Thursday, January 8, 2009

Precipitation Variations

There were some amazing variations and storm totals in the precipitation...
Take a look at the table below from the National Weather Service.
At the UW we had 1.4 inches for the entire storm (last 48h), and Everett had even less
...1.04 inches. Sea Tac had 3.42 and Olympia 6.03. That's a rainshadow. The most
amazing amounts were in the mountains where some locations had 10-15 inches.

Heavy precipitation was the big reason for the flooding, but the melting of lowland snow
was also important. This is also true of some other big flood events like the Feb 1996
flood, which was even more damaging than this one. High mountain snow actually works
against flooding, since the snowpack can absorb some of the water, where it can refreeze.
Interestingly some of the high mountain sites showed very little change in snow water
equivalent...the amount of water in the snow...during this event. But the snow depth can
change dramatically...at Snoqualmie pass the snow depth has gone from 78 to 43 inches in
two days.

Right now have pro frontal conditions with showers in the mountains and a Puget Sound
convergence zone north of Seattle (see radar). Tomorrow will be dry and temperatures
40s. Some showers over the weekend...and some amazingly dry conditions the middle of
next week.



NORTH... 1H 3H 6H 12H 24H 48H 72H
FRIDAY HARBOR 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.06 0.76 1.35 1.60
ORCAS ISLAND 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
OAK HARBOR 0.00 0.00 0.01 0.09 0.55 1.31 1.54
BELLINGHAM 0.02 0.05 0.05 0.28 1.20 2.74 3.20
NUGENTS CORNER 0.00 0.04 0.04 0.41 1.38 3.82 4.01
BURLINGTON 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
ARLINGTON 0.14 0.23 0.26 0.31 0.31 0.31 0.31
EVERETT 0.00 0.02 0.04 0.12 0.67 0.80 1.04
GLACIER 0.10 0.20 0.20 0.80 1.60 5.29 5.29
MOUNT BAKER NWAC MSG 0.10 0.19 0.82 2.81 6.81 6.93
BAKER LAKE 0.00 0.20 0.30 1.00 3.20 7.80 8.20
MARBLEMOUNT 0.10 0.20 0.40 1.40 4.10 10.10 10.50
MARBLEMOUNT CRN MSG 0.19 0.57 1.97 4.93 12.93 13.82
VERLOT R.S. 0.10 0.20 0.70 2.20 4.80 8.30 9.70
PADILLA BAY FARM MSG 0.02 0.02 0.11 0.79 1.57 1.99
KAYAK POINT 0.06 0.13 0.37 0.43 0.67 1.56 1.88
SMOKEY POINT 0.11 0.13 0.31 0.52 1.02 1.93 2.55
SUNNYSIDE 0.07 0.10 0.59 0.70 1.30 1.85 2.33
SILVER LAKE WD MSG 0.06 0.11 0.30 1.25 1.32 1.78

CENTRAL.... 1H 3H 6H 12H 24H 48H 72H
SEATTLE-TACOMA APT 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.16 1.87 3.42 3.55
BREMERTON 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
GRAY AFF 0.00 0.02 0.03 0.28 1.92 4.58 4.88
STAMPEDE PASS MSG MSG MSG MSG MSG MSG MSG
DARRINGTON 0.10 0.20 0.40 1.30 2.70 2.70 2.70
SKYKOMISH LARC 0.00 0.20 0.30 1.60 3.40 7.50 8.80
SOUTH FORK TOLT MSG 0.01 0.05 1.00 1.10 1.06 0.92
CHESTER MORSE LAKE WX MSG MSG 0.03 0.85 2.78 6.14 7.13
FIRE TRAINING ACADEMY 0.01 0.01 0.01 0.93 2.69 6.86 7.68
SF SNOQUALMIE- GARCIA 0.00 0.01 0.08 1.34 3.57 10.62 11.63
HOWARD HANSON RES MSG 0.03 0.18 1.83 4.04 15.57 16.56
RAVENSDALE MSG 0.00 0.03 0.55 2.08 4.14 4.50
ROCK CREEK BRDG SR516 0.00 0.00 MSG 0.39 MSG 4.05 MSG
ORILLA MSG MSG 0.00 0.13 1.61 2.73 2.80
GREENWATER MSG 0.03 0.06 0.75 2.02 6.82 7.55
BUCK CREEK CAMP MSG MSG MSG 0.04 0.14 1.48 1.48
SOUTH PRAIRIE MSG 0.00 0.02 0.32 1.66 4.08 4.37
ORILLA MSG MSG 0.00 0.13 1.61 2.73 2.80
BUCKLEY MSG MSG MSG MSG MSG MSG MSG
ELECTRON 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
SNOQUALMIE FALLS MSG MSG 0.00 0.60 2.60 4.90 4.90
SNOQUALMIE PASS 0.00 0.10 0.50 1.20 3.90 9.20 14.70
RENTON 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.17 1.54 2.47 2.60
BOEING FIELD 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.18 1.35 1.92 2.03
ENUMCLAW 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.04 0.08 0.31 0.51
GIG HARBOR 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.25 2.18 4.94 5.20
MCCHORD AFB 0.00 0.03 0.03 0.27 1.95 4.60 4.87

SOUTH.... 1H 3H 6H 12H 24H 48H 72H
OLYMPIA 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.32 2.65 6.03 6.38
TOLEDO MSG MSG MSG MSG MSG MSG MSG
KELSO 0.01 0.01 0.01 0.07 0.07 0.07 0.07
VANCOUVER 0.00 0.03 0.06 0.42 0.68 0.72 0.83
RAINIER NP LONGMIRE 0.00 0.00 0.20 1.30 2.70 6.00 6.00
RAINIER PARADISE NWAC MSG 0.04 0.23 0.93 2.81 7.52 8.27
CHINOOK PASS NWAC MSG 0.10 0.21 0.43 1.51 3.27 3.84
CRYSTAL MOUNTAIN NWAC MSG MSG MSG MSG MSG MSG MSG
OHANAPECOSH RAWS MSG MSG MSG MSG MSG MSG MSG
HAGER CREEK RAWS MSG MSG MSG MSG MSG MSG MSG
NATIONAL 0.54 1.24 3.01 10.57 12.56 13.94
14.25
PACKWOOD 0.02 0.09 0.33 1.36 3.09 6.95 9.32
TILTON R NR CINEBAR 0.01 0.12 0.21 0.95 2.62 8.57 9.96
SF CHEHALIS- WILDWOOD MSG 0.02 0.02 0.49 2.50 4.32 4.54
SF NEWAUKUM- ONALASKA 0.00 0.00 0.02 0.50 1.54 4.87 5.15
NF NEWAUKUM - FOREST 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
CINEBAR 0.00 0.20 0.20 1.00 2.70 6.90 6.90
FRANCIS 0.00 0.00 0.10 0.80 3.50 3.60 3.60
CENTRALIA 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.60 2.00 3.90 3.90
WINTERS MOUNTAIN 0.04 0.04 0.04 0.04 0.04 0.04 0.04
BOISFORT PEAK MSG MSG MSG 0.71 1.85 1.46 1.61

OLYMPIC PENINSULA.... 1H 3H 6H 12H 24H 48H 72H
QUILLAYUTE APT 0.00 0.09 0.09 0.31 1.96 4.72 5.67
SHELTON APT 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.21 2.72 7.15 7.61
HOQUIAM 0.03 0.03 0.05 0.32 2.15 4.61 5.08
PORT ANGELES 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.19 1.01 1.90 1.97
HOH RANGER STATION MSG MSG MSG MSG 0.00 8.80 8.80
CUSHMAN DAM 0.10 0.10 0.10 0.50 2.70 5.70 6.00
STAIRCASE OLYMPIC NP 0.00 0.01 0.03 0.22 1.90 4.65 5.84
BLACK KNOB 0.07 0.08 0.15 0.68 3.26 8.09 9.73
HURRICANE RIDGE NWAC MSG 0.00 0.03 0.24 0.89 1.65 1.73
HUMPTULIPS RAWS 0.03 0.06 0.11 0.42 3.16 9.04 9.77
TOMS CREEK RAWS 0.09 0.16 0.23 0.68 2.76 8.79 9.81
QUILCENE RAWS MSG MSG MSG MSG MSG MSG MSG
QUINAULT CLIMATE 0.11 0.15 0.25 0.80 5.55 15.64
162.32
ELK MEADOWS MSG MSG MSG MSG MSG MSG MSG
WYNOOCHEE LAKE 0.07 MSG MSG MSG 0.12 MSG MSG

