It’s Been Eons!

Friday, January 10, 2014

7:42 p.m.
Triceratops vs Tyrannosaurus rex. This makes Holyfield vs. Tyson look like a game of Kidz Bop. I wonder who got their ear bitten off. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dinosaur
It’s been eons.
Well, OK, maybe we still have the same continents now as we did when it last rained, but it’s been at least a month since we had ourselves a good ol’ Pacific Northwest extra-tropical cyclone. This baby’s gonna bring our classic “trifecta” of wind, rain, and mountain snow. We may even end up getting a bit of river flooding on the Skokomish, as snow levels will skyrocket to 6-7,000 feet due to the warm front associated with this storm.
Speaking of warm fronts, the one associated with this system is quite strong. Look at the model below, and look at the temperature gradient associated with the front! You don’t need those silly red semicircles. You don’t even need the isobars or wind barbs. That’s a helluva warm front.
Valid 01:00 pm PST, Fri 10 Jan 2014 – 9hr Fcst: http://www.atmos.washington.edu/~ovens/wxloop.cgi?mm5d2_slp+//84/3
But the real fun comes in Saturday morning, as a strong low pressure system heads toward Central Vancouver Island.
Valid 07:00 am PST, Sat 11 Jan 2014 – 27hr Fcst: http://www.atmos.washington.edu/~ovens/wxloop.cgi?mm5d2_slp+//84/3
No, this isn’t the strongest low we’ve ever seen, but it’s the strongest we’ve seen of 2014 (and the last month of 2013 for that matter). Additionally, it will drop quite a bit of precipitation over the area.
Valid 04:00 pm PST, Sat 11 Jan 2014 – 36hr Fcst: http://www.atmos.washington.edu/~ovens/wxloop.cgi?mm5d4_ww_pcp24+//84/3 
See the purples over our area? Those represent 1.28 to 2.56 inches of predicted rainfall in the 24-hour period ending 4 p.m. Saturday. Those reds? 5.12 to 10.24 inches/ Wow. Those amounts are almost certainly overdone, but needless to say, Western Washington will be WET tomorrow. I wouldn’t be surprised to see flood-prone rivers such as the Skokomish in Mason County or the Tolt in King County flood, and I expect to see some crazy ponding on the roads tomorrow. Should be fun.
Valid 04:00 am PST, Sun 12 Jan 2014 – 48hr Fcst: http://www.atmos.washington.edu/~ovens/wxloop.cgi?mm5d4_ww_msnow24+//84/3
Once the warm front moves on out, however, we WILL get mountain snowfall, and lots of it. Here’s the 24-hour snowfall ending at 4 a.m. Sunday. Lots of yellos, meaning 2-3 FEET in many places. Even Snoqualmie Pass gets 2 feet or so if you look really closely. Snoqualmie Pass is right where that little “hook” is on that road (I-90) that crosses Seattle and goes through the Cascades.
There’s also going to be some wind affiliated with this storm. High wind warnings are in place for the coast and Admiralty Inlet, and STORM warnings are in effect off the Southern Washington Coast and well offshore. You don’t see those around here very often.
Valid 01:00 am PST, Sat 11 Jan 2014 – 21hr Fcst: http://www.atmos.washington.edu/~ovens/wxloop.cgi?mm5d4_ww_wssfc+//84/3
Evem the Puget Sound area will get in on the action. Our winds are expected to peak at midnight or so, and they’ll roar at around 30 sustained, with gusts up to 45/ Well, maybe not roar, but you get the idea. This just barely qualifies as a wind advisory, but trust me, you’ll wanna hold onto your hats.
By the way, if you haven’t noticed, I kind of have a fetish for these super-high resolution charts. I don’t think there’s that much of a point in having 4/3 km resolution charts when you already have 4km (don’t tell anybody I said that), but man oh man are they pretty to look at.
http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/sew/
It’s been a very long time since we’ve seen a NWS homepage like this. Ideally, those pinks would be 50 miles to the west, but hey, let’s not be too greedy here.
Oh and those Seahawks? Rainy and breezy. If that’s not home-field advantage, I don’t know what is!
Charlie
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