June 21, 2009

Good news and showers

A few positive weather-related developments during the past week:

1. It is looking like we will be able to save the observations taken on Washington State ferries--observations you can view on the Ferry Weather web site (http://i90.atmos.washington.edu/ferry/Ferryjs/mainframe1.htm). WA State Ferries has agreed to pay for the communication service a few more months, which should allow time for the acquisition of hardware for a web-based approach. The funding from the hardware will come from support from the WSDOT grant to the UW. So thanks to WSDOT, this crucial source of weather data over the Sound should be there in the future.

2. More good news. The funding for the weather radar passed the Appropriation Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives. In addition, the NWS site survey team has been actively checking out various potential sites along the coast. We want to watch them carefully...several NWS radars have been placed in terrible locations (like the one in Medford, Oregon!).

Today was one of instability and showers...with heavy rain and hail in some locations. One shower at my house had huge drops. Look at the latest radar image--some of the radar echoes are impressive. On location had a radar reflectivity values (in dbz) of 63 (the bright red spot in the radar image above--NE of Seattle). This has to be hail. These regional showers are associated with an upper level trough that is making its way across the region today (see image of the heights of the 500 mb pressure surface--roughly at 18,000 ft, a low--heights are low--is right over us. The red is something called absolute vorticity, a measure of the amount of rotation )As the trough moves eastward, we should see a warming and drying trend over the next two days.

15 comments:

  1. It was hail. Hard hail storm off NE 160th (I-405) around 2pm this afternoon. Hard hail storm thru Duvall 30 mins ago as I drove home. Pretty interesting to have large hail in late June.

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  3. Had about 10 mins of pea-sized hail and 30 mins of hard downpour just off the west side of Lake Samm earlier around 2pm as well.

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  4. Harrison, how large was the hail?

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  5. Hail in downtown Issaquah just before 3.

    Thunder and lightning too. What a storm.

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  6. CVZN moved in just over Des Moines, several good LTG strikes and rumbling thunder. .21" on the rain. From about 730pm-800pm

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  7. Driving towards Bremerton, having just left Gorst about 1:00 or 1:30 PM, it was hailing/raining incredibly hard for this time of year. There were significant accumulations of hail at sea level on the rocks to the west of the highway. Traffic had to slow for a mile or two to 35 mph. Crazy!

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  8. Sunday was dry and mostly sunny in Bellingham. Slightest drizzle at 10pm. Missing the drama of Seattle weather!

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  9. We had "large pea" sized hail at Boeing Field. It was nice to see real ice-like hail rather than that pathetic "floam" stuff we usually get around here. This stuff actually hurt your scalp when it hit you. I'd put the diameter at 6-8mm.

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  10. For your next post you should give a shoutout to being mentioned here:
    http://www.seattleweekly.com/2009-06-17/diversions/ask-an-uptight-seattleite/

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  11. Nicholas -- The hail was over Chevron/Shell on 160th. Estimated size was about 1mm in diameter (a large pea sized hail). Cheers.

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  12. I want to thank Eric for reminding me about the message "Yes, I'm a Rain Person" in "Ask an Uptight Seattleite" last week's Weekly. Do we also have Hail People? (Hail Mary?)Thunder Wonderers? Lightening Flashers? Fog Boggers? Let's make room for everybody!

    Bob Moore

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  13. and Solstitical people, if there were such a classification. It became muggy in Portland today and the ring around the overcast sun was the prelude to an even thicker cloud layer later on. I was hoping for another sunny day tomorrow.

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  14. Sometimes systems come in faster or slower than models show. And from what was see a few days ago, today was suppose to be sunny with the system coming through later tonight. But it`s cloudy and rain already showing up at the NW WA coast. So the system is coming in slightly faster than models predicted.

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  15. On This Day, June 24, In 1999, Large Hail Fell Near Ione, Fossil, Island City, Pilot Rock, And Ukiah, Oregon. High Winds And Hail From Thunderstorms Damaged Buildings And Crops Northeast Of La Grande, Oregon And Knocked Down Trees Near Wallowa, Oregon.

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