Monday, February 15, 2010
What is very big, very persistent, brings lots of heat on one side and chills on another? A huge ridge and blocking pattern...or in meteorological parlance-- RIDGODZILLA! And its coming to a winter Olympics in your neighborhood!
Take a look at at series of upper level (500 mb pressure level) charts starting Wednesday at 10 AM. You will notice substantial ridging (higher values of this chart indicate high elevations for this pressure level). Winds are parallel to the lines. Ridging is associated with sinking air and lack of precipitation.
On Friday....the ridge is stronger...now a very strong closed high. And flow and a low are now cutting undernearth into California.
On Sunday...a strong high is over the NE Pacific and a low off of California. RIDGODZILLA! In fact, this configuration also has another name...a REX BLOCK...and is very stable. (Note: this is not named after a king, but some guy named Rex!)
Once the ridging moves in late Tuesday and early Wednesday, precipitation will completely shut off for the region. No snow, no rain. Nothing.
And temperatures will be very different on the two sides of the Cascades...much warmer than normal to the west (due to easterly flow down the Cascades) and cool temps to the east. Lots of sun on the west side. It will feel like April. What else is new?
Reminder: The Northwest Weather Workshop on March 5-6 in Seattle. The big weather meeting for laymen and professionals of the area...
Posted by Cliff Mass at 8:19 PM