Thursday, January 15, 2009

Air Quality Questionnaire

There is a little mystery going on for the air quality folks...why air pollution hasn't increased more with such a strong inversion. Have people reduced their burning of wood without a burn ban? To help answer this question, they have put together a brief web questionnaire, and if you have a few minutes, please give it a try:

http://www.atmos.washington.edu/weatherforecasting/airquality/index.php

and back to our amazing inversion. It has now slowed it ascent...with the base at around 300 m. (see figure). Visibility noticeable increased today and air quality has begun to decline...particularly over the southern Sound from Seattle to Olympia. A few people took to the hills today...and it was amazing. 66F at the top of Tiger Mountain (2500ft) and nearly 70F at Paradise Ranger Station. The ridge will hold in through the weekend, but will slowly progress eastward on Sunday and Monday. The pressure difference across the Cascades has increased (greater pressure to the east), and this is pushing air westward in the Columbia Gorge....Troutdale, east of Portland, has easterly winds gusting to 40 knots now!

A reminder: I will be signing books (no lecture, but happy to answer question) at the UW Bookstore in Seattle at 1 PM on Saturday. On Wednesday( Jan 21) at 7 PM I will talk about Northwest Snowstorms at Third Place Books in Lake Forest Park.

32 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Cliff, former student here! I might go visit you at UW on Saturday!

Anonymous said...

I actually saw some sunshine downtown today, piercing the haze. I was rather amazed, as downtown is often the last place to clear out.

In the fall with low stratus, and sometimes during these inversions, I often leave my place in Crown Hill in clear skies and head downtown to the murk. Today we saw some blue skies briefly between the buildings, but according to my wife it stayed cloudy up here on the hill.

Hope it holds out, because I'm looking forward to breaking through to the other side on Saturday!

Anonymous said...

It was almost 70 degress up at paradise? that is insane!!

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Cliff Mass Weather Blog said...

All..There have been a few comments, some kind of angry, from individuals unhappy with the terminology I use. Please...this is my blog and let me express myself the way I am comfortable with. If you don't like my wording, please go to another blog or start your own...thanks for understanding...cliff

Anonymous said...

Tell it how you like, Cliff. If people want weather information without any human opinions attached, they can go buy a text book. Yours would probably be too engaging for them tho - perhaps something else. :) Thanks for the blog.

Anonymous said...

On the 1km sat image right now, you can see the fog in eastern washington almost connect to the west side through snoqualmie pass. Pretty cool!

Anonymous said...

http://www.atmos.washington.edu/cgi-bin/latest.cgi?vis1km

Joseph Ratliff said...

Cliff,

I can't believe that ANYONE would be "angry" or otherwise with how you write on YOUR blog...totally baffling. The nerve of some people.

Keep up the great work on the blog Professor Mass...you have a loyal reader here at least :)

Barack Obama said...

ZOMG! 70F at paradise! That is RidonkULous... SON!!!!

Mike of MLT said...

I'm with you Joe. I think I know what part of the problem might be: Although most of the anonymous posts are legitimate--and often useful (I used this blog to watch spotter reports during our snow event) there are a few posters, myself included once, that sometimes just have one too many cups of coffee. A month ago I got in to a conversation with another person--another anon poster, and suggested something about our weather always regressing to the mean (mild November, cold December, wet, dry). Well, that went over like a lead balloon. So, I post as myself now. That usually does the trick and keeps your posts on topic. But as I said, 95% of the anon messages are just fine.

Anyway, I dropped my copy of Cliff's book off at my 3rd graders class today, with a post it note of the times for the next two book events. There are a couple of budding mets in that class (one of whom still needs to learn her multiplication table fully). Good luck with the blog Cliff. Now, I have a week off from work, and you can be sure that I am heading above the inversion!

Anonymous said...

I thought sunshine was murk. Please explain?

Anonymous said...

How do people want 70 degrees and sun in January when they have to endure that - or worse - in the spring, summer and fall? I don't understand. Anyone?

Lance said...

Who says we want 70F? We're just amazed at 70F at 5000' in the middle of January.

Anonymous said...

588 decameters in mid-January? When's the last time we ever got a ridge that strong in the midst of winter? Amazing inversion!

Anonymous said...

Lance, well people have been talking about wanting to go up hills and mountains above the inversion - I assumed that's what they meant.

Anonymous said...

So as a fun illustration of what's happening out there; here is the data from Steven's Pass ski area. Note the temp differential between the base of the mountain and the top! WILD.

Anonymous said...

OOPS: the Steven's Pass data...

Current Conditions: Sunny
Base Conditions
Temperature: 30 °F / -1 °C

Top Conditions
Temperature: 54 °F / 12 °C


Wind: Light Wind: Light
Visibility: Good Visibility: Good

natchrl8r said...

I want 70 degrees and sun in January when I can get it! Saves a trip to Hawaii. Why not? It is all good, interesting weather. I'd prefer though, that the climate doesn't change that radically for the long term.

Josh-B said...

I have learned not to let the state of the weather effect my reality of making something good from it. It is all good. Sure I wouldn’t mind some wind and snow. Sure I wouldn’t mind a deep low lurking off the Vancouver Island coast. But high pressure is no different than low pressure on perception of good feelings. It is all neutral. It isn’t bad. It is all good. We can’t get upset at the sun rising no more than we can get upset at a stubborn high. It’s just what it is. Now some may say ‘What about drought, or flooding, etc” Well what may be detrimental for some could be looked at another angle from another. It’s just what it is. Now, when mankind begins to affect the state of the weather than we can begin to challenge the way of thinking…

Ashley said...

Made it up to Anti Airport trailhead on Cougar mountain today. It was upper 40s, sunny, and amazing! Thanks for the tip :)
See a picture here: http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3337/3201615855_0b004c20da.jpg?v=0
and here:
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3327/3201613469_5cdf835090.jpg?v=0

Lance said...

Wow. Nice shot of Baker, Ashley!

Jeff said...

Cliff, this inversion is truly amazing. We're heading for the hills this weekend to experience it. One question about snow conditions. With all of this warm air up high and no new snow falling, might we see some melt that could cause icy conditions on the ski slopes further below? I'm thinking about Whistler in about a week but worried about what it will be like after so many days of this. When the inversion moves on, will there be moisture behind it or do things stay dry for a while? Thanks.

Mark said...

I am at 3500' above Salmon La Sac right now with a little over 4.5-5.5' on the ground depending on exposure. It is solid as cement due to all the rain we got on it. The high today was 34 and as soon as the sun went down it dropped to 29.

Anonymous said...

We totally agree with Dr. Mass's earlier comments. It is his blog and, as such, he is free to express his observations and opinions. There is always the option of paying some hefty tuition fees to take one of his UW courses and filling out an evaluation form at the end of the quarter.

As for us, we are very much enjoying your blog, Cliff, with its scientific instruction, analytical observations, and personal musings. We appreciate your informative blog and read it daily. Thanks for sharing your expertise in atmospheric sciences with the public.

Just a data aside, out here on Ring Hill, in East Woodinville, today we recorded a high of 34 F under continuous foggy skies. It has not been above 38 F this week, and the high temperature each day is declining.

Anonymous said...

I just can't understand how people can claim they like weather and then sit there and complain about it. I'd just like to understand that. Can someone (maybe you Cliff) please explain?

Anonymous said...

I went skiing yesterday at Stevens, so I can tell you about the ski conditions right now during the inversion. I would say you can sort of tell that the temp up on top of Tye Mill is warmer than at the base, but only if you already know about the inversion, because there's always a little breeze, so wind chill. There was a high thin layer of clouds that went away during the day; not perfectly clear, but basically sunny. The snow was very icy, hard and scraped off in large patches, intermixed with very grainy piles of snow, so in any one turn you had to handle thick stuff and scraped stuff. Pretty bad snow, I'd say. Not a soul in the trees. The nice thing, though, was the sunshine for once, and also there was hardly any wind, including up on Skyline, which is usually has a brutal wind from the west. Oh, and the other surprise was that I expected the snow to be slushy and mushy like in March, but it was actually pretty icy - I think the sun just doesn't stay on it for long enough. Maybe by March it gets mushy because it doesn't refreeze at night, or maybe just because the day is longer. Oh, and the parking lot was bare ground. But there is plenty of snow coverage on the slopes.

Seashore Dream said...

Great Weather blog. I try to read every day and always learn something new.

It was a gorgeous clear day on the Central Washington coast. 37F Barometer is 30.35 and rising. Moclips, WA

Anonymous said...

Olalla: mid-high 30's and overcast all day. Woods are drying out nicely. Have yet to convince my sweetie to sample the sun and warmth uphill from here.

The bloomin' nerve of some people, trying to tell you how to write your blog! REmember the old country song, "I'd a wrote you a letter but I couldn't spell (razzzberry)! And that's all I've got to say!"

- Pete

natchrl8r said...

It has been partly sunny and barely breaking 40 each of the last few days here in Fairhaven. The airport measurements in Bellingham are consistently reporting colder and foggier. It is gorgeous blue sky, bright sun, half-moon setting over the bay. (Sorry, no digi-cam yet) The fog appears to be staying mostly over the water during the day so it is harder to "see" the inversion here. I'll let you know later what the temp is at 1300 ft on Chuckanut Mtn. I must say that as much as I love all weather I especially love these January Sun Days!

Bill Kuhn said...

Obviously dumb to dis you for your fine blog.

However, it is worth noting the survey is baffling. Having a question titled, If yes, then... and making the answer required doesn't make a lot of sense.

Marc said...

Here's another photo from this afternoon at Alpental above the inversion.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/24919992@N05/3204854285/