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Category: Science

Death Ridge To Kill All Interesting Weather For Next 10 Days

Death Ridge To Kill All Interesting Weather For Next 10 Days

The title reads like an Onion article, but it’s true. A massive ridge of high pressure will move into western North America today and stay there for the foreseeable future, putting an abrupt end to our normally stormy weather. In the summer, such a ridge would give us extreme warmth, and this ridge will indeed send freezing levels skyrocketing to over 10,000 feet. Unfortunately, because the surface emits more radiation at this time of the year than it receives from…

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Advection Fog Over Lake Washington!

Advection Fog Over Lake Washington!

Folks west of the Cascade crest smashed record high temperatures today as a Pineapple Express continued to pump extremely warm and moist air originating from the Hawaiian Islands into the region. The fact that today was relatively calm and dry definitely helped, as we were able to get a little more solar insolation and didn’t have any winds aloft mixing cooler temperatures down to the surface. The chart below shows today’s maximum high temperatures. Sea-Tac hit 68 degrees today, crushing…

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Everything You Need To Know About Atmospheric Rivers

Everything You Need To Know About Atmospheric Rivers

With a strong atmospheric river underway, I thought I’d take some time to delve a little deeper into these phenomena. In this blog, I’ll cover the basic characteristics of an atmospheric river, how these atmospheric rivers form, and a brief summary of how they relate to the Earth’s heat budget. Throughout the blog, I’ll use two of the largest atmospheric rivers of the past decade – the November 6-7 atmospheric river and the December 2-3 “Great Coastal Gale” (one of…

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Why is the Transition Into Winter Faster Than The Transition Out of It?

Why is the Transition Into Winter Faster Than The Transition Out of It?

Now that we are officially in autumn, I can hardly contain my excitement for storm season to get underway. Our transition from autumn into winter is fast and furious; in only 1 1/2 months, we’ll be in the stormiest period of the year, and there’s even a chance for lowland snow by then! No month exemplifies this transition better than November 2010 – I remember playing “flyers up” in the mid 70s at Garfield High School in Seattle on 11/3,…

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Totality 2017: A Life-Changing Experience

Totality 2017: A Life-Changing Experience

Monday’s solar eclipse was the most breathtaking natural event I’ve ever witnessed in my life. The transition from light to dark was frighteningly fast, and I was dumbfounded by the beauty and extent of the sun’s corona at totality. I was so taken aback by the experience and everything happened so fast that my memory is mostly a blur, but I’ll never forget looking up at the sun, seeing the corona’s tendrils spread throughout the sky, and having my mind completely…

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Final Eclipse Update

Final Eclipse Update

There’s only 17 hours to go until the eclipse, and we are now within the range of the latest HRRRX (Experimental High-Resolution Rapid Refresh) model! This is exciting because the HRRRX takes the decrease in solar radiation due to the eclipse into account. Take a look at the predicted incoming solar radiation tomorrow and see if you can track the path of the eclipse. It’s not too difficult. 🙂 The HRRRX also shows cloud “ceilings”, which is the height of…

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Your Eclipse Forecast!

Your Eclipse Forecast!

Can you believe that there are less than 48 hours to go until the Great American Eclipse of 2017? I get giddy just thinking about it. The weather is looking spectacular for nearly everyone – the coast will likely be shrouded in low clouds for the viewing, and there’s still some uncertainty about a weak marine layer sticking around in the Portland metro area/Puget Sound during eclipse time. A substantial ridge of high pressure currently sitting off the West Coast will move…

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The Great American Eclipse of 2017

The Great American Eclipse of 2017

I was in 8th grade when I first learned about the Great American Eclipse. Mr. Pearsall, the science teacher at Washington Middle School, gave us a handout on the eclipse and told us not to miss it. 11 years later, I live 25 miles from the path of totality, and I wouldn’t miss this eclipse for the world! I hope Mr. Pearsall is able to see this eclipse as well. The Great American Eclipse is the first eclipse since 1918…

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Weather Models Are Finally Up!

Weather Models Are Finally Up!

FINALLY, after several days of coding and several months of troubleshooting, WeatherTogether has its own model charts! Before I go any further, I have to thank Quinn Abrahams-Vaughn for writing some html and javascript pages to get me started with model visualization and Derek Hodges for his guidance on shell scripting and crontabs to automatically download model data. Below, I’ll give the motivation for this project, demo some charts, and lay out the path forward from here. Motivation: Create engaging…

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The Weather Research and Forecasting Innovation Act of 2017

The Weather Research and Forecasting Innovation Act of 2017

Before I discuss this landmark bill signed by President Trump, I have the pleasure of announcing some very good news regarding WeatherTogether! We finally have automatically updating model charts online! You can find these charts at http://weathertogether.net/models. Many things remain on the “to-do list,” such as making an elegant webpage, getting the charts to upload as early as possible, and of course simply making more charts. We’ll take one thing at a time and see where this project leads us!…

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