January 17, 2010

This is serious now

The latest forecast models are in...and this looks worse and worse. Ground zero between midnight and 6 AM on the Washington coast. Here is the latest reports from buoy 46050 off of Newport....pressure falling rapidly and winds surging to 50 kts.

Take a look at the latest WRF 12-km model sea level pressure forecasts for 10 PM and 4 AM...an intense area of pressure change on the coast. I have the surface winds at 1 AM and 4 AM.
Sustained winds around 40 kts on the coast with higher guest. Also very strong winds developing in the Strait of Georgia. And it will be blustery elsewhere.


  1. Cliff,
    I've been watching the changing satellite pics from here, and it is looking like it will come directly up towards Puget Sound. Watch out for power outages given the ground soaking that we've had during the last two weeks.


  2. Your update confirms my previous comment on your last blog entry. We are seeing a pressure drop down to 982mb right now here in Lake Stevens, looks like it may have bottomed out for now.

    I was really curious why the 982mb low here was the same as the originally predicted low pressure of the storm center. Obviously the storm center has dropped more.

    Maybe we will see some wind here in the Lake Steven area.

    I've determined after watching many MANY storms roll through here that any time we have a wind warning/advisory posted we get nothing, but when they don't post a warning/advisory then we get a big wind event.

    So far we have nothing posted for this area. :)

  3. Looks like some steep gradients will swing over the north interior as well. Sand Point skipped the wind advisory this afternoon and posted the warning. Thanks for the update cliff. Any added info is a plus. It will be interesting to see the effect of more saturation as Jason has mentioned. The air outside here in BLI is pushed down in a ominous blanket of stillness.....

  4. Very interested in how this storm will affect the Cascade foothills.

    Also, want to say thanks to Cliff for giving frequent updates on this stormy night!!

  5. 986.5 mb and falling rapidly on Copalis Beach. Wind out of the SE 10-20 kts at 2130.

    Paul Middents

  6. from NWS PDX discussion 8:30p


  7. Scott K & Paul,
    Please keep the mb levels coming. It looks as if the first wave of winds are about to hit Olympia.

    Still no wind warning from NWS, only coastal and Puget Sound area flooding potential.

    Thanks to Cliff Mass for the "heads up."

  8. Cliff!

    You know how you mentioned that short term models didn't fair too well in intializing this storm, but that surface pressure chart you included matches up well with the one you posted at 78hrs.

  9. 10:25pm Lake Stevens approx 300' (SE side of the lake).

    I'm heading to bed now, but the pressured dropped a bit more, now down to 29.00in (about 981mb or 980mb).

    The wind here is only around 10 to 15mph, just a slight breeze, but I wanted to note it picked up from nothing at around 8:30/9pm.

    If it's windy I'm sure I'll wake up. Our bedroom windows face South which usually takes the brunt force of any wind storm and if not then I'll definitely hear it howling around the corners of the house. :)

  10. I was just looking at a story in the Eureka Times-Standard. It said they're expecting 6-10 inches of rain for the week and some mudslide problems after their quake:
    "The first of the main storms is expected to hit land Sunday and Monday, bringing 2 to 3 inches of rain and high winds, with gusts of about 40 miles per hour. An approximately 24-hour-long break in the weather will give way by Thursday to another, colder storm expected to drop 3 to 4 inches of rain and significant snowfall to areas at 3,200 feet elevation or higher."

  11. Speaking of high winds, this just published by the NWS, 1054 PM PST Sun Jan 17 2010:

    The National Weather Service In Seattle Has Issued A High Wind
    Warning...Which Is In Effect Until 4 AM PST Monday.

    Valid Until: 4:00 AM PST Monday Jan 18 2010

    ...High Wind Warning In Effect For The Central And North Washington Coast...Western Strait Of Juan De Fuca...Northwest Interior And The Olympics For Late Tonight Into Monday Morning...

  12. ScottK: I don't believe your barometer reading.

    Compare your pressures from those being reported from around the state at UW discussion site (select WA surface obs plot with pressures). The pressures are in the top right and omit the leading 9 or 10 (so 924 is 992.4mb).

    Around 991 or 992 is typical around the Puget Sound at 9pm so you seem rather low (by 10mb).


    The 982mb at Copalis also seems to be 2mb lower than any other pressure obs on WA landmass.

    How well are these home weather stations calibrated?

    Everything I've seen says this is a coast event (but a serious costal event) with some extra blow in the NW Interior later. See the current AFD.

    The current pressure on the buoy off the OR coast is 977mb and dropped -4mb in the last hour.

  13. It is absolutly HOWLING here in chehalis. NOw I know what all this means for chehalis!!

  14. It just started blowing like crazy here in Sequim - PWS's near me are recording 30-40 mph sustained with higher gusts.

    I'm trying to figure out why there would be an enhanced area of precipitation over the north and east sides of the Olympic Mts right now, and especially right on the NE corner of them - any ideas? I can see the stars out one side of my house and hear rain beating on the window on the other side.

