, I like the snow! It's very peaceful. There are no Harley's, no boom-boxes, no gun fights, and the usual murder and mayhem seems rather subdued this evening. I haven't heard a siren in hours, that's very unusual for a downtown urban environment :)

Chris said...

Still no wind in Enumclaw, totally calm...

Anonymous said...

Not a lick of wind at Lake City Seattle. Hard to imagine a wind storm coming. Very peaceful.

epjmcginley said...

4.5" since 1:00 pm
8" on the ground
temp up to 27.9 degrees
from 23.5 degrees all day
calm and snowing hard
snow clear to a low low tide
2" on the mud of the bay
at Oyster Bay

Anonymous said...

It is pretty windy in Sammamish - gusting pretty strongly. No precip to speak of, though.

Anonymous said...

Not windy yet, but it ain't over till it's over, kids. Don't get cocky. You still may not have power to complain in the morning.

Anonymous said...

Having lost half of the roof on a four-month old house to the "gap winds" of December 03, I am not anxious for a repeat. I was delighted to read Cliff's blog earlier today that the winds might be overestimated. So far on Snoqualmie Ridge we have sustained winds between 15 and 20 with gusts near 50, a usual wind event around here. I hope it remains so.

Jamie on BI said...

I'll be interested in hearing (tomorrow) what changed to pull the rug out from under the winds. Obviously, something's different from what was presenting earlier today! No complaints, though, as with high winds and snow come power outages, and none of us need those! generator or not!

hlopez206 said...

Gusty winds and steady snow here in W. Seattle..we're on top of a hill though and usually get more wind than other parts of the city.
I'd just say be patient people we got all night for this storm to start roaring.

cary_collins said...

8:00 PM Maple Valley Update: Winds have picked up since 7:30. I would say 10-20 MPH right now. Some very light snow, but most of it blowing either off the trees or roofs.

Kevin Purcell said...

So looking at the wind plots for 4pm and comparing them to the current observations there is definitley a big difference.

This will give the last three hours observations so the interest amateur can keep up:

Puget Sound surface obs with IDs

But at 7:27pm a look at the maps shows no station winds on land higher than 20kts. At least that's in North Bend. But perhaps we don't have stations where we need them.

WA surface obs with pressures

The pressures on the East side of the cascades are dropping steadily but the difference across the Cascades is still in the teens mBars.

Cliff says it's getting windier aloft. How does he know? You can see this in this plot.

Seattle wind profiler up to 2km altitude

But they're still only 25 to 30kt. Surface winds are a little wimpy at 10kt at 7pm.

Most recent soundings on the left (older moving to the right each 4 hours with date/UTC time); altitude on the left axis with a wind barb at each height showing direction and speed.

What are the contours, Cliff?.

Is it late coming starting up? Or ...

Dave Y said...

Snowing good at Marysville, would love to have a little wind to clear the branches as they sag towards powerlines

charles said...

FOX-style over-dramatization is good for selling books (and promoting right-wing types) but it does not build a loyal fan base.

Cliff: face it. You're forecast for a "Big One" was way off the mark.

This is nothing but a "lite dusting."

Please develop some moral scruples when you forecast -- just don't think how many books you could sell.

David On Vashon Island said...

Hi,

I too am very curious what exactly this preceipitation is. It's not slow flakes, but more like a fine powder of tiny ice crystals.

Does a dimished wind event means that much of the snow originally predicted for Kitsap County will now be spread across Puget Sound generally?

Thanks and I love your blog.

David

mainstreeter said...

Compact snow and ice in Olympia on most roads and the freeway is packed snow as well. Portland is requiring chains on all vehicles. Wind is light from the S SW, 25 degrees

charles said...

It's clear the low pressure from the Pacific contained cooler air than described, which meant there wan't as much "sucking" from the artic ridge hanging over central puget sound, and thus the winds are much calmer than Cliff predicted.

But Cliff probably knew this. He resorted to Fox-style predictions to get people tracking his site and looking at his adverts for his book.

But let's face facts: most of us don't give a rip about weather forecasts (unless you fish on Puget Sound). We still have to go to work (or look for work. The weeather conditions don't change our reality. We still got to feed the kids!

Stephanie said...

Tonight shows once again that we will never know the forces of nature so intimately as to be able to perfectly anticipate what has yet to occur. No one understands this better than the atmospheric scientists themselves. Those among the public who feel duped by the simple fact that the world remains mysterious are free to simply ignore weather forecasts. But Charles (and any other loud mouth haters), please just leave the rest of us to learn together in peace. Launching personal insults at someone who shares so much of his time and expertise with the public is just so tasteless.

