January 15, 2016

A Wet Weekend, But Sun Returns on Monday

Friday afternoon's infrared image says it all:  weather systems are lined up and  heading our way.

The 6 PM weather radar composite shows the leading edge of a precipitation shield associated with a warm front is approaching our coast (see below)

After roughly 4 AM Saturday, a strong cold front will be moving into our area (the 3-h precipitation ending 8 AM is shown below)...actually from northern CA to British Columbia.

You like snow?   Should be 6-12 inches above 4000 ft, in the Cascades as suggested by the 24h snow forecast ending 4 AM Sunday.

And then it all happens again on Sunday with another front moving through in the morning.  A bit less snow and higher freezing level:

The precipitation on Sunday will be associated with a very deep low pressure center offshore....about 969 mb (see below).  There will be hurricane force winds northwest of Vancouver Island. Stay in port.

And on Monday everything changes with high pressure building over our region and partly cloudy skies.  Monday is the day to enjoy outdoor activities if you are lucky enough to be off.

What kind of weather will the Seahawks face on Sunday?  Just like home!  They will hardly know they are away. Showers, highs around 45.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Where I'm located (Bell Hill summit south of Sequim) we've only had 0.12" of rain since January 1. I was kind of leaning toward this being a record DRY January. Olympics are also looking pretty brown and bare compared to Christmas time.

    The muckies from early December have all but disappeared and my yard is dry with firm upper soil. I usually can't run my 4WD Kubota tractor down the steep backside of my property in January and February without getting it stuck in the soft clay soil. But I was out working the tractor today. Traction was pretty much like summer time.

    Hopefully we'll get a few drops out of these storms. We need it.

  3. Wettest January on record...?! It hasn't even rained much. Granted, I'm north of Seattle (up by the border), but I spent most of the first half of my life farther south down the Puget Sound corridor. So far this month the only remarkable thing weather-wise is how unremarkable it's been.

  4. Who said anything about the wettest January on record?

  5. Colleen, my question is do you even pay attention to what is going on in the state? Or the PACNW in general? Portland was the wettest on record during December. Where I live we were at 200% of normal precip for December. January is going to once again, despite lame predictions otherwise, going to be above normal precip in Central Washington and probably other places as well. Maybe the action is weak up by the Canadian border, but it is just one storm after another in the SW, SC, C and middle W Washington. Just because it is unremarkable where you are says nothing at all about the rest of the state, or region. The seasonal forecasters are wrong so far, the monthly NOAA forecast is certainly wrong about precip, but may turn out to be correct about temps. Though they keep saying things are supposed to warm up in Central Washington, they so far have not.

    1. What an odd question, Matt. I think it goes without saying that anyone engaging with this blog has a particular interest in the subject on not just a personal but broader level. To that end, rest assured that like you, I do indeed pay attention to weather elsewhere in the region. Yes. You're in good company.

  6. Thanks John for the info regarding your January rainfall.

    After a dry start to January, my rain gauge has recorded 2.26 inches for the month, close to normal. The last rain event contributing 1.36 inches. My location is southeast of the Olympics.

  7. To Thecatguy93: That was the first comment that has subsequently been deleted by the author.

    I'm not directly referencing that post, but it seems like there is an undercurrent of people who are trying to make the case that if short-term climate forecasts can be wrong, then long-term forecasts (due to AGW) are even less credible and should not be acted on.

    It seems closely related campaign to the one that has reduced confidence in government in general, and likely driven by the same folks.

    1. Well said John, well said! It is inconceivable that this blog should attract any comment needing to be removed.

  8. JOHN MARSHALL: I have no idea about the others on this blog, but I am personally not a climate change denier. I have no agenda with my comments, only to say that However, NOAA does not do a good job, period. They constantly miscall things and I never thought I would see the day when TWC and WUNDERGROUND are giving much more accurate forecasts. First of all, nobody should put out seasonal winter forecasts. Way too many variables. Second, using old data from the previous summer and not updating accordingly is a big mistake. Look at NOAAs stuff since summer, the monthly and seasonal forecasts have pretty much been the same. That is so flawed and wrong, the predictions are terrible. And the government does fail at certain things. There should be an independent Weather Service, with some government oversight and regulation.

    I can't stand comments of people that are complaining about the lack of weather around the state. Come to Central Washington, anybody who is complaining. Way too much winter weather this year so far.

  9. Colleen: Understood. I was really trying to find out why others on this blog are constantly complaining about the lack of significant weather in their part of the state? It has been one storm after another and doesn't look to let up anytime soon in Central Washington. Though it is supposed to be warmer, causing more rainfall and less snow here, but that is an issue in itself. If the temps go up the 40-45 range here in the next few days, into next week, and rain, a lot of flooding is going to happen as there is a decent amount of snow on the ground (8-12 inches). That really is concerning. And it has been one bad thing after another since November in this part of the state. I really hope things calm down here by mid February and drier weather happens because we have had too much. December was 200% of normal for precipitation here and January is already over 100% with some more storms, mainly rain, coming here. Could end of again at 200%, which BTW hasn't happened since the terrible winter of 96-97, except that the 2 months well above precipitation were November and December, and that winter petered out hard by the end of January. So all I am saying is that anyone else complaining about unremarkable weather should be thankful, because it could be a lot worse. E.G. floods, wind storms, strong snow storms, heavy rain.

  10. Late but necessary reply, Matt: point first, I don't agree that anyone commenting here is "constantly complaining about the lack of significant weather in their part of the state".

    People from an array of areas read and reply here. It stands to reason that each one will speak from the vantage point of his/her reality. If Cliff mentions, for example, an ongoing deluge in Seattle & environs, one might note the contrasting lack of moisture elsewhere. And so on.

    It's interesting to hear what this season has wrought in your region, but that doesn't negate or alter or in any way diminish what it's been like elsewhere. When I speak of unremarkable weather in north a Whatcom County, I'm neither denying or attempting to trump adverse weather elsewhere. I'm merely speaking of this place & time.

    And to further put my observations in context: I just spent two decades co-owning & operating an organic dairy that has been the brunt of many a brutal Artic outflow via the Fraser Valley, and survived multiple floods
    as temperature fluctuations impact Mount Baker & the Nooksack River floodplain. I'm confident in saying that weather has been more relevant to my daily life than to most folks these days. And by extension, as one does in the ag industry, I'm more than typically aware of how weather is impacting those in other areas. And I'm okay with a passing comment about the weather right here, right now.


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

Thunderstorms Return to the Northwest

 Thunderstorms have been relatively rare this summer, but today will see some boomers over the Cascades and eastern Washington. In fact, the...