December 10, 2008

Windstorm,snow in the Mountains, a chance of lowland snow, then cold and dry

It is always fun to live through interesting times meteorologically..particularly after the boring few weeks we have just gone through (ok...some people like boring, benign weather). But what will happen Friday and Saturday will get your attention.
The models are slowly coming into agreement...but I have to stress that considerable uncertainty still exists in the details. This will be one of those periods that a wide variety of active weather will all occur together.
Today will be have considerable clouds and a few showers..particularly in the mountains. While tomorrow will be dry with some sun.
For Friday, the models are indicating the rapid development of a low pressure system that will pass over the north Olympics and then eastward. This system will produce strong winds over the coastal in the morning, with the winds increasing over Puget Sound during the afternoon. So step one: winds. Moderate rain associated with this low will spread over our area after 9 AM on Friday. Associated with this system there will be moderate to heavy snow over the Cascades, with at least 6 inches to a foot, maybe more. And they need it. As the low moves eastward, a strong westerly surge of powerful winds will move eastward through the strait of juan de fuca....with some gusts achieving 40-60 mph. The general rain will lessen after the low passes, but cold air will start streaming in. Now what about snow. Before the storm moves through the only lowland area that could get some will be the region to the SE of the Olympics....the lower Hood Canal/Kitsap area. After the low goes through a Puget Sound convergence zone may set up...and snow is quite possibile in it. But there is considerable uncertainty if that will happen....but it is a possibility.
There also could be some scattered snowshowers on Saturday at low levels...but nothing significant. During subsequent days cold air pushes southward through the region and we become cold and dry...and this could last for days. We are talking about HIGHS in the 30s and lows down in the 20s. Start thinking about protecting exposed pipes and vulnerable plants. Otherwise my plumber friends will be have a very good holiday.


  1. The "Frasier River Valley Effect" often brings weather to the Bellingham area that is similar to the Hood Canal region in storms such as that coming this weekend. At least that is what I am hoping for...snow. I am wondering if we have our own microclimate or a small convergence zone?

  2. Would the CZ push south from Seattle as the colder air pushes from the north?

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