Friday, February 28, 2020

Batten Down the Hatches! A Strong Front is Now Making Landfall

3:15 PM

If you are planning to do anything outside and you are living in the Puget Sound region, better finish up during the next hour.

A very powerful front, only a bit weaker than Sunday's, is NOW bearing down on us.

The visible satellite image at 3:01 PM shows the clouds of the well-defined and


The radar image at 2:48 PM shows the front (I drew at oval to help you see it-, with red colors showing the intense rain on the front. This is called a narrow cold front rain band and there are rapid changes of wind direction, temperature, and pressure across it.


Observations at Buoy 41 observation site, just off the WA coast showed a very sharp pressure trough (zone of low pressure) and a big acceleration of the winds.


The front will move into Puget Sound during the next 1-2 hours, so be ready!

15 comments:

  1. Cliff, any chance of thunderstorms?

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  2. And then what happens?

    My Great Uncle Bob was a weatherman at KTNT television in Tacoma when the station first started out in the late 1950s. He wasn't a meteorologist, mind you. They'd just step outside of the studio and look up at the western sky and report what it was doing outside and what it looks like it might do later. It resulted in a lot more accuracy than the 5 day forecasts we get now that seem to be wrong half the time.

    I want a job where I can be wrong half the time and get paid well for it.

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    1. Well there are jobs where people lie all the time and get paid well for it (used car salesmen, politicians, mainstream media). I get what you're saying though. It seems like they're constantly changing the forecasts, tweaking or fine tuning them to the point where they no longer resemble the 'original" 5 day forecast at all for day 5, once the day arrives. Alot of it is timing. During a long period of high pressure or more benign weather patterns,the forecasts are quite accurate. But in a period of active weather, they try and time the arrival of systems 5 days out. That's a crapshoot, its a fluid and ever-changing dynamic,no wonder they're so inaccurate. Where they are more accurate compared to decades ago is for temperatures and for seasonal and global forecasting.

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    2. Yeah thanks Boomers. The 5-day forecasts I see are incredibly accurate about 98% of the time, hopefully this tired anti-science refrain will die off with your generation.

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    3. In NW Bellingham, February ended up being the coldest month of the season again, albeit by a much narrower margin than last year. The average monthly temperature was 40.1F. The maximum monthly temperature of 52.4F was also the coldest monthly maximum temperature of the season. Additionally, February featured the fewest days of any month this season with maximum temperatures ≥50F (6) and the most days with minimum temperatures ≤32F (11).

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  3. Still waiting for your "Wild Cold Front" Cliff, it's 9pm and calm and dry.

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  4. Things sure were swell back then. Maybe we can bring back polio and cut 10 years off our life spans since we're so eager to bring back that golden age.

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  5. Rubbish... Forecast now are far far more accurate than they have been even as recent as 10 years ago. Peoples expectations have changed quite dramatically though. Social media hasn’t helped that and a general anti-science cynical attitude about people responsible for such things hasn’t helped at all. It is well-established and understood that forecasting now is far more accurate than it was not that long ago. But these days people wanna know if it’s gonna rain over their house and if it doesn’t he get all miffed and say the forecast sucks, but two blocks over it rains. But no, since it didn’t rain on their house off to social media they go to complain about how lousy the forecasts are… It’s ridiculous

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  6. Cliff,

    I would like to learn more about the probability of forecasts. For example, perhaps a grouping of the types of forecasting that typically have a high probability of accuracy vs. the ones that can change quickly with a low probability further out from the event (but increases as time of the event draws near).

    It might help us manage our own expectations of forecasts. Meteorology has so much nuance, it takes someone with your knowledge to show us how to use the information we receive.

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  7. The main stream media lies all the time?? What a load of BS. I suppose the world is flat also because that’s mainstream science? If you only listen to a source that reports news you prefer to hear and echos your personal beliefs you become part of the civic rot undermining the country.

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    1. Considering the deep state that is undermining our great President, yeah I would say they lie all the time. Their livelihood is wrapped up in destroying Trump.

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  8. Hailstorm in Bellevue at 5:20, and It's STILL HAILING - 15 minutes! And counting!!! Ground is blanketed with white!

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  9. The hail storm just about ended.. Lasted almost 40 minutes! Longest hailstorm ever. And, pea-sized hail. lightning too

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  10. So basically a big nothing-burger of an event.

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  11. Yes, Cliff, your hypothesis is reasonable. Trevor Bedford counted >100 known variants across all sequenced isolates of the virus as of yesterday. Some of the variants could affect the morbidity of each of the substrains. So there could be a relatively less lethal substrain circulating in Western Washington for weeks. Different from the main one in Hubei, with a lower case fatality rate. In theory, a weaker strain has an evolutionary advantage over a stronger strain, as it is likely to have a greater R-sub-zero. But it is not clear that this theoretical advantage is at play here, as it might require different selection parameters. Presumably folks who recover from a weak strain would be immune to a more potent strain. But there could be multiple substrains that circulate in Western Washington (past, present, or future) and some of these could have a higher case fatality rate. We are going to have to wait a week or so and get more viral sequences and better understand regional nuances in case fatality rates and prevalence before we have hard numbers.

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