March 27, 2010

Serious Rain and Wind

A fairly strong storm for this time of the year is approaching, but the interesting weather will be late today (Sunday). On Sunday there will be sunbreaks and showers for most of the region, with more serious weather arriving later this afternoon. The media has really been hyping this event up.

Take a look at the 24h precipitation ending 5 PM Sunday and Monday (below). Some mountain areas will be getting 2-6 inches, with moderate rain even over the lowlands (particularly late Sunday and early Monday).
And what about winds? Look at the pressure forecast for 11 PM Sunday night. With an intense low far offshore, we still have very large pressure differences in the coastal waters and over NW Washington--which means strong winds. The wind forecast for the same time shows 45 kt sustained water in the coastal waters and 35 kts over NW Washington. Gust could be considerable larger. Time to batten down the hatches and enjoy some storm watching! And the models are showing significant snow above 4000 ft this week.


  1. I've waited all winter, now spring for a WNW flow. That 24hr total shows .04 for my locale, sad. Cold, dry and windy, by far my #1 least favorite weather day. Good gym weather though.

    Noticed -34 to -36 500mb temps behind the front. Maybe some springtime t-storms or at my house grauple snow showers? What do you think.

  2. Looks like really good news for the snowpack situation... will lessen the likelihood of drought issues come summertime.

  3. Around 3:15 pm had about a 15 minute of continuous winds with pounding hail in Lakewood, WA (south of Tacoma) Then it passed thru and turned to rain.

  4. Hey Cliff,

    I've been wondering about this for a while, but why does it seem that most of our big wind and rain events happen during the night/evening/early morning hours (basically while it's dark outside)?

    Maybe it's just coincidence, but it seems to me about 80% or more of our mentionable storms happen during the night-time hours. Is there a scientific reason for this (cold air combined with warmer ground temps, etc) or is it really just a coincidence?

    I'm very curious.

  5. Scott...I think the reason is that during the storm season there is much more night than day around here. No reason that storms should prefer night. The great inauguration day storm of 93 for example, hit at 10-11 Am...cliff

  6. I still remember looking out the window of my office the morning of the Inaguration Day storm noticing whitecaps on the puddles in the parking lot and thinking that was a bad sign. I was right...

  7. Well, it might have been overhyped (I don't know, I don't watch local news) and it might not have been a big event in absolute terms, but it was significant enough to waken me with the hail-like rattle of rain hitting my south-facing windows -- and that has happened only a couple of other times in the 15 years I've been living here (capitol hill). In fact the first thing I thought of when I groggily looked at the clock in the dark was the Inaugural Day storm, because it sounded similar (though I was living elsewhere then).

    That was hard rain more like I'm used to seeing in the tropics, or a good prairie thunderstorm -- but it was going sideways at a fair clip.

  8. Cliff:
    Given the relatively dry winter, even with the spring heavy rains the last couple days, what are your odds for a spring 2010 significant Flooding Event in King County, WA?


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