A Wet Week

February 23, 2009

Lightning1 It appears that I've chosen the right week to pack my schedule full of work, school visits, and other things.  Not much chance to enjoy the outdoors this week unless you are a skier or like to hike in the rain (great for waterfalls).  It appears to be payback time for all the dry weather the 2nd half of winter.

The NWS has a high wind warning for the Coast again tonight, probably a bit overdone, but gusts to 50 mph in the cities seem reasonable.  A nice little low pressure area is heading quickly up the coastline this evening.  It is filling (becoming weaker), but the quick movement will probably help keep windspeeds up as the southerly wind rushes in on the south side of the low.  I see there have been a few lightning strikes offshore with the low as well…good times keep rolling along.

Not much to talk about tomorrow or even the first part of Wednesday.  Then it gets a bit more interesting late Wednesday through Thursday morning.  Cold arctic air spilling out of British Columbia forms a surface low off of Vancouver Island.  It then moves south either right over us or offshore, making the closest approach to Portland early Thursday.  The 12z WRF-GFS and our 12/18z RPM model both showed snow levels down close to sea level at that time.  However, there wasn't much moisture either.  IF the 12z WRF-GFS panned out, we could see another coastal snow event for daybreak Thursday as the wind goes calm and waves of snow showers move onshore.  It's something to keep an eye on the next 36 hours.  Another reason to sit here panting at the computer waiting for the 00z runs to come out.  Those of you laughing, don't pretend you haven't done that!

Of course March is now in our seven day forecast and it looks wet for Sunday and beyond.  As I said at the beginning, it's payback time for all the sunshine and dry weather so far this month…Mark Nelsen