Wet & Windy

Posted by Rufus La Lone on

Monday December 26
A stormy week ahead, with the strongest wind storm in quite some time arriving overnight tonight through Tue.  Preparation is key to minimizing impact.  Post-Christmas week promises to be quite active in regards to weather.  Currently, a powerful storm is brewing to the west.  Mug ready?
Sip.  Our big wind storms typically approach the OR/WA coast from the southwest, turning northward ’inside the 130W”, as we wrote last week, before making landfall somewhere over OR, WA or southern Vancouver Island.  The center barometric pressure of the big wind storms ranges from 956 mb (Columbus Day Storm, Oct 12, 1962) to around 972 mb.  Obviously, there are other atmospheric attributes that must be met, but the basic “alert” to a strong wind potential is the depth of the Low and where it makes landfall; just like a hurricane.  
Our current threat is modeled to deepen to around 967 mb before slowly ’filling in’ to 970-973 mb as it lands roughly between Long Beach WA and southern Vancouver Is.  The central Low is oblong shaped, rather than circular - kind of a double Low - which is our protection, in a manner of speaking, for it helps to spread out storm energy & weaken impact a bit.  The Low will is modeled to become more circular & tighten in shape before landfall, with a powerful WIND FIELD.  Heed Nat’l Wx Service watches and warnings, as this storm carries the potential to have economic impact regionally, esp following the heavy rains and ice storm.
We forecast OR coast winds gusting 80-95 mph; Willamette Valley gusts could exceed 55-60 mph; western WA is not out of the woods on this, but the Low may position itself to present a weaker wind field over the Puget Sound (yet strong enough winds to cause power-issues).  Expect WINDS to pick-up after midnight tonight and bluster through much of Tue.  Strongest gusts may arrive before daylight Tue.  POWER OUTAGES are quite likely, so if you are rural and on a well system, it might be prudent to fill the bathtub for water to flush toilets, so as not to waste potable water.  
Moderate-to-heavy rain is also part of this storm pattern, with over an inch of rain possible in the Willamette Valley from this system; more in the coast & Cascades ranges.  Flood prone areas need to be monitored closely.
The next wet system is due to arrive sometime Wed night, followed by another very WINDY STORM overnight Thu into Fri (mostly an OR event); this one will not be as strong as the Tue event.  As New Year’s weekend gets underway, a New Year’s Eve storm will barrel into north/central CA.  
The PNW will catch a break from all the rain & wind on both Sat & Sunday, New Year’s Day.  RAIN returns to start the first work & school week of 2023.  Keep the rain gear handy.
☕️☕️ Second Cup:  watch & tap your home barometer often!  The faster the pressure falls, along with how fast it rises following front passage, is a clue to wind strength.  A deep, narrow “V” shape pattern indicate a strong wind field possible.  The Portland Nat’l Wx Service team mentions the possibility for ’STING JET’ wind gusts to slap the western OR after the windy front passes (search for Sting Jet for details; it is fascinating wx geek stuff).
“We can always live on less when we have more to live for."
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