December 29, 2009

A Wet New Year's Eve--and more

And I am not talking about liquid refreshments. After a dry, and sometimes sunny period, we are about to see some serious rain again. Been almost a week.

Tonight we are getting some showers from a very weak front that is moving through (see radar image). And tomorrow there will be some scattered showers and even some sunbreaks--temps climbing into the 40s. Not too interesting.

But don't worry...meteorological fun is in store on Thursday. A fairly strong warm front will move up the coast during the afternoon and will pass over the central WA coast and Puget Sound around 4 PM (graphic). Winds will increase and temps will jump as it passes. Particularly strong winds will strike the Oregon coast behind the front. Moderately heavy showers will accompany the warm front--the 24h rainfall totals ending 4 PM on Thursday show that although western WA will be wet, the real soaking will over western Oregon and NW California (graphic). The subsequent 24-h will be equally as wet, with NW CA and SW Oregon getting inundated. (see graphic)
Enough to make a web-footed Washingtonian happy? But wait, there's more!

The latest runs show a modest low pressure center approaching our area. The first graphic below shows the pressure pattern at 4 PM on Friday--with the low off the Washington coast. Big pressure changes and winds along its southern flank. The track of the low will be critical for who gets strong winds and who doesn't--and subsequent runs have been shifting the low southwards.

Tonight's run...the latest....takes it into NW Washington...which is good for windy conditions over Puget Sound (see graphic). The only problem is that the low is fairly weak...only 1000 mb we can't expect much. Perhaps gusts of 20-30 mph.

Anyway, its good to be getting back into some active weather. And decent mountain snows on Friday and Saturday. I bet Jim Forman will have a good time.


  1. Speaking of active weather: 2+ inches of sticking snow through much of the Portland area this afternoon and evening. Traffic still backed up for miles on parts of I5.

  2. Perfect timing for clam diggers....

  3. if there are big winds Friday morning they will coincide with some of the highest tides of the year, causing havoc along the shorelines... I hope not.

  4. Those "showers" were a major forecast failure here in the Portland area.

    More cold east wind from the Gorge, and an inversion that wouldn't scour out caused the forecast 2,000 foot snow level to in fact be at the valley floor.

    The metro area got 2 to 5 inches of surprise snow yesterday afternoon, peaking during the rush hour.

  5. I rather enjoyed the inactive weather!


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