April 09, 2009

Rain on Sunday (and in Hawaii)

After three days of above normal temps, we have now switched to a cooler pattern...but the big change will be on Sunday, when heavy rain will probably hit the region....take a look at some of the 24-h rainfall totals from the local high-resolution WRF model for the periods ending 5 PM on Sunday and Monday. The first image shows a nice rainshadow NE of the Olympics and the second a strong Puget Sound convergence zone. A strong warm front will move through late Saturday/early Sunday, with a fairly deep low center passing across northern Vancouver Island.

And if it makes you feel better, Hawaii is getting wet and cloudy weather (see satellite image)...although tomorrow they will 80F with the rain!


  1. Hi Cliff -

    I'll be near Westport digging razor clams 8:00 a.m. Sunday . Will it still be raining there?

    - Kirste

  2. Sounds like a big wet system. Will there be tons of snow in the mountains at pass level or will this be a warm system?

  3. Here's an interesting article from University Week about a talk that may interest blog fans. I've eitied it slightly -- check
    for the original. Maybe Cliff can "promote" this to the main page?

    "Climate Change Effects on PNW Mountain Snow"

    Lecture by Jessica Lundquist, UW Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering

    Temperature inversions sometimes cause mountain tops to be 10 to 20 degrees C warmer than nearby valleys, making such inversions one of many important variables affecting mountain snow in the Pacific Northwest.

    That and other factors will be examined in the lecture, Understanding Variation in the Mountain Snow in the Pacific Northwest: Impacts of Climate Change and Importance of Location, set for 7 p.m., Thursday, April 23, in 120 Kane.

    Jessica Lundquist, UW assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering, is the speaker in this the eighth annual public lecture sponsored by the UW Program on Climate Change. The lecture is free, open to the public and pre-registration is not needed. For more information call 206-543-6521 or visit http://www.uwpcc.washington.edu/.
    Lundquist will also talk about such things as determining the magnitude of stream flow from storms or from rain-on-snow events, particularly in light of projected climate change.

    The Program on Climate Change coordinates research and teaching among colleges, departments, and research units that focus on important questions about how climate and the physical and human world interact. This year the program's central theme concerns the past, present and future climate of the Pacific Northwest.

    "Effects of past climate �-- such as ice sheets over Puget Sound and the megafloods of the Columbia River -- have shaped our region," says Chris Bretherton, director of the program and professor of atmospheric sciences and applied mathematics. "In the 21st century we will have to learn how to adapt to rapid greenhouse warming, projected to bring us less snow, more damaging floods, more forest fires and changes to marine ecosystems."

    UWeek: April 9, 2009

    Bob Moore

  4. Hey Dr Mass,

    When is the next push (like last sunday-tuesday)?

  5. Hi Cliff, been reading your book and following your blog, but, despite a Ph.D., I can't tell what the units are on your latest figures--nice octave scale, but if I multipley by .01, doesn't seem like heavy rain, so I'm confused about the the scales ...

  6. Cliff:

    I often use the UW Atmospheric Sciences weather summary page as my go to weather round-up. Recently they have started holding out the "Will provide weather information for money" cup and while I use the page, I wonder:

    1)I already pay for this page through my taxes, and this information appears to be targeted to students who will use it anyway; and;

    2) Do they seriously think there are enough weather-foamers (i.e. those rabid enough to go to their page) to support paying enough bucks to do something, or is the aim political?

    I pay money to KUOW/NPR because it is clear that they do not rely on government funding. With the UW asking for direct funding from weathernuts like me who already contribute (i.e. my inflated property tax bill that won't recognize the decreased value of my home until 2010 if I am lucky), why should I give $20 bucks to the UW? Will this save your TA's?

    Can you provide your two cents?

  7. JayDee,
    The web pages are there as both a public service and something of value to the Univ. community. There has never been any actual dedicated funding by the university for such pages, or the considerable computer resources it requires. We have basically kludged it together, using dept funding, research funding, and odd contributions. But now the funding environment is radically changing. The dept will lose roughly 10-20% of its funds (depending on what happens in Olympia). All funding has to be prioritized to support the teaching program (like the TAs). So funding is needed to support the useful, but not critical, functions...such as the weather web pages. So I encourage people to support this work. I really wish it weren't necessary...but this is the most serious situation I have seen at the UW since I got here in 1981. ..cliff

  8. Other questions...no don't see a windstorm for us...the low is too far north. And let me not hype the rain...it will be rainy day, but no major Pineapple Express. But a wet day for April. And no push in sight. Remember to get a push you have to get warm first!...you wish...

  9. The onshore-push description was really curious. It reminded me of times in the office, (back in the day) when everyone would simultaneously get in a funk and blame it on the "dropping barometer"/here comes a change in weather. That cool air can be delicious.

    Those snow-rollers are fascinating; thanks mainstreeter.

  10. Thanks for the explanation Cliff. After I pay Uncle Sam his due, I will donate $20 to the Atmospheric Sciences department.

  11. Another outside link: an interesting Arts and Sciences perspective on why
    education should be a RIGHT, not just a PRIVILEGE (which, as we math types would say, clearly implies that Cliff should have at least 4 TAs -- better 6 or 8, for Atmospheric Sciences 101). Check out the other Perspectives at artsci too: isn't the web a great way to share ideas, like right here with Cliff?
    So, start with
    and surf from there.


  12. Thanks for your blog, Cliff. I've been a daily visitor since the snow in December, and have found it fascinating.

    Radical idea on the UW budget crunch...how about reducing the length of a degree program to 3 years and have the content be far more focused than currently? I would happily pay more per credit for my UW student's tuition if he could spend 3 years doing JUST computer science, rather than 4 years having to take classes in Art, History, etc. As someone who grew up and was educated in England, I'm amazed how un-specialized the US education is, which is fine if you're a generalist, but for specialists like my son and me, it's just a lot of time and money spent on peripherals.

  13. Hi Cliff,

    Any idea what will the weather be like Monday and Tuesday on the southern Oregon coast? Will it be part of this same soaker hose of a system, or will we be too far south?

    A friend of mine from the California Academy of Sciences and I will be doing fieldwork on the beaches around Cape Arago then.



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