September 13, 2009

The Marine Air Cometh

6 PM visible satellite image
It has been a perfect weekend. I even finished painting my deck--ready for the storms of winter! But something is happening on the western side of the Cascades...the marine air is moving in. Notice the increase in wind speed? Or the change in wind direction? My wind chimes are ringing and the cool breezes are extraordinarily pleasant. Both the Huskies and Seahawks won this weekend, and all is right with the world.

There was a distinct contrast today in sky conditions--with a band of clouds along the Washington and Oregon coasts that extended southwestward over Oregon. (see satellite pic above). Even some light rain showers on the coast. An upper trough aloft has been slowly approaching and this afternoon its influence initiated the push of marine air eastward. Take a look at the surface chart this afternoon--southwest winds pushing into Puget Sound...with some winds gusting to 15-20 kts. In the Strait of Juan de Fuca, westerlies are moving eastward. The result..tomorrow will be cooler and cloudier--particularly in the morning--with some sunbreaks in the afternoon. Well, at least it will make it easier to go to work.

The weather observations at the UW (shown below) indicate that the temperature is about ten degrees cooler than yesterday at the same time. You can see the switch to southwesterlies around 11 AM (18Z) and the steady rise in pressure as cool, dense air moves in. And the winds!

There have been a number of comments to the blog about El Nino..and I will talk it about it more this week... but keep in mind that El Nino has little impact on our summer or early fall weather--so you CAN'T blame this wonderful September weather on the tropical Pacific so easily! And a number of you want some guidance on purchasing that season pass at Snoqualmie Pass or some other ski area. More on that later! So hold off for a few days.


  1. On This Day, September 13, In 1989, Unseasonably Warm Weather Prevailed Across The Pacific Northwest, With A Record High Of 96 Degrees In Eugene, Oregon.

  2. Thanks much, Professor, looking forward to the El Nino discussion! Eloquent satellite image; thank you.

  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  4. by 4pm today our very well windowed house needed interior lights on. It got dark.

    3 miles south of Chehalis on the ridge

  5. Cliff, PLEASE realize that everyone does not agree with the subjective opinions, and that some people who may not have formulated an opinion don't have to be subjected to only one opinion. You're a meteorologist, be objective.

  6. the way the outside was lit with the purple grey sky, the leaves with the wind reminded me of pullman when the seasons shifted. It was like we just finished with the last gasp of summer.

  7. mainstreeter i was VERY pregnant with my now 19 yo daughter and I remember it was hot up unitl after she was born on sept 27th,

  8. Baaaad Josh, bad of you to dangle that one! No soup for you.

    And I'm sorry 'bout the Cougs, Must Read Blogs...but you are right; the wind & sky did feel like that distinctive E. WA seasonal shift.

  9. Since I have few friends or hobbies other than trolling blogs for the attention I so relish and desire, be it negative attention, I thought I would subjectively expound on my anti-subjective pursuit and mission.

    I wish people would stop saying cold, cloudy and rainy weather is "good" and "pleasant". There are people, like me, who are allergic to cloudy weather, get sick when there is a lack of sun and who also suffer from Raynaud's disease.

    Can we be more subjective here... it is a blog for goodness sake, that isn't even owned my me. My pointless, continuous and rambling subjective views on anti-subjectivity should hold sway here for everyone to obey.

    I mean who could call out people's subjective views and then two sentences later make subjective comments of their own. I don't think we would ever see people do this other than me!

    BTW I have a great scientific project I am working on... to create a perfect android that will lack all emotions and opinions. What a "fun" and "pleasant" world it would be if everyone was like this robot I am working on!

    *End sarcasm*

  10. I love it - the house has finaly cooled and I can't wait for the tail-wind on the ride home. I've had about enough of the north winds blasting me in the head day after day...

  11. Cliff,

    Ski prognostication within the next couple of days would be wonderful. Snoqualmie boosts the price of their season tickets the day after tomorrow!

  12. Ah, WIMS, you anti-subjective scamp! It is so difficult to refuse the anti-concensual bait but you have done so in a most perceptive and entertaining fashion. For my part, I shall be sad to bid adieu to this summer's most embraceable weather but I will tolerate the PNW seasonal norms passably and take a timely respite where Good Weather is the norm. (In my most humble, and widely held, opinion.)


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

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