The Weather Cafe ® by Rufus

Written by Rufus La Lone since 1994.

YELLOW ALERT - Big Storm Potential

Posted by Rufus La Lone on

Friday October 22
Rain, wind, high mountain snow, dangerous surf, thunderstorms, tornado potential, sunshine.  Wow.  Refill that Mug and read on to find out what may happen outside the next several days.
Yesterday, a very powerful storm formed well away from the coast, ushering in some wind & plenty of moisture to the region.  That Low was termed a ‘bomb cyclone’ because it deepened (to about 953 mb) so quickly as it approached the PNW.  It tracked northeast toward Haidi Gwaii, BC as it finally filled in (center pressure rises).  Hence, it’s impact was nominal for most Patrons.  
First on our radar (pun intended): another potentially more powerful ‘bomb cyclone’, is modeled to form this Sunday, Oct 24 - but this time, it is likely to track closer to NW in the Sunday/Monday period.  Below is a portion of Portland Nat’l Wx Service Meteorologist Neuman discussion, posted early this morning:
Much like the days ahead of yesterday`s bomb cyclone, members
of the EPS remain generally the strongest with the majority of
members strengthening Sunday`s low pressure to somewhere between
940-950mb. Anything sub-950mb would result in the lowest pressure
observed in the northeast Pacific in the vicinity of 130W and 45N
in recorded history.
Note, there have been deeper low pressures
observed elsewhere in the northern Pacific closer to the Aleutian
Islands and Gulf of Alaska. Meanwhile, most members of the GEFS and
CMCE are slightly weaker and generally bottom the low pressure out
near 950-955mb. Where the low pressure tracks once it begins to weaken
remains the biggest uncertainty.
(Bold font is my emphasis)
Your WxCafé focus today, Fri Oct 22, is for additional rain/showers today into early Saturday.  Then, the big storm.  Although there's lots of uncertainty about the strength and path the Sunday/Monday monster storm, Patrons should prepare for the impact.  Coastal areas will have severe erosion issues, as well as dangerous sneaker waves; atmospheric attributes will favor the potential for coastal zone tornado development (as Neuman mentioned, similar to Oct 14, 2016); WIND gusts up to 45 mph inland (less likely: gusts to 60 are also charted by some models); heavy rain.  This storm will cover a large area, so site-specific forecast conditions may vary, depending on your location - from northern CA to BC.  Power outages are probable in many locations.  Please HEED Nat’l Wx Service watches & warnings.
Our weekend storm will impact northern CA, as well, with brisk wind & heavy rain. There is an indication that a weaker, secondary Low may form and make landfall between the central OR coast north to WA, keeping it rather windy on Tue.  Overall, expect plenty of rain, showers, occasionally strong wind gusts on into the middle of next week.  Late week we could see some drying, which will be appreciated.  
Weekend of Oct 30,31 is trending mostly dry, with Halloween not expected to be a chilly as earlier.  The start of November is trending rather mixed, with a few days of moderate-to-heavy rain & wind along with a few dry days.  We’ll sort this out later.
The variability of storm strength, how many of them, and when they arrive is always in play.  Therefore, this forecast is different from our last.  That’s the nature of what we do here and why you need a good morn’n beverage in that Mug!
Below is a capture from one of the model outlooks for our big storm on Sunday.  Note how deep (959 mb) the Low is modeled as it crosses THE 130W line, moving NW.  The Columbus Day storm of Oct ’62 had a depth of 956-960 mb, but tracked N-NW well inside the 130W line along the OR & WA coast.  Our Sunday/Monday system will be tracking much farther N before it crosses the 130W.  Still, this warrants attention.
“A good test of maturity is the amount of danger you feel when you meet up with a new idea."
Copyright © 1994-2021 - All Rights Reserved - The Weather Café ®


