This morning at 11 AM, the infrared satellite imagery showed a front approaching the Northwest coast. But where was it raining?
The UW WRF model forecast for precipitation for the 3-h precipitation total ending 11 AM predicted a continuous band of rain along the coast. But was that right?
Well, to tell that you either need a LOT of rain gauges or good weather radar coverage. The National Weather Service radar locations and coverage at 10,000 ft above ground level is shown below. This is optimistic and coverage can be much worse below 10,000 ft where there is blockage by terrain.
In any case, Oregon is a radar coverage disaster, with poor coverage over the central and southern coastal zone and little coverage over much of eastern Oregon.
Here is the actual weather radar imagery at 11 AM from all available National Weather Service radars. No precipitation over 2/3rds of the Oregon coast and offshore. It was raining there, but it was invisible to the Portland and northern CA radars. They desperately need a radar on the central Oregon coaast.
This problem doesn't seem to being considered seriously by the National Weather Service. As we learned in Washington State, the National Weather Service will not address such problems without intense pressure from local citizens and their congressional representatives. Here in Washington State, Senator Cantwell, with the help of Senator Murray, did a lot of the heavy lifting in DC.
The Northwest Weather Workshop
People ask me all the time about whether there are any local meetings for those who enjoy learning mre about Northwest weather. The answer is a big yes! The Northwest Weather Workshop held in Seattle each spring.
This year, the meeting will take place at the NOAA Sand Point facility in Seattle on April 27-28th.
Two sessions will deal with the meteorology of Northwest wildfires and on Friday we will also have session on the results of the OLYMPEX field program (studied precipitation processes over that mountain barrier). Other sessions will deal with the latest on NW weather modeling, communication of the risk for extreme events, reviews of major weather events of the past year, studies on NW climate, and much more. The banquet on Friday night will include an excellent speaker, Professor Dan Jaffe of UW Bothell, who will describe some of the air quality impacts of wildfires.
To see the agenda, go to the official website and registration portal :
This meeting is open to everyone, and I suspect that even complete layfolk will get a lot out of 90% of the talks. But keep in mind that YOU MUST REGISTER IN ADVANCE TO ATTEND THE EVENT, which you can do at the above link. There is a modest registration fee that includes snacks and lunch on Saturday. If someone can't afford the registration fee, we can work something out.
Anyway, it should be a great meeting and everyone is invited, but NOAA security prevents anyone who has not registered from gaining entry.