August 03, 2021

Smoke Will Soon Exit Western Washington As the First Cool/Wet Weather System Approaches

 A thin layer of mainly California smoke is above Washington and Oregon right now, as evident by the latest visible satellite image (below).  Only Northwest Washington is smoke-free.


But as typical of smoke from distant fires, the smoky layer is aloft and air quality at the surface is quite good over the western lowlands, as shown by the AIRNOW website.

The smoke layer aloft has thinned considerably during the past 48h, something illustrated by the view of Mount Rainier from the Crystal Mountain Cam:

Onshore winds will increase during the next few days, and the result will be the removal of smoke both at the surface and aloft.  

Consider the HRRR model forecast for near-surface smoke on Thursday morning.  No smoke over the western WA and Oregon lowlands.  Fires in Washington and southern BC have faded after the cooler/wetter weather and the considerable efforts of firefighting crews. 


But then there is the approaching weather system....it will feel like the first taste of fall, with far cooler temperatures and rain.

But first, I should note the potential for showers and thunderstorms tonight over western WA and the north Cascades, showers associated with a passing upper level disturbance and unstable air.  The simulated infrared satellite image for 5 PM today is impressive!

The rain will hit on Friday, accompanied by a 10-15F drop in temperatures.   To give you an idea of the upcoming rainfall, here is the average of the excellent European Center ensemble of many forecasts for the total rainfall through 11 PM Sunday. Up to 1.5 inches in the mountains.



The UW model showing precipitation through  5 AM Monday also shows bountiful precipitation, particularly over the north Cascades and southern BC, both places where there are some remaining fires.  I expect rapid progress in attenuating these fires with such conditions.



The Seattle Times Hit Piece

I knew this was coming.  

The Seattle Times was upset that I noted problems with their hyped headline and story on the heatwave and they decided to do a personal hit piece on me.   Their story says everything about their attitudes towards science and truthful information.  The bias of the article was pretty obvious, with no attempt to quote the many individuals supporting my viewpoint or to deal with the issues I noted regarding the attribution report.  And then they went over the top, bringing in my comments in social media on completely different topics. 

Anyway, I will write a separate blog on the Seattle Times piece--very poor journalism that demonstrated, better than I ever could, their lack of commitment for communicating the facts and uncertainties regarding global warming.

Global warming is a serious issue that can only be dealt with by a well-informed citizenry.   The Seattle Times has a different view, pushing a politically charged, biased narrative,  that deviates from the best science that in the end will leave our region less prepared for dealing with climate change.  And one that needlessly gives people a sense of doom and desperation.

A few people reminded me of a relevant piece of wisdom:

"When you are receiving flak, you are over the target"



32 comments:

  1. For the past year, the Times has been posting incessant front-page attacks on the police. (Attacks that are also based in falsehoods: some three thousand innocent Americans die of medical error, for every innocent American who dies of errors by police.) But then they did a 360, and published a front-page article sympathetically telling the stories of cops in DC who endured 1/6. If you're a police officer, your life and health only counts if right-wing idiots are attacking you, from the Times' perspective. And the upswing in murders in Seattle after all these attacks on cops, has been pretty much ignored, it seems.

    The Times used to be a boring but respectable left-center newspaper. They haven't a scrap of integrity left, or concern for this city.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Agree. They're up to par on restaurant reviews and sports. That's about it.

      Delete
  2. You tell em Dr. Mass! I'm a WSU Alum and I joke that you're one of the few Huskies I totally trust. All joking aside, the UW Atmospheric Sciences program is second to none. When I want an accurate forecast, I always trust your's over ANY of the other local meteorologists. Unfortunately The Seattle Times, like other media outlets, is there to serve an agenda (even if they're wrong).

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi Cliff,
    Nobody reads the Seattle Times. Nobody.
    Carry on.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Seattle Times subscriptions – 236,929 weekday; 346,589 Sunday. All of them buying and not reading?

      Delete
  4. Don't worry about these kinds of attacks, they're only evidence of the dying embers of what was (at one time long ago) the respectable MSM.
    They've had one foot firmly implanted into the La Brea tar pits for some time, now watch as they slowly sink into oblivion.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Typical hack job by "Pravda on Puget Sound". Their writing technique, clearly explained by Cliff, is used with any topic/person/organization that they find objectionable.

    The point here is that this rag covers all issues through the political lens of "is this good for the cause?" In this case, Cliff is accurately pointing out how many are "connecting dots" in a lazy and non-rigorous manner that leads to mis-education of climate, weather, and how human activity interacts with it.

    The consequence of this dreck is that some people think 2+2=5 and behave with outright hostility about an otherwise benign topic - the weather.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Good for you for holding your ground Cliff. Anytime someone tried to bring up "climate change" when talking about the heatwave, I was able to change their mind (or at least make them skeptical) by sending a link to your blog. Thank you for all your hard work.

