Thursday, February 5, 2009

Snow Returns

The recent drought ended today as light precipitation moved in over the area as a Pacific front crosses the area (see sat pic). With the system there will be some light snow in the mountains (see model forecast)--snow that is desperately needed to freshen up the base. As shown in the accompanying figure, the snowpack has fallen well below normal at many mountain sites.
The weather will dry out over the weekend, with temperatures reaching the upper 40s.

Now some of you have asked about snow in the lowlands. The latest extended run suggests the potential for low-elevation snow on Tuesday (see figure) ...but I wouldn't get too excited yet, since the forecasts that far out have varied substantially in subsequent forecasts. It does appear certain will substantially cool later this weekend into early next week.


Anonymous said...

It looks like split flow many ruin our snow chances next week. The latest models seem to be trending drier with Tuesday's front. Say it ain't so, Cliff!

Regarding this winter: Do the two weeks of snow in December outweigh the terrible dullness of weather in the weeks before and after?

I'd say yes, but I think we all could use another snowfall to prevent us from kissing winter 08-09 goodbye with a bad taste in our mouths.

Joan Neslund said...

Feels like spring here in the mountains. No new snow here yet. This February weather has felt a lot like April here at Holden Village. Even the birds and chipmunks are coming out. Snow or not there is no way to stop and early spring.

Anonymous said...

I'm still wanting to find out if we are in a La Nina, El Nino, or nuetrual year, and what this means for the weather pattern for next winter....This winter seems to be done....boring!

andycottle said...

Well I don`t think were in an el-nino pattern because that would bring a pattern much like what we saw back in 06. That winter was quite stormy with several moderate wind storms in various places with Dec 15th/16th storm affecting MUCH of Western Wa.

So I would say perhaps were in a la-nina or in a nuetrual phase. La-nina patterns are usually drier and cooler and we really haven`t had a 'very wet' winter unlike 06, yet for me, Jan 08-Dec 08 had mainly below avg highs with Sept and Nov having slightly above avg highs. Though last year was fairly dry as a whole. So perhaps we are in small la-nina phase.

Anonymous said...

Only two weeks of snow (really it was only one week) definitely do NOT outweigh the terrible dullness of the rest of the so-called "winter"!!

Cliff Mass Weather Blog said...

We are in a weak to moderate La Nina year now...which generally indicates above normal snowpack. However, it started very late...

Bellingham Kiteboarding said...

Thanks for your presentation today at Village Books. I asked you about the south winds morning and evening winds in Bellingham Bay. I am pretty sure I know what it is, but wanted your take. I think it is an inflow to the frasier river valley, creating a thermal low, and the cool air from the straights is drawn... and the reverse of the outflow happens.. Intersting though is that it dies mid day.. which I suppose can be explained by temp the most extreme temp differences occuring at dawn and dusk when the temp of the air over the straights can be at their coolest..

THis model seems to pick it up regularly

and I have data that can be viewed here from a sensor I put up.. Check out June and July..

Is the frasier river valley the cause of this?

Bellingham Kiteboarding said...

Follow up... on my last comment..

Interesting is that when a high pressure is prevelent, this south wind will not happen... however a northwest wind of 15-25kts will occur on the south end of chuckanut drive..

High pressure and nearly any indication of a north wind in Bellingham.. even 5-10 = 15-25 along chuckanut drive.. In this case skagit valley is the thermal low and the straights of georgia the cool air... Does this make sense as well?