Saturday, November 21, 2009

Update


The forecasting is changing a bit...and getting more serious. Moderate rain has overspread our area and winds in NW Washington have picked up substantially...take a look at Smith Island...getting near 50 kts. That is serious wind.
But the big issue is the small, but significant, low center out there right now. A critical forecast question is its track across the State. New runs suggest it will move a bit further north...crossing the central WA coast and tracking over the south Sound. With this track there will stronger winds along the central WA coast and SW WA (see graphic)...sustained 40-50 mph, with gusts to 70 mph, in some places. Even more serious is that the westerly surge through the Strait of Juan de Fuca looks stronger than suggested earlier...with powerful winds gusting 60 60-70 mph (see graphic).

I am working on research about these Strait surges and writing a paper about them. A particularly strong one hit in October 2003 and destroyed Ivar's Mukilteo Landing Restaurant (my book has a whole section on this. Ivar's rebuilt the restaurant on a weather theme--I love this place and food is very good. The best thing is the weather instrument panel.....if the winds get above a certain level you are supposed to push this red knob and go back to your table and order dessert. ) Another surge in 1990 half destroyed the WSDOT Ferry Elwha where it was being repaired in Everett Harbor. This surge should occur sometime between 4 AM and 9 AM so be aware about it. Northern Whidbey Island could get hit very hard.

PS: Nights like this illustrate why we need the coastal radar. In the NWS discussion the forecaster admits he doesn't know exactly where the low is or its strength. But it is close enough now that a coastal radar would have provided a definitive answer..right now..when we need it....

31 comments:

SeattleDan said...

Raining here in Hoquiam now...but not much wind....so far!

Adam Read said...

Your P.S. reads like a future "I told you so." It's kinda creepy. Lets get that radar.

C.P.O. said...

Good stuff Cliff - thanks.

DeAnne said...

Report from Central Washington Coast as of 11pm:
Barometer still falling - currently at 29.35 (994mb) Rainfall today 1.48 inches. Winds have switched 17-29mph East No big winds yet as of 11pm.

SeattleDan said...

At 11:03, now the winds are picking up....and it is pouring here in Hoq.

dayn_1 said...

Check out the kiro doppler

Portland and surrounding areas are getting hammered by heavy rain, moving this way.

Joseph Ratliff said...

You would think the central coast would be getting nailed already if this low is approaching...interesting.

Charlie Phillips said...

This low needs to go north even more so! A bit of "South Valley Surprise" element to this storm.

Joseph Ratliff said...

Updated High Wind Warning for Southwest Interior...seems to get a little more specific...

Issued by The National Weather Service
Seattle/Tacoma, WA
10:47 pm PST, Sat., Nov. 21, 2009

... HIGH WIND WARNING NOW IN EFFECT UNTIL 10 AM PST SUNDAY...

THE HIGH WIND WARNING IS NOW IN EFFECT UNTIL 10 AM PST SUNDAY.

STRONG WESTERLY WINDS OF 30 TO 40 MPH WITH GUSTS TO 65 MPH ARE EXPECTED TO DEVELOP AROUND 4 AM AND LAST FOR 3 TO 5 HOURS BEFORE DIMINISHING. STRONGEST WINDS WILL BE IN THE LOWER CHEHALIS VALLEY AND IN THE CHEHALIS GAP... EAST-WEST VALLEYS EXPOSED TO WESTERLY FLOW.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

A HIGH WIND WARNING MEANS THAT A HAZARDOUS WIND EVENT IS IMMINENT OR OCCURRING. SUSTAINED WINDS OF AT LEAST 40 MPH... OR GUSTS OF 58 MPH OR HIGHER WILL OCCUR ACROSS THE LOWLANDS.

&&

More Information

.OVERVIEW... A DEEP LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM IN THE OFFSHORE WATERS WILL MOVE RAPIDLY ONSHORE ALONG THE CENTRAL COAST DURING THE EARLY MORNING HOURS... THEN MOVE INLAND ACROSS THE FAR SOUTH PUGET SOUND AND INTO THE CENTRAL CASCADES BY 8 AM.

smokejumper said...

That surface wind map is funny Cliff. It's like the Olympics is the eye of the hurricane. South winds puget sound, east through the straight, north down the coast, and west across the chehalis gap. And is that even a small painted area of white. Destruction Is. is going to live up to its name.

PS. That rain band does have some intense rainfall, but i think that portland radar is picking up on some big rain drops or maybe even some slushy snow higher for the brighter reflectivity

Joseph Ratliff said...

What my main question is...with the latest warning above...does the storm track, if it goes right over Olympia (the warning says "far South Puget Sound)...then wouldn't we be "calmer" winds?

Joseph Ratliff said...

I guess one more question, what is the "Chehalis Gap"?

Steve Roberts said...

