October 31, 2021

Pluvius Jupiter Reigns over the Northwest

 The ancient Romans believed that rainfall was controlled by the great god Jupiter....or to be more exact, one of the aspects of the deity, Jupiter Pluvius.

Even in modern times, some folks would suggest that drought was associated with sleeping god:


And did you know that a town in the very wet southwest corner of Washington State is known as Pluvius?   I need to visit that place.


Jupiter Pluvius appears to have taken up resident over our region....and is not leaving very soon.

Over the last two months, much of the Northwest and northern California has had above normal precipitation (see map below, greens, blues, purple), with large portions of central/northern California receiving more than 400% of normal precipitation.

Jupiter's bounty has ended the fire season in much of the western U.S., restored soil moisture, and began the processes of refilling the region's reservoirs.

And Jupiter was thoughtful of the other gods, allowing near-perfect conditions for Halloween.

But Jupiter's intent is clear: this is going to be a wet autumn...and that is of particularly importance with a La Nina winter ahead, which generally brings excessive rainfall over the Northwest.  

The NOAA Climate Prediction Center is going for wetter than normal conditions for the next 8-14 days:


The three-month seasonal precipitation forecast through the end of January?  

You guessed it, wetter than normal.  Trust me, you don't want to see the extended forecast after that.  (Hint:  slugs will be very happy)


The latest extended forecast through the end of November by the European Center is much wetter than normal for Washington through northern California, with an infernal plume of water (blue of course), coming off the Pacific.


Here in western Washington, we will be dry through roughly 2 PM tomorrow, followed by a wet front, with the UW forecast model showing large amounts of rain through next Saturday morning:


So my advice:  get your rain gear ready.  

I just purchased some nice rain pants from REI to make my bicycle commuting to the UW less soggy.  And yes, make sure you have a good weather radar app for your smartphone, which allows you to spot the relatively drier intervals during the moist months ahead.  



17 comments:

  1. Whats a good weather ap? Fabulous blog

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    1. Ditto -- I would love to know what's a good, professional-grade weather radar app! --Larry

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    2. Cliff has mentioned the weather.com app many times on his blog. Apparently IBM have a unique "blended" model that is very accurate. I use the hourly forecast often for my mountain trips and its usually very good especially the radar functionality and snow level.

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  2. I use your UW radar loop. http://www.atmos.washington.edu/weather/radar.shtml

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  3. I often use the UW weather radar display to determine when there might be a gap in the rain to go for a walk. We have used it several times when at the beach to identify when the next squall will come in. It has allowed us to walk in the sunshine or at least in the dry weather between rain squalls. It is a great program for that.

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  4. What weather radar app do you recommend?

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  5. Awesome, yet dismal, blog post. (Thank you.)

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  6. Great news, but just like a broken record, the MSM keeps reminding us all of how truly awful the current drought situation is, no matter the above average rainfall for the PNW. As always, they can go kick rocks.

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  7. Let it snow and be 10 below is my motto. Love winter! Cliff. I know your a Westside guy and all, but would love some discussion on Eastside winter weather predictions. My area in Okanogan Valley is rain shadowed quite often and usually on the western edge of polar air plunges. With the la Nina pattern do you think we will see more favorable jet streams to bring in more cold air from north and over riding precip to overcome rain shadow?

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    1. Hey Budd, check out Cliff's book. Eastern Washington is covered in detail.

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  8. Keep up this sort of augury Professor and you'll be branded an optimist. Thankee!

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  9. I know the area somewhat, and have never heard of a place called Pluvius. It appears the US Census Bureau has not, either.

    It seems it is merely the name of a hill between Pe Ell and Lebam. A lot of folks from SW Washington know the latter community (no longer incorporated as a town) was the reversed spelling of the name of the daughter of an early settler (Mabel) - I was told the first postmaster, although I don't know if that's true or not.

    To continue the odd names in the Willapa Valley, Menlo got it's name because of a settler who had stolen a sign from Menlo Park, CA. When the railroad came through, they named the stop there after the sign...or something like that.

    It is quite rainy there. I think in the ballpark of twice the annual precipitation that Seattle gets.

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  10. I wonder, historically, what is the longest stretch of days in a row with measurable rain in Washington? When my Mom lived in Seattle sometime in the nineties, I remember her saying it rained for 28 days straight.

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  11. Hi Cliff, Any guesses on how Snow will be here in the PNW this year? I'm personally interested in Whistler in February.

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  12. Hi Cliff, Weather.com is going for Snow in the N.Bend area Monday thru Wed next week with accumulations up to 3". Too far out? Butterfly effect?

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  13. Perfect autumn weather. Cool refreshing rain, but not so much so as to flood. The longer I live around here (going on 36 years) the more I prefer fall and winter.

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  14. Everybody looking for a good radar app -- I recommend looking at Radarscope. For about $10/yr their Pro Level One tier is a great deal if you'd like access to some really powerful derived data sources -- using them requires doing your homework, but the payoff is silid, and their basic features -- lightning detection, 30 frame animations, split screens, rainfall estimates and echo tools, etc. -- are easy to use and reliable.

    I use it along with the Windy weather app, which is one of the very few to guve access to Euro model runs without charging a fortune. If it made the ensemble runs as accessible, it would be damn near perfect.

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