February 15, 2010


What is very big, very persistent, brings lots of heat on one side and chills on another? A huge ridge and blocking pattern...or in meteorological parlance-- RIDGODZILLA! And its coming to a winter Olympics in your neighborhood!

Take a look at at series of upper level (500 mb pressure level) charts starting Wednesday at 10 AM. You will notice substantial ridging (higher values of this chart indicate high elevations for this pressure level). Winds are parallel to the lines. Ridging is associated with sinking air and lack of precipitation.

On Friday....the ridge is stronger...now a very strong closed high. And flow and a low are now cutting undernearth into California.

On Sunday...a strong high is over the NE Pacific and a low off of California. RIDGODZILLA! In fact, this configuration also has another name...a REX BLOCK...and is very stable. (Note: this is not named after a king, but some guy named Rex!)

Once the ridging moves in late Tuesday and early Wednesday, precipitation will completely shut off for the region. No snow, no rain. Nothing.

And temperatures will be very different on the two sides of the Cascades...much warmer than normal to the west (due to easterly flow down the Cascades) and cool temps to the east. Lots of sun on the west side. It will feel like April. What else is new?

Reminder: The Northwest Weather Workshop on March 5-6 in Seattle. The big weather meeting for laymen and professionals of the area...


  1. With this semi-consistent warm weather, it seems like time to dust off the motorcycle. Seems early, but I'm not complaining! Thanks for the updates, Cliff.

  2. Headed to the Oregon coast based on this forecast. w00t!

  3. REX BLOCK... is this a cousin to SUN BLOCK?
    Sounds like the name of a P.I. to some 1930's comic book series... (ok, enough with the groaners).
    BTW: Thanks Cliff for bringing attention to us about our public schools math books!

  4. I think this year is our reward for making it through last year.

  5. For those that wish to learn a little more Rex Blocks (and Omega blocks) are described in Wikipedia

    "High over low" (in the Northern hemisphere). Easy enough to remember.


    And by Jeff Haby


  6. "Ridgodzilla" is a nice coinage, but something of a mouthful. What say you to "Ridgezilla" instead?

  7. As a daily 520 bridge commuter, I saw evidence of the Ridgodzilla this morning. Typically I see choppy water on the south side of the bridge and smooth water on the north side. Today it was the opposite!


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