Heavy Showers

Tuesday, October 11, 2011
2:28 P.M.

Last night, I went walking with some friends around the UW campus just to get a breath of fresh air and get some relief from the plethora of work thrust upon us by our most excellent professors. I knew that showers were in the forecast, but I failed to check the radar imagery before we headed out. There was a light drizzle just outside Lander Hall, but once we got to Red Square, the heavens opened and Red Square turned into Brick Lake. There we were, soaking wet, in the middle of the night, all alone in the middle of campus. I guess everybody else decided to check the radar. Therefore, I dedicate this post to those people who took a drenching stroll with me last night.

Camano Island Radar, 10:22 pm PDT Mon 10 Oct 2011

The radar image above was taken slightly before our walk, and you can see a moderate shower poised to move through. It sure felt heavier than moderate! There were some periods of pretty hefty rain.

Then again, at least we didn’t have a super late night! Look at the radar 2 1/2 hours later!

Camano Island Radar, 01:53 am PDT Tue 11 Oct 2011
These periods of rain were associated with a cool and unstable air mass over our area last night. Today, we didn’t have prolonged periods of rain, but we had lots of showers. Some of these showers were quite heavy!
4:15 pm PDT Tue 11 Oct 2011

This radar picture, which combines the Langley Hill, Portland, and Camano Island Radars, really shows the showery activity we saw throughout the day. You can see light showers coming in off of the ocean, but when they reach land, they encounter more lift, especially over mountainous areas, and strengthen. You can see a particularly heavy shower southeast of Issaquah, by Tiger Mountain. Look at those reds! It must have been pouring over there.

You can clearly see a lot of showers on the satellite imagery as well. Additionally, all those tight isobars indicate very strong low-level westerly winds. This strong onshore flow leads to lots of orographically enhanced showers. You can see how the Olympics and Cascades have more clouds than normal, but once you get into Eastern Washington, the air sinks, compresses, and warms, inhibiting clouds or precipitation. While the mountains saw inches of rain or feet of snow, Eastern Washington basked under sunny skies.

Visible satellite at 2:30 pm PDT (from NWS)
I recently talked about “unsettled weather” in one of my recent blog posts, and we definitely saw some unsettled weather today. Take a look at a time-lapse video from Red Square today.
Uploaded by KOMOcommunities on October 11, 2011
Showers will still be around on Wednesday, but they will not be as numerous or intense as today’s cloudbursts. Thursday will dry, and light rain returns for Friday and Saturday. Next week looks calm and seasonable, and models diverge after that.

Also, I updated my blog format to make it easier to follow, hopefully attracting more viewers!

On the left side, you can subscribe to the blog, follow it by email, share it on twitter or facebook, become an official “follower” (whatever that means), take a look at some of my favorite weather links, and take a look at my archived posts.

On the right side, you can search the blog, check out my total pageviews, look at my popular posts, and look at ALL my posts on this blog under “recent posts!”

Under each individual post, you can also do some more stuff to share my blog. As always, comments are encouraged!

All of these plugins work with the internet browsers I have used, but Chrome works the best, which would make sense, since Blogger is made by Google. Firefox and Internet Explorer also work, but you generally need to refresh the page once for all of the plugins to show. I haven’t tried Opera or Safari, but who uses those browsers anyway?

On a side note, I think it is ironic that my most viewed post is about nuclear energy, but I traced some of the links that lead people to my blog and found that a picture from my blog of a nuclear explosion comes up when you google image search “nuclear energy.” Clicking on this image will lead you to my “Nuclear Energy” post! Pretty cool stuff.

Thank you for reading! I have to get back to schoolwork.
Charlie Phillips

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