Podcast #3 is Posted

May 5, 2011

Brian and I just recorded our 3rd podcast and it’s online here:

http://nwweatherpodcast.wordpress.com/2011/05/05/episode-3-guest-cliff-mass-and-spring-weather/

Today’s subject was the new coastal radar, kid’s question, and extreme weather.  Plus we’ll let you know how our recovery is going after an intensive yoga class.

Next week it’s Bobby Corser, president of our local AMS Chapter.

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen


New Coastal Radar Just 5 Months Away

May 5, 2011

Everything is proceeding according to plan with the first (and brand new) NWS Doppler Radar installed on the coastline in the Pacific Northwest.  Cliff Mass, professor at the UW, has dedicated a page to keep us updated on the progress here: 

http://www.atmos.washington.edu/~cliff/Langleyradar.html

The radar is scheduled to be operational in late September, in time for the 2011-2012 rainy season.

You can read all the details on his page, but the image here shows how we have the worst coastal radar coverage of any part of the nation.  The shaded areas show coverage below 10,000′.  The hatched areas indicate substantially blocked coverage.  The reason you see echoes offshore and on the Northern Oregon Coast on radar displays is because they are above that elevation.  Look how NONE of the coastline in either Oregon or Washington has reasonable radar coverage…we have no idea what goes on in the lowest elevations along the Coast during big storms except from observations. 

The next step should be a 2nd radar down near Florence (the next real obvious hole).  That would take money, and a congressional plus NWS push.  It seems unlikely in today’s fiscal environment.

We have something new for you too.  By late this evening Brian should have Northwest Weather Podcast #3 posted.  In this week’s edition we interviewed Professor Mass, talking about the new radar, what he thinks of television weather people.  Plus we covered some extreme weather, radar operation, and this week’s tough yoga class!  A funny story there.

Obviously it’s back to the cool and showery weather the next few days.  No sign of a significant warm up.  The middle of next week might be okay in between chilly troughs, but that’s about the best I can do as we head towards mid May.

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen