Lightning in the Sky

May 16, 2010

Lots of flashing in the sky the last 90 minutes or so at my home on the far eastern edge of the Metro area (a mile south of Rooster Rock SP).  A nice line of thunderstorms moving up the Cascades this evening with a definite NW movement.  As of 11pm they seem to be dying down a bit, but there’s no reason they couldn’t drift down into the Valleys.  I suppose that would go with the early Monday morning rain that was shown on this morning’s models.   I have to admit it’s nice to just relax at home, check out the blog, radar, and hang out on the deck.  Sure it’s great to have all that technology at work, but it’s not quite the same inside a concrete box!  Here’s a link to our Live Radar  It loads very quickly, even on my “end of the road” slow DSL.  Plus no other unneeded clutter on the page.  Keep in mind that it’s a video stream off of our radar machine, which is occasionally used for other graphics.  But generally when there’s some good radar action it’ll be in the right spot.

No other deep thoughts, other than the next 7 days look pretty cool and wet (especially beyond Tuesday).  I just planted a good chunk of warm weather veggies today, covering with windows (I know, a little trashy) and some stuff called Gro-Therm that allows the sunlight in but traps the heat.  They are real nice for making the ground/plants think it’s maybe 10-20 degrees warmer during the daytime.  Hopefully it will all make it through the late May cold spell on the way.

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen


Thunderstorm Thoughts

May 16, 2010

I haven’t looked at weather info too closely since I left work Saturday morning, but after seeing the sky conditions this morning I figure I better check things out.  We’ve got plenty of moisture streaming northward this morning with even a few sprinkles and a nice cluster of showers offshore as a wave moves north.  Showers should redevelop this afternoon in the warm southerly flow above.  The NAM has lifted index well below zero and lots of CAPE…above 500 j/kg.  BUT, the two mesoscale models I use most (from the UW and our own RPM) show nothing significant today west of the Cascades…both indicate convection only over and east of the mountains.  What you see above is probably the future of television “model-casting”…I just made up that word.  It’s a “future satellite image” using the 4 km. RPM model.  You can’t see it without looping, but we get images for every twenty minutes forward in time out to forecast hour 27.  I can’t give out the password to the site because WSI (our provider) doesn’t allow that.  But you can see the higher clouds streaming north at 00z today (5pm) and the convection has developed over the Cascades only.  The whole thing looks really beautiful when looped.  Eventually we should be able to show this on-air.   The WRF-GFS isn’t too impressive for thunderstorms either, so between the two I’m not too wound up…but as we know…MODELS CAN BE WRONG!

Tomorrow looks more active and “juicy” with a nice southeasterly flow setting up…some showers may arrive soon after daybreak and then maybe some afternoon thunderstorms as the marine air returns.  I haven’t looked closely though at anything beyond tomorrow morning.  I do have the last half of the week off, heading to Maupin for a bike ride.  It appears late next week is a VERY good time to head east into the desert; it’ll be cool and showery around here.

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen