Monday, January 19, 2009

Videos at top of Tiger Mt Yesteday and Fog Today

video

If was quite windy at the top of Tiger Mountain yesterday, with easterly winds probably gusting to 25-30 knots. Check out the video I made up there. Also, I have a pic of my thermometer reading at the top...just in case no one believed me!

We have a cam in the department, and it is interesting to view the layer of fog today...which was just below us for much of the morning...check is out here:
http://www.atmos.washington.edu/images/webcam0/movies/20090119.mov

By the way, it was really dangerous in some locations yesterday and this morning. Many locations started out clear, and thus cooled to below freezing at the surface. Some places had frost. Then the fog moved in...with water from the fog glazing the surface. This happened in some locations in north Seattle (see picture). I stopped the car to snap this shot and almost fell down it was so slippery. My antilock brakes took over a few times on downhill stretches. So remember if it is cold and fog is around...be very careful!

28 comments:

Anonymous said...

I live in Sultan, and what I don't understand is why there can be a .35 inch easterly gradient between Wenatchee and Sea Tac, strong easterlies in the I90 foot hills, and not a puff of wind here in Sultan (which is near the moutb of the Stevens Pass gap). It is curious.

climo man said...

Even though I know otherwise, it`s sure looking like an El Nino type pattern out there, especially with a split flow beginning to develop and the southern jet stream branch about to break through into southern California.In the next week or two,it will be interesting to see if we stay in the middle of the split(more dull,relatively dry weather) or if the upper air flow can consolidate and re-energize.Since this is Washington, I`d probably have go with the first scenario.

JewelyaZ said...

We had black ice on the roadways here this morning as late as 10 am near Crossroads in Bellevue. Treacherous! Where were the salt trucks? ;-)

The sunshine is pleasant enough -- I like to cut the grass once in the middle of winter to tidy things up -- but I have to admit that it seems strange to be this nice in January.

It did give us a break that allowed us to clean off our roof from the accumulated pine needles and to mount the rest of the weather system's sensors on a pole up there. My whole weather station is working now! Now I just need some... weather! LOL

Anonymous said...

Climo man, I really hope you're wrong.

JewelyaZ, it's not as nice as it usually is in January. It is nice outside, I agree, but bring back those clouds and it will be oh so much nicer.

Josh-B said...

Nice shooting Cliff-If it was August "Red Flag Warning"

Joseph Ratliff said...

It's absolutely GORGEOUS out here in Lacey...clear skies, crisp not-so-clean air...just the way I like it in Winter here.

Perfect walking weather. :)

Jessica said...

You did it Cliff - all this talk of Tiger Mt. finally prodded me into going there for a hike today. We used to go weekly but after our first bear encounter as hikers on the Powerline trail in late fall, (ee-gads!), I'd been hesitant to return.

It was lovely up there today but I agree, it doesn't "feel" like a proper January. I could handle some snow/clouds again too.

andycottle said...

Hi Cliff!:o)

Cool video, I like what you showed and also the pic of the thermometer to show you really did take temp readings on your way up. That would be cool to try sometime.

I hike up to Tiger Mountain pretty often during real spring into summer months. Depending on the weather, my first trip of the year up there is usually about March or April. Anyway, thanks for showing those pics and also the time lapse of the fog was neat to.

------

On todays note....was another nice day here in Woodinville with sunny skies all around. Cooler than yesterday and a good 11 degrees cooler at that! My high yesterday was 62. Todays high for me was 53. Currently 38 here with clear skies.

Anonymous said...

are you going to talk about the December snowstorms in your talk on Wednesday evening at Third Place Books?...I hope you do!

Anonymous said...

I (along with others I'm sure) am praying for wind to blow this cosmic polluted SOUP of stagnant air out and away so we earthlings can venture out of doors once again. WOULD ENJOY SEEING SOME OF THAT WIND you have/had ontop of Tiger Mountain.
I would be interested to know what you have to say about CONTROLLING the weather and CHEM-TRAILS...
thankyou,
THE WATCHER

Cliff Mass Weather Blog said...

