Sunday, March 15, 2009

Snow


Snow piling up at Silverdale this morning (thanks to Dale Ireland cam)

Huge flakes are falling around the area right now. In the central Sound it is really not accumulating at the surface because the temps are too warm...but cams in the south sound show perhaps a 1/2 inch. It is much worst on the Kitsap and near Hood Canal...take a look at Dale Ireland's cam in Silverdale(attached). This is what the models were indicating last night. The precipitation is front a a warm frontal band associated with the incoming system and temperatures are just cold enough for very wet snow (see radar).The snow is full of large aggregates (many crystals stuck together)...that is why they are so large (the surfaces of the snowflakes are melitng and wet...and this acts as a sort of glue to allow them to stick to each other). This happens in marginal temp situations, like we have now.

The Seattle profiler temp soundings show how temps are just at freezing above us (subtract 1C from the values shown--this is actually something called virtual temp which includes moisture effects). Evaporation and melting of snow from aloft helped to push us over. Anyway, enjoy it...it won't last. The warm front will move warmer temperatures into us in a few hours and end the snow for everywhere except near the Olympics...and even there during the afternoon.Want to see where the warm front is at the surface..check out the surface obs and look towards the Astoria area....southerly flow in the upper forties on the N. Oregon Coast and easterly flow in the 30s along the central WA coast. The warm southerlies will move northward this morning.And later it will get breezy later today...although the latest model runs indicate the low will be crossing Vancouver island sufficiently north that Puget Sound will be spared the strong stuff.

9:30 Am..the air is warming rapidly aloft and it is raining...

PS: I am heading to Bainbridge today (Eagle Harbor Books) at 3 PM today to talk weather..and Olympia tomorrow (see info to the right). Will have to shovel my driveway first!

38 comments:

Molly said...

Absolutely huge flakes of snow, falling softly; the grass is turning white. (Hwy 9 & Maltby Road)

Brooke said...

Beautiful flakes and sticking on Bainbridge. Hope this doesn't delay your visit today!

Jason said...

33 degrees here on Mercer Island. Snowing with huge heavy flakes and rapid accumulation on lawn and trees, etc. KING TV says we may get as much as 3 inches. huh?

NWS still has only rain, and now a wind advisory in their forecast.

upsetter5001 said...

Funny, I just posted a comment to Cliff's previous entry, wondering about how we could get such chunky snowflakes. And alas, here's another post and his explanation.
Thanks, Cliff!

Mrs Upsetter (Janet_RN)

george said...

At dawn it started here near Hood Canal and covered rapidly..now it's almost turned to small flakes but I assume rain isn't far behind.

larchitech said...

There is about two inches of snow on the ground now in Olympia. It's coming down so fast that my dog was practically covered with snow after just a few minutes. It's pretty, but the trees and shrubs are being weighed down a lot.

Cliff, will your two talks tomorrow in Olympia be the same?

All the best,

Larchitect

Mary Ellen said...

So beautiful in West Seattle, so glad it's Sunday!

Shannon said...

Here in Shoreline, Richmond Highlands, we have some flakes that are almost 2" across! It's surreal and gorgeous.

Cliff Mass Weather Blog said...

Nope..the talks will be different...cliff

Maggie said...

2+ inches on the westside of Vashon Island.

olyroller said...

Dew point still at 30F at 230' elevation on eastside of Olympia. Time to make forts and go skiing while the fun lasts.

Cliff, lots of folks looking forward to your lectures tomorrow down here. Expect big crowds and thanks for making the trip.

george said...

At dawn it started here near Hood Canal and covered rapidly..now it's almost turned to small flakes but I assume rain isn't far behind.

azure said...

Anybody know the conditions in Carnation? Accumulation and driving conditions? We live in Lake Forest Park but my daughter is supposed to go there to work on her high school senior project!

Chris said...

Now it is rain in Phinney/Fremont, alas!

george said...

At dawn it started here near Hood Canal and covered rapidly..now it's almost turned to small flakes but I assume rain isn't far behind.

ConnorC said...

4 inches at 400 feet in West Seattle! Still coming down really fast and in huge flakes! covering everything as well. This is insane!!!

olyroller said...

OK, spoke too soon on eastside of Olympia :(. Snow has turned to rain, 2" of snow melting away. Snowman has his stickhand and upward gaze thrust to the sky in defiance.

andycottle said...

Only a dusting snow here a top Hollywood hill here in Woodinville, Elevation 300ft. Had some pretty BIG flakes earlier that were size of half dollars. But snow has turned to rain with temp now at 34 and dp at 32.

elmoso said...

Still coming down fast in Poulsbo, ~4 inches at sea level.

inkprincess said...

At least 3in here in the boonies of Gig Harbor. Still snowing! Love it!!!

george said...

It is now raining here in Seabeck with even sun breaks..measured 6" but it is going fast..

Joseph Ratliff said...

Lacey at 224pm... winds SSW 16 gusting to 20mph ...and so it begins.

Snow is melted completely, and a few sunbreaks (brief) have pushed through.

C.J. said...

It's 2:45 pm and we're seeing 35kt gusts at West Point. It looks like most of the recreational saltwater boaters have headed for shelter.

andycottle said...

Pretty BREEZY here as well at times. would say winds gusting in the 30`s or so..

Mark said...

I'm at 850 feet on Cougar Mountain in Bellevue.

Early Sunday 3/15 and now late afternoon we're getting a form of frozen precipitation.

It's soft like snow, but the particles are roughly spherical rather than the polygon crystal shapes of "normal" snow.

What is this stuff? What is it called? What conditions lead to this formation rather than regular snow?

Joseph Ratliff said...

Lacey... Winds WSW 26 gusting to 41mph...pretty gusty!

Sunshine...and wind...roads are almost dry here.

Power flickered about 5 times in the last hour.

Jeff said...

Do any of you weather junkies have a copy of the tv special "The Perfect Storm"? It was shown on KIRO I do believe and had great video of the December snow and January floods. I recorded it and had it on my computer but I screwed up today and deleted it. Would appreciate it,Jeff sammamish@verizon.net

Joan Neslund said...

Holden Village
11 Miles S Stehekin WA
48.2°N 120.75°W (Elev. 3224 ft)

Aprox 18 inches of snow over the past 24 hours. Still snowing with a bit of wind now.

Aprox. 54 inches of snow on the ground now.

Total accum. is approaching 190 inches so 200 might be an easy mark for this year.

Finally our January snow has found us.

e said...

Flurries in Newcastle, big flakes, mixed.

Josh-B said...

Wind arrived 30 ago

Sam Bottman said...

This is sort of random but I'm trying to get people to read my blog and I like this one. So:
http://sammysamsamrox.blogspot.com/

Joseph Ratliff said...

Cliff,

KOMO4 just mentioned the possibility of another windstorm on Weds-Thurs...do you see anything along those lines in your interpretation?

Keeping one's head above water said...

i watched your lecture at town hall aired on TVW last night... OMG! It was awesome.

Julia said...

Thanks for the flake size explanation! Scott Sistek also had a nice blog entry on this talking about the function of updrafts in flake size. http://www.komonews.com/weather/blog for others who are interested.

tipo158 said...

Saw Cliff on Bainbridge yesterday and even got my copy of his book signed.

Woke up to heavy snow in the morning. Got 2-3" before the weather turned to rain. Then it cleared and was sunny around the time that I went to Cliff's talk. Winds knocked out power during the talk. I drove around and saw lots of tree carnage. In the evening, all of the kids toys were blown off of the front deck by the wind. Later there was enough rain to cause signal fade on the satellite dish (which is usual for us).

What a crazy weather day.

mainstreeter said...

Cliff, Thanks for the talk tonight in Olympia.

BrettW said...

Great lecture Cliff. I was just wondering if we are still in a La Nina pattern. If were are still, do you think that it will last into next winter? Thanks.

andycottle said...

I heard on the radio this afternoon that where was some hail/snow mix down in the south sound this afternoon. Fun weather! :o)