03/30/15: Is that a rumble in the distance? It might be…

Sunday didn’t get too much in the way of showers as anticipated, but some places definitely did, mainly on the Olympic coast. Are we going to be moving back to the sunny weather, or are we sticking with the clouds and rain?

Recap

Saturday – High 64°F, Low 51°F; Some scattered showers in the wee hours of the morning, but dry overall. Winds started out pretty strong and gusty, peaking at 26mph at one point. The gusts calmed down in the late afternoon, but winds stayed breezy. Skies were partly cloudy with sun breaks in the afternoon.

Sunday – High 63°F, Low 54°F; Still breezy throughout the day, but very little in the way of gusts. Skies were partly to mostly cloudy all day, with no rain in the Sound area.

Monday – High 67°F; Winds were the same as Sunday. This time skies were partly cloudy with a few more sun breaks, and no showers rolling through.

WARNINGS – We have 2 warnings out, all for the waterways. We have a Gale Warning for the Strait and the entrance into the Sound, with all other waterways seeing a Small Craft Advisory. For more info, please see here.

A cold air mass will be moving in overnight, so expect cooler temperatures right off the bat. This air mass will slow down as it makes landfall, so we can expect it to stick around for a few days at least. As we move into Wednesday, a ridge will start to build and push east, which will start to push that cold air mass away. It will still be over us by the end of the forecast, but it will be on its way out.

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A large cold air mass will move in, cooling things down. SOURCE: UW Models; 36km 500mb; Temps, winds, heights

These next couple of days will be a little interesting on the surface map, mainly because there isn’t much there. When these cold air masses move in, we normally see them in the form of troughs, which normally brings in a low pressure center and some rain. I’m not seeing any low pressure or fronts for this forecast, but there is some fluctuation in the jet stream and the pressure at the surface, so we could see some disturbances and showers.  Since there isn’t any significant items on the surface map, I will be skipping it for this forecast.

It looks like the leading edge of the cold air mass will bring in some rain, so we’re getting some right off the bat. Most of the rain will fall before the morning commute even starts, but we could have some showers by the time people start heading to work. For the rest of the day on Tuesday, a very small part of central Sound will see consistent showers/rain due to a convergence zone (as with all convergence zones, this position can vary a little). South Sound should stay relatively dry after the initial rainfall in the morning, while north Sound will see scattered showers throughout the day after the morning. The showers will start to dry out overnight with the exception of some areas (mainly the mountains), but they will start to increase again towards Wednesday evening. This time north Sound will stay relatively dry (still with some showers), south Sound will get some consistent rain, and central Sound will see the heaviest of the areas as another convergence zone forms. Although temperatures are on the cool side, the CAPE model is showing some pretty strong signs of thunderstorms. I’m not promising anything, but we may hear some thunder throughout the day on both days. Now I get to post the CAPE model!

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We’ll have 2 main waves of rain, along with scattered showers and a large convergence zone for central Sound. SOURCE: UW Models; 4km Precip; 3-hour precipitation; WA 3-hour precipitation

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CAPE is showing a decent possibility of thunderstorms for both afternoons, but the temperature may not get warm enough for it. SOURCE: UW Models; 12km Surface; CAPE (Convective available potential energy)

Let’s see if you put 2 and 2 together. Cold temperatures moving in? Check. Precipitation in the mountains? Check. Precipitation in the mountains, in frozen form? …Check! With temperatures dropping, the snow level will be dropping as well, so the lower parts of the mountains (including the ski resorts hopefully) will see some snowfall. This is definitely too little too late for Snoqualmie Pass, but Stevens Pass may start operations again. We’ll get decent snowfall Tuesday morning as the initial system moves in, then that will dry out a little as the day progresses and the sun comes up (with the exception of the convergence zone). Wednesday won’t see as much snow, with more of a mix falling, possibly even some showers. That is, until the evening at least! More snow will come down by the end of the forecast period, mainly for the central and southern ranges of the Cascades.

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With the temperature falling, the lower elevations of the mountains will be getting a decent amount of snow. SOURCE: UW Models; 4km Snow; 3-hour model snowfall; WA 3-hour snowfall

With these new systems moving in, we can expect cloudy skies as usual. Although given the nature of the systems, we should see some cloud breaks as well. We’ll see the clouds start to lighten up in the afternoon, and from there we’ll stick with the partly to mostly cloudy skies until Wednesday afternoon. At that point, we’ll see an increase in cover again, and by the end of the forecast the skies will start to clear again.

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Clouds will be on the mostly cloudy side, with some breaks thrown in as well. SOURCE: UW Models; 4km Cloud; Column-integrated cloud water

Here are the 24hr precipitation totals,

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24hr precipitation totals as of Tuesday evening. SOURCE: UW Models; 4km Precip; 24-hour precipitation; WA 24-hour precipitation

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24hr precipitation totals as of Wednesday evening. SOURCE: UW Models; 4km Precip; 24-hour precipitation; WA 24-hour precipitation

And here are the 48hr snowfall totals.

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48hr snowfall totals as of Wednesday evening. Notice the increased amount in the central Cascade range from the convergence zone. SOURCE: UW Models; 4km snow; 48-hour model snowfall; WA 48-hour snowfall

As the first wave of rain moves in overnight, winds will increase as well. Higher speeds will stay over water, but we will see strong winds over the Olympics, along the northern coast, and in parts of Kitsap. All other areas will see slightly weaker winds. This will be the case for the start of Monday through the evening. As Monday progresses, the winds for south Sound will increase, while central will actually weaken. Winds for all areas will start to decrease overnight, and the first half of Wednesday will actually be on the calm side. Once we move into the afternoon and the new system starts to move in, some areas will have an increase in winds as well, mainly south Sound and parts of north Sound. And as quick as it moved in, it will move out again, calming by the end of the forecast.

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Variable winds in the future, with the strongest in south Sound and northern waterways. SOURCE: UW Models; 4km Surface; 10m Wind Speed; Western WA 10m Wind Speed

As I’ve been saying the entire post, temperatures will be cooling down. Highs on Tuesday will be in the low 50s for the entire Sound, with the exception of a small warmer area in central Sound, that small area consisting of the Seattle/Bremerton area. Lows will be in the low 40s, warming a little closer to the water. Wednesday will actually have the same highs, but with no warm spot in the middle. Lows will be the same as well, with some slightly cooler temperatures in south Sound.

TL;DR: Cool temperatures with some rain moving in, along with the possibility of some thunderstorms!

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03/27/15: It looks like the “nice weekend” memo was off by a couple of days

Hopefully you enjoyed the sun yesterday while it lasted, as we’ll be moving to slightly cooler (but still warm) weather. I managed to squeeze in some grilling myself, but we’ll have to see how this weekend goes…

Recap

Thursday – High 72°F, Low 52°F; Very warm day yesterday, with some places recording the warmest day of the year (beating out the other really warm day we had recently). Partly cloudy in the morning and clearing up in the afternoon, the winds were mostly on the calm side as well.

Friday – High 69°F; Scattered cloud cover throughout the day as the next rain system moves in. Winds started to pick up during the commute, with gusts up to 17mph at times.

WARNINGS – At this point, as with the past few forecasts, we have a Small Craft Advisory in effect for all waterways. For more info, please see here.

A small isolated low will continue passing over us tonight, which will already be affecting us at the time of posting. Once that passes, we’ll be under a cool air mass with the jet stream more or less over us. This trend will continue through the weekend, with the jet stream shifting slightly by the end. This may be the precursor for the jet stream to bring in some moisture and rain, but we’ll have to see how that goes on Monday.

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An isolated low will leave behind some disturbances for the weekend, with a cool air mass over us. SOURCE: UW Models; 36km 500mb; Temps, winds, heights

We’ll stick with some pressure on the higher side for the weekend, so that will try to keep things relatively calm, although the isolated low moving through tonight will more than likely leave behind enough disturbance for some clouds and rain to leak through (heh). I don’t see any frontal systems moving through, so I will be skipping this model today.

We’ll start the night with rain, and that will weaken as we move into Saturday morning. The mountains will take longer to dry out, with the Cascades taking the longest into the afternoon. By Saturday night a new system will creep in to the north, and will only initially affect the Olympics, up by the border, and some parts of north Sound. As we progress into Sunday, this system will spread south into the area, with a rain shadow keeping most of central Sound dry, while other areas will see increased rainfall. By the end of the forecast, the system should have weakened enough so the only affected areas will be the mountains and up by the border. I show no signs of thunderstorms for the weekend.

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We’ll have two batches of rain this weekend: tonight/Saturday, and Sunday morning/afternoon. SOURCE: UW Models; 4km Precip; 3-hour precipitation; WA 3-hour precipitation

The first system will bring in a decent amount of snowfall to the Cascades, so at least there’s that. That will weaken towards a rain/snow mix and then completely dry out by the evening. The next system won’t be as forgiving, as the only areas that will be getting snow will be the northern ranges.

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The Cascades will get some snow on Saturday, but not for Sunday… SOURCE: UW Models; 4km Snow; 3-hour model snowfall; WA 3-hour snowfall

With the jet stream parked over us as well as the disturbances left behind from the isolated low, we may not see as much of the Sun as we did on Thursday and Friday. Cloud cover will start to increase overnight, leaving us with mostly cloudy skies for Saturday. There may be a few more breaks in the middle of the day, but those will close up pretty quick. Sunday will be much of the same, more than likely with increased clouds.