I will be talking about the latest snowstorm event(s)...and even some salt and Nickels humor thrown in! Regarding the last question....my profession has had very little success with weather control. I would be content to be able to forecast it better...

Richard said...

Great blog... up in Snoqualmie Ridge we had really cool fog on Saturday. Check out the photos of the icicles on trees and bushes http://www.number8wire.com/richardsblog/09-jan-freezing-fog/

Anonymous said...

Just returned from three days on the coast of southern Washington and Northern Oregon. We broke out of the gloom near McCleary, WA, and then enjoyed three perfectly warm, sunny days. Daytime temps in the low 60's (felt even warmer), totally clear skies all day and night. Gentle offshore breeze. We walked barefoot on the beach, wearing shorts and t-shirts. In January!

Anonymous said...

Here is why they have a hard time forecasting the weather better (in regards to Dr. Mass's remarks about wishing he could forecast the weather better instead of forecasting it better). This is from the National Weather Service:

.LONG TERM...ALL THE INCONSISTENCIES OF THE SHORT TERM PERSIST INTO THE EXTENDED. AFTER THE ARCTIC AIR OF SUNDAY AND SUNDAY NIGHT PER THE GFS...THE LATEST 4 RUNS OF THE GFS DEAMPLIFY THE FLOW OVER THE PACIFIC AND NORTH AMERICA AND BRING A SERIES OF SYSTEMS IN OFF THE PACIFIC. THE ECMWF SINGS A DIFFERENT TUNE. WHILE ALSO SOMEWHAT CONSISTENT WITH ITSELF...THE ECMWF AMPLIFIES THE RIDGE ALONG ABOUT
150W...DIGS A BIG TROUGH DOWN THE WEST COAST EARLY NEXT WEEK... AND
OPENS THE DOOR TO MORE COLD AIR FROM THE NORTH. IN FACT...THE ECMWF BY THE MIDDLE OF NEXT WEEK LOOKS SOMEWHAT LIKE THE BEGINNING OF THE DECEMBER COLD WAVE.

Anonymous said...

I meant to say Dr. Mass would rather forecast the weather better instead of being able to control it.

Anonymous said...

The day that humankind is able to control the weather will be a very, very sad day indeed.

Anonymous said...

Being able to forecast the weather better doesn't do too much; the only thing it does is take the surprise out of weather.

Josh-B said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Josh-B said...

To bad the mets of today don’t have the cojones of the mets of ww2. Even with what we would call duck tape forecasting compared to what we have today, the meteorologists in the allied group would stick with their discussions without the “lack of clarity” wordage we get in NOAA discussions today. They were under tremendous pressure by the upper brass almost to the effect if they got it wrong they were somehow linked to the weather. But they stuck with their guns and sometimes made out (D-day) and sometimes not. Maybe meteorologists have put to much guidance into powerful computers and not enough in cunning instinct with worrying about their reputation. Or maybe they are afraid of bigger consequences. For example a in the fire weather game fire mets do not want to take any risk due to the South Canyon and other incidents. This has created overrated warnings when no such warnings should have been raised. (Cry wolf syndrome) (No blame on the fire mets coming from me here, it’s called the blame game and litigation )
Yes Cliff, it is more of a science as you said in your book, but I would hope there still is some art left in it, or arm chair weather geeks can just hook right up to the GFS and by-pass the men and women who knows how to cast weather forecast like casting a dry fly on a hot summer day….

Mike of MLT said...

If forecasting is artistry, I'm afraid it is paint by numbers. At the NWS, we can drown ourselves in synoptic scale models, mesoscale models, statistical guidance, and old fashion tools like gradients and pressure changes. Satellite interpretation (vis, IR, water vapor, precipitable water) and of course radar (or lack of coverage thereof). And sometimes you have to know whether climo or persistence will be a better forecast.

Now, take the forecasters at the NWS, and make them work rotating shifts. And keep in mind, we don't actually get to simply type up what the forecast ought to be (that ended a few years ago) but rather we have a system where all the guidance has to be pasted and blended into little data boxes--usually each represents a six hour block, out to seven days. These boxes, or 'grids' are for things like, dew point, or sky cover, or weather type. There are a dozen of these that are important to the public forecast, a handful for the marine forecast. Then you run a formatter that takes what you have painted by numbers--and creates the text forecast. If the forecaster does not like the text output, we can, at the end of this process, redo our 'grids' and then rewrite the forecast. It is a lot to juggle--especially when there is weather and the phone is ringing off the hook.

So, sure, I for one would like to go back in time and forecast the old fashioned way. It was certainly less labor intensive, and with just a simple sea level pressure analysis, not an awful lot of data to confound the issue. But being wrong all the time and having no clue what is to happen beyond 24 hours would have been tough.

Anonymous said...

My house at 580 ft of elevation in Sammamish was above the fog line. I meant to get a picture before dark, but whoops!

andycottle said...

Looks like the fog today was very centered around the immediate central Puget sound region. I had low clouds/fog all day here here in Woodinville. My high reached 37 with low of 27. So certainly a cool cloudy day.

I have a question or two for Cliff. So here it goes.

Your thermometer in the pic you showed yesterday, where did you get it at and did you find it had a pretty accurate reading on your way up to Tiger Mountain yesterday? Also, how much did that cost ya? Hope to hear some answers from ya. :o)
------------

Currently 32 here with thick fog.

Josh-B said...

Mike of MLT.

I agree with you. I guess what I am trying to say, even if they could only forecast out with some certainty, 24hrs in the theater,(WW2 Mets) they would further go out on a limb and take some chances with the tools and “intuition” they had. And sometimes they were not wrong. We should not to go back in time to old technology that would be “ going backwards”. But it seems like the NWS doesn't have as much confidence in their own wordage sometimes, not all the time, but some...I understand many agencies especially those that deal with natural disasters would like accurate forecasting and that lays lots of pressure on the forecasters especially when an event is happening. There is allot of cause and effect a forecaster can create. One has to be careful what to say. If the formula the NWS uses is strictly scientific and cutting edge than they should back their forecast with more certainty, for we put so much confidence in this new technology. If not, than the science isn’t there yet and we should not give it so much credit and quit discussing with “the euro said this and the gfs said that”..... Maybe say “I Joe weather dude says its going to be like this”.....Of course it is easer to blame a computer model if the windstorm flattens out, especially if its the euro..
I may be off base here. Just some thoughts. Again I am not here to know it all. My opinion can change. Thats what funny about blogs,quick opinions. Trying to understand...Josh

Cliff Mass Weather Blog said...

andy...my thermometer was from Radio Shack..and they are inexpensive and quite accurate...cliff

andycottle said...

Hi Cliff. Thanks for answering my question. :o)

Mike of MLT said...

Not off base at all Josh, yours is a good point and well taken. I think if there was a better way to express the confidence in a given forecast--even seperately from the actual forecast, then that would free up the forecaster from having to express uncertainty in the forecast discussion. On the other hand, the AFD is the one place right now that we can express forecast uncertainty--so that is where it ends up. Cliff has at times brought this up--and that is one of the reasons I've been lurking here on his blog. There are a handful of sharp meteorologists whos job it is to think about these things, my boss is one, Cliff Mass is one. The way in which the forecast is delivered and uncertainty related will evolve, maybe somewhat like probcast--but I'm not too sure. A good example is, say, the probability of the windspeed reaching gale force. Where, what duration, what pixels will be the windiest ones, how do you cram that information on to weather radio? No easy solutions. And in this case, does a fisherman want any extra information when he may only be looking for go/no go. This is not my blog, so enough for now!

Josh-B said...

Well said MLT. Thank You

Anonymous said...

Cliff, what was so special about the video? Wind in the mountains?