February 14, 2009


As you can see from the latest satellite picture, we have a mixed field of cloud and some break over the region, with a few scattered showers (see images). The real action is going into CA and in the picture you can see a well-defined cyclone, with strong fronts heading towards the northern portion of that state. Temperatures are generally in the mid-40s over the lowlands. No real change in that today. There is a decent pressure difference across the Fraser River Valley and some gap flow is moving SE from it into Bellingham. The surface wind field shows (see image)...and the generally light winds over the area. This dull, cool weather is our fate for a while.
Several of you have been commenting on the long range forecasts by the GFS (Global Forecast System) model. This is a numerical weather forecasting model that is run over the entire globe and is run by the National Weather Service. Be careful after taking its predictions too seriously past 5 days out...the skill is really minimal at one gets to 7 days and beyond...particularly for cold waves.
Finally, there has been all kinds of scary global warming articles in the paper based on the release by the UW Climate Impacts Group of their analyses of future climate of the region over the next century. There are some very good people in CIG but there is a decided tendency to overstate the local implications of global warming. And the media sometimes exaggerates things further (if you want evidence of this, check out the over-the-top article in the PI on the climate refugees that will be flocking here -http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/399958_climate13.html- Perhaps in a future post I will tell you more about this.


  1. I don't want to start a global warming debate, but I listened to a really interesting show on CBC a few weeks ago. Someone in that show mentioned that if global tempratures rise just 1 to 2 degress, vast regions of permafrost will melt in the polar regions. This will release considerable amounts of methane gas(harmful greenhouse gas) that is currently locked in the frozen soil. Consequently this will rise global tempratures by another 3 or 4 degress, which would be enough to make any human effort to control GW futile, it would already haved picked up to much momentum on a slipprey slope.

    too bad about this current PNW weather, - please make it snow mr. Mass!


  2. Since elevation is an important consideration in what weather one experiences in the Puget Sound region, I was wondering if anyone knows of a resource on the web that provides information on the elevation of locations in King County and adjacent areas. I know I could go and buy a topo map but I have to assume there is something online that tells, for instance, the elevations of each of the Seattle hills, etc.
    Thanks for any help you can provide.

  3. Please stop with the doom comments.

  4. Anonymous-

    Here is a link to a page on KOMO's website that gives general elevations for pretty much every town and neighborhood you can think of in the Puget Sound area. It's hard to say how accurate they are, but it gives you a general idea anyways.


  5. As long as it remains cool and cloudy and we don't have a lot of sun, I'm perfectly fine with this weather!!! I'm sure a lot of others would agree. :)

  6. I`m sure you might want to guess again, Dan. Cause I disagree. Though stormy weather is fun to see...who wants to see plain ol` cloudy/cool weather and no sunshine? Not me! Any day with some sunshine or full sunshine is good! Sunshine brings people out!

  7. "Climate refugees" LOL!
    It amazes me, the arrogance and stupidity of some of these so-called scientists...they oughta be outa work quicker than a banker these days.
    How the hell do they know if "global climate change" is going to continue in its current phase or start cooling tomorrow, next week or next year?
    Michael Chricton's book, "State of Fear" is ceratinly timely reading!

  8. Dan,
    So you're all sc-c-c-c-ared??? Waaa!
    Like I tell all my global-warming Al Gore worshipping friends: the best way you can combat global warming is to off (kill) yourself! One less person is one less "carbon footprint." LOL....
    They usually shut up after that....

  9. Roger
    Just contradicted yourself.

    According to you there is no carbon footprint that "So-called scientists" use as input so there is no need to Kill off Anybody.

    You are no different than the people who worship at Al Gores Feet

    You are just at Michael Crichton's feet.

    No middle ground for constructive criticism on this huge complex topic.

    Just a wall builder

    I won't respond to you again for you are a true cult believer who won't even listen. Just don't drink the Purple Kool-Aid!!

  10. Andy, I'm sure I did "guess" correctly. Though you might disagree, I'm also pretty sure you're only one person. :) Cloudy, comfortable days definitely bring more people out in my observations. When the sun is out, it's too hot and tough to see anything, and thus uncomfortable. Bring on the clouds!

  11. Dan, I think in most years I can count on one hand how many days there are in this area where the sun makes it "too hot". The rest of the time, especially this time of year, why not enjoy some sunshine?

  12. Dan said..
    "Cloudy, comfortable days definitely bring more people out in my observations."


    Totally and 100% disagree here!
    As a biker, I know cloudy days have a lot less people out doing things. When it`s nice`n sunny, I see WAY more people outside on the bike trail and it bring more people out in general.

  13. Dan,
    Disagree with ya here.

    Sun brings um out, just like the bears,birds,plants, and yes us. Its in our nature to reach for the sun. There hasn't been one day up here that is "relatively to hot" but that is in the eye of the beholder. Fighting fire outside of Redding California, now we are starting to get warm.

  14. I'll agree with you, Josh B. We pulled into Redding one day when the temperature was 117 degrees. Warmest I've ever been; it was still around 90 at 11pm. The hot days around here are few enough that they are to be cherished. Even if you do have a hard time with the heat, we never seem to get more than a few days before the weather cools again.

    - Pete from Olalla

  15. Who funds the Climate Impact Group, and why is there a separate group from the Atmospheric Science dept.? If you worked in the Climate Impact Group, wouldn't you be biased toward finding some impacts from the climate (otherwise your group wouldn't need to exist)?

  16. Hey Cliff,

    I thought I might pass along these photos of the Upper Enchantments that were taken at the beginning of February. The Enchantments are a series of lakes between 6,000 and 7,000 ft in elevation on the east slopes south of Leavenworth. These photos are a striking example of the lack of snowpack particularly in the East Cascades.



    These are not my photos but I thought they were worth sharing. I found them here:


  17. Mike:
    There will always be changes in climate. Governments and universities should do what they can to assess current and predict future climate impacts (as they are doing). There is no bias in attempting to see how current infrastructure and industries will be affected by these changes.

    The term "impact" has been badly used for a couple of decades now and it it too late to purge it from the system. An "Environmental Impact Statement" may well conclude that a proposed action will not have an "impact".

    As to your broader question of whether humans tend to see what they want to see - of course that is true and we try to negate that by oversight and peer-review. And you should be sufficiently self-aware to realize that you will likely find bias in those places you want to find bias.

  18. RE: Elevation Of Your 'Hood

    Google Earth lets the cursor tool report elevation if "Terrain" is toggled on. Google Earth rocks for more than one reason, but this is a great feature. My front yard is at 200 feet in elevation, for instance.

  19. "Peer review": when those who have vested interest in perpetuating the myth of human-induced climate change review the findings of those who have a vested interest in perpetuating the myth of human-induced climate change.

  20. I can count on about 50 hands the number of days the sun makes it too hot here. If the sun is out, it's too hot. And too bright too.

    Thanks for letting me express my opinion.

  21. So Dan...it looks like your a sunshine hater...

  22. Andy, why do you and most of the rest of the people here, including Cliff, have to plot against us with different opinions? Thanks!


Please make sure your comments are civil. Name calling and personal attacks are not appropriate.

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