  15. Things really picked up here in Eatonville just before midnight....thanks Cliff for the updates! Average sustained is about 25 gusting to about 45...expecting it to get much worse since it really just started....should be a fun night...will keep the flashlight handy and set the cell phone alarm for my husband in case we lose power!

  16. LOL! The NWS just issued a wind advisory for the East Puget Sound Lowlands and the Tacoma, Seattle area's....like we didnt' already know! We're blowing away out here! I can't sleep!

  17. Hit the west side of Olympia at almost exactly midnight. I was able to cook my dinner, but the lights have already flickered more than once. and just now again. eeeek!

  18. Power out in the Black Lake area at 12:15 am..wind gust to 54 mph just before midnight.

  19. Olympia seems to be in it's track, gust of 54 at 1am. Lots of transformers exploding and branches down. The drive up from Portland was difficult as there was one car that was damaged by a falling tree near Kalama and the wind made it hard to stay on the road.

  20. i'm in port townsend and it is scary. i'm afraid for the trees. it's raining and blowing so hard.

  21. Having a serious case of insonmia and I can hear the wind coming from around Q. Anne, across Lk Union. Can't imagine what the coast is experiencing.

    A big kudos to you Cliff, for talking about it since Fri. on kuow & here. Not a pip about it on the tv.

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  23. In East Bellevue, we just had a 52 second gust from the S/SW that peaked at 36 mph. I'm pretty sure that's higher than predicted.

    The temp keeps going up too... we're up to 55.2 from 50-even at midnight.

  24. Latest run got this one right. better than the previous system. Canceled fly fishing on the Sauk River this morning.

  25. Sustained Cat III hurricane winds this morning up at good ol' Hurricane Ridge...the SUVs are blowing away up there...the recorded 122 kt gust being the most impressive. Reminds me of what the Okies say about windstorms: "Big wind come all die".

  26. Mountains protect. I'm in Mazama where it's foggy,32, no wind, a little rain/snow. Skiing is so so.

  27. Serious indeed. Cliff was right on.

    Anybody who likes wild weather was welcome to pitch a tent under the trees here. We hit sustained winds out in the Haro Strait in front of our house of 48, 49, and 49 overnight, and gusts were well above that, though the buoy doesn't show gust levels.

    What blows my mind is that Victoria University, which we can see the lights of from our porch, didn't get above 13 all night. Talk about micro climates.

  28. How about the next storm, Cliff -- is it going to be anything like as bad as this one?

  29. Sorry I didn’t persist in the early morning weather watch. I was keeping track on my PWS in Copalis Beach from the relative quiet of our home in Silverdale and sleep overcame me.

    The station is KWACOPAL3 Weather Underground. It looks like the low (984.3 mb) passed about 2 AM with a high wind gust of 37 kts.

    On October 14 last year we had a low of 985 mb.

    My CWOP (DW 1622) data quality control for pressure shows an error of 0.2 mb and standard deviation of 0.5 mb when compared to other stations.

    This does seem a pretty exceptional low pressure event.

    Paul Middents

  30. The Cliff Mass Weather Blog got it right, and with plenty of adequate warning. It took the NWS until 10:54 PM last night to issue a "high wind watch."
    Cliff had it for us last Friday...

    in PI 7:20 AM Monday, 1/18/10

    SEATTLE -- High winds hit parts of Western Washington early Monday, knocking out electrical service for more than 50,000 utility customers.

    The National Weather Service reported gusts of 60 mph in Hoquiam, 56 in Olympia and 56 in Everett.

    Puget Sound Energy reported nearly 40,000 customers out of service. Spokeswoman Lindsey Walimaki (wall-uh-MAK'-ee) says the hardest hit areas are Thurston County and Kitsap County, especially Poulsbo.

    A spokesman for the Snohomish County PUD, Neil Neroutsos (ner-OOT'-soh), reported a peak of 9,000 outages, mostly around Arlington and Camano Island.

    The Cowlitz County PUD reported more than 5,000 outages, including the Kelso area.

  31. Well, yep we had wind! and lots of it here in Lake Stevens.

    I was woken up first at about 2:30am when it all seemed to start. Again I was woken up at 4am and 5am, each time the wind gusts were definitely louder. At 6:45 I thought it was about to end (the finale of wind gusts), but to my surprised at about 8am we had the strongest winds of the storm. It has since died down to breezy since then.

    Wind speeds were approx 40 to 55mph. We did end up getting our wind Advisory, but not until 3:48am...waaaay late.

    I consider this a successful wind storm. :)

  32. We ended up with our highest gust of 60 just before 4:00 am here in Eatonville. Didn't lose power but I did hear quite a few big branches snap! Cliff was right on with this one....why can't the NWS predict as well as Cliff?

  33. I too had a hard time sleeping last night and our 8 yo daughter got spooked too, which is really rare.


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