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Delayed Delivery

Posted by Rufus La Lone on

Monday October 18
Our package of “classic fall storms” - which we have been discussing since Oct 4 - is about to be delivered.  Finally.  The delayed arrival of the storms mirrors packages arriving at the door later than first expect.  Mug up, Patron, as regional wx could turn very interesting. 
Basis & Background: a long-awaited large, cold pool of air over the Gulf of Alaska is about to be ‘deployed' by Nature.  Subsequently, the contrast of cold/warm, combined with a very strong ‘jet stream’ overhead, will set up the potential for waves of Low pressure centers to deepen rapidly as they approach the PNW.  Historically, when deep Lows cross the meridian 130W line of longitude - just west of our coastline - WIND STORMS can be an issue.  There is an outside chance that such may be the case in the Oct 21-30 period.  The area of concern will be between northern CA and Vancouver Island / SW BC.  Model solutions vary considerably regarding just how close these Lows will approach the coast, and if they do cross the 130W line, where would their centers make landfall, if at all.  Some may spin north into Haidi Gwaii of BC, or track directly into NW WA, OR or even northern CA.  More than one storm will have this potential.  In the past, there can be 2 or 3 such systems in series, with one of them making a major impact somewhere in the PNW.  Again, this is background and conjecture based on what model solutions are now presenting as POSSIBLE.
The week ahead: expect a front to arrive overnight Tue, with rain & breezy conditions from northern CA to BC. Rather windy in far northern CA & Brookings. This will be followed by the remnant of Typhoon Namtheun - with a very deep Low center of pressure (956-964 mb ??) on Thu.  Don’t be alarmed.  Models track the center OFFSHORE towards Haidi Gwaii, so WINDS will be powerful over portions of Vancouver Is, missing the lower PNW areas.  BC Patrons be ready!  Coastal areas will be windy.  We will get RAIN, but not strong winds, if the system tracks as expected.  Friday brings on another much weaker system into northern CA, southern OR; damp up & down OR & WA.
The Oct 23,24 weekend:  a strong system (977-986 mb?) is likely to develop in the manner discussed in background above, with a path towards southern OR or northern CA overnight Sat.  California Patrons should be prepared from the Bay area north for strong winds, just in case.  The rest of us will get some rain/showers.  IF the weekend storm tracks farther north, well, stay tuned - this would impact OR the most.  
Monday night / Tue, Oct 25,26:  The storm in this period has the potential to be serious if it tracks far enough south over Vancouver Is.  Low pressure in the 970s possible.  We must watch this development.  Heavy rain & windy, either way Mon night through Tue.  
The Big One???  Thu, Fri Oct 28,29: Another powerful storm is charting - this one may be the most impactful of the series, if is crosses the 130W and makes landfall over central Vancouver Is.  Some solutions drop the center pressure below 966 mb!  We do not expect this outlier level to be met, but the trend is for the pre-Halloween storm to be POWERFUL.  WIND & heavy rain across the entire PNW and northern CA, followed by lowering snow levels, with possible snow in the coast range later on Fri (yeah, OR too).  
FROST Halloween morning is possible, should the sky clear in your location.  Dry pattern for a few days, before cool rains return by mid-week, early November.
Bottom Line:  these storms are not promised to be major wind events, but each has the potential.  Very windy & WET, yes.  That said, historically, the attributes of the atmosphere discussed in the 2nd paragraph above are what need to be ‘in play’ for our region to get major wind events.  After Wed, all will be.  Hence, the concern is warranted.  Power issues are probable during any one of the storms noted above, let alone to potential for 2 or 3 back-to-back.   PLEASE BE PREPARED, just in case.
—> We will post Special Statements should conditions verify going forward.  
Commentary from the ’Net:  “Why do I press ‘1’ for English when you’re just going to transfer me to someone I can’t understand anyway?"
Copyright © 1994-2021 - All Rights Reserved - The Weather Café ®
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Split and Fizzle

Posted by Rufus La Lone on

Friday October 15
Ah, so we have your attention with the tag line today — good. Mug time.
Split pattern, in a manner of speaking, for today and Sat, with the rain/showers trailing over western WA, roughly north of Chehalis.  Oregon and the eastern zones will be dry and mild today & Sat.  By late Saturday evening, the stretched-out front offshore will slowly move over OR and northern CA.  Expect Sunday to be on the damp side for OR, WA and BC.  Not much of that moisture is likely to reach the eastern basins.  
Monday will turn out mostly dry, as will Tue.  Models vary a bit on the timing & strength of the next system due in sometime overnight Tue or early Wed.  This disturbance may end up being a dud, as the front may simply stretch out and thus weaken so much that only clouds result inland.  We’ll see.  
Now the fizzle. The development of a broad low pressure trough over the Gulf of Alaska has been shifting later & later the past week or so.  We still see an extended, stormy pattern eventually making its way into the PNW, but WHEN? 2023?  Seriously, right now, models have fizzled it almost completely away next week, keeping everything basically offshore and moving south over the Pacific, before edging slowly towards the PNW for plenty of wind & rain.  Dare we try a forecast again?  Sure, easy with a good Mug full - -
Here goes: after the weak system the middle of next week, expect the weather across the PNW to turn mild & pleasant for fall.  Fog may be in play in the usual places early each day from Thu into the weekend of Oct 23,24.  A ‘break away’ Low may spin showers into southern OR (possible thunderstorms, too) late Fri into Sat Oct 22,23. Then, Sunday night the 24th, the first storm gets close enough to bring on some rain & brisk winds later Mon into Tue, Oct 25,26.  We should also mention, there are solutions that hold off all this action until even later, keeping that weekend mild & dry before the heavy rains & wind arrive the week of Oct 25-29.  Confused yet?  
We provided a ‘heads-up’ about the opportunity to witness an Aurora Borealis from right here in the PNW last Monday night, Oct 11.  Well, here are 3 stunning views of the ’Northern Lights’ from around the PNW.  All images used with permission from the photographers: Randy Small (Lynden), Don Feltham (Puget Sound, Edmonds), Clifford Paguio (Crown Point Vista House). Thank you, gentlemen!
Randy Small Lynden Photo
Don Feltham Photo
Clifford Paguio Photo
Copyright © 1994-2021 - All Rights Reserved - The Weather Café ®
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Wet & Dry

