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Tag: