January 05, 2012

The Other Heat Wave

 TV Notice:   KBTC TV (One of our local public tv stations) will be doing a special on the Langley Hill radar on Monday, Jan 9th at 6:30 PM.  More information here: http://www.kbtc.org/pop_schedule.php?id=22977

Yesterday, there as also another local heat wave....one related to the Eatonville heat burst:  several locations in eastern Oregon and Washington got into the upper 60s, with downtown Walla Walla hitting 72F.   Here is the official record report from the NWS:

Warm air aloft, strong southerly winds, and terrain are the cause--just as the case for Eatonville.  The north side of the Oregon Blue Mountains can get real toasty, even midwinter, under such conditions, with the towns of Walla Walla and Pendleton in the banana belt.  Here are the observations at the Walla Walla Airport (KALW).  Temps start in the 30s in the morning (time in GMT/UTC-1553 is 7:53 AM), temperatures surged into the upper 60s in the early afternoon when the winds switched to a southerly direction (direction in degrees, 180 degrees is southerly, 90 degrees is easterly, etc).

As shown by the following terrain map, southerly or southeasterly flow descends the Blue Mountains, warming by compression.

Exceptionally boring weather is ahead of us...relatively dry, seasonal temperatures, no major storms. 


  1. I want some real winter already! The whole country is warm, this is ridiculous! http://image.weather.com/images/maps/special/norm_dep_hi_600x405.jpg

  2. Lance, come on up to Alaska. Much of the interior and western areas have been constantly below zero for two weeks. Lows have hit 50 to 55 below in the cold spots and wind chills to 70 below in the windier regions. This is around 30 degrees below normal for these areas. But is Alaska part of the country?

  3. Lance, winter is coming to most of the country in about 1 1/2 weeks from now if what the models are currently saying come true. Expect a cold trough to cover from the NW to the Great Lakes with new shots of cold every so often.

  4. Cliff, Jeff Masters (with all due deference to you) recently discussed extreme Arctic and North Atlantic Oscillation variations this year.

    I'd like to hear from you if you attribute our dry December to that extreme, even record setting, variation.

    But I also wonder if you'd discuss the rain season in the Northwest, as opposed to the more obvious annual rainfall and other weather records.

    This year our annual rainfall seemed well ahead of average until we hit December. But if I understand the rain season period it seems like we might be doing okay for total rainfall, excepting the lack of snow in the mountains so far.

  5. Eric ~ Hopefully you're right...and hopefully there's some moisture that comes in with all that cold air so we can get some snow!!!

  6. I'll believe it when I see it Eric, at least up here. I've heard rumors of "the cold is on the way" for what seems like a month now. Yet, when we get about a week to a few days out..poof...there goes Winter again. Maybe this time will be different, but I place no stock in it until we're a few days out tops.

  7. I said it before wrt to this winter, and it merits saying again..."Y-a-a-a-a-w-w-w-n-n-n!!!!" Great as a runner, but ding dang boring!

  8. Looking at the 10-day GFS on Unisys Weather, there are similarities to late January 1989 ... just before a COLD Arctic mass struck the PNW.

  9. Awaiting your western WA snow event predictions for the next 120 hours. The weather statement by the NWS has everyone on edge.
    Thanks Cliff for what you have already put forward. It has been forwarded to hundreds, if not thousands.


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

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