Thursday, January 14, 2010

A Major Coastal Wind Event?

Friday Morning Update:

A strong current of S and SW flow is now hitting our region, with high winds aloft: check out the winds at the Seattle profiler...50 kts sustained a few thousand feet above the surface. (graphic) The rain over the past 24 h is shown in the second figure.
Intense rain is falling on and near the Olympics. Keep away from the Skokomish River!


Old Part

From Sunday night on, a very deep upper low will build over the eastern Pacific and a series of disturbances--some very strong--will move northward along the offshore waters. I mean four or more of them. Now our predictions have modest skill that far, but it looks like someone along the NW coast--between northern CA and Vancouver Is-- is going to get savaged. Want to see one of these storms? Or another? Or another? Or another? (graphics below with sea level pressure). Pretty impressive.

These are events that could bring hurricane force gusts to the coast. A multiple event with such strong components is not common. And heavy rain will strike the Olympics and N. Cascades through the weekend and then move into California. That is a story in its own--coastal CA and even the northern Baja should get very heavy rains if the current models are correct. The reason--a strong jet stream moving directly towards them with embedded disturbances.

Will be watching very carefully the next few days...


Friday Morning Update:
A strong current of S and SW flow is now hitting our region, with high winds aloft: check out the winds at the Seattle profiler...50 kts sustained a few thousand feet above the surface. (graphic) The rain over the past 24 h is shown in the second figure.
Intense rain is falling on and near the Olympics. Keep away from the Skokomish River!


24 comments:

Josh said...

Cliff, are you talking another "100 year flood"? This would only be like the third one in a row...

smokejumper said...

That first chart at 78hrs looks maybe the windiest. There's some tightly packed isobars just south of that 971mb low. What is most bizarre is a 964mb low off of S.F. at 180hrs. Discounting that for now.

Last thing, I've noticed that stronger the surface low gains, the tendancy is for it to curve left, or more to the north? Can you explain a little on that sometime? Thanks

andycottle said...

By looking at the models, it appears from Sun-Wed of next week will be fairly active with several systems coming through before the 300mb level jet sags south of our region and into California.

LorbeerTLC said...

Wow!

Jim Tedford said...

It's about time...this has been a rather boring winter in terms of weather action down here in the lowlands.

Of course, I don't anyone harmed or thier property destroyed, but weather junkies like me love exciting weather.


And your blog, Cliff, is one of the best things this weather junkie has come across.

Big Wave said...

114 kt wind gust recorded at 0400 this morning on Hurricane Ridge...and lots of talk in the overnight discussion about the baroclinic zone. I understand the baroclinic zone is an area of storm instensification, perhaps Dr Mass you could elaborate on this for us in a future column? Thanks!

Must read blogs said...

Thank you for the warning. I am more worried about I-5 being closed again. So I will make certain that I get more kerosene and whatever I need from centralia.

Scott said...

Time for Jim Forman and Keely Chalmers to suit up? Keely might get some heavier boots than last week.

Paul said...

Copalis Beach has had 1.2 inches of rain since midnight. Wind gusting to 30 kts early this morning.

Paul Middents

Brian said...

Wind hit 57 knots at Smith Island this morning, and it felt like it around South San Juan Island. Based on this forecast, maybe we won't go for a nice sailing overnight this weekend...bummer.

mainstreeter said...

The ubiquitous camera shot of salmon crossing Hwy 101.

K7FZO said...

Cliff, no wind up here in the Cascades, (we had our share of 50+ mph gap winds last week) not much pressure change showing East to West right now. However the rainfall since midnight is now approaching 2" @ 1.92".
Soils are completely saturated in our area, toes of hills are beginning to look unstable, and all small streams are now out of their banks.
Based on previous years events this does not look good for folks downstream in the Snoqualmie River basin.
With soil moisture showing complete saturation only hours away if it keeps raining, I think we'll see headline news tonight reporting many mudslides.

Is it wrong to be dreaming of cold snowy weather?

Jason said...

So much for "boring" 48 degrees and rain. The winds and upcoming storms blowing through should be "interesting."
Watch out for electrical outages given the rain drenched trees and power poles. The ground is more than soft!

Josh said...

It has been not so boring up here in the NW Interior. This is the 6th wind advisory this winter (one could argue it hit high wind warning early this morning)and 4 high wind events back to back is saying something. Alas, we are just an after thought up here for the Forman club and other media. Thats ok though. Lets see what next week dishes out.

Must read blogs said...

what does this mean for chehalis?

C.P.O. said...

I think one key point is that it looks like mostly coastal excitement early next week. You never know of course, but it doesn't look like anything special for the Seattle, Tacoma, Everett areas. I don't rememeber that we get gigantic upper troughs like that so close to our coast, but if Cliff says so, ok by me!

Joseph Ratliff said...

Cliff, The graphics you are showing demonstrate 2 worrisome points:

1) Our most powerful storms come from "down there" to "up here".

2) This seems to be (by my 'layperson' view) reminiscent of the December 2007 storm path with the notable exception that it's more offshore.

I would certainly like any updates to this next week's storm series...for sure.

Scott K said...

Question for the masses,

Does anyone know where to find the real-time graph of the washington state river levels?

Last year I remember a website that showed the river levels, their flood stages (and the history of max/min) all in real-time (well you had to refresh the page, but it was up to date). I live near the Snohomish river and enjoyed watching it rise above flood stage via this web page...but I have no idea where I found it and have since lost the link.

Thanks for any help..and good luck to all in the next coming day, wind looks like it'll be fun!

smokejumper said...

I know the website you're talking about, but this one I like, its simple:

http://www.nwd-wc.usace.army.mil/nws/hh/basins/oly.html

Queets river 55,000 CFS, that's bumpin. Classic rainshadow on the eastside today. Snow levels surprising low today. I can visibly tell its mostly snow up there.

scrubjay93 said...

Here you go Scott
http://waterdata.usgs.gov/wa/nwis/current/?type=flow

Stephen said...

I like this site from the NWS (uses data from the USGS I believe). It has an icon for every river monitoring station that will take you to the graph/forecast for the location:

http://ahps2.wrh.noaa.gov/ahps2/index.php?wfo=sew

lukesharee said...

Looks like a sw sucker...
similar to 2007...

great resource i have used for my working planning includes

http://www.climate.washington.edu/stormking/

TipsToToes said...

what does this mean for seattle?

Scott K said...

Thanks everyone for the river links, extremely helpful!

The exact one I used last year was the Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service link that Stephen posted:
http://ahps2.wrh.noaa.gov/ahps2/index.php?wfo=sew

Shows the past, current and predicted river depths. The other links you all provided will be extremely helpful too, thanks again!