Making Something Out of Nothing

Sunday, September 23, 2012
3:10 P.M.

It’s been bad. Interesting weather is my drug of choice, and unlike most recreational drugs, it has good long term effects which include but are not limited to career opportunities, meeting new people, and the knowledge to impress and win the hearts of millions in the Seattle metropolitan area.

But like most drugs, weather has a dark side. It is addictive, and therefore, when there is no interesting weather to be found, withdrawal symptoms occur. The main symptom is my constant staring at models, hoping for something to magically change in them, but alas, no change is to be found at this time. Of course, there are ways to cope, such as looking at weather happening in other parts of the world, or reminiscing on past weather events, such as the Hanukkah Eve Storm of 2006, the Great Coastal Gale of 2007, and the Awesome Phillips’ Snow Forecast of January 17, 2012.

So what do we do now?

Well, first, let’s look at the weather models to see if anything has changed. I’ll take some snapshots from different times in the 12z GFS model run.

Valid 11:00 am PDT Sun, 23 Sep 2012 – 6hr Fcst – 12z GFS 1000-500mb thickness, 6 hour precip, SLP
There is a huge ridge over our area, with storms being directed north into Alaska. Super boring.
Valid 05:00 am PDT Wed, 26 Sep 2012 – 72hr Fcst – 12z GFS 1000-500mb thickness, 6 hour precip, SLP
Almost the exact same setup. Storms over Alaska, but nothing here.
Valid 05:00 pm PDT Sun, 30 Sep 2012 – 180hr Fcst – 12z GFS 1000-500mb thickness, 6 hour precip, SLP
Same darn thing! Alaskan storms, but a huge ridge over us.
Ok, let’s go out to 384 hours, which is the furthest the GFS goes out.
Valid  05:00 am PDT Tue, 9 Oct 2012 – 384 hours Fcst – 12z GFS 1000-500mb thickness, 6 hour precip, SLP
It looks like a weak front MIGHT hit the area. And sadly, that’s the most interesting thing in the extended.
Most of you who read this blog know that a 384 hour forecast is useless. In fact, on October 9th, I’ll post the same model run, and we’ll see how similar the two model charts are.
But, by writing a weather blog, I made something out of nothing.
To my UW com-padres, enjoy the beginning of the school year (school starts tomorrow).
Charlie
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