Heavy Rain This Evening

September 23, 2014


Wow, sheets of rain at the coast the past few hours.  Rainfall rates up to 1/2″ per hour!  Astoria is quickly approaching 2″ for the day.


Here in the valley the rain has been steady on the west side of the metro area but very light eastside.


That will change between now and 2am as a very moist frontal zone moves inland.  This is not a typical cool-season front.  Precipitable water, a measure of moisture available in the atmosphere, is quite high.  We’ve got a subtropical flow of air over us for the next 8-12 hours.  Warm air can hold a lot of moisture!

Models are insistent on not producing those coastal totals here in the valleys, even though the flow is from the south and not subject to the usual Coast Range rain shadow.  We’ll see, hopefully we don’t end up with 1-1.50″ in the valleys or that will be a forecast bust.

Enjoy the sounds of the rain falling overnight, our gardens and yards REALLY need it.

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

Global Warming, Never As Simple As It Would Seem

September 23, 2014

Global warming/climate change has been in the news again the past few days with a lot of marches and calls to action across the USA and the rest of the planet.  I don’t have any strong feelings about the subject either way, although you have been able to find my thoughts the past 7 years or so on this page.

One of the reasons I hesitate to jump right onto the bandwagon is that even though many say the “science is settled”, it’s probably not truly settled.  An excellent example was this article in the Seattle Times yesterday.


The study was published in a peer-reviewed scientific publication.  The main conclusion is that the small warming we’ve seen so far along the West Coast the past 100 years is within the range of natural variability and may be caused by shifting wind patterns.  Interesting don’t you think?  I have not read the study, but I think it just points out that there are still lots of things we don’t know about how the atmosphere/oceans act.


Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen