Saturday, November 21, 2009

NW Washington Gets Hit Again...and an Unusual Low

This is a November that just keeps giving meteorologically. And a low with an unusual track is on the horizon.

Today is somewhat of a break. Some sun, some clouds, a few light showers. Good enough to rake some leaves, as I will do soon.

Tonight it will get much more interesting...and Jim Forman from KING TV should be gassing up his van for a trip back north! (By the way, I have been encouraging KING TV to create a DVD with a collection of his weather segments--it would be a hot seller!) A low goes north of us (AGAIN!) produces conditions that will increase winds AGAIN over NW Washington (check out the latest WRF model forecasts). Winds will also increase along the coast, with both regions seeing sustained 30-40 mph with gusts above 50 mph. And of course rain will return.

But that is not the unusual item. Take a look at the sea level pressure forecast for the same time (graphic above). A moderately intense and small-scale low is approaching the southern portion of Washington and will cross SW Washington south of Seattle. There is an intense pressure gradient behind the low, which could produce strong coastal winds (see graphic below), and as the low moves eastward there may be a good eastward surge of westerly flow into the Strait of Juan de Fuca (see graphic). The central Puget Sound area won't see any real wind from this.

And as the low moves through and cool, westerly flow becomes established there will be a LOT of snow in the Cascades tonight through Sunday--at least a foot will fall. Thanksgiving skiing is in the bag now. If our forecasts are wrong and the low goes north of Seattle, the weather would be very different.

It appears that there will be a major pattern shift next week and our intense weather will be over for a while. We will even have a large scale ridge of high pressure in our neighborhood.

22 comments:

DeAnne said...

Oh Boy...I'm at the Central Washington coast tonight. Right now at 1pm its lightly raining with winds 10-15mph and the waves are pretty high.

http://moclipsvacationblog.blogspot.com/

John said...

While I should be doing something useful like cleaning gutters, I am watching and waiting for the storm since it is rare to see one during daylight when I am usually stuck at work.

smokejumper said...

Finally Cliff, a surface low somewhere in the vicinity of the oregon or washington coast.

I'm tired of these dragged out cold fronts with tight pressure gradiants. 0.02 precip for the month in Yakima. This our first real chance for rain or snow this month.

Scott K said...

This is exactly what I had sort of predicted (paranoid prediction). A stronger storm for saturday night than what was first forecast.

Looks like maybe we'll get some east winds tonight here in Lake Stevens, it's been around 20mph all day today and most of last night as well.

This will only be interested to me if we end up with 40 to 50mph winds, so far we haven't seen much of any wind storms for over a week.

Scott K said...

Cliff, question for you.

What is a non-troipcal typhoon called? My girlfriend and I were discussing why these wind storms hitting the northwest don't have a fancy named attached to them like 'typhoon' (for pacific ocean storms). Is it because it's not a tropical storm? The wind speeds in these storms certainly suggest hurricane/typhoon force, but the news reports them as 'wind storms'.

Charlie Phillips said...

Yeah this storm confirms my earlier suspicions. I wonder how high the Naselle/Mt. Hebo gusts will get. Mr. Mass, how similar is this storm to November 3, 1958?

charliesweatherforecasts.blogspot.com

Charlie Phillips said...

and scott i've heard them as mid-latitude cyclones or extra tropical cyclones. Some of the big storms (Columbus Day, December 12, 1995, November 14 1981) are referred to as Sou'westers on Wolf Read's website because of their storm track.

But yeah you are right I haven't heard of many concrete names for the windstorms here in the NW.


charliesweatherforecasts.blogspot.com

dayn_1 said...

Looks like I finally get my winds down here in winlock!

dayn_1 said...

Lets do a $10 bounty on anyone that spots Jim Foreman!

Josh said...

Old Scott should get the prize with this one. Nice one...I remember saying this guy is too far out. But nice...

mainstreeter said...

Looks like the leading edge is coming through the Chehalis Gap now, wind has picked up in the last hour.

Christopher said...

Cliff says "check out the latest WRF model forecasts"

Where do folks access these?

Bham_Guy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bham_Guy said...

Christopher, you can get them here:


WRF Models

Must read blogs said...

what does this mean for chehalis?

dayn_1 said...

MUST READ BLOGS

Are you on this forum?

http://lewiscounty.goes2find.info/forums/

Brian said...

It still sounds like the NWS, and even a little bit of Cliff, are questioning where this low is ACTUALLY going to make landfall. I know the models have been all over the place, so this is the reason for my question:

If this low ended up going a bit further north than forecasters expect, how would that affect us in the central Puget Sound region? Also, when will we know for sure where the low is going to make landfall?

DeAnne said...

We are at 1001mb at 8pm on the Central Washington Coast, it hasn't gone as low as predicted yet, but the barometer is falling fast.

Joseph Ratliff said...

The High Wind Watch turned into a warning...and the National Weather Service forecast for Lacey, WA tonight and into Sunday (Sunday is brutal)...

Tonight: Rain. Low around 39. Southeast wind 17 to 20 mph decreasing to between 9 and 12 mph. Winds could gust as high as 28 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%.

Sunday: Showers likely, mainly before 10am. Cloudy, with a high near 47. Windy, with a west southwest wind 35 to 38 mph decreasing to between 14 and 17 mph. Winds could gust as high as 55 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%.

Josh said...

Need the radar on the coast!!

Joseph Ratliff said...

I hope Cliff does an update on this storm...I would like to hear his current feedback on it.

And yes, that coastal radar would be good for this situation.

John said...

It's not a proper storm until Parka Boy heads out into the wind and give hyperbole-laden play-by-plays.