Anonymous said...

Charles: I'm sensing some anger from you, about something.

I do work and I do have a child, and I do care a huge amount about weather forecasts. With forecasts, I am informed and able to take action to keep my family safe.

We lost a huge tree in the '06 storm. Fortunately, it didn't hit the house, but it came really close. That storm was so frightening that I vowed never to sit out another major wind storm in the house. So I was able to take steps to get us to a safe location for the night tonight, and even if the storm is less severe than forecasted, I'm happy to have had a warning.

Thanks, Cliff! Keep it up!

Chris said...

Enumclaw is VERY windy, blizzard like conditions. Just drove around town and it is very dangerous, white out conditions. We are in for a long night here...

Anonymous said...

Charles - Since you think Cliff is so wrong, why don't you stop reading and writing to this blog?
I see you didn't post the link to your obviously much superior forecasting blog...

Cliff - Love your blog, I've just recently found it and love to read everyone's comments other than Charles!

It's snowing steadily in Eastgate/Bellevue area, but no wind.

cary_collins said...

Maple Valley Update 8:30: Winds have quieted back down a little and probably 10-15 MPH now. Some light snow. I will probably stop posting half-hour updates unless something different to report. I am wondering how long the NWS is going to go with the High Wind Warning and change it to an advistory? It has been a warning since 9:00 AM and really there hasn't been any wind to speak of, at least here in Maple Valley. Maybe there is more on the way? I hope I am not speaking too early, but very glad we might have dodged a bullet on this one.

charles said...

I'm sorry to sound like a
"Cliff Hater." But face facts, he's no better than the guy at 10pm on Fox 13!

Am I right?

Anonymous said...

So, Charles... perhaps you could find some other blog/forecaster to annoy and leave us to our weather-related conversations?

Kristina said...

25 degrees and snowing (light ice crystals in the air falling downward...but what ARE they?) here in West Seattle. It's breezy and the snow is blowing off roofs and cars and trees; the trees outside my windows are in constant motion now, with occassional gusts that whoosh against the side of my house noisily. I think the winds are just arriving now....and I'm glad they waited, because we got to visit friends for dinner. Lovely blog, Cliff - thank you!

charles said...

Cliff -- Any predictions about the unemployment figures for December?

You're readers would be better off with that information rather than your preditions for another "major event" in the weather!

charles said...

That's it. My brief appearance on this blog is finished.

Folks: don't worry about the weather so much. Worry about India-Pakistant, global warming, the last days of the Bush administration.

I bid you: Good bye!

Anonymous said...

Charles: Since you asked. No. You're wrong.

camco said...

Conditions are much calmer than expected. Lynnwood/Edmonds is getting a little snow, but no winds. Why were the models predicting otherwise? Or is it still too early for the verdict?

Anonymous said...

Charles, why would you want to hang around a blog when you are not wanted? You made your point several times, now smile at yourself in the mirror and then go away. We happen to be in a major Weather event of this year and maybe next, people are trying to learn what is happening to them and how to deal with it, you are trolling, now shooo and go away.

Cliff Mass Weather Blog said...

see my update...cliff

Anonymous said...

Well, it's pretty windy in Port Townsend right now - snow is dumping down. Looks like we've gotten a couple of inches but it's hard to tell because it's blowing sideways.

Anonymous said...

Adieu, Charles, and I hope you're putting a little something in the egg nog to help you sleep as the wind howls past your house tonight. Ask Santa for some calm and perspective this year.

By the way, on the west slope of West Seattle it's 25 and snowing pretty good, maybe 2" of new over the 6" we got Thursday. Some wind blowing the snow around, more than an hour ago.

Anonymous said...

Charles? Is that really you, Steve Pool?

Rather than being "Fox news style", I've found Cliff's predictions to be the most conservative of local meterologists.

Anonymous said...

Click on "Charles" to see his profile id and then click on "camco" to review his profile id, it's pretty illuminating for a nym shifting sock puppet - slagging Cliff as Charles and complimentary as camco.

lankfactor said...

Gained at least 6" in the Admiral District (West Seattle) between 4pm & Midnight. Still falling lightly, although hard to tell what's falling and what's blowing...! Some drifts are at least a foot deep. I hope the temps come in colder than expected tomorrow, it would be great to keep the pow around for a little bit. Thanks Cliff, great work!

Anonymous said...

My location East side of the South end of Lake Washington Had a pronounced dip in DP, Temp, and Humidity for about an hour centered at 4PM. Snow under way, but the wind didn't begin to register until about 4:30, any thoughts to why? At 2AM precip is frezzing rain.