November 12, 2008

Flooding and Rainshadow

Today I biked to the UW and was perfectly dry. No rain gear needed and the temperature was so warm I had to remove my sweater. In contrast, it is pouring on the coast, over SW Washington, and in the Cascades, with a number of locations getting close to .5 inches per HOUR. The reason: a very evident rainshadow to the lee (east) of the Olympics (see radar image). There is also rainshadowing in the lee of the mountains of Vancouver the San Juans and Bellingham are doing well. Why is the rainshadow over us and not Sequim?...because the winds are westerly. Usually during wet situations it is southwesterly and rain shadow is centered to the NE of the Olympics. The high resolution computer models had the rainshadow in it yesterday (see the graphic of an 18-h forecast)....we have really come a long way.
The computer models suggest the heavy rain will slowly sink southward during the day and the area should dry out after dinner. Then we are dry until Friday when a weak warm front will bring some light rain to the northern part of the State and clouds over the rest.


  1. I love your blog Cliff!
    -Amy in Port Angeles

  2. Its a nice break from the usual pattern for Bothell, the rain shadow AND no Puget Sound Convergence affect.

  3. This is pretty consistent with my station on Copalis Beach. Winds through the night were westerly and have shifted to south westerly through the day. We've had about 2" of rain since midnight, a relatively modest amount for our part of the coast.

    We head out from Silverdale tomorrow morning to dig razor clams. Hope the reasonably moderate forecast persists.


  4. I think you meant east when you said the rain shadow is in the lee of the Olympics. We knew what you meant.

    Love listening to you on KUOW and looking forward to enjoying your blog.

  5. are right...I meant east....I keep on doing that reversal...I found several such errors when I proofed my book...


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