Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Endless Fall

Looking at the long-range forecast model output this morning really was an eye-opener. This persistent pattern of generally dry conditions, considerable fog and stratus, little snow in the mountains, and no major storms is not going away soon. I wouldn't plan any ski vacations for Christmas or Hanukah.
The large ridge--high pressure areas--over the eastern Pacific/west coast--stays in place at least to the weekend. So today through Friday will be dry. We have some weak systems coming through this weekend...but they look weaker and weaker as we approach...and mainly influence the northern part of the State. Then another ridge builds next week..in contrast to the storm seen in earlier long-range forecasts. This ridge, for some reason, is amazingly persistent.
We have had lots of fog..which is not surprising. The nights are long...allowing air temps to cool to saturation. The lower atmosphere is fairly moist due to earlier rains. And the lack of middle/high clouds allow good radiational cooling to space. Plus, the sun's rays are too weak to effectively warm up the surface and cause this cool, moist layer to mix out. So better get to like this foggy stuff..you will see more of it.

5 comments:

Richard said...

Bummer! I just sent my $ in for a seasons pass for skiing. Any long range snowpack predictions?

Cliff Mass Weather Blog said...

At this point there is no reason to expect a worst than average snow season...but this persistent ridge is a worry

moderator said...

Hi Cliff,

I heard you on KUOW this morning when someone asked about the sun's rays in the sky apparently coming from directly opposite the sun's position. These are anticrepuscular rays, and are described in detail at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anticrepuscular_ray

Best regards,

Rick

Cam said...

Great blog Prof. Mass!

Joseph Ratliff said...

Cliff...in your opinion would this then indicate "El Nino" - like Winter conditions?

Or...

In the past (based on memory, which could be shotty)...when we have had dry and mild Decembers...we have had a "wild-ride" in terms of snow in late January through February.

Of course one may not even mean the other I am sure :)