19 comments:

JewelyaZ said...

Those are impressive water numbers. I am glad this isn't as bad as the 1996 storm but I'm fearful for my in-laws in Snoqualmie. Stay safe everyone!

Walter Harley said...

Text of the post is a bit messed up, at least for me. Looks like maybe inserting the table caused the text to become fixed-width instead of proportional font, and Blogger doesn't cope well?

On Firefox 3.0, running on Windows XP or on Mac OS 10.5, each line of text is truncated and unreadable. On IE 7, Windows XP, the lines break and wrap, so text is all there but ugly.

We got our basement waterproofed this fall - so far it has been working great, in previous years many of these events would have caused puddles.

Scooter08 said...

With the extremely cold temperatures in Alaska (down to -60) as a result of continuous high pressure there, should Western Washington be anticipating very cold temps here in the near future? I remember in February of 1989 the conditions being the same in Alaska and Western Washington had high temps in the teens for over a week and snow sticking around for 2 weeks after that cold air invaded our area. Do you see this on the horizon?

Anonymous said...

A squall line is moving thru Oly right now, wind is picking up too. Maybe winds gusting to 25? from the SE

Anonymous said...

Looks like someone was playing tricks on the QUINAULT CLIMATE guage 48 to 72 hours ago. ;)

Scott K said...

If anyone is interested...Update for hwy 9 in snohomish area.

The river near machia has breached it's banks, machias road is now under water in many places. This is flowing south cutting off snohomish city. The flooding from the valley near monroe is now moving west towards snohomish city.

Hwy 9 at snohomish valley is now CLOSED at marsh road (mid-valley).

Hwy 2 trussel is still open with massive flooding under the trussel. (basically the last way into that area without going way north and coming around).

I'm seriously considering heading home (I live in southeast lake stevens) while there's still a way to actually GET home. I doubt they'll close the hwy 2 trussel, but you never know.

Anonymous said...

Need we be concerned about a potential freeze tonight?

Joan Neslund said...

Holden Village, 48.2°N 120.75°W (Elev. 3224 ft), 5.19 inches of rain. High today of 40 but is dropping and rain has now turned to snow. Thank God

Anonymous said...

Raining a bit on and off east of North Bend. Town itself was not badly impacted by the flooding, but Exit 31 is under water except for the Outlet Mall. The upper road into our area is closed and DOT says may never reopen there is so much damage to the road from rain and slides. Our road is still closed, but they have cleared the slides and they are letting residents in and out. We still have no power because Tanner Electric is awaiting the OK from King County regarding the stability of our road before they come in to fix our poles.....but it's OK for us to drive on them!

So just how much rain did North Bend get?

Anonymous said...

ENOUGH ALREADY! It is freaking pouring here east of North Bend. Even worse than it has over the last couple of days. Oh great....it's hailing too.

Anonymous said...

I too remember more than once reading about prolonged super-cold periods in Fairbanks, and then watching as that cold air mass slowly slides to the southeast over us. Seems like it's called a blocking event, with the jet going north, then diving back south, but I'm not certain. Cliff?

Bob Moore said...