Aboard my boat in Oak Harbor... thank you for the warning. I just walked the docks and checked everybody's lines and fenders, with a few fixes here and there. I appreciate the info, and hope this is the last of the crazy winds for a while!

DeAnne said...

Steady rains on Central Washington Coast for a total of 1.61 inches at 11:42pm. Wind Gusts to 29mph, sustained at 17mph from East still. We have not been hit yet. From forecast it appears we won't be peaking with wind until 4am in the morning. Temp has dropped to 37F at sea level and Barometer is 29.27 and still diving.(991 mb)- Moclips/Pacific Beach, WA

dayn_1 said...

what is the "Chehalis Gap"?

The valley between the olympics and the willapa hills.

By the way...cool blog.

Joseph Ratliff said...

Thanks for the info dayn_1 :)

dayn_1 said...

PS. That rain band does have some intense rainfall, but i think that portland radar is picking up on some big rain drops or maybe even some slushy snow higher for the brighter reflectivity

Definitely a possibility.

Scott K said...

I guess I'll trust my instincts more often, because I feel like I really called this one well. :)

Lake Stevens at 12:15am Sunday..winds are basically down to nothing. It was breezy around 4 to 8 pm, but our moderate rain has been around all night, even now.

Our wind advisory has been upgraded to suggest stronger winds, but later on sunday (starting at around 4 or 5 am rather than at midnight).

Our current pressure is at 29.15 (987.13), dropped down from 29.7 (1005.75 at approx noon on saturday).

I'll be up bright and early to see if we do get any of these morning winds.

smokejumper said...

Last check before bed, but by the looks of the WV imagery, the low is about 100 miles further south than on the GFS. Also surface observations at the coast are more easterly, even NE. And, temperatures are quite cold too. 33 at Shelton, wow.

Models might have just initialize this storm poorly

dayn_1 said...

I wish I could go to bed, I'm sitting here with a fully charged rechargeable flashlight, a fistfull of candles, 1 pre cooked hamburger, and a white russian.

Please dont tell me I'm gonna sleep through this storm!!

Anybody want to give me a wake up call? Anybody???

Sermonti said...

Typically when the Seattle WFO issues a high wind warning before conditions are present for inland areas not much occurs.

dayn_1 said...

Right you are sermonti (thats like a cool red wine name, by the way)

All I wanted for christmas was an early powerfull destructive windstorm, and here it is 3AM and nothing!

I'm gonna go look for that red ryder bb gun instead.

Night!!!

Fleetwood said...

No wind yet as far as I can tell anywhere. Seattle, Olympia, Port Angeles or Hoquiam all pretty much calm.

Joseph Ratliff said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joseph Ratliff said...

and now I have a rising barometer...interesting. Winds NE at 5mph. Maybe the calm before the storm.

Joseph Ratliff said...

high wind warning is still up till 10am, wind advisory is up according to Wunderground, and my forecast has downgraded from the "brutal" one before to 11 to 20mph winds gusting to 30 possibly.

what happened?

Joseph Ratliff said...

and finishing the "blow by blow" LOL....

Statement as of 4:31 AM PST on November 22, 2009


... Wind Advisory in effect until 10 am PST this morning...
... High Wind Warning is cancelled...

The National Weather Service in Seattle has issued a Wind
Advisory... which is in effect until 10 am PST this morning. The
High Wind Warning has been cancelled.

Windy conditions will prevail across the southwest interior and
lower Chehalis valley this morning... but winds will not be as
strong as previously expected. Thus the High Wind Warning has been
downgraded to a Wind Advisory.

Westerly winds will rise to 20 to 35 mph this morning with local
gusts to 50 mph. It will be a relatively brief event with winds
easing by late morning.

Precautionary/preparedness actions...

A Wind Advisory is issued when sustained winds of 30 to 39 mph or
gusts of 45 to 57 mph are likely. Winds this strong can snap
small tree branches... topple small or shallow-rooted trees... and
cause local power outages.

Must read blogs said...

we just had a HUGE wind gust that blew a window out of our house!

DeAnne said...

CENTRAL COAST - Moclips
7am and the wind has arrived. Not the 50-70 mph predicted at the Coast, but Sustained 30mph from the SWW gust to 40mph. Barometer is on the steep rise at 29.50 after dipping to the 29.12. Temps going up to 47F from 37F at 1am.

Scott K said...

Ahh, should have guessed. With the wind advisory up we ended up with no wind, not even a breath of wind here in lake stevens.

So far, every single wind advisory that's gone up has been exact opposite of what really happened here as far as wind goes.

I thought I was right about the wind for our area, but we ended up with nothing.

Fleetwood said...

I see a 51 mph gust at Hoquiam (http://bit.ly/8StBrx) and wind seems to be picking up at Sea-Tac (http://bit.ly/6IYl6U) so maybe there will be some wind after all...