Monday, August 19, 2019

Snow in northern BC, Rain in the Northwest

The fire season is over in northern BC.     Done.  Finished. Currently, it is SNOWING  up there, with all kinds of warnings and dangerous roads (see below).  And this is after quite a wet period recently.   What a difference a year makes!

The latest infrared satellite imagery is scary for this time of the year (see below).   A range of potent weather systems are lined up offshore, ready to move in on us.  Of particular note is the tightly wound cyclone offshore of southern Oregon.   Doesn't look like a mid-August satellite pic.


Tuesday is the last dry day for our region for a few days. The 24h total precipitation ending 5 AM Wednesday show the effects of a potent frontal system, with lots of rain on our coast and Vancouver Island.  Forget the catastrophic fire/drought warnings for that region.  Way too moist now.


During the next 24 h, the rain moves inland, with western WA getting a good wetting.  Even rain in eastern WA.  The last wildfire (Williams Flats on the Colville reservation is 87% contained and will further decline with this rain.


The action on Wednesday will be associated with a strong upper level trough moving through (see map for 8 PM Tuesday below).


And then as advertised, the flow configuration changes and a strong upper level jet moves right across the Pacific into our region (see winds speeds at 300 hPa....about 30,000 ft) for 5 PM Friday, shown below.  Some flights will use this wind field to head directly across the Pacific.


Enjoy the rain.   Our gardens will be happy.

17 comments:

  1. Will sun return for the weekend?

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  2. I'm near dease lake BC now. Mixed snow and rain for the past 3 days at 700 feet, but 2 to 3 feet of serious snow, with drifts to waist high at 3,000 feet. Cancelled all our backpacking plans.

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  3. It's a bit premature to say that less than a quarter inch of rain in late August signals the end of fire-season in Eastern Washington. The evaporative demand of much the region is on the order of a quarter-inch per day (Agrimet data: https://www.usbr.gov/pn/agrimet/graphs.html): a rate which can easily extend through September in any given year.

    From this storm, we're looking a temporary wetting of one-hour to ten-hour fuels with little to no change in the condition of 100-hour and 1000-hour fuels. Fire danger will remain high and will increase if we have a warmer and drier than average September.

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  4. Hello Cliff and readers of this blog. I want to share an idea I have which may sound totally crazy to you...or not.
    How about Cliff sharing his blog with a seismologist and/or volcanologist since we live in an earthquake and volcano area. This would also give a bit of a break to Cliff who is so busy. He could set all his up himself as he sees fit. Having always lived in areas with no seismological or volcanic threats, I found there was more interest in the subject in those places than there's around here.


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  5. Can we now conclude that DNR Commissioner Hillary Franz's earlier fear mongering about the 2019 wildfire season was nothing more than scare tactics to "scare" up more money for DNR's budget and Smokey Bear policy of putting out all wildfires everywhere as soon as possible? Or is that just a rhetorical question?

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    1. You seem to have forgotten the last few fire seasons.

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    2. Going to offer up an additional explanation. A potential 2020 gubernatorial candidate needs their face on TV statewide as much as possible to help with the name recognition.

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    3. The seasonal outlook put much of Washington and Oregon in "above normal" fire danger. Sometimes predictions do not manifest. But the best science at the moment put us in high potential this spring.

      https://www.predictiveservices.nifc.gov/outlooks/monthly_seasonal_outlook.pdf

      NIFC Predictive Services is where that information was initially being sourced.

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  6. I blame this early season snow on AGW, er, I mean "climate change." That's a nice bit of Orwellian semantics.

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  7. Cliff, what are you're thoughts on the big ridge building in for the end of the month and first part of September? Could it be a persistent pattern for Spetember? Indian summer?

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  8. It's all good. Just wish I had a dollar for every time NWS has cut the Port Angeles precip forecast by 2/3 in the three days before the event. Don't y'all think we can work this into the model by now?

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  9. Yes it's raining, sort of. At least down south in the capitol. But when I walk out back into the pastures and scrape the ground with my toe, truly not enough to make much of a difference though at least it has cleaned out the air and keeps the dust down for the moment. Fully appreciate the positive impact it hopefully really is having on our neighbors to the north with wildfire containment. A much better year than many we have had in the recent past

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  10. Is heavy rain still expected this weekend in Seattle?

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    1. I would suggest just taking a look at the Seattle Weather Forecast link under Cliff's Favorite Weather Websites on the right. Turns out that Tuesday was the last dry day for our region for . . . all of one day and we're now back to dry weather with a warming trend forecast for next week. Thankfully, summer isn't over get for western WA.

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