Blog fans,

Here's the link to a scary "climate change" article in our UW online newspaper UWEEK: http://uwnews.org/uweek/article.aspx?visitsource=uwkmail&id=46178

Here are the first paragraphs:

"Climate-induced Food Crisis

Jan. 8, 2009
Half of world's population could face climate-induced food crisis by 2100
By Vince Stricherz
News and Information
http://uwnews.org/uweek/article.aspx?visitsource=uwkmail&id=46178
Rapidly warming climate is likely to seriously alter crop yields in the tropics and subtropics by the end of this century and, without adaptation, will leave half the world's population facing serious food shortages, new research shows.
To compound matters, the population of this equatorial belt -- from about 35 degrees north latitude to 35 degrees south latitude -- is among the poorest on Earth and is growing faster than anywhere else.
"The stresses on global food production from temperature alone are going to be huge, and that doesn't take into account water supplies stressed by the higher temperatures," said David Battisti, a University of Washington atmospheric sciences professor.
Battisti is lead author of the study in the Jan. 9 edition of Science. He collaborated with Rosamond Naylor, director of Stanford University's Program on Food Security and the Environment, to examine the impact of climate change on the world's food security."

Since Battisti is a colleague of Cliff's in Atmospheric Sciences, and Cliff mentioned a new Climate Change blog in an earlier posting that I can't find, I'll email my word.doc download of this article to him, and if the link above won't work for any of you, just email me and I can attach a copy to an email to you, too.

Bob Moore
"Save the Planet" maniac

Anonymous said...

Right now, I think we are experiencing the Puget Sound Convergence Zone as described on p.149 "The Weather of the Pacific Northwest". At about 1416 I heard on KUOW that it was raining in Seattle. Here in Olympia, it is clear, but the wind is brisk from the west at around 10 mph with higher gusts.The barometer is steadily rising from about 756 mB @ 0159 this morning to a current reading of 764 mB at 1615.

So am I correct that there is a nice pressure difference pushing a lot around the Olympics and dumping it all on Seattle now?

Guyinjeep16 said...

God question Scooter, I have been watching the cold air trapped in Alaska and Canada, just waiting for another arctic outbreak this winter...

Anonymous said...

Cliff,
Please give your opinion about the cold air in Alaska potentially moving down into Washington. Other folks' comments have made me curious about this possibility!

Thanks for your expertise.

Anonymous said...

I'm no Cliff, but looking at the long range models, there are very few signs of the cold air up in Alaska making its way southward to Washington, if any. All long range models suggest a very strong ridge of high pressure building off the West Coast, leading to dry (and perhaps foggy) conditions for the next week or two in Western Washington. The cold air currently up in Alaska is projected to drop down into the U.S. east of the Rockies, engulfing the eastern two-thirds of the country in a major cold snap.

In order for the Seattle area to get cold and snow again, we need the forecasted ridge of high pressure to set up shop at about 150 degrees West. If this happens, storm systems racing across the Pacific will be BLOCKED from reaching Seattle in the normal west-to-east fashion. Rather, such storm systems will be forced north, up over the ridge into the cold Alaskan/Canadian interior, and then down the backside into Western Washington. This is what happened last December.

Right now, models show this massive ridge developing around 130 west, which is way too close to Seattle for us to get any kind of cold air. The ridge of high pressure needs to retrograde 20 degrees to the west for us to get any kind of "Alaskan cold," and that does not look like it will be happening any time in the near future.

Anonymous said...

Olalla: I didn't expect the sunny afternoon, but I certainly enjoyed it! We went for a walk in the woods, and found that the consistent wind had dried things out remarkably well. However part of the path was flooded (which I haven't seen in the last two years). The wind was noisy in the tall firs but nothing came down, not even needles. Not surprising, I guess, after the winds we had yesterday and the day before and the snow events.

- Pete

Joseph Ratliff said...

Winds, and rain, have all settled down in Lacey. My prayers go out to all who have to endure this flooding scenario...I hope all goes as well as possible for you.

I am going to enjoy the next 10 days or so...looks like we are in for some much calmer weather (finally).

Take a deep breath Western WA residents. :)

Janet_RN said...

This is not really related to weather but is to do with what's up in the sky - anyone see what appeared to be a meteor to the west, just before 11pm? It was the largest I've ever seen, and bright -from my perspective here in Greenlake/Phinney, it appeared to drop somewhere between Ballard and the Pacific Ocean.