December 19, 2009

Coastal Storms

Here is the six hour forecast valid 10 PM tonight (Saturday) with sea level pressure (the solid lines) and precipitation. Two coasts, two storms. For us, a warm front is now moving through the region, and you can see the band of precipitation associated with it on a recent radar image (graphic). Temps will warm up as the warm front pushes north. Then late tomorrow the cold front front will hit us, with substantially increasing precipitation (see 24-h amounts ending 4 am on Monday). Unfortunately, it has been warm enough to rain in the mountains...not very good for the snowpack. More Cascade-concrete in the making!
In contrast, the east coast is getting a powerful, but tightly wound, Noreaster. Strong winds and heavy precipitation along the coast areas..with temps cold enough for snow. What does that spell? Blizzard. DC has already gotten over a foot and some locations are getting as much as two feet. Eastern LI should really get it. Here is the current radar for the New York area...see how nice it is to have a coastal radar to see precipitation moving in from offshore...or seeing approaching low centers? a few years, we will have it to.


  1. I heard from friends in DC that they ruler-measured 18" in their backyard... and my Philly friends are also getting totally nailed. They were excited until it didn't stop when it got 6" deep....

  2. I was in DC for their last huge snowstorm (2003). Since I moved back out west in 2007 we've beaten DC winters in 2007 and 2008. But it looks like 2009's snow contest will be won by DC. Most of DC's big snows have come later in the year too, so they might not be done yet.

    I don't need a blizzard, but a smaller snow or two would be fine. :)

  3. Hi Professor Mass,

    I'm in the Boston area for Christmas and enjoying the snow they just got. However what I miss is the precise MM5 forcast data I'm used to using from the UW from, do you know what I can obtain similar forecast data computer model output for the Boston area? Thanks.


  4. I have family in Asheville, North Carolina who reported 12 inches of snow yesterday. First time they had this much in one storm since 1995.

    As far as Cascade snow and snowpack. It is hard and heavy right now. I was just up at Snoqualmie and they are losing about 2-3" of base a day at this rate. The good news is, this will help pack down what base we have. Also, I am hearing we should get some decent snow fall starting tomorrow evening. Anyone else have predictions on weekday snowfall?

    Here is hoping!

  5. Haven't been following the models too closely lately but...i think which is typical with el nino, models have been to bullish with the precip and its been wrong with amounts even day of the event. A front with rain two days ago completely vanished, and Im watching the hawks and theres been some sun. 24hr total a day ago for where i lived was .5 - 1.00, and we have only gotten a trace.

  6. I was watching the rain all day yesterday and we seemed to be in somewhat of a shadow again -- so I have a question: from what direction does weather have to come to NOT be blocked here in the puget sound? I am in Sammamish and the weather yesterday was grazing us. I would think Duvall and Issaquah were getting it, but we were getting just a touch and it would be brief, while those to the east of us were getting smacked with a ton of "yellow" on the radar.

    And, for the record, I much dislike this temperature this late in the year. :(

  7. I have to disagree..I was loving not wearing a coat Sunday with a temp of 61 in West Oly!

  8. Watching the rain all day and we seemed to be in somewhat of a shadow again -- so I guessed from what direction does weather have to come to NOT be blocked here in the puget sound? I have faced storms many times in my life and i know how horrible it is.Quran


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