Friday December 23
Ice Rinks, Snow Fields, Downed Trees - geez, what a winter event that has unfolded across the entire PNW and, indeed, the entire Nation. Word is that over 12,500 flights are cancelled nationally, right when folks want to be with family & friends. We’d like to be holiday-brief this morning, but there is another potentially serious wx episode about to strike the PNW this coming week. Mug up, Patron.
Let’s dwell on the future. Christmas Eve & Day will be WET around the PNW, with sub-tropical moisture setting off moderate-to-heavy rain first over NW WA & BC on Saturday, spreading south as the holiday period is underway. Warm rain will mitigate the ice/snow issues at the surface, while compounding potential flood issues with rapid snow/ice melt combined with inches water from the sky. Rain will let up briefly later on Sunday, but return Monday, particularly over OR and northern CA.
Monday night into Tuesday, Dec 26,27. HEAVY RAIN for much of western OR & northern CA, including the Bay Area. A couple inches are possible in the Willamette Valley, more over the slopes of the coast & Cascade ranges. Here’s the kicker: models are suggesting a DANGEROUS WIND EVENT is possible early Tue. A strong storm, currently over northern Japan, will race across the Pacific during Christmas weekend before moving “inside the 130” west of OR or WA (or maybe Vancouver Island).
For Patrons that are relatively new to our program, whenever a Pacific storm Low pressure center deepens and crosses the 130th meridian west line of longitude, residents of the OR, WA or both, may experience very powerful WIND STORMS. Our big wind events have barometric center pressures below 975 as a storm moves east across the 130W and turns north along the coast, coming onshore around south of Vancouver Island. Some of the current model projections indicate a center pressure of 975-977 as the Tue storm makes landfall anywhere from Astoria to southern Vancouver Island. There are other projections that bring said storm onshore somewhere mid-to-north Vancouver Is., and with a higher center pressure, which would make wind a lower concern for OR / WA.
For now, we will issue a YELLOW ALERT for the possibility of strong WINDS Tuesday morning, Dec 27, esp for the OR & WA coasts, and inland west of the Cascades. Gusts 45-60 mph in western valley locations are possible. Coastal winds would be hurricane-strength, if the verifies. Saturated soils will contribute to potential tree fall, as well as falling limbs weakened by the current ice storm. We’ll update this on Monday Dec 26.
After Tuesday’s heavy rain & wind issues, the next storm could arrive by Friday Dec 30. This one will be very WET, as well. A big New Year’s Day storm is tracking south to CA on the latest model runs.
Merry Christmas, Patron.
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