December 22, 2021

An Incredible Cold Wave is Being Forecast

 Forget the snow.  

There will be lots in the mountains and some limited lowland areas will get a few inches of the white stuff as well.

It is the extreme cold you need to pay attention to.  

Back in June, I couldn't believe the extreme conditions the models were forecasting--including both daily and all-time records.   The models are doing it again, but this time for record-breaking cold.

Cold enough to kill those attempting to live outside without shelter--making it mandatory to get all homeless inside no later than Saturday.

Consider the surface air temperature forecast from the European Center global model for SeaTac Airport.  After Saturday, high temperatures will remain below freezing for at least a week, with December 30th having a high of 17F and a low of -1F, which would be the ALL TIME RECORD LOW FOR ALL TIME FOR SEATTLE.


What about temperatures in Seattle forecast by the University of Washington system run by my group (see below)?    I really can't believe it.  Temperatures dropping to nearly zero and below on several days.

The temperature difference from normal (anomaly) at 850 hPa (about 5000 ft) for the National Weather Service GFS model for 4 AM 30 December (courtesy of Dr. Alician Bentley) is very, very unusual (light purple colors)--essentially unprecedented over the past 40 years.


The forecast of Weather.com, which is usually excellent but typically conservative this far out, is going for low temperatures dropping to 16F (see below).


And western Washington will be torrid compared to eastern Washington, where temperatures will drop below -15F at many locations (see Spokane's forecast below)
--


There are still uncertainties in the forecast for Sunday and below, but at this point, it is safe to say that the region will experience some of the coldest temperatures in 5-20 years and if the crazy forecasts come true, many locations will break daily records, a number will break monthly records, and some potentially all-time records for cold.

Snow would be a godsend since it would help insulate plants from the cold.  Can you imagine cold damage on top of heat damage last summer?

Stay tuned, but prepare.





22 comments:

  1. I've seen pictures of the Skagit River frozen over from old times. I wonder if any rivers will freeze over?

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    Replies
    1. In 1979 we had a real cold spell. Snohomish river at Avenue D bridge was frozen.

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    2. Would old times include the early 1970's? I boated through 3" of ice sheet at Milltown.

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  2. How much colder do you think sfc temps could get given a couple inches of snow on the ground to reflect heat on some of the colder days?

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  3. All time record high and low in the same year?! That would be one for the books. I hope it happens just so we can 2021 was that one year...

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  4. I unfastened the hoses and covered the faucets with the styrofoam covers. Yikes! Hope the power doesn't go out.

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  5. Hottest temps of all time, strongest low of all time and now potentially the coldest temps of all time....Cliff, talk sense into me - but this feels extreme and and 'worrisome'!

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  6. 5° in lynden on Monday, that's the overnight low forecasted.

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  7. The trees and plants are highly saturated with water. I envision trees freezing solid and snapping. My Christmas tree was from Chehalis and the trunk was squishy it was so water logged. This could be an epic holiday for the ages.

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  8. While it won't be fun in the wet and chill, people should go on their roofs and clean leaf/needle litter out of their drains NOW before the deep freeze. The last thing you want is for backed up water to freeze and create an ice dam on your roof.

    It makes me shiver inside to think about what I have to do, but that's why God made Laphroaig. Courage and warmth!

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  9. I doubt Sea-Tac can achieve even a single digit minimum; it's been more than 30 years since the last occurence. A moderately deep snow cover is definitely needed to radiate out the heat.But the main factor prohibiting extremely cold minimums is the easterly katabatic nightime winds that often predominate during arctic air outbreaks.Many busted min temp forecasts there over the years because of this phenomenon.

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  10. I wish you'd clarify "all time" with "since records have been kept in 19xx". I mean, in geologic terms it wasn't that long ago that what is now Seattle was under 1km of ice..

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  11. Well, a fitting end to another crummy year. Maybe the cold will kill Omecron?

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    Replies
    1. This year was awesome. So was 2020.

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    2. Probably just the opposite with everyone remaining indoors and in close proximity to each other.

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  12. Just another example Climate Change, let me be the first to claim it, since we all know that the MSM will be zombie - like in their adherence to the narrative.

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  13. If the UW numbers pan out we could have >100 degree temperature extremes in a calendar year. I'm fairly certain that has never happened in this area!

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  14. Cliff, would you speak to the forecast including precipitation during the cold period? Usually when we get this cold we get extremely dry air with it- is this coming cold period different?

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  15. Cliff, would you speak to the forecast including precipitation during the cold period? Usually when we get this cold we get extremely dry air with it- is this coming cold period different?

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  16. A lot of us have been planting zone 9 (USDA) plants and getting away with it. Oh well, it will be fun buying all those exciting new plants next spring! I will bring in doors a couple of them which are in pots.

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  17. Using Windy.com and the ECMWF model - the coldest forecast I see for KTCM












    Using Windy.com and ECMWF for KTCM - the coldest forecast temp I see Dec 27 thru Jan 2 is 17° F - where do you get your data?


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

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