The Weather Cafe ® by Rufus

Written by Rufus La Lone since 1994.

Seeing The White

Posted by Rufus La Lone on

Monday February 19 - Presidents Day
Well, there is an interesting development in the long-range forecast involving ‘The White’.  Before that, let’s cover the week ahead.  Mug ☕️ time.
Cool & damp for the next 2+ days, as a Low pressure cell moves north off the OR coast while 'filling in' (weakening, as the center pressure rises).  Moisture will essentially move into the PNW from the south-southwest.  All of California will continue to get rain bands through Tue evening from the same Low.  
There is general model agreement as to a short dry spell late Wed through most of Saturday, Feb 21-24.  Temperatures will warm just a little - think 50s in most locations.  Straight sunshine may be a challenge, as cloud cover will vary across the PNW.  Late Saturday begins another interesting ‘winter’ event for the entire PNW and portions of California.
As noted in our last discussion, late Saturday evening a cold front will drop into the region from the NW, with very cold air trailing behind the front.  Indeed, the air mass is modeled to be the coldest since our last winter episode.  This time, though, it will arrive from off the eastern Pacific carrying enough moisture for lowering SNOW LEVELS by early Sunday.  Timing is variable, per usual, however, there is a high probability for SNOW at the surface for western WA & OR late Sunday on into early Tue.  Rain turning to snow - from N to S - is our call for sometime Sunday Feb 25.  The coldest air may not arrive until after sunset Sunday, but that doesn’t eliminate the best chance we have had for snowfall in several weeks.  Monday Feb 26 could easily be a ‘snow day’ for regional schools - keep that in mind & prepare, just in case.  We do not see an ice storm type of event.  We’ll update, of course, in our next discussion this Friday Feb 23
The snow event, should it develop, will be short-lived, lasting a day or two. This time, though, the ground will be warm, so melting will take place rather rapidly at first.  We believe the moisture will continue to move onshore long enough for accumulation.   A couple inches of snow on valley floors is not out of the question. 
The air mass will dry down late Tue into Wed Feb 27,28 and is likely to REMAIN dry on through Fri March 1.  ICY roads Wed morning.  Sip your commute ☕️ with caution.
The month of March is trending to start with cool days & the chance for showers during the weekend of Mar 2,3.  That said, models also indicate that moisture that weekend may follow the 'El Niño Path’ into California instead of the PNW.  If so, the weekend of Mar 2,3 may remain dry around the PNW.  So, too, could most of the following week of Mar 4-8.  We’ll see.
Bottom line: one more shot of The White on valley floors is looking possible in a week.  A lot can change, but that is why you are reading this —> to know the possible & plan ahead, just in case.
“A chef is a person with a big enough vocabulary to give the soup a different name every day.”
Copyright © 1994-2024 - All Rights Reserved - The Weather Café ®
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Posted by Rufus La Lone on

Friday February 16
Wind. Rain. Showers. Sun. Low elevation snow.  That’s the basic wx prognosis for the rest of February.  Details require a full Mug.  Set?
A STRONG east wind is setting up for both western WA & OR today & Saturday.  An impressive storm system off the coast will slowly moving onshore across the entire west coast this weekend. At the same time, high pressure to the east will build for a day or two, literally shoving air towards that Low of the coast; hence, the strong winds.  The rain field from said storm will be stretched out south-to-north, with most of the heavier rainfall is modeled to target northern CA this weekend.  The PNW will pick up some precip, esp on Sat for western OR, SW WA.  Frozen precip will remain possible the farther east once travels over mountains or “through the Gaps.”
Next week, the PNW will not be completely dry as ‘wrap-around’ moisture from the California system will work its way north.  Cool temps.  However, by the end of the week, models do build a relatively warm, dry ridge into the PNW for a decent sunny Fri & Sat, Feb 23,24.  The 2nd half of the final weekend of February will turn cooler & DAMP on Sunday, Feb 25, with a winter cold air mass beginning to work into the region from the NW.  The freezing level will drop rapidly Sunday, when that colder air moves inland.  Rain, with a rain/snow mix at the surface - mainly over the Puget Sound - is possible.  Good addition to the 2024 snowpack.  
It looks WET and quite chilly as the last few days of Leap Year February get underway.  Model runs target steady, heavy rain over Vancouver Is., southern BC and NW WA (threat for localized flooding again!).  The northern half of Oregon & Idaho will be wet, as well.  Southern OR is trending mild & dry, should the ‘jet stream’ remain positioned over WA/BC.
By March 1st, steady rain may expand into OR with another large, cold Low pressure trough over the eastern Pacific spinning off cold fronts.  Snow level below the passes.  Early March is trending quite chilly & damp.  Typical for the region.  Let’s see how this all develops on the charts next week.
“We are less convinced by what we hear than by what we see."
Copyright © 1994-2024 - All Rights Reserved - The Weather Café ®
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Snowy Feb End Possible

Posted by Rufus La Lone on

Monday February 12
A real variety pack in the wx dept for the rest of February.  Worthy of a good cup of coffee, or whatever your fav morn’n beverage.  Here goes.
A chilly Low pressure trough is moving across NW WA this morning, so expect rain & showers, mainly north of Chehalis, to continue through most of today.  Clearing and frosty overnight, so use caution on the roads Tue morning.  The air mass, esp over OR will be still, so fog could be in play, as well. 
The next rainy system - with wind - is due to arrive late Tue into Valentine’s Day.  Enough cold air from the chilly Low noted above could penetrate far enough south to set up a wintery event for the eastern portions of the Columbia Gorge.  Yep.  Snow and/or freezing rain.  Inches of snow are possible by Fri.  For the rest of the west side just rain (although, snow/rain mix near the Fraser Gap is possible), as the surface southerly wind component of the Valentine’s storm should hold snow up in the mountains.  There will be an east wind out of the Fraser Gap late Wed into Thu.  Clearing will begin overnight Valentine’s Day, so expect a drier pattern to arrive late this week, with a E-to-NE breeze, esp out of the Gaps.
The coming weekend is trending more dry than wet for the PNW, as a front will essentially be stretched out along the west coast, before another round of moderate ‘El Niño’ rains begin to hit California starting Sunday Feb 18.  We do not rule out a stray shower anywhere in the PNW this weekend, but the Puget Sound will be the most likely area to get a shower.  Throughout the region, expect chilly Feb temperatures.  
Week of Feb 19-23.  Generally dry & chilly for the PNW, as California will be the wet place next week.  Locally, fog may be in play in the usual places, less so late week.
Ponder Point.  Will we enter another wintery mode for the PNW?  Well, lots of speculation, per the models, as to what our regional wx will be like as Leap Year February 2024 nears an end.  A colder, snow producing pattern may begin to set up during the final weekend of the month.  Rain and rapidly lowering freezing levels are possible during the Feb 24-25 weekend.  Rain will start first in NW WA & BC, then move into OR and ID later on Sunday.  Much colder air behind the windy storm will drop snow levels - potentially - right to the surface on Mon Feb 26. The same system will also become a major CA storm, as well, as the cold, wet air mass continues its move south along the west coast.  SNOW SHOWERS may continue in the PNW through much of Tue Feb 27.  This is just a projection for now, and it has been charting during multiple model runs.  It is not uncommon to get a decent shot of surface snow in February, so let’s see what Nature presents.
“Some people grin and bear it - others smile and change it."
Copyright © 1994-2024 - All Rights Reserved - The Weather Café ®
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Chilly Bland

Posted by Rufus La Lone on

Friday February 9
A general mix of what some would call ‘bland’ weather is ahead for the mid-Feb period.  Temps may turn a bit chilly, too.  Get that Mug ready.  Here goes.
Hit & miss showers today and most of Saturday.  Peeks of sunshine possible.  Late Sat, a smaller system will likely bring additional showers to western WA & BC and possibly as far south as Portland/Salem.  Late Sunday afternoon is looking fairly nice, as is Monday Feb 12.  Notice that the period of daylight is getting longer.  Hurray!
While wx models have not been consistent, we do expect a damp, chilly system to move onshore sometime on Tue and last through Valentine’s Day.  High pressure over the Canadian interior is likely to spark brisk winds out of the Fraser Gap for a day or two next week; and, to a lesser degree, from the Columbia Gorge.  Snow showers should remain in the mountains.  It will turn notably colder by Thu, with clearing, morning frost possible on Fri Feb 16.
Chilly weekend on Feb 17,18.  Uncertain model solutions, however, it looks like the bulk of precip will train into California.  The PNW could be chilly with showers, esp over OR, or it may turn out mostly DRY that weekend.  However, the larger scale pattern shifts to a much wetter period during the second half of February.  Heavy rain will continue to plague California; with the PNW turning quite wet in the Feb 22 - 25 period.  Again, models are varying more than a politician, so use caution accepting this forecast.  
“If you rock the boat, you may be the one to get seasick."
Copyright © 1994-2024 - All Rights Reserved - The Weather Café ®
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Warm Spell may be Gone

Posted by Rufus La Lone on

Monday February 5 - Nat’l Weatherperson Day
Yep.  Today marks the birthday of John Jeffries, born in 1744, a man recognized as one of the United States’ first weather observers that kept daily weather measurements, starting when he was 30 yrs old, 1774.
Overall weather pattern for the next couple of weeks has shifted a bit, so that’s see what the changes are.  Mainly, we’re not seeing a definite ‘warming period’ for now.  That could return, as models often rebound to earlier progs.  The moisture today is actually associated with the big storm that hit CA this weekend.  Wrap-around clouds & rain moving up from the S.  This will trail off today, leaving the PNW cool & mostly dry through this week.  A shower or two will remain possible, esp Wed and late Thu night into Fri.  California will begin drying out for a week or so before more heavy rainfall after Valentine’s Day.
This coming weekend is trending a weak front moving over western WA & BC, but not too organized.  So, expect a shower or two in the Evergreen State.  Mild for OR.  
A damp system is now charting for Tue Feb 13 and should exit by the morning of Valentine’s Day.  Some cloudiness, but dry, Feb 15,16 to end that week.  Late Fri Feb 16, a large ’trough’ of stormy weather over the Gulf of Alaska will begin moving towards the west coast.  Right now, models drive the bulk of the rain & snow into California during the following week, which leaves the PNW in a zone where the leading ‘rain field’ is stretched out along the coasts of OR & WA, rather than making a direct shot onshore.  Therefore, for today, let’s call for a chance of some rain (west side only) during the weekend of Feb 17,18 with mild temps around the region.  
Week of Feb 19-23 looks WET for all of the west coast.  As noted, CA will again be slammed by the ‘El Niño’ pattern of heavy rain & mountain snow.  Flooding issues are likely to return to the Golden State.  Road crews will be playing catch-up again.
The pattern projected above does not favor a substantial addition to the snowpack across the Cascades, with limited February snow held up above pass levels.  
“Some folks dream of worthy accomplishments, while others stay awake and do them."
Copyright © 1994-2024 - All Rights Reserved - The Weather Café ®
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