Snowy Cascades

December 18, 2007

SnapshotThis is a graphic produced from the data output by our RPM-WRF model.  It is run 8 times a day out to 48 hours…a similar model to the UW-MM5.  It has an algorithm that converts precipitation to snow accumulation.  Makes for a nice pretty graphic, in a Joseph’s Coat sort of way.
Storm #3 for this week is rapidly moving towards the Coastline this evening.  The surface low pressure is going to pass very close to buoy #46036 soon.  Then it makes landfall on Vancouver Island midday tomorrow.  The low will be slowly beginning to fill.  Even so, this is still a pretty deep low coming relatively close to the N.W. coastline.  So gusts to 60 mph or so are likely on the Coast.  Inland, we should see stronger wind than today.  I expect more widespread gusts in the 30-40 mph range…not a windstorm, but real breezy midday.
The cold air behind the cold front pours inland tomorrow night.  Models are still insistent on bringing -6 deg. 850mb. temps over us Thursday.  Unfortunately, it sure dries out quickly by Thursday evening.  So snow in the lowlands looks like a tough order.  But read last night’s post.  The possibility in a pattern like this is always there.
After a break Friday, 00z models show the stormy pattern resuming over the weekend.  At this point  I don’t see a significant wind producer or flooding setup.  Too warm for snow through Christmas too.  However, these are relatively cold storms forecast for next week, which means the snow level could dip down pretty low at times after Christmas.  Something to keep an eye on.
A bonus to this weather pattern?  Those of you near and in the west end of the Gorge know.  A parade of weather systems moving into the Northwest keeps stagnant surface high pressure from developing east of the Cascades.  That means no long periods of east wind.  I remember going almost 3 weeks in January 1999 (I think that was the year) with no east wind in Corbett.  That was a La Nina winter too with lots of weather systems moving through constantly…Mark Nelsen