Posted by Rufus La Lone on

Monday October 11
Mixed pattern ahead, with the very wet cycle still teasing us on the charts.  Let’s preview the outlook.
Generally, dry today with the coldest air of the season aloft.  Therefore, frosty tomorrow morning in many areas on both sides of the Cascades.  Another weak system will bring additional rain/showers later Tue night, along with a bit more SNOW at pass level & higher.  Wed could be cool with sun & showers.  Thu is looking mostly dry before the next weak system moves onshore from the NW sometime Fri (this one may only impact areas north of Portland).  Windy across northern CA today and tomorrow.
Weekend ahead, Oct 16,17: expect rain to arrive late Sat into early Sun for most western locations north of Salem.  The upper lever winds (jet stream) are aimed at the PNW in a relatively straight line from west-to-east, centered over WA/BC (what is commonly referred to as a ‘zonal flow flow’).  Therefore, OR is most likely to miss much of the cumulative precipitation over the several days.
Starting next Sunday, models now build a high pressure ridge over the western US that will NOT easily yield to the cold air mass trough that will develop over the Gulf of Alaska.  Hence, the series of windy, rainy storms we have projected may not arrive until Thu Oct 21.  The storms will essentially be stretched out north-to-south and thus weakened, as they gradually break through that blocking ridge.  Still, we see notable RAIN and WINDS coming into play in the Oct 21-28 period.  Before hand, expect dry weather Sunday afternoon Oct 17 through Wed Oct 20.
Special Note: if the sky does clear in your area tonight, Patrons in northern WA & BC may get the chance to witness AURORAS.  Geomagnetic storms may hit the earth today, setting up this opportunity to see ’northern lights’.  Worth a peek, for sure.
“Blaming your faults on your nature does not change the nature of your faults."
Copyright © 1994-2021 - All Rights Reserved - The Weather Café ®
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Kicked the Wet Can

Posted by Rufus La Lone on

Friday October 8
Greetings, Patron.  The wx models have kicked the ‘stormy wet can’ down the road, much like the elected wizards in Washington DC.   At least a fresh morn’n bev keeps us fueled up for the day.  
Overall, the very wet, windy pattern, which we have been forecasting here, has been delayed for about week.  Sure, there will be a few storm fronts pass over the next 7 days, but not the classic strong, windy type we have been anticipating.  
Today’s system is weak, with a short break early tomorrow.  By Sat evening, another, stronger storm will rapidly move in, bringing rain & wind (rather strong winds Puget Sound, north), and falling temperatures.  Lingering showers should be around on Monday, with a chilly & dry night.  Snow in the mountains at pass levels & higher.  Tuesday morning is likely to be the coldest of the season for many locations, if the sky clears in your area.  Frost possible.  WINDY over northern CA Mon & Tues.
As next week progresses, the storm track will shift north, taking the rain/showers at times north of Chehalis on into BC and leaving the bulk of Oregon dry & mild Thu & Fri.  FOG is likely to be a morning issue for OR.  Weather for the weekend of Oct 16,17 is still uncertain, although the trend is now for dry, mild conditions on Sat, increasing clouds/shower over western WA & BC on Sunday.  
The Wet Can: the models have delayed that large, cold pool of air over the Gulf of Alaska from developing until sometime the week of Oct 18-22.  Therefore, we will expect the heavy rain & gusty winds to arrive later that week.  When this happens, it will be quite wet over the PNW for several days.  Dare we believe?  We all recall that often the Nature’s actual pattern ends up matching earlier model forecasts. 
“No drunken sailor ever spent money as fast as a sober congressman."
Copyright © 1994-2021 - All Rights Reserved - The Weather Café ®
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