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Mostly cloudy to overcast skies for the weekend, with a possible few sunbreaks on Saturday. SOURCE: UW Models; 4km Cloud; Column-integrated cloud water

Here are the 24hr precipitation totals,

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24hr precipitation totals as of Saturday evening. SOURCE: UW Models; 4km Precip; 24-hour precipitation; WA 24-hour precipitation

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24hr precipitation totals as of Sunday evening. SOURCE: UW Models; 4km Precip; 24-hour precipitation; WA 24-hour precipitation

And here are the 48hr snowfall totals.

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48hr snowfall totals as of Sunday evening. SOURCE: UW Models; 4km snow; 48-hour model snowfall; WA 48-hour snowfall

This weekend will be a little breezier than recently, so be prepared for that. We’ll start off with breezy conditions tonight, with the strongest winds up in the north Sound area. These will shift down to central Sound overnight, and won’t show any signs of weakening until the afternoon, and even then it will still be a little breezy. By the evening hours the winds will have calmed a little more, but it will increase for north Sound overnight once again as the new system rolls in. This time the strong winds will stick to north Sound (and parts of Hood Canal), but the winds will increase in strength for central and south Sound as well. By the end of the forecast period, the winds will be in the process of calming, and hopefully they will stay that way.

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Breezy and windy weekend ahead of us, especially for north Sound. SOURCE: UW Models; 4km Surface; 10m Wind Speed; Western WA 10m Wind Speed

As I hinted at above, the weekend will be cooler than what we’ve recently seen, but it will still be spring temperatures. Saturday will see highs in the low 60s for the majority of the Sound, with some cool pockets around Kitsap and north Sound. Lows will be in the high 40s. Sunday will be much of the same, with low 60s for south Sound, and cooler temperatures to the north. Lows will be in the high 40s once again.

TL;DR: A cloudy, (slightly) cooler weekend is in our future.

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03/25/15: Good thing it was nice Tuesday afternoon…

…Because traffic was terrible! I walked from Elliott Ave to Westlake center, passed 2 buses for the route I take to go to the same place (and they left before I even got off work), and they never passed me. Anyways, on to the weather!

Recap

Tuesday – High 59°F, Low 48°F; Boeing Field only registered around a quarter of an inch in precipitation, and that was in the morning. If you were in downtown Seattle like me, you’ll know that there was quite a bit more rain towards the end of the afternoon. I thought I heard a rumble or two, but that could have been some angry drivers. Skies were mostly cloudy with some sun breaks, and windy conditions all day.

Wednesday – High 61°F; Scattered showers throughout the day, with the same wind and cloud conditions.

WARNINGS – At this point, we only have a Small Craft Advisory for the Sound. For more info, please see here.

It looks like a ridge will start to build a little bit overnight, which will warm us up a little bit, as well as keep the rain away. This trend will continue for much of Tuesday, but by Wednesday morning the ridge will start to weaken and the jet stream will start to move south again. There is a far reaching trough that will move into our area, but it has more of a short-wave trough build. It doesn’t look like it will hit by the end of the forecast, but it will be pretty close, and there could be some preceding showers pushed ahead.

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A ridge will bring in some decent weather, but it won’t last too long. SOURCE: UW Models; 36km 500mb; Temps, winds, heights

High pressure will be the name of the game, so we can more than likely expect less cloud cover. With this, we also run the risk of some patchy fog in the morning. This will continue until Wednesday morning, where a low centered off the coast of Canada will start to drop the pressure. I don’t see a warm front, but it looks like we could see a cold front move in by the end of the forecast.

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High pressure will move in through Friday afternoon, where it will start to drop with a front moving in. SOURCE: UW Models; 12km Surface; SLP, 10 m winds, and temp

As I said on the last forecast, the rain we’re seeing today will dry out and move north by the time of posting this. From there, we’re looking at dry skies at least through Friday afternoon. We can see the beginning of the frontal rain bands moving in on the coast by the evening commute, and by the end of the forecast, some of that may have already spilled over the Olympics. I’m expecting most of the rain to occur overnight, but we’ll have to wait to see that on the next post. I don’t see any CAPE on the model, so no thunderstorms for this batch. I also don’t see much snow, except for in the very high elevations tonight and at the very end of the forecast. Because of this, I won’t be posting either of those models.

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Showers will dry out tonight, then start to move back in by the end of the forecast. SOURCE: UW Models; 4km Precip; 3-hour precipitation; WA 3-hour precipitation

With the high pressure moving in, we can expect a little less cloud cover over the next couple of days. As I mentioned before, we can expect some patchy morning fog on both Thursday and Friday morning, but as usual this should clear up by late morning/early afternoon. After the fog, expect mostly to partly sunny skies. Friday may see some increasing clouds later in the day as the front moves in.

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Foggy mornings clearing to partly cloudy skies, with increasing clouds by the end of the forecast. SOURCE: UW Models; 4km Cloud; Column-integrated cloud water

I won’t be posting the 24hr precipitation totals because due to the timing of the model, there is no relevant info.

The winds will slowly start to calm down as we move into Thursday, with breezy conditions up in the mountains and in the waterways. We’ll stay that way until Friday afternoon when the pressure starts to drop and the front starts to move in. We’ll see increased wind throughout the Sound, with the strongest winds up in the Strait. The winds show signs of calming at the end of the forecast, so we’ll see how long that lasts on Friday.

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Mostly calm conditions on Thursday, picking up on Friday with the front moving in. SOURCE: UW Models; 4km Surface; 10m Wind Speed; Western WA 10m Wind Speed

With a ridge, high pressure, and less clouds on the way, we can expect some warm temperatures in the future as well. Highs on Thursday will be in the mid to high 60s for everyone, with some areas possibly reaching closer to 70. Lows will be in the high 40s. For Wednesday, temperatures will be slightly cooler for most people with highs in the mid 60s. the northern part of Hood Canal and parts of south Sound will be in warm pockets so those areas can expect slightly warmer temperatures. Lows will be in the high 40s once again.

TL;DR: Foggy mornings, somewhat sunny afternoons!

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03/23/15: It’s thunderstorm season!

If you liked the Husky Weather page on Facebook (shameless plug), you will have seen a couple NWS posts I’ve shared about the possible thunderstorms on Monday. With the temperatures on the warm side and with the usual roller coaster spring is with its disturbances, there is a decent chance we may see some storms (if we haven’t already on Monday. So I will at least be looking at the CAPE from now on and including it when applicable.

For new readers or for those who forgot, CAPE is Convective-Available Potential Energy. You will see a more in-depth definition in the Weather Terminology page, but in brief, the model shows how much a convective energy a system has, which is a very strong identifier for thunderstorms. With that said, the location of thunderstorms can be difficult to predict because of their chaotic nature, so keep that in mind for the future. Now on to the forecast.

Recap

Saturday – High 59°F, Low 42°F; Rain mostly in the morning and afternoon, drying out for most people by mid afternoon. Boeing Field totaled to around 0.15in. Mostly cloudy for the start of the day, clearing out a little bit by the afternoon. Winds were pretty gusty as well, peaking at 36mph at one point.

Sunday – High 56°F, Low 42°F; Showers were a little more spread out throughout the day, this time not even hitting 0.1in at Boeing. Skies were partly to mostly cloudy all day, with breezy conditions.

Monday – High 53°F; Scattered showers once again, with some fairly strong cells here and there. Winds have been fairly strong as well, and the clouds have been partly to mostly cloudy.

WARNINGS – At this point we only have a Small Craft Advisory in effect for the Sound. for more info, please see here.

The small disturbance that came through on Monday will continue to move through overnight, giving way to a small ridge. This should help keep things relatively clear, but the previous system left behind some disturbances so we could still see some showers. The ridge will continue to build, but the jet stream will be over us for much of the time, so it will be bringing in a bit of moisture that could turn to rain.

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A cool ridge will start to build, but the jet stream will continue to bring in moisture. SOURCE: UW Models; 36km 500mb; Temps, winds, heights

The low pressure associates with the upper level disturbance will pass to the south of us, and by Tuesday evening the pressure will somewhat even out (as much as they can at least). A low pressure system off the map will swing its warm front through the area overnight Tuesday and into Wednesday morning, so we should see some showers from that. By the end of the forecast the pressure will be on the high side, so hopefully that will be a sign for what the rest of the week will hold.

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A low off the map will swing a warm front into the area overnight on Tuesday and into Wednesday. SOURCE: UW Models; 12km Surface; SLP, 10 m winds, and temp

The showers will start to lessen overnight and shift over to the Cascades as the low to the south moves on. By the afternoon some of the showers will move back down to the Sound, so expect some rain for the evening commute. Those showers will dry out later in the evening, but the front will make that dry period very short. It will make landfall around midnight, and it’ll be in the Sound before the brunt of the commute starts. There will be a small rain shadow for the northeast tip of the Olympic Peninsula, but everyone else will get a healthy helping of rain. We’ll have a brief period of increased rainfall in the afternoon, especially for central Sound, but by mid to late afternoon the rain will start to weaken and move north. As I stated up above, thunderstorm season is starting up, but other than the possible ones on Monday, I’m not seeing any for this batch. I won’t be including the CAPE model…yet.

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We’ll have some showers for Tuesday, but the main even will be on Wednesday as a large frontal system moves in. SOURCE: UW Models; 4km Precip; 3-hour precipitation; WA 3-hour precipitation

The snowfall will continue with the current system we have right now, and then dry out with the rest of it. The warm front will actually bring in some snow since it will be hitting overnight while the temperatures are cool, but as soon as the Sun comes up, the temperatures will as well. That mixed with the warm air brought in with the front, the snow will move to a rain/snow mix by the afternoon. By the end of the forecast, the only snow falling will be at the very tip of the elevations. It may be time to start thinking about biking down the mountains, rather than sledding down on waxed wood.

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The mountains will be getting some snow with these two systems, but it will get too warm by Wednesday afternoon for it to continue. SOURCE: UW Models; 4km Snow; 3-hour model snowfall; WA 3-hour snowfall

Skies will be mostly cloudy overnight and into Tuesday as the system loses strength. By the evening, we may see a few more breaks in the clouds, but that will be short lived with the new front moving in. At that point, skies will be overcast for the rest of Wednesday.

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Mostly cloudy to overcast skies will be on the menu for the next couple of days, with some breaks in the clouds between systems. SOURCE: UW Models; 4km Cloud; Column-integrated cloud water

Here are the 24hr precipitation totals,

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24hr precipitation totals as of Tuesday evening. SOURCE: UW Models; 4km Precip; 24-hour precipitation; WA 24-hour precipitation

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24hr precipitation totals as of Wednesday evening. SOURCE: UW Models; 4km Precip; 24-hour precipitation; WA 24-hour precipitation

And here are the 48hr snowfall totals.

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48hr snowfall totals as of Wednesday evening. SOURCE: UW Models; 4km Snow; 48-hour model snowfall; WA 48-hr snowfall

The winds will be on the breezy side for some of us on Tuesday, mainly in south Sound. The mountains will be seeing stronger winds as well, but everything should start to calm down by the evening. Although, the warm front has different plans. Winds will start to increase for the Olympics first, then quickly for the Strait and northern islands. These winds will stay strong for most of the morning. All other areas will start to see an increase late morning, with the stronger winds near the water, especially Hood Canal. By the end of the forecast, the winds will start to calm again, starting with south Sound and moving north with the system.

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Strong winds will be moving in with the warm front, mainly for the northern waterways. SOURCE: UW Models; 4km Surface; 10m Wind Speed; Western WA 10m Wind Speed

Even with a warm front moving in, the warm up won’t be super noticeable because of the rain and clouds. Highs on Tuesday will be in the mid 50s for central and north Sound, while south Sound will be warmer, possibly to the high 50s. Lows will be in the mid 40s. Wednesday will see a warm up for some areas, but there won’t be too much of a difference. Highs will be in the mid 50s for the east side of the Sound, with warmer temperatures on the other side of the water and south Sound, especially in the Olympia area. Lows will be in the mid to high 40s.

TL;DR: More rain on the way.

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03/20/14: March Madness is here, Vernal Equinox is today, that means it’s officially Spring, right?

Well, it’s starting to feel like it. We’re finally starting to get some rain, temperatures are on the mild side of warm side of mild, and it’s smelling like flowers just about everywhere you go. Except downtown. We all know what that smells like. If you haven’t gone up to UW yet for the cherry blossoms, make sure you do that real soon!

Recap

Thursday – High 63°F, Low 51°F; Showers in the late afternoon, mainly in north Sound. Skies were mostly cloudy wall day, with windy conditions up until late afternoon.

Friday – High 60°F; Scattered showers earlier in the day, moving to more consistent showers in the afternoon. Winds have been breezy for the day, with mostly cloudy to overcast skies.

WARNINGS – At this point, there are only a few warnings out. We have a Gale Warning for parts of the Strait and northern waterways, and a Small Craft Advisory for all other waterways. For the Cascades (mainly the northern parts), we have a Hazardous Weather Outlook for rain, snow, and wind. For more info, please see here.

The small trough I’ve been keeping my eye on will make its transit overnight tonight and into Saturday morning. This will definitely cool things down a bit and bring in some weather. It will make a quick run through the area, then we’ll move back to a small ridge. And just like the first trough, this ridge will be very quick, and we’ll move back into a cold air mass. This one will be bigger, and it will more than likely last longer. The actual cold air mass won’t move over us until later in the evening, but it will definitely be pushing some disturbances ahead of it.

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We’ll have a succession of troughs and ridges for the weekend. SOURCE: UW Models; 36km 500mb; Temps, winds, heights

The sea level pressure will be a little mixed up for much of Saturday, but everything will start to straighten out by the evening. Why is that? Well, there’s a large low building off the coast, and it has it’s eyes on us…kind of. The track of the center will take it towards the northern part of Vancouver Island, but the fronts associated will definitely swing our way by the afternoon. It looks like it will start to dissipate by the end of the forecast, but the remaining front may still have enough strength to reach the coast on Monday.

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A low off the coast will bring in a front or two over the weekend. SOURCE: UW Models; 12km Surface; SLP, 10 m winds, and temp

The rain should be in full swing by the time the forecast is posted. It will increase in strength briefly, and then just as quick it will move on to the mountains, leaving some scattered showers for the Sound. Central Sound will have stronger showers in the morning, then central and north Sound for the afternoon. These showers should dry out by Saturday evening. We’ll stay that way until the afternoon when the next front moves in. Strongest showers will occur late afternoon/early evening, then move to more scattered showers.

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Quite a bit of rain moving thorugh this weekend, most of it overnight tonight and into Saturday. SOURCE: UW Models; 4km Precip; 3-hour precipitation; WA 3-hour precipitation

With the temperatures dropping, it looks like some of the resorts may get a chance to reopen for at least a little bit. Snow will be falling with the first batch, drying out with the rain Saturday night. More snow will move back in Sunday night, but not as much as we will see for Saturday.

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The mountains should get a decent amount of snow this weekend, but it’s probably too little way too late. SOURCE: UW Models; 4km Snow; 3-hour model snowfall; WA 3-hour snowfall

Skies will be mostly cloudy overnight and into Saturday evening, with some breaks mainly for south Sound during the day. After the showers, we’ll clear for a little bit, then the clouds will start to increase again as the front moves in. By the afternoon, we’ll be mostly cloudy to overcast again as the next system moves in.

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Mostly cloudy to overcast skies for the weekend, with some breaks in the clouds Saturday evening. SOURCE: UW Models; 4km Cloud; Column-integrated cloud water

Here are the 24hr precipitation totals,

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24hr precipitation totals as of Saturday evening. SOURCE: UW Models; 4km Precip; 24-hour precipitation; WA 24-hour precipitation

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24hr precipitation totals as of Sunday evening. SOURCE: UW Models; 4km Precip; 24-hour precipitation; WA 24-hour precipitation

And here are the 48hr snowfall totals.

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48hr snowfall totals as of Sunday evening. SOURCE: UW Models; 4km Snow; 48-hour model snowfall; WA 48-hour snowfall

Winds will be on the calm side for most of the weekend, so that might be a nice little break compared to what we’ve been seeing. By the time of posting, we’ll be in some breezy conditions, but that will start to calm as we move into Saturday. South and central Sound may see some slight breezes in the morning, but those shouldn’t last too long. On Sunday, the winds will start to pick up in the mountains and waterways by morning, and then over land by the afternoon. The winds will be just as quick as the rain, because it will calm again by the end of the forecast.

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Winds will be a little calmer for the weekend, with things picking up again for a little bit on Sunday. SOURCE: UW Models; 4km Surface; 10m Wind Speed; Western WA 10m Wind Speed

As I was hinting at at the beginning of the forecast, we can expect some cooler temperatures over the next couple of days, at least for Saturday. We’ll see highs on Saturday in the mid 50s for most of the Sound, cooling a little as you move north of Seattle. Lows will be in the low to mid 40s. Sunday will be slightly warmer with the cold air mass moving in later, with highs in the mid to high 50s. Lows will be warmer as well with the clouds moving in, dipping to the mid 40s.

TL;DR: More rain on the way with cooler temperatures.

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03/18/15: Spring Pt. 2 is on it’s way

We’re only a few days away from the Vernal Equinox. If you remember my post back at the beginning of March, this is the astronomical beginning of Spring, when the North and South poles are not tilted toward or away from the Sun. Most people refer to this day as when night and day are equal in length. This is actually incorrect due to a couple of technicalities, and as much as I enjoy all physical, Earth, and space sciences, this is a weather blog so I won’t get into that. If you want to take a look for yourself, click here. Now on to the weather!

Recap

Tuesday – High 60°F, Low 46°F; Partly to mostly cloudy skies for the duration of the day. Showers started moving in towards the evening, as did the winds.

Wednesday – High 63°F; Partly cloudy all day with a few sunbreaks. Winds were breezy throughout the day, with no showers to speak of.

WARNINGS – At this point, we only have a Small Craft Advisory in effect for the coastal waters. This may extend to the Strait towards Friday. For more info, please see here.

Our small ridge will continue to hold it together overnight and into Thursday, but all good things must come to an end. By Friday morning, it looks like the ridge will start to build more, but the jet stream is shifting back to the east, bringing it mostly over us again. As it shifts, it will start to create a stronger trough behind it and pull it in. This through won’t be affecting us on Friday, but there’s a good possibility it will affect the weekend. I’m just never going to get my yardwork done…

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The jet stream will start to shift east, pushing the our ridge away. SOURCE: UW Models; 36km 500mb; Temps, winds, heights

The pressure will start to drop by Thursday afternoon, with a possible front moving through around that time as well. The big part of this model will be the cold front that will slowly make its way in on Friday. The cold front itself will cause a few disturbances along the front itself and create some small low centers. This could affect the wind in areas, so we’ll have to keep an eye on that. The front will make landfall by Friday afternoon/evening, but it will more than likely push a bit of disturbances ahead, mixing in with possible disturbances left behind from the previous weak front.

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A low pressure system will shift one front into the area, possibly two. SOURCE: UW Models; 12km Surface; SLP, 10 m winds, and temp

It looks like we’ll stay nice overnight, but by late Thursday morning/early afternoon, we’ll move back to the spring showers…for part of the Sound at least. North Sound will mainly be the only ones affected for most of Thursday, but a few stray showers may find their way south. By early Friday morning, the system will shift south a little bit, then retreat to the Olympics, northern Cascades, and way north Sound. From there it looks like its the waiting game until the cold front approaches the coast. By the end of the forecast, the frontal rain bands will just be making landfall on the Olympic Peninsula, but there could still be a few stray showers throughout the Sound.

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The rain will stay mostly to north Sound, north Cascades, and the Olympics, but it will start moving east by the end of the forecast. SOURCE: UW Models; 4km Precip; 3-hour precipitation; WA 3-hour precipitation

The snow level is going to be pretty high for the next couple of days, so no Snow for this batch. It will more than likely drop a bit on Friday as the cold front moves in, so we may get another decent round of snow. We’ll have to see how that goes, but I won’t be posting the snow model.

With the low pressure moving in, we can expect an increase in cloud cover. Thursday will be mostly cloudy with the chance of a few sun breaks later in the day. Friday will cloudy all day, with a possible ceiling drop as the cold front gets closer.

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Expect mostly cloudy skies for the rest of the week. SOURCE: UW Models; 4km Cloud; Column-integrated cloud water

Here are the 24hr precipitation totals.

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24hr precipitation totals as of Thursday evening. SOURCE: UW Models; 4km Precip; 24-hour precipitation; WA 24-hour precipitation

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24hr precipitation totals as of Friday evening. SOURCE: UW Models; 4km Precip; 24-hour precipitation; WA 24-hour precipitation

The winds will be a little variable over the next couple of days, but it will be more on the side of stronger than what we’ve seen. Wind speeds will start to increase mainly for the north Sound by Thursday morning, with the strongest winds over the water. As we progress through the afternoon, the winds will pick up for everyone, with the strong areas still staying towards the northern waterways and mountains. We’ll have a slight calm period overnight, but then the winds will just pick up again by morning, especially up in the Strait. On Friday the winds will be about the same as Thursday, but most of the stronger winds will actually be over land, especially over Kitsap. By the end of the forecast, things will have started to calm again, with the exception of the Olympics and the Hood Canal area.

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Breezy conditions will be the name of the game for the next couple of days. SOURCE: UW Models; 4km Surface; 10m Wind Speed; Western WA 10m Wind Speed

Temperatures will stay fairly similar to what we’ve been seeing. Even though we have a cold front moving in, that won’t hit until after the forecast, so we should expect to see a cooldown for the weekend. Highs on Thursday will be in the low 60s for the majority of the Sound, with cooling temperatures as you move north of the Lynnwood area. Lows will be in the high 40s. Friday will be the same with highs in low 60s, but it will be a little more wide spread. Lows will be in the mid to high 40s.

TL;DR: Warm and mostly cloudy for the end of the work week.

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03/16/15: Lets talk about the big wet elephant in the room.

So I was wrong. Basically everyone who made a forecast on Thursday/Friday were wrong about Sunday. Such is the nature of the beast. The atmosphere is chaotic, and weather forecasters do their best to accurately forecast the weather, but sometimes things change. Usually it’s small changes, but sometimes it can be a huge change like yesterday. The models had the atmospheric river pushing most of the rain system to the north of us, but as the weekend progressed, the models got a better idea of where it was going (right over us). A couple small waves/disturbances in the river change the course of the system just enough to move the PNW and break numerous rainfall records. One of my former professors, Cliff Mass, wrote a very nice and informative article about this particular storm on his blog, “When a forecast goes wrong.” Check it out!

Now that the elephant is out of the room, let’s continue.

Recap

Saturday – High 61°F, Low 46°F; Interesting note, the temperature continued to decrease throughout the day. Most of the rain fell in the morning, totaling to around 0.7in at Boeing Field. Obviously cloudy all day, and it was windy all day, especially in the afternoon where the gusts were as strong as 28mph.

Sunday – High 54°F, Low 46°F; Rain all day. Many records were broken, with Boeing Field receiving over 2 inches of rain. Winds were breezy all day as well.

Monday – High 58°F; A nice change compared to yesterday, with no showers all day and the clouds starting to part. Winds were calmer as well, with a few stronger periods in the afternoon.

WARNINGS – At this point, we have no watches or warnings.

Hopefully you didn’t get your fill of rain, because we have more on the way, although not as much as we received on Sunday (in theory). A small trough will push through overnight, bringing in a disturbance that will more than likely drop a few rain drops. Because of its size, it will make a quick transit, and we’ll start to move into a more ridge-like structure. The jet stream will still be over us, so we may still get some slight disturbances, but it shouldn’t be too bad.

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A small trough will move in, bringing in some more weather. SOURCE: UW Models; 36km 500mb; Temps, winds, heights

A low pressure will stay parked off the map over the Pacific, but we can see an associated front move in on Tuesday, which will be pushing showers ahead of it, and leaving behind a slight disturbance. In case you forgot, you can identify a front from the Surface Level Pressure map by a couple key items: temperature (strong quick changes from warm to cold and vice versa), wind direction/speed, and atmospheric pressure (a quick change in direction, usually looks like what a spur would on an elevation map). In this case, the strong identifiers are the winds and pressure, and you can see it make landfall in the late afternoon on Tuesday. From that point, the pressure will start to increase again, which will hopefully help hinder showers.

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A front will pass through on Tuesday, bringing in more rain and wind. SOURCE: UW Models; 12km Surface; SLP, 10 m winds, and temp

Overnight should stay relatively dry, and the first showers will move in by late morning/early afternoon. The first batch will be quick, with north and south Sound getting the most. This system will move on into the Cascades by mid afternoon, and from that point we’ll have scattered showers for the rest of the day. All showers will start to dry out by Wednesday morning, with the showers up in the mountains taking a little longer. By the end of the forecast, the entire area should be shower-free. We’ll see how long that lasts…

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Showers will move in on Tuesday, and then stick around in the mountains for a while. SOURCE: UW Models; 4km Precip; 3-hour precipitation; WA 3-hour precipitation

The snow level should be down a little with the cooler temperatures, so this batch will bring in a little bit of snow, but not much. Since there isn’t too much, I will just post the 48hr totals below. It’s getting to the point where I will stop looking at this model, so we’ll see how long that will be.

Cloud cover will be increasing overnight as the front pushes in. Overcast skies for most of the day on Tuesday, with the possibility of a few cloud breaks later in the evening. Wednesday will start out fairly cloudy, but by the afternoon the high pressure should start kicking in and we’ll move to partly sunny skies.

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Overcast skies for Tuesday, with clouds clearing by Wednesday afternoon. SOURCE: UW Models; 4km Cloud; Column-integrated cloud water

Here are the 24hr precipitation totals,

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24hr precipitation totals as of Tuesday evening. SOURCE: UW Models; 4km Precip; 3-hour precipitation; WA 3-hour precipitation

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24hr precipitation totals as of Wednesday evening. SOURCE: UW Models; 4km Precip; 3-hour precipitation; WA 3-hour precipitation

And here are the 48hr snowfall totals.

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48hr snowfall totals as of Wednesday evening. SOURCE: UW Models; 4km Snow; 48-hour model snowfall; WA 48-hour snowfall

Tuesday winds will start out relatively calm, but will start to increase for everyone by the afternoon. These winds shouldn’t be too strong, but expect overall windiness for the Sound, especially in the Hood Canal/north Sound areas. Things will start to calm overnight, with the exception of the mountains and waterways especially Puget Sound. Those will calm by mid morning, and from there we’ll have slightly breezy conditions for the rest of the day.

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Winds will pick up with the frontal passage on Tuesday, but should calm down for the most part by Wednesday. SOURCE: UW Models; 4km Surface; 10m Wind Speed; Western WA 10m Wind Speed

Temperatures will still be on the warm side, but nothing like we saw at the end of the week last week. Highs on Tuesday will be in the mid to high 50s for the entire Sound. Lows will be in the mid 40s. Wednesday will be a little warmer, with highs in the high 50s for everyone. The Kitsap and south Sound areas may see slightly higher temperatures, closing in on low 60s. Lows will be in the mid 40s for most of the Sound, with south Sound reaching a little lower.

TL;DR: More rain on the way, but not as much as we had on Sunday (in theory).

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