White Heart

Posted by Rufus La Lone on

Monday February 6
The next couple of weeks will present a chance for The White.  Time to look ahead, morn’n beverage in hand.
A strong February storm system is about to arrive tonight through Tue.  The showers scattered around the PNW will diminish during the day, before the cold storm pushes onshore over Vancouver Is & NW WA first, then spreading south across OR.  This storm will bring plenty of rain, wind and over a foot of mountain snow.  Precip amounts in the lowlands should be 0.5’ - 1.5”; more along the coast & foothills.  It will be WINDY, esp over the Puget Sound area.  Valley winds may gust to 35 mph; stronger in the mountains, hence blizzard-like conditions if you are traveling over the passes later on Tue, where a foot of new snow is probable.  It will be cooler on Wed, as a few lingering showers pass behind Tue’s cold front.  
Dry Thursday the 9th.  Showers are possible on Fri to end the week.  Models argue with each other on this, as a Low offshore may track into CA, lowering the chances for PNW showers on Fri.  The coming weekend should be mostly dry, although we will not rule out showers over the far north corner of WA & Vancouver Is.
🔺 Now, the ‘White Heart Storm’ - we are monitoring a very cold system that is charting to arrive before sunrise on Valentine’s Day, Tue Feb 14.  This one will be the coldest storm in a few weeks, with the tease of snow/rain mixed, or all snow, at the surface.  The event will start Monday Feb 13 as 'White Heart' moves in from the NW.  This is a true ‘cold core’ system (our term) as the cold air mass will not be the classic Yukon Dome of High pressure moving south from the interior of Canada, rather it will be super cold air pooled over the NE Gulf of Alaska, and moving into the PNW as a Pacific winter storm.  So, a week from today (if models verify), rain will move in from the NW, similar to tonight’s storm.  Southerly winds will hold surface temps up before they drop later Monday night or early Valentine’s Day to allow snow at the surface, or very near so.  Temperatures could continue to cool down on Tue, helping to prevent the snow/rain or all snow from melting away too fast.  Interesting possibilities for a few inches of snow after the ‘White Heart’ cold front passes.  Expect an ICY commute Wed morning, Feb 15.
Although not as cold, another system will push onshore Thu Feb 16 with rain at first; then snow?  The center of the Low is modeled to track into CA, so cold air on the back side may yield rain/snow mix at the surface.  The other scenario is for cold air to pool east side, and be drawn west as that Low tracks south off the coast (this would mean valley snow, esp OR).  Either way, it looks quite chilly and wet Thu & Fri, with clearing from the north first on Saturday, as that storm brings rain/mountain snow to California.  Low snow levels in CA could make news.  It will be quite WET in California for a few days, Feb 18 through Feb 23.
Broadly speaking, the PNW will turn notably colder, with precipitation at times, over the next couple of weeks.  Frankly, the chance for surface SNOW is moderately high.  Keep the mittens handy and that Mug hot.
Quote today is from a WxCafé™️ Patron's voice message last Tue, Feb 1 (your host’s 70th B-Day): “It’s colder than a well digger’s shovel on the shady side of an iceberg in the middle of December.”   That certainly tipped my giggle box.
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