We’re about to see a somewhat dramatic shift in our weather pattern tomorrow through Friday or Saturday. Say hello to sun, wind, and dry skin. Say goodbye to fog, rain, and cloud cover.
Quite a surge of cooler and very dry air is moving through northern Washington this afternoon. The dew point, a measure of the amount of moisture in the air, is falling like a rock in those places. We’re already significantly drier here in the metro area this evening. But Bellingham has dropped from 34 to 24 in just 3 hours, Spokane’s has gone from 30 to 12 in just 4 hours as the wind switched from west to north.
All this dry air is headed down here into Oregon, so “skin-wise”, it’ll be the driest conditions we’ve seen so far this winter. As you might guess, this means fog will only be patchy tomorrow west of the Cascades.
As the cold/dry air surges south through Eastern Washington, a very strong surface high pressure area develops over there, similar to a bathtub filling with heavy & dense water. The only “drain” at sea level is the Columbia River Gorge; all that cold air will begin surging through the Gorge tonight and it’ll continue through Friday or Saturday. Prepare for 3-4 days of strong easterly wind if you live at the west end of the Gorge. Probably the coldest we’ve seen so far this year under sunny skies. Here’s what we call a “cross-section” of the atmosphere for the next 3 days from the WRF-GFS model (UW) over Troutdale:
A few items: The colors are relative humidity, clear is less than 50%. Time goes from RIGHT TO LEFT. The 10/12 refers to 4am this morning (Tuesday). 11/00 is 4pm today (right now), and 11/12 is 4am tomorrow, the 11th. The far left side is Friday afternoon. The bottom of the graphi is sea level and the top is 10,000 ft. Notice the quick change as easterly flow commences right around 7pm in the atmosphere overhead, then it surfaces by daybreak out in the eastern metro. By tomorrow midday, 45 kt easterly wind is just a thousand feet or so above the surface. It’s going to be a big day out at Vista House. Gusts in the western Gorge will be up around 60mph, with the usual 90 mph (or more) at the “Keely Chalmers Memorial Railing”. This time around it’ll probably only be 35-38 degrees up there midday instead of 45-48. Brrr! I can’t make it this time around since I have a haircut at 11am…too bad.
The chart clearly shows bone-dry and clear through Friday afternoon. A few high clouds may show up, but they will be higher than 10,000′, thus they don’t show up here.
More on the extended forecast on a following post.
Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen
Bob you crack me up. I am going to hold you to it that we are going to have the biggest smowstorm in years. I will say if you can recall past winters, i remember as a kid this cold cold east wind for days followed by days of snow or ice. Those were the days. This is kinda setting up like that but well see!
I love you, Bob.
If the operational 00z GFS verified, would be snowing from Sunday AM at least thru wednesday at this location, foot accumulation possible. Seems plausible
Even before the very very excellent 00z GFS run right now I was all in and this 00z GFS reinforces why I am ALL IN. We are going to get a major snowstorm that we haven’t seen since 2008. Everybody believe in me and you all will be rewarded with a major snowstorm and maybe even a major ice storm to follow. 🙂
You’re playing with Ace-King (Anna Kournikova) there Bob, so be careful. She looks good, but she doesn’t play very well.
The 00z GFS ensemble continues to actually be BETTER than the operational GFS. Spaghetti charts seem to indicate that PDX is on the cool side of the jet at least through hour 264 vs the operational which seems to move it over us by hour 216. This is good news. c’mon EURO. Match up. Match up. Match up.
I suspect weather graphics will see some updates this evening. Hoping tomorrow’s runs pan out for this possible snow event. GFS currently shows it beginning in 4.5 days. By tomorrow evening it puts it in the 84 hour window.
what is the 00z showing for the Tacoma area
The 0z is nice! But remember the start of everything is still several days away.
At face value snow is possible from Sunday on, with an impulse Monday night, then a huge slug of overrunning moisture and perfect low positioning mid-week, similar to 2008. We lucked out then as the storms consistently went south of PDX.
