August 19, 2009

Marine air Starting to move in...

Marine air is starting to move along the coast..we should have a very weak marine push tonight...enough to cut the temps by 5-7F degrees tomorrow. The thermal trough is now moving over the mountains and an onshore pressure gradient has developed. Stratus is starting to push across the coast..and you can see this on an image I have never shown on this blog before...the fog product. By combining several infrared wavelengths observed by satellite we can see low clouds at night..take a look at the figure. See the whiter stuff on the coast..that's the low clouds. The latest surface chart below shows southwesterly and westerly flow pushing in around Hoquiam.
Low clouds may make it into the Strait and perhaps to Shelton and Olympia..but it should burn back rapidly in the morning. If today was a tad hot for you, tomorrow will be heaven.

If you want to see an extraordinary picture from the high resolution NASA MODIS satellite...look at this. You can clearly see massive amounts of smoke from the BC fires and the low clouds off the coast.

Finally, my kidding around with KING-5's hypesters should not be taken as a lack of respect for their weather personnel, which are really top rate. And lets face it, other stations partake in weather hype as well....although to be fair, none of them have ace Jim Forman, who is in a class by himself. And their segment on the heat wave tonight was quite reasonable. Sometime, perhaps after a few glasses of wine, I might blog about the TV weathercasters of our area, but the bottom line will be fairly unexciting..we have unusually good tv weather people in this market. But I better stop before I get into any more trouble.


  1. Oh, my goodness we always laugh at the weather folks! "Heat Wave 2009!" They are over the top but that is what sells in this world.

    I am sad to see the clouds move in, but not everyone likes the heat.

  2. I've seen weatherpeople on TV in several countries, and they all do it, and we all experience it. However, the Weather Channel seems to really gear up for true disasters (and do a good job, it's their thing). And I do seem to detect the anchor's struggle to hide their glee, switching to on-the-scene reporters grasping palm trees, the hurricane 20 miles off-shore. This is action, man!

  3. It's 4:45 AM and my deck chairs are moving due to the rising winds off the Sound here on Case Inlet. The temp dropped another degree to 60.

    The smoke in BC was very apparent as I flew into Vancouver on Monday afternoon. Vancouver Island, the Olympics and everything south of about Bellingham was shrouded. I must say it was a little disappointing to me and the other passengers on that flight inbound from Germany. However, the sunset a little later as I flew into Seattle was pretty colorful!

  4. Cliff, with all that particulate in the atmosphere from the B.C. fires, and moisture coming in, is there any chance over the next several days of at least some drizzle for them to provide help to the fire fighters, or are the weather systems lacking in sufficient uplift to provide mixing and resulting condensation?

  5. Cliff, when do we usually start seeing much more persistent cloud cover, the kind of stuff that lasts for days at a time instead of hours?


  6. Hey, Cliff, my friend and I were discussing a phenomenon we both noticed in the afternoon on Monday--the sun shed PINK LIGHT through an overcast layer here in Bellevue. Neither of us had experienced this before and were struck by the strangeness. Can you (or any of your readers) explain? (Chinese copper smelter drift perhaps? Tongue-in-cheek....)


  7. On This Day, August 20, In 1979, A Two Mile Long Tornado Cut A Path Through Sandy, Oregon.

  8. More on this:

    The tornado's path was over two miles long. An observer to the storm, Robert Lee, ( Oregonian, August 22, 1979) described it as "a black roll cloud like a vertical cliff approaching, spitting lightning in a brilliant barrage...." It rained so hard that he could not see "four feet in front." Harold Butler, Sandy, stated that he saw a funnel snake down out of the cloud touching the ground here and there. Damage included that to a house under construction, which was flattened, and to others that were hit by falling trees. A storage building full of machinery was blown apart. Power service through the Sandy area was temporarily knocked out. From Oregon Climate Service Report.

  9. cliff please do net ever stop complaining we need someone who actually has a clue about things.

    btw... do you think we could ever get you to talk here in chehalis? pleeeeeeeeeese????

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  12. I fondly remember the KING TV cartooning weathermen of 1960s - Bob Hale and Bob Cram.

    On t'other hand, a few local stations have weather folks who bring to mind the old Mark Twain quip: "It ain't that there's too many fools; it's that the lightning ain't distributed right!"

    Bob ^,,^

  13. Two questions about "marine pushes".

    I was camping on the beach on the west coast of Vancouver Island Wednesday night. The afternoon had been surprisingly hot for the locality. Around 6:00 p.m. the air pressure fell rapidly, then continued to drop very slowly until a bit after 2:00 a.m., when the onset of cool air occurred--dramatically. Fog turned the stars off within a few seconds, the air chilled, and a very strong breeze arose suddenly, lasting perhaps ten minutes. The event was followed by sustained fog, drizzle (light and sporadic), and a rising barometer.

    Two questions: Why does the wind suddenly become so strong just at the moment of transition? (I seem to remember a few weeks ago a similar event caused power outages around Yelm.) (And why does a brief strong wind not seem to happen with EVERY offshore/onshore transition?)

    And second, why is the transition, when the thermal trough moves eastward, not called a "front"?

    Just curious. Thanks again for a delightfully enlightening blog.

  14. weatherloverbeer, please keep the glaringly offensive language out of the comments. I'm sure Cliff would agree with me, seeing as though it's his blog. thanks.

  15. LVDLM,
    What your experienced is an alongshore surge...something I have written several papers on. My book has a section on it. One of the most interesting and dramatic summertime weather features around here. Air is accelerating towards coastal low pressure..and the gradients intensify at the a gravity current...or dam break...cliff

  16. Mainstreeter.......WOW!!

    Those awesome photos of lightning. All are very cool, but like numbers 2,3, that is incredible. Thumbs up to all those pics.

  17. Cliff,

    Thanks for the insight into "alongshore surges". Your papers look fascinating; I look forward to reading them carefully. It all goes to prove that even without typhoons and tornadoes, weather in the Pacific Northwest is full of interest.

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