September 23, 2014

The weather turns....

Mother nature must be watching her seasonal clock very carefully, because as we officially transition to fall today, a major storm has moved into our offshore waters and rain has returned to the Northwest.    

Let's show you the forecast precipitation.  Here is the 24-h total ending 5 PM Tuesday.  Wet offshore and light to moderate rain over much of Washington.

 But the next 24h, in which a front crosses our region, brings heavier precip, with 1-2 inches over the coastal mountains, north Cascades, and the southern Willamette Valley.

And it is still wet for the 24 h ending 5 PM Thursday.

Add it all up and what do you get?   Here is the answer...soggy...with isolated locations enjoying 2-5 inches.

But even more impressive is the strong low pressure offshore (972 hPa), low pressure that will produce strong winds over the Pacific.

Here is the forecast sustained winds at 2 AM Tuesday.  An area around that low has SUSTAINED WINDS over 50 knots!

This low will move slowly to the NE.  Big low system, strong winds, and slow movement implies the generation of big waves.  An NOAA's Wavewatch III ocean prediction system forecasts exactly that (see image), with 8-9 meter waves (25-30 ft) forecast offshore.  Such low pressure, strong winds,and waves is bad for the warm "blob" off our coast.


  1. so the blob has moved on in an orderly and Autumnal fashion

    bring on the mold and mildew, the start of my allergy season.

    The rains are so needed . Salmon streams at very low levels need this cooling flush

  2. By saying it's, "bad for the blob" are you implying that we my not have as warm of a fall as previously thought? I"m not sure what "bad for the blob" really means.

  3. All I could think about reading this post was "aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah." Look at ALL THAT RAIN in Northern California!! It's a bit late but they must be thrilled.

    I don't mind the drizzle here... wipe out the blob and bring us an orderly return to a more "normal" pattern. A sunny weekend makes up for a damp work week, too.

  4. Bad for "the blob," I presume, because it will tend to mix it with the cooler rest of the ocean and weaken it?

  5. So incredibly excited that this horrible summer is finally over.

  6. Ah, welcome back to our rain! I've got the window wide open to listen to the lovely sound as it falls through the leaves of the trees outside.
    I moved back to Seattle 25 years ago saying "if global warming is real (there seemed to be some doubt at the time) Seattle will be the place to be!" Since then I've learned to really love this temperate rain forest with its gray skies and cool air. The idea of the loss of it seems catastrophic in a world wide sense, but also locally. These beautiful forests can't be sustained without the water from the skies. Thus the old -time "local" saying of "we need this rain." We will all be saying that with our "better" weather 50 years from now.

  7. I'd love to see forecasts for the upcoming solar eclipse (October 23rd). While this is Washington, I keep hoping for a sunny day.

  8. Did you see the overnight winds at Camp Muir Tues. night? 100+m.p.h. at midnight as well as the hours preceding! Camp Muir telemetry

  9. Accurate forecast again, Cliff. We sure got the rain Tuesday night/Wednesday morning here in West Seattle...over an inch as of 04:30 AM...fairly warm, too. 62 degrees as of 04:55 AM.

  10. I wish summer had stayed. We have two celestial events coming up - a partial solar and a total lunar eclipse. Both in the month of October.

    I am getting rather tired of missing major celestial events due to rain (the annular eclipse of May 2012 and last April's total lunar eclipse to name two), and quite frankly, rain just sucks!

    Cliff, can you give any prediction on the 8th?

  11. Steve R., you haven't been listening/reading. Forecasts are only good here three days ahead and at a wild guess, seven days ahead, max. Longer term, I suspect we're headed for weather and a climate like SanFrancisco's, very Mediterranean. Oak tree savannas instead of Doug firs, possibly in your lifetime. Celestial events? Not so much. Even now, you don't have to suffer the indignity of rain and overcast skies. Head for the north end of Moses Coulee in October. Even better in mid-winter. The skies are fabulous.


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