November 23, 2015

Forget the Lowland Snow or Frigid Temperatures West of the Cascade Crest

For those of you hoping for some snow near sea level, I am afraid I have some bad news...not this time.   I should note that a few media outlets are still hyping snow and cold (see below)

A weak, wimpy cold front is going through right now, one devoid of much moisture.  Some light rain has fallen over the lowlands with a dusting in the mountains.

This was never going to be a big event, but unfortunately the upper trough associated with cold front moved southward too quickly and with the wrong trajectory to give us snow.   Here is the upper level map for tomorrow at 8 AM...the trough is way past us.  Not good.

Snow over Washington and BC will be limited to the mountains and eastern WA/Oregon during next 24 hr (mainly next 12 h) and forecast totals are shown below. Max of a half foot in the mountains of Washington, but there are several inches over eastern Washington.  Lots of snow over the Oregon Cascades and northern CA...which is good.  Those poor devils need all the snow they can get.

Even the cold will disappoint west of the Cascade crest, with the real chill over eastern WA and Oregon.  Here is the low-level temperature and sea level pressure forecast for 1 AM Wednesday.  Blue is cold!  Frosty (tens to single digits) over eastern WA and REALLY cold air heading south over Montana.  Over western WA only Bellingham, the San Juans, the the sun-crazed folks in Sequim and Port Angeles will get chilled from Fraser outflow.

To illustrate the local Fraser Gap winds, here are the max gusts at 7PM Tuesday.
Gusts to 50 knots southwest of Bellingham.  The San Juans will get if you live there make sure you are ready (flashlights, gas for barbecues, etc.).  Some power will be lost.

As we get past Wednesday a HUGE ridge of high pressure will build over the eastern Pacific, with anchoring troughs on both sides.  We call this an Omega Block for obvious reasons...looks like the Greek letter omeg.

For Thursday through Saturday expect dry conditions, lots of mid-day sun, and frost in the morning.  Enjoy.  Clouds and rain come back next week.


  1. YAY!! So glad we're skipping the lowland snow. We're staying home but so many people will travel.
    Happy Thanksgiving!

  2. Boo! Good for travellers, lousy for crazy weather enthusiasts!

  3. Fierce wind here on Sinclair Island this morning. Too windy to go out and walk near trees which means I'm confined to my yard. But nothing compared to the December 1990 storm. Relatively mild at 40 degrees.

  4. Snowing in Eatonville and Rainier/yelm area...

  5. Super North Wind today in West Seattle...

    Love it, Cliff.

    Cleans my gutters for free!

  6. The high winds did not seem to be forecast for Bremerton area, family member saw power lines dancing, and a second or so later a tree falling and a limb strike a car - fortunately no injuries. And two more trees down on roads or porches as well as a power outage. Any explanation as to how severe winds snuck in?

  7. Big winds turned up unexpectedly in Kitsap too. Trees down all over Bainbridge right now.

  8. Woah, Nellie, Cliff,

    That wimpy cold front is sending a punch that would knock Ronda Rousey out a second time...

  9. 6:30pm update from Sinclair Island: Winds have really picked up speed tonight even as the winds in Bellingham have moderated. Winds are now blowing much stronger than forecast and trees are falling. I'd say we have gusts well in excess of 60 mph. They are coming in waves with calmer periods in between. Quite exciting out here right now.

  10. My power just came back after being out for 7+ hours here on Bainbridge Island. Streets in the Winslow area are littered with more limbs and branches than I've seen in some time. Ferry ride over this evening was on the rollicking side.

    I've seen this happen before, so it wasn't a total surprise. Just about a year ago we got hit by a Fraser outflow windstorm here on Bainbridge. That one was even more localized; I ran an errand to Poulsbo and was surprised to find it only moderately breezy there. This time it apparently Poulsbo got it as well. Seems the outflow winds really keep their speed over the path of least resistance (Puget Sound) and can be surprisingly strong when they finally make landfall, which tends to happen on the west side of the Sound.

  11. I would be curious to find out what happened regarding the forecast for the Kitsap peninsula. Relooking at this blog the forecast winds were for gusts in the 20's but PSE reports that gusts as high as 60 happened. I live in Poulsbo and the wind was howling!


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

Is Global Warming Causing Aircraft Turbulence to Increase?

 After the turbulence encounter by a Singapore Airlines aircraft,  there has been a slew of articles claiming that severe turbulence inciden...