First, the good news for skiers.
As a result of recent and forecast snow, Whistler will open on November 19th. Others will joint them if the current forecasts hold.
Today, the westerly atmospheric river reached our coast with substantial totals on the Olympics. The 24h precipitation totals ending 8 PM today (Thursday) exceeded four inches on the lower slopes of the Olympic Mountains. In contrast, there was only .01 inches over the north Sound. A super rain shadow as air descended the eastern slopes of the Olympics and mountains of Vancouver Island. And folks, this ain't over yet. But I am always amazed by our precipitation contrasts, with over a 400 to 1 ratio between the two sides of the Olympics.
The atmospheric river that reached us was clearly evident in the vertically integrated water vapor content sensed by satellites. Huge amounts in the tropical Pacific, with a narrow atmospheric river moving northward in the western Pacific and then heading nearly due east to us.
The winds also varied substantially today, with strong winds along the coast and over NW Washington, where both had gusts to 40-60 mph. Some gusts to the mid 30s over central Puget Sound. There are a number of power outages north of Everett.
During the next 48h the undulating atmospheric river will bring large amounts of precipitation to the Olympics and north Cascades (5-12 inches)--see below.
After the atmospheric river passes through on Saturday, temperatures will cool and snow will return to lower elevations. Mountain snow fun is in all our future.
KPLU and KUOW
Finally, many of you have heard about the proposed purchase of KPLU by KUOW. I will have a lot more to say about this in the future, but, to put it mildly, I was shocked by the news, as were many of my friends at KPLU.
This is a sad day for the Puget Sound community, as we lose another independent media voice. In recent years, we have lost much of the Seattle PI, KCTS gave up local programming, KUOW went corporate and gave up most local programming, many of the local TV stations hollowed out their staffs, and now this. With a vibrant, growing community our region deserves MORE, not less, depth in our media. The true motivations for this actions are still unclear, but it is a seriously setback for our region. Listeners and comments on local social media sites are overwhelmingly against this purchase.
Is there a way that the public can say no to the loss of one of their public radio stations? Could KPLU change in other ways other than be sold and lost? More on that later... ....cliff