February 26, 2009

Good News

Some news:

(1) The Camano radar was fixed ...but unfortunately broke down again. Lets face it, this radar really doesn't break down very much..considering the constant rotation and movement of the antenna and the high-powered electronics.

(2) I had a nice talk with METRO technical and management people today. They promised that they are going to replace the servers of the bus track information system and this problem, which inconveniences hundreds or thousands of us unnecessarily.

(3) I learned yesterday, that partial support for a new coastal radar is in the 2009 Omnibus legislation (that has yet to pass). Thanks go out to Senator Maria Cantwell, who has spearheaded this. I have also heard from Senator Murray's office, which is also supportive. We aren't there yet, but we are making progress. So please keep letting your representatives know that this radar is needed. Today and yesterday convinced me more than ever of the importance of the coastal radar. Not having our own radar really made forecasting and understanding the weather difficult. I could not imagine being without it permanently...the current situation to our fellow citizens along the coast.

(4) The mountains have gotten a decent amount (roughly a foot) during the last week..which should make skiing far more palatable.

Tomorrow should be dry and the next weather feature will be a weak warm front late Saturday afternoon.


  1. Cliff,

    I saw NOAA's P-3 taxiing in at KBFI Thursday evening. Any idea what they're doing out here? Isn't it too late in the season to be looking for bombs?

  2. Hey Cliff...you made the comment about radar being back up and running. Well, it looks like it might be out again or maybe some little glitch has occured as no radar image is being shown at the Seattle NWS site currently.

  3. Is the WP-3D on an ARCPAC mission, perhaps?


    Did you get the tail number, BD? Was it Kermit (N42RF) or Miss PIggy (N43RF)?


    These aircraft don't just do hurricane work (that would keep them busy only half of the year :-)

  4. Thanks for bugging Metro, they have been unacceptably bad during any weather events lately. I looked on their site this morning to see if my bus was running, saw nothing about it, never came, ended up at work 2 hours later. Frustrating.

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  6. Thank you Cliff for working faithfully to keep your blog updated and current.
    Being new to the Pacific NorthWest, your blog has helped my family better understand the weather around the Sound!
    In San Diego, we had "micro climates". There was the coast, inland, mountains and desert all within one county and forecasting it could get interesting weather-wise.
    The weather around here seems even more difficult to predict and I appreciate the work you do.

  7. All..looks like the radar broke again. Well, nothing to see today anyway.

    I removed one comment today. I really insist that there are no personal attacks in the comment section. This is supposed to be a fun site to talk about weather, not criticize other people...cliff

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  10. All,
    One individual insists on posting personally critical comments that had nothing to do with weather. I am tired of this business and unfortunately will have to change the setting so that anonymous comments will no longer be accepted. Sorry. A good example of how a limited number of individuals can ruin things for the rest..cliff

  11. Hey Cliff...two things here. :o)

    1.) You mentioned about radar being down and I too noticed it being down yesterday evening. Believe the Seattle NWS in their AFD last night said they got the parts installed, but would have "to be calibrated during daylight hours". What it`s being calibrated to, I don`t really know. Perhaps a certain setting of sorts.

    2.) Thank you Cliff! Thanks for changing the setting to where anons users cant post. Thank you for doing so and I`m sure this will make your cool blog a whole lot better and seeing who`s actually posting. And all of us here at your blog knowing your a pretty busy guy there at the UW, am sorry you had to take the extra time and taking out the unwanted comments. But again, I`m sure it`ll be a whole better now.

    It weather news... I have clear skies with 34 degrees and my snowman about ready to hit the ground..lol. And looks like a strong cold front is still shown by the GFS/NAM models come through late this weekend.

  12. Cliff,
    Thanks so much for working with Metro in an attempt to enhance their web servers. It's absurd how bad it was during storms.

  13. Cliff. I just noticed that link to your KCTS show!

    "Cliff Mass On NW Weather" Hey, you've finally become a TV weatherman. Congratulations :-)

    Might I suggest you directly link to your "show" page rather than the top of the KCTS site? That would save people from being puzzled and wondering if they should search for something more relevant (fortunately you are on the front page right now).

    Andy: the radar calibration is to set/verify the measurement reflectivity is correct. If they're replaced parts that changes the gain of the system (new waveguides, joints, new magnetron or klystron, etc) they need to do this to get accurate reflectivity measurements (i.e. reflectivity in dBZ ... dB relative to a 1mm raindrop in the scanned volume). THose numbers aren't arbitrary!



    Good luck with this new venture!

  14. Kevin...perhaps your in the tech field? You seem to know about the deal with e radar. :o)

    Hey Cliff...your picture looks pretty good there on KCTS site! :o) I`ll be watching for sure!

  15. Cliff--

    Do you have pointers to any official sources on the radar bits in the Omnibus legislation?

    I'd like to go read the details pursuant to a follow-up post on the Northwest Progressive Institute's blog.

    I don't know if you saw, but I did a story on the radar issue a couple of weeks ago, and if there has been some positive movement here, then I'd certainly like to keep our readers informed and encourage them to keep the pressure on!

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  17. Joseph Ratliff said "And Cliff, what are your thoughts for Sunday's low approaching the coast? Windstorm time? It seems to be setting up pretty strong."

    I was wondering the same thing...This mornings 3:00 am longterm update for the NWS said they "hope" it stays off shore.

    The 9:00 am NWS update said: "European model (ecmwf) has a much deeper surface low...963mb as opposed to the GFS/global solutions which have the surface low offshore at about middle 970s at 00z Sunday. Still some details to work out on how strong and progressive this system will be."

    Cliff ~ What are your thoughts on this low? Does it look like (for now) that it's going to stay far enough off shore to only make us a little breezy on the coast or are any of the models hinting at it coming closer and causing some problems?

  18. Thanks for what looks like is going to be a very clear night! Comet Lulin is high in the sky now and still bright. I'm going comet chasing tonight. :-)

    Previous results of comet hunting...

  19. Right now it looks like no windstorm for us...the low is too far offshore. But there could be strong winds on the Washington Coast.

    The radar is now online and appears to be working normally.

    Regarding the P3, I know that NOAA is conducting its winter reconnaissance missions in the Pacific. They do this every year...securing addition weather information in sensitive areas, in order to improve weather forecasts.


  20. Hi guys. Hope everyone had a nice day with sunny skies we had. Pretty nice day though a little cool with my high getting up to 48.

    As for the upcoming weekend weather, I see that Cliff also things that deep low over the off shore waters will stay off shore. And think that seems like a good call as I to for the past several days have been thinking that 'storm' will stay off shore. Am not really seeing any movement toward us either.

    After passage of a weak warm front for sometime tomorrow, it still appears that the GFS/NAM/MRF still swing a cold front through here for LATE Sun night or early Mon morning in which we have showers at times after passage of the cold front.

  21. Andy, it wasn't so nice here in Renton... some clouds in the afternoon, but otherwise lots of sun. Seems we're not getting the cloudy winter we're used to and it's going to really catch up to us by summer time.

    The weekend looks nicer though - particularly into Sunday and early next week. Thanks for the outlook!

  22. Just curious what you were referring to in your comment about problems with a "bus track information system". What is this bus track information system? and how can I access it?


  23. Friday was sure nice during the day, but then as usual, the clouds come in around sunset. I wrote an entry on my blog about the frustration of being an Astronomer in Seattle.



  24. Dear Professor Cliff Mass!
    We would like to invite you to our school's homework presentations about weather! My daughter's class currently does a daily weather report in her classroom and goes out every morning to experience the day's events! They notate the conditions and temperature. The entire class will be presenting their own topics: rain gauges, tornadoes, rainbows, to name a few. The school is Whittier Elementary here in NW Seattle and their teacher is Ms. Crawford in room 206. We are huge fans! Week of: Monday, April 13 - through Thursday, April 16th. Thank you! We hope to read your book soon! We also love listening to you on NPR! Surprise us!


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