Saturday, December 20, 2008

The Big Storm

I am going to wait until roughly 10 AM to make the major update--I like to wait to get the latest computer runs. However, from what I can see everything is one track...and this is a high confidence forecast situation. The models have been steady and consistent and in agreement. The action will wait until later this afternoon..with strong easterly winds cranking up after 3 PM. And snow coming in during the late afternoon. But there are complications..including the potential for rain tomorrow afternoon. Nothing is more fun than preparing for a good storm.

34 comments:

Anonymous said...

Great - thanks, Cliff! Will check back at 10 for the update. I wish this would just pass by. But failing that, it's great to have astute guidance for what to expect. Cheers! :-)

christopher said...

For the past couple of weeks, I have been a devoted reader of your blog. My family now routinely here's me start my weather warnings with "Cliff says..." I am starting to discount whatever local meteorologists predict until I have verified it with you first. Thanks Cliff. You and Car Talk are my must read/listens.

allatham said...

Cliff - wondering if you had considered adding to your links the CoCoRaHS (Community Cooperative rain hail snow network)
www.cocorahs.org I'm sure your blog readers would enjoy seeing the different precipitation numbers around their area and it might generate some more reporting stations. Keep up the good work -great blog. Al

Brad said...

Wow, it's currently 15.1° F at my house in Poulsbo. Definitely the coldest it's been in years, and maybe the coldest I've ever seen it here. Other observations from www.wunderground.com agree pretty closely with my thermometer (This one is pretty close to my house). I don't remember exactly, but I think that's about 10° colder than the forecast low for my area.

Anonymous said...

Cliff, please let me chime in with the others: THANKS FOR BEING THERE!

Anonymous said...

I'm a relative newbie to Seattle when it comes to these kinds of storms, having arrived two weeks after the big flooding and power outage event in Dec. '06. Can someone tell me whether power outages are common in the central parts of the city (e.g. Rainier Valley), or confined more to the outer suburbs? Thanks and hope everyone stays safe

Nervous in Fairwood said...

I can think of a few things that are better than preparing for power outages and complete disruption of my life... :P :P :P

You are the best, thanks for your hard work!

Anonymous said...

Looking out toward the sound here from Alki the CZ cloud band is very visible.

Nervous in Fairwood said...

It depends on when the trees have been trimmed, how wet the soil is for the tree roots to upend, how heavy the trees are with snow, how brittle, the last time they snapped a local power line.

It's kind of like if your area was damaged recently and cleared of threatening trees, then you should be OK, but if it's been a while, then you could have some problems, depending, of course, where the wind blows and how strong.

Prepare for 3 days of power outage, basic rule of thumb. Make sure you have an igloo cooler full of ice for cold food storage, lots of canned food, bottled water too just incase, battaries for flashlights and radios, candles and depending on the fireplace (some loose heat via the flue faster than they generate it with wood), have firewood on hand - oh, and LOTS of blankets.

If you have a patio, remove or secure any furniture.

Good luck!

Mike said...

Cliff: Love the blog and the book. I grew up in Nebraska and miss the exciting weather (t-storms, tonadoes, weather extremes) so the impending storm is much to my liking. Keep up the great work.

Anonymous said...

At about 250 feet in center south Whidbey - 10.9 and am worried about the Koi and plants. Although my rain gauge is frozen, so snow totals are not correct - www.mooseridge.net/weather station indicates the lowest recorded in 10 years.

Anonymous said...

thanks, this is a big help! i think we should be ok, but if there's anything i've learned from Cliff and the dialogue on this blog, it's that the PNW really is completely unpredictable. i've never lived in a place where there's such consistent evidence that preparedness matters. so, i'm off to lowes for firewood and batteries...

Richard said...

I'm wondering if freezing rain is still forecast for Tacoma southward, as you said in your KUOW forecast yesterday and the NWS Winter Storm Warning says today.

The local stations are forecasting that the snow will turn to freezing rain tomorrow in Seattle, as is the NWS forecast page (but not their Winter Storm Warning). (The NWS Seattle forecasts often seem messed up - at 6pm yesterday, they predicted a low in Seattle for 27 last night, and it obviously got much colder.)

Anonymous said...

Wow 3 degrees here. This is sure to do some house cleaning on my marginally hardy plants. But what can you say 2008 has been a house cleaner in politics, economics so why not the weather?

Lindsey said...

Got down to 11.3 according to my outdoor sensor here in Mountlake Terrace, the lowest I've seen in western WA on my thermometers. I see a minus 4 in Arlington. I'm sure temps will pretty much even out across the region by the time the precipitation begins.

Anonymous said...

Here in the "Sunnyside" area of Marysville my thermometer said 6 this am. Wow, it's all the way up to 8!

christopher said...

13 on the top of Pioneer Hill/Clear Creek Road in Poulsbo. Brrr.

Doug said...

Here at Sandpoint we have lake effect snow coming in of Lake Washington. Just kidding! but we do have wispy clouds that are spreading out and dissipating as they move west.

Michele said...

Cliff - I need your advice! I live in Shoreline/North City where we have had plenty of snow and icy roads. We are supposed to go to a wedding today at 2 in downtown/mt. baker. What time should we plan to leave in order to make it back unscathed? Also - we do tend to lose power in windstorms, if that plays in.

Cliff Mass Weather Blog said...

Michelle and others...I would be back home by 6 PM at the latest if you want to escape the white stuff...

Lindsey said...

Not that I know anything about what I'm talking about, but . . .
Looking at the satellite photos, is it possible that the front is tracking a little further north than had been predicted? . . .

Anonymous said...

A nice plot of the cold temps at 8AM this morning around the central Puget Sound region.

http://www.atmos.washington.edu/images/sfcplots-seattle/2008122016.gif

Anonymous said...

Cliff, your previous post confused me about the western slopes of the cascades. How much snow fall will we see at Snoqualmie Pass and Stevens Pass for example. Based on the 48h forecast imagery for Sunday 4AM PCT it looks like 4-15in. (I wish the imagery would hae some important land marks - without those it is really hard to figure out where things are exactly, especially the further you get away from puget sound).

Anonymous said...

Cliff, Please when you update give us in Bellingham an idea of whether to expect something or nothing. Thanks!

nocurling said...

newbie to cliff's weather community here. it's great hearing what's going on around the sound.

here in east olympia, we woke up to clear blue skies and 15 degrees or so. now it's 20, and a huge bank of gray clouds has moved in.

hunker down, folks.

natchrl8r said...

It looks like confidence and consistency in the forecasts is pretty high at this point. I'm expecting that we in Bellingham will have moderate winds, (30-40 MPH), 5-8 inches snow overnight and no rain til Monday night or Tuesday. I'm thrilled with my prescience 2 weeks ago in making my Birthday Dinner reservations at a Thai Restaurant within trudging distance for many friends! Hope I am still thrilled tonight. : )
Whadda you think, Cliff?

Steve Snyder said...

I got down to 8.7 here in Woodinville at my place. I followed that WSU Ag Weathernet and the station in Woodinville got down to 7.9 at least while I was watching this morning. I can see the clouds on the horizon moving in...

JewelyaZ said...

Still bright and sunny here in Bellevue where our reasonably accurate outside sensor recorded 11.4F last night. Cold enough for me, and cold enough that I brought a 12-pack of soda in from the garage to the refrigerator to warm it up so I could drink it! LOL

I'm worried about tonight but I'm grateful in advance for the good information we've gotten here. Thanks Cliff!!

charles said...

All we need now on top of this is an earthquake! Remember: we're due!

zephyr said...

To everyone who wants to understand how there area will be impacted PLEASE look at the windfall and snow maps, cliff provided in yesterday's blog. If you can find your area you can extrapolate the impacts to your neighborhood.

Anonymous said...

Oh Jeez, Charles! It's bad enough with adding an additional touch of horror.

Lindsey said...

Looks like radar has snow in extreme SW WA, including Chehalis and Toledo, and that Olympia will begin to get light snow within the hour.

Anonymous said...

Those maps are too tiny Zephyr.

ward53 said...

Click on the tiny maps and they get bigger. :>)