December 11, 2009

Hype is Back!

I just finished watching part of the 11 PM broadcast of a local TV station. Pushing snow way too much. And then they show the typical snow scare sequence:

1. The ominous warning
2. The snow plows gassing up
3. The big pile of salt and sand
4. The supermarket with people rushing to stock up
5. The tire store with people desperately trying to get snow tires.

Perhaps they film this once and reuse it each storm.

The new models are in and are consistent with the last runs.

Portland and vicinity will probably get up to an inch or two of snow on Saturday.
Seattle will get nothing tomorrow.

Sunday is the day. A trough is coming...but there is little meteorological "juice." The trough is too far eastward. Cold air will push in through the Fraser valley. A combination of the arctic front and a weak convergence zone (actually two convergence in the lee of the Olympics, the other in the lee of Vancouver Is), coupled with the trough, could produce some snow from Seattle into NW WA. Some locations might get an inch. Or less. And the snow could occur into early Monday morning. Could start around 3-4 PM on Sunday

Then we have another chance late Monday as the warm front comes in....but if it starts as snow it will end soon as warm air streams in on Tuesday.

Anyway, some of you will see snow, but many of you will see nothing. I really like snow and wish for a big event...but this ain't one...or at least it doesn't look like it to me.


  1. Thanks for keeping it real Cliff...

  2. Well, I live in North Seattle (almost Shoreline) It does seem to get more snow here than Seattle central,but right now it simply seems too "dry", so not in a "stash the peanuts" type panic. I think this winter may be like 83/84 - a big snow post Christmas, then a long foggy/ dry period to follow. We're dancin' to El Nino!

  3. "Stash the Peanuts" Haa good one, I will use it someday.

    I pitty the people who watch NWCN and confuse news for the Portland area.

    They listen with half an ear and panic.

  4. i hardly check the news sites for weather info any more, cliff was so spot on last winter during the nastiness i was amazed. Like Jim said, cliff keeps it real. No Hype, and you always learn something cool about weather.

    keep doing what you do Cliff.

    was looking forward to a big event, got the subaru prepped and ready to go, haha

  5. It was hard not to get a little hyped yesterday from the afternoon discussion(NWS) "THERE IS A POTENTIAL FOR SIGNIFICANT SNOWFALL...LOCALIZED
    AMOUNTS UP TO 4 OR 5 INCHES...OVER PARTS OF THE NN Interior" Amazing what a few words can do and what a few hours of more model runs can dissipate. As for Seattle I can tell you that the mayor will be out in a plow himself after the last snowstorm.

  6. yeah i now know its going to snow for real.....

  7. I'll call everyones attention to the Meteograms on the University's website. Select the Puget Sound map and you can view predicted snowfall at many locations.
    The real good news in this weekends weather is that it will allow a lifting of the burn bans most likely by mid day Sunday.

  8. TV news never lies. If they say snow, it's gonna snow.

  9. I would like to challenge the TV news outlets to start acting like they are speaking to adults rather than children. I have used the internet as a news source for years. I recently clicked on an online video of a current broadcast and was amazed at how emotional it was and the complete dearth of content. I challenge the Seattle networks to meet the needs of our reportedly "highly educated” populace by stepping up to the plate and giving us what we want regarding our weather and other news; which is to provide data like this blog.

    Based on what I have learned form Mr. Mass about the unique meteorological setting in which we live, the Puget sound basin experiences a wide range of weather just miles apart. I propose that the popularity of this website is due to the fact that many of us are just trying to figure out what is going to happen in our neck of the woods. Now if the TV news media were to stop providing weather soap operas and give us the facts they might have a chance of retaining their currently diminishing audience.

  10. My favorite news hype from natural events story:

    This was earlier this decade when St. Helens woke up to eventually squeeze out some dacite lava like a slow moving giant toothpaste tube (the time lapse videos at the CVO website are very impressive).

    Fox news reported this briefly and said, promising more in the show "Mt. St. Helens is starting to erupt again, scientists think. Should You Be Worried?"

    So that tag "Should You Be Worried?" is a phrase my spouse and I use when we are making fun of something.


  11. I'm new to this blog and love it! I was laughing hysterically when you were listing the news true!

  12. The problem with TV news is it relies on ratings to pay the bills. News rooms are often staffed with young managers who live and die by ratings. Bad ratings will get you fired. So they hype everything in the hopes you will tune in. Snow, volcano's, toxic mold... nothing is sacred.

  13. What kind of clouds are these?

  14. Really it is a very nice site.thank you very much...


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