I hope the gorge keeps blowin .
Whoa, that’s a lot of snow coming up next week. By my calculations looks to be about a foot. Ugh, kids will be home all week from school.
Me likey the 00z. WOW, what a flop from yesterday or even earlier this morning. Hope it holds or even gets a little better.
‘Amateur’ thoughts: 00z GFS looks good to me — possible snow from Sunday afternoon thru Tuesday night (based on 1000-500mb thickness btw 522 & 516 dm & 850mb temps). Possible overriding event with snow transitioning to freezing rain to plain old rain as a low slams into northern CA / southern OR on Wednesday.
This is all *if* the 00z were to verify. Still a long ways off, IMO. We could very well end up with the low back to the north of us and end up on the warm / wet side of the coin on the next runs.
good analysis and one I basically agree with based on the 00z GFS operational run.
If 00Z GFS verified we would have a heavy snowfall to N of the low that crosses OR on the morning of 1/18….EUG, SLE, PDX could get heavy amounts…like a ’69. So I am much still at attention….will check all the models etc and report back later tonight….
No we won’t get 34″…don’t get me wrong. Just sayin’
But the timing couldn’t be better. If this pans out, you called it right a few weeks ago!
Waiting to see EURO and GEM before I decide how things stand. GFS operational a nice improvement.
The 18th? Isn’t that a bit later than what things are showing? I thought people were talking about Sun., Mon., Tue., which would start the 15th. Just wondering.
.LONG TERM…THE LATEST EXTENDED MODEL RUNS CONTINUE TO KEEP AN
UPPER LEVEL RIDGE THROUGH EARLY THIS WEEKEND. THE PATTERN LOOKS TO
CHANGE SIGNIFICANTLY LATE SATURDAY INTO SUNDAY. MODELS ARE JUST
BEGINNING TO SHOW SLIGHT AGREEMENT ON A DEEP TROUGH DIGGING DOWN
OVER THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST FROM OVER BRITISH COLUMBIA THROUGH THE
WEEKEND AND INTO EARLY NEXT WEEK…POTENTIALLY SIGNIFICANTLY
DROPPING SNOW LEVELS OVER MUCH OF THE AREA. THIS TROUGH DOES ALSO
BRING PRECIPITATION BEGINNING SUNDAY…WITH A SECOND POTENTIALLY WET
SYSTEM MOVING ACROSS THE AREA MONDAY INTO TUESDAY. DEPENDING ON THE
STRENGTH OF THE TROUGH AND EVENTUAL EXTENT OF THE COLD AIR…THIS
PATTERN MAY RESULT IN SIGNIFICANT SNOWFALL ACROSS MUCH OF THE AREA
TO BEGIN NEXT WEEK…ESPECIALLY INTO THE CASCADES AND FOOTHILLS.
ALTHOUGH DETAILS WITH THIS CHANGE ARE STILL QUITE FLUID…IT IS A
SITUATION THAT BEARS WATCHING CLOSELY OVER THE NEXT FEW DAYS. BROWN
looks like 00z has the good park of the low targeted right at us, then falls apart just as it passes….am i right. I’m new at forecasting…
then it strengthens a little more?
DONT LEAVE ME HANGIN PEOPLE! D:
Looks to me that the period from Sunday nite to Wed is our best shot at low level snows. Then the pattern wants to go more zonal with big mountain snows YES!
But still, the whole thing may just go zonal right away OR bring more cold air and moisture with the ol’ “short water trajectory’. Best case scenario is for the low to continue to drop down and settle to the south of us. Worst case scenario would be for the pattern to stop short and we end up with tons of rain while BC gets the goods. Time will tell.
Not often you see the gradient switch and gain a mb/hour.
00Z looking good so far.
Ridge over western Alaska.
Need it a bit further east. That cold air is traveling over a lot of water.
Hour 171 — look where that low is tracking… that is nice.
I am sooooo pulling for this! And I totally want to be on board with Bob!
Bur Paul’s absence and Mark’s 42′ and rain on Monday’s “7 day” do not bode well.
