Look at the graphic above. It shows the track of the vigorous low I was talking about in earlier posts. This low looks like it will not bring high winds to our area, but the coast and southwest interior could get slammed.
Usually we don’t see winds as strong as forecasted (gusts to 70 miles per hour) with lows this deep (this low is only 990 millibars). Winds, however, are not determined by the absolute barometric minimum of the low. Rather, they are determined by the gradient
of low pressure. This is a small-scale, surface low pressure system that will still be in the development phase when it comes ashore. All these factors combine to make a very steep pressure gradient. I would not be surprised in the slightest to see a gust to 90 miles per hour in one particular spot – Naselle Ridge in the SW coastal mountains. This place commonly receives high winds, and a similar (albeit much stronger) event on November 3, 1958 gave it a 161 mile per hour gust. Go to http://www.climate.washington.edu/stormking/November1958.html
for more information on this storm. The Seattle area should not see strong winds from this storm.
Another aspect of this storm is that it will bring tons of snow to the mountains! Take a look at the 4km mm5-gfs mesoscale model. Amounts of 30-40 inches are seen throughout the Olympics and amounts of 2-3 feet are seen in the Cascades, with even even higher amounts at higher elevations like Mt. Baker and Mt. Rainier.
Even Seattle will see a fair amount of rain from from this storm. From 4 P.M. Saturday to 4 P.M. Sunday, I’d expect an inch of rain here in Seattle, and the rain will be heavy at times tonight. The coast will see higher amounts, with local amounts up to 4 inches possible.
After this, we will get into a MUCH more benign weather pattern with only a few weak systems approaching the NW. One will clip the area Monday and showers will persist through Thursday. After that, Thanksgiving weekend looks completely dry! I’m not too happy about that but I bet a lot of other people are. After getting all the new snow we should pick up in the next day and the additional stuff during mid-week, the weekend should make for some fantastic skiing in the mountains. I’m definitely going to try to check that out. 🙂
Have a good weekend,