June 18, 2015

Chambers Bay Detailed Forecast

Chambers Bay is a "Links Style" course, which means it is a coastal course with lots of natural grass and few trees.  Links-style courses tend be open to the wind...some might call them windswept...and wind can have a huge influence on the play.  Chambers Bay has a lot of terrain (see picture) and the interaction of wind off the Sound with the hillocks and valleys can produce a complex low level wind distribution as well as gusty conditions.

The weather has really been ideal the last few days (see plot of surface observations at a weather station on the water side of the course).  Temperatures getting into the low to mid 70s.   Modest winds (less than 10 mph most of the time), although the winds increased on Thursday afternoon, with a gust of 20 mph.   Wind direction has been relatively steady during the day (southwesterly. Partly sunny conditions.  And no rain except for a few sprinkles tonight.

 A weak upper trough is moving through now, with most of the action going through northern Washington and BC.  The latest infrared satellite photo clearly shows the clouds associated with the trough moving into our region  (see pic) and the latest radar image (8:10 PM) has moderate precipitation falling over NW Washington (see below).  But little will reach the ground south of Seattle.  Local meteorologist Jordan Sutton, who was at the venue at 8 PM tonight, reported a few sprinkles.   God knows we need as much rain as this system can deliver.

As the trough moves through tomorrow,  a Puget Sound convergence zone will develop over the central Sound but the south Sound will be dry (see 24h precipitation ending 5 PM Friday).   Why? The area south of Tacoma will be in the rainshadow of the Olympics (since the flow will be from the Northwest).

The cutting edge high-resolution NCAR ensemble system (based on 13 high-resolution forecasts) indicates a similar pattern for the same time period (see below)

Nice rain in the Cascades...a very good thing.   Tomorrow (Friday) will start off cloudy at Chambers Bay with a slight chance of a sprinkle or two.  But conditions will improve during the afternoon, with partly cloudy skies and temps getting to around 70.

Saturday will be warmer and dry, with highs in the mid-70s.  Upper 70s on Sunday. Comfortable weather for players and spectators.


As an aside, my favorite local golf course wind stories are about Suncadia near Cle Elum.  They should call the location Windcadia, since it often is hit by strong westerly winds moving through the Stampede Gap in the Cascades.   One time I watched folks trying to play a round when winds were gusting to 30-40 mph.  Their comments can not be repeated in this family friendly blog.

When the wind blows at Suncadia, the game gets a bit more challenging.


  1. Great job Cliff, keep it coming!

  2. Thanks So much for the info! How do I get in touch with Onshore Flo?


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