We are now entering a magical period for all Northwest residents: the climatologically driest period of the year (last week of July and first week of August).
The time of year to schedule outdoor weddings and major outdoor receptions.
But ironically, we will cool down over the next week and showers will be felt by many.
Now, a bit of an admission...when I want to get a quick forecast without looking at any data, I often turn to weather.com. They have a very sophisticated model post-processing system that combines a lot of model forecasts and observations using an advanced statistical system to provide a really excellent forecast for most locations. The quality of their forecasts over the NW has been confirmed by verification at my department and by a firm that runs a web site: weatheradvisor.com. Weather.com forecasts are generally more skillful than the National Weather Service (BUT KEEP IN MIND THEY HEAVILY USE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MODELS AND DATA)
Here is their forecast for the next 10 days for Seattle. For the next week, lots of temps in the 70s. Very typical, but the chances for showers increases late Friday and on into the weekend as an upper trough moves through. My apologizes to all brides with outdoor weddings.
And then my next step is to look directly as a variety of model output, starting, of course, with the UW high-resolution WRF model. Here is the forecasts of precipitation for the next two 72h periods. With the east Pacific ridge replaced by upper troughs moving into BC, we see some rain extending from Seattle into British Columbia. So you want cool and damp?-- go north. Warmer and drier, head to Portland and south. California should dry out for a while.
So after endless heat and drought, some minor relief is in the bag. But next week our old friend the ridge of high pressure rebuilds. And temperatures back in to the 80s.
And what do I check after looking at more models? That will be a future blog....