Rainy & Windy

December 29, 2008

Snapshot  My driveway was finally passable by 4×4 transportation today, that was after my wife and I did 3 stints shoveling out the last 200' over the weekend.  I even have 2 blisters to prove it…pretty cool eh?  I figure another 2 days of melting should allow a 2 wheel drive to go at least downhill, another day or two to get back up.  Life will be good again!  The warm rain over the weekend was amazingly effective at getting rid of the snow.  Here at the station in Beaverton there is no snow left on the ground.  I had 26" which is now down to around 6" at home.

The graphic is one I've shown on our various shows tonight (I've done 3 of 5 so far).  It makes a point;  just because you have a big snowpack in the mountains doesn't mean a flood is coming.  Thick snowpack is just one ingredient for a flood.  Last year there was twice as much in the Coast Range at two different times during the winter.  In fact the 2nd time there was 35" of snow water equivalent on Saddle Mtn. west of Forest Grove was at the end of April!  No flood because we never had heavy, warm rains on top of the snow.  We don't see that coming anytime soon either.  Lots of weather systems the next 10 days, but the freezing level jumps up and down with each cold and warm front.  We can use lots of rain because our monthly total is only about 1/2 of average, continuing a trend that began in January.  I'm shooting from the hip here, but I think August was the only month this year with above average rainfall.

None of the systems this week appear to have the correct positioning or strength to give us a windstorm in the Valley.  The Thursday night-Friday system has been taunting us for a few model runs.  The latest 00z run of the WRF-GFS would give us 15-17 millibars EUG-OLM pressure gradient for a very windy night, but probably no gusts above 50 mph.  It has the low center getting close to 960 mb. as it moves inland over central Vancouver Island, a bit too far north for a big storm here.

Okay, time to move on…got to get a few graphics organized for the 10pm show…Mark Nelsen