Let’s hope–for once–he’s wrong–and/or–there are dramatic
favorable model swings between now and Sunday-Monday-and
you know who bob is….right?
Who is Bob? I come here fairly often and see people mentioning him, but I don,t know who he is.
i guess the hand soap i use to wash my face makes my face a liiittle dry….maybe thats why i get wind burn….its better then acne though. 🙂
“hey austin, did you know that proactive really works?” idk and idc, hand soap is easier, cheaper, and it works best:)
Winds at Vista House have switched around. Should be breezy to gusty in no time!
Boy that was a quick shift.
I’d love a week or two like 2008 even with 1/3 of the snow. Just a pattern that actually sticks around a while vs snow that melts in 20 minutes.
Know what you mean Tyler. I’d be happy with a couple days. The norm of morning snow that melts during the day, sucks.
oh no the S word is getting thrown around more and more.
so when does the 00z run come out
I think about an hour or so.
I am ALL In right now and forecasting a huge snowstorm for the PDX area starting on Sunday and lasting Monday, Tuesday and beyond…….. Right now I am still trying to figure out the timing but I know for sure we are going to get hammered.
Lets put a wager on that! What shall we bet?
uuuuuhhhmmmmm…….a little much doncha think yo?
Bob, you might want to at least wait until the 00z “flop” before you go all in… 😉
I for one am going to get hammered if this thing flops… takes the pain away! 😕
32 here with clear skies and a NE drift but no wind.
I’ll be at Crown Point tomorrow sometime, we will see if my sister can make it too!
The 00z NAM is almost complete. It gets us into the weekend. Analysis anyone?
The NAM seems to speed up the descent of the cold air slightly but weaken the low sliding down…
The TV Met. that puts the FIRST SNOWSTORM OF ’12 out there is gonna get a nice bonus from Les Schwab! lol
Its still a bit early to guess about next week’s potential winter weather isn’t? That’s a setup for a letdown around here…
Like THAT ever stopped anyone around here from model riding.
temps. dropping fast already 32 out here burr
33 here and slowly dropping.
here is some local Seattle stations saying possible snow 🙂
Is the NWS just guessing? They’ve flip-flopped a bunch of times about snowfall/winter weather potential this weekend.
hey emzin, I’ve already got wind-burn on the side of my nose. 😦
i’m a fast walker btw
How’d you do that Austin? Walking in the wind? (hence the wind burn)
i still go to school you know! its not like us kidz are lazy outside…we like….SUFFER!!!!
haha, i bet. sorry you got wind burned
Hey Mark, are you thinking low elevation snow Sunday into Monday…valley floor snow that could be followed with ice?
He will wait for the 00z models before posting more thoughts Darlene.
Yeah, I figured that would be the case. My sources are suggesting this and I just want to know now, because Monday is my birthday and I can’t think of a better birthday present! SNOW!!! Guess I have to start doing my snow dance tonight. 😉
I hope we get snow for your birthday Darlene! What an awesome present!
Hopefully Mark has a good sense of humor about that one Erik
My 2 1/2 yr old twins & I did a snow dance before nap today!
aww cute. 🙂
lets all do one now. 🙂
ieehhaaaieeah ieeeahieeah *dances erratically in circles*
Yes, lets all do one!
lots of sites and local weather stations starting to talk and hint at the chance of snow this is making me excited hope i don’t have to visit the cliff this time lol
Thanks Mark! Bring on the cold(er) weather & bring on the lotion!
Hey Mark……someone told me that you use the flow-bee to cut your hair so you should be good to go in the cold wind tomorrow!
Make sure you wear ear plugs!! Someone told me.
Cold Sun? Well, it’s better than no sun!
i thought suns were hot………guess not. XD
Maybe Mark discovered the key to Cold Fusion… would explain all that banging and screaming coming from his basement… Though, that’s usually during the day when he’s down at the studio? Hmmm…
Hahahaha…Wow!! LOL. that was pretty good.