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:
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.