September 06, 2010

Cloudy and Cool

I got back from a meeting at Lake Tahoe yesterday (American Meteorological Society Mountain Meteorology conference) and I am ready to get back on the plane to Reno. For September, which has often been a very good month around here, we are seeing cool, cloudy, and wet conditions west of the Cascade crest and north of Salem. Look at the latest satellite picture: you can see a week front moving over our region, but sun and warmth just to the south and east. If it makes you feel better,there are low clouds over coastal southern CA.

Looking at the actual temps versus climatology (image below). Over the last four weeks, and particularly since 21 August, we have generally been well below normal. Today was the worst of the worst.
You want to get more depressed? Here are the latest NWS extended forecasts (6-10 days). Below normal temps and above normal precip.

The problem is that we are locked in a pattern that keeps us cool, with persistent troughing (low pressure) over our area. Here is the upper level flow at 5 PM: ridging offshore and a trough moving into our area.

Tomorrow at the same time this trough deepens and extends down the coast, so that those smug folks in CA will get a big hit of clouds and some precipitation. We will be north of the action, which believe or not, is good for us...perhaps there will be a few breaks in the clouds in the afternoon.

Bottom line: cooler than normal, but not much precipitation. One good thing though--when I got home I rushed over to my vegetables--some of the tomatoes had turned red! Miracles do happen.


  1. ...and I was hoping maybe we would get one of those good Septembers that we sometimes get. Nope. It's June again.
    Worst summer ever.

  2. Are these conditions similar to conditions that give us snow in the winter?

  3. Hey Cliff,

    Any hints as to what would be the best research paper to read about La Nina and its effects on eastern pacific circulation? I read your book and I was just wondering if you could point me to something that one of you or your colleagues have done, thanks!

  4. Cliff,

    What do you think our October, November and December will be like? Rainier than usual, or will we get any of those crisp dry spells?


  5. Not sure our tomatoes are going to end up being anything but fried green tomatoes! Well, it's back to using-the-Dopppler-for-walks-season. It's second nature now! And have I ever learned to appreciate sunbreaks!

  6. What's the forecast for this coming winter? I've heard we are in for a doozy.

  7. When Cliff "See-The-Silver-Or-At-Least-Scientifically-Special-Lining-In-Every-Dangdamn-Cloud" Mass starts consistently abandoning the northwest for places like Reno, then we know there is no hope.

  8. Pretty impressive rainfall last night. If you happened to get caught under the pivoting point of these deformation bands, it can really rain.

    Picked up .75. A band few miles east, between yakima and ellensburg, it was around 1.5in. Good rain for us.

  9. I loved the tomato comment. I have Early Girl tomatoes in big pots under the eaves on the sunny side of the house. They have done pretty well considering the spring/summer weather we have had.

  10. You mentioned on KUOW the La Nina conditions that we are expecting. I am getting ready to buy my season pass for Snoqualmie Summit based on YOUR snow report. It better work out or you're in trouble...

  11. I gather the ridging and troughing right now is a global or at least North American phemomena. What's a typical life span for this pattern and what will bring about change? Is this a LaNina phenomena? Is this typical of an earlier year?

  12. Interesting sailing weather story over the long weekend.

    Care to talk about the marine weather in the straights?

  13. It's nice to have some temp and sunshine stats to validate the "we got ripped off this summer/ Junuary/ Julember" sentiment. Can you give us some data to legitamize our complaints. (such as average temp, # days over 80 degrees, # sunny days etc this summer versus normal).


Please make sure your comments are civil. Name calling and personal attacks are not appropriate.

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