    ReplyDelete
  7. As with flack, the Times' goal is apparently to throw as much verbiage at that which they disagree in the hope something will connect. Accuracy has little to do with it; it is mostly volume and dumb luck.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Cliff, the only news I read these days is your blog, The Onion, and Babylon Bee.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Always thanks for your weather blog posts

    ReplyDelete
  10. I also agree with Cliff's analysis of the recent heat wave. It seems to me that in fact, mid lattitude weather is driven by gradients in temperature and not the absolute temperature values. Thus in a warming world, pole to equator temperature gradient decreases which should lead to less extreme weather for us. Perhaps that's why there is a strong decrease in the strongest tornadoes in the US. And he is also right that climate models are totally useless to forcast any changes in blocking pattern frequency or extreme weather. They cannot predict much about the patterns of change.
    Famously, they get SST patterns of change wrong and there have been at least a score of papers over the last decade admitting this fact. That is why models have climate sensitivity values that are mostly incompatible with observationally constrained estimates.

    ReplyDelete
  11. The Seattle Times makes good bird cage liner, but that's about it.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I'd rather hear about the thunderstorms currently popping up, I can smell the ozone on Hood Canal, thunder is on and off but no lightening and not enough rain to wash the dust of the leaves.

    ReplyDelete
  13. We are living in an upside down world.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I'd be interested in know what we as concerned citizens can do about AGW, and the sort of changes we should be advocating for. For the first time in a while the federal government is in an OK spot to act legislatively and certainly executively. What should we be asking of them policy-wise, from your standpoint?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You, as a concerned citizen, may do as you please. However, who is this "we" you're talking about, Kemosabe? The gov't has already blown past all barriers of fiscal insanity and has bankrupted our grandchildren's grandchildren. No mas.

      Delete
  15. The Times is simply trying to stay afloat financially. They've decided that the only business that model that works for them is to take on advocacy for progressive causes, using the current journalistic of deciding what the story is, then finding the facts to fit the story. It's no different than Fox, just from different viewpoint.

    Keep up the good work Cliff, and continue to hew to the data and the facts.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. An astute, and concise analysis. I mostly read the sports pages now. Too many of the "articles" are so filled with opinion, and inferences from a "progressive" point of view (and too many recycled from the NYTimes) that they are hardly worth perusing.

      Delete
  16. Air quality seems to be declining quickly as we move into evening--there is a noticible "taste" to the air, the air is still and the Plume Labs air quality projection seems to contradict your expectations for the next couple of days. Hope that rain really does fall, I've already started running my box fan air scrubber!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Looking more like that "early" Fall storm system is gonna stall up in BC...not much rain gonna show up...more declining air quality for us!

      Delete
  17. I keep seeing that global warming impacts are far worse than previously predicted. Is the rate of change accelerating it is it just the reporting? Every I look I see climate doomsday in the doorsteps.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you're seeing it every day on your doorstep, you might belong to a cult.

      Delete
  18. Good call on the Western WA thuderstorms. Some nice cells passed through downtown Seattle just 2 hours ago. Not the relief the weekend might bring, but nontheless welcome.
    As as for the climate change stuff, please keep up your insightful analysis. Present the data as you see it in as dispassionate a tone as you can--am not sure you gain much in playing the game of grievance and recrimination (just IMHO of course). History will be ultimate judge of whether you are right or not. Best of luck Dr. Thomas Stockmann....

    ReplyDelete
  19. The thing I like about your blog, Cliff, is that you show your work. You know that adage as an educator, "show your work". It's not just climate change, but nearly all of the articles in the "journalism" today that tell us that someone who maybe/kinda/sort of knows something about the subject said such and such and we should trust them. I don't. I have more questions. I'm more like, oh, interesting, and how did you get to that conclusion: show me your work. Or they make opinions about something, your work or others, but don't explain how they got to that conclusion or made that assessment. I often wonder how much better we as a species might be if we actually required people -- and media -- to show their work, defend how they came up with the conclusions that they proffer. The Seattle Times is lousy at this, as is every other media that I have read. How we get of this tailspin, I don't know, but your blog is a good start.

    ReplyDelete
  20. R A I N!!!!! Finally. Thank God. This summer has not been fun. Can't wait for that first taste of fall, major temp drop, and much-needed moisture.

    I don't read the Seattle Times. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  21. Until the weather is tracking in from the South and West, don't get your hopes up. This rain will be very selective, thanks to the rain shadow. Nice little respite but summer is far from over.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Reading Cliff Mass' weather blog is like listening to my parents and siblings at the dinner table. I try to listen politely, absorb the stuff that matters to me, then toss out whatever is irrelevant. Cliff's response to the Times article is important to me. And the thoughtful replies to this column are enlightening as well. But ill-informed and emotional rants by angry readers are a total waste of time. Give me a break! This is a science blog! Take a few deep breaths or something! The zealots remind me of my obnoxious big sister, who mentally cuts and pastes online propaganda then loudly regurgitates it at dinner parties. If you want to kill meaningful debate, that will do it.

    ReplyDelete
  23. You spoke too soon. Way less precip and a bunch of new lightning starts.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Climate change will result in the extinction of our species, Cliff. What is so hopeful about that?

    I know you think science will solve it, but when? We can't wait. If we can't rally around a global pandemic, we can't rally around anything.

    80 years left for humans. The last 30 of which will be war, famine and pandemic.

    Lots to be hopeful for.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As I mentioned to another Doomsdayer here, it might be time for a suicide pact. What say you? Out of my innate politeness, I'll allow you to go first.

      Delete
    2. The science doesn't support any of the conclusions you list. Not one. Not extinction, not the timeframe - actually not even severe loss of human life. But there may be political actors who benefit from the panic you express.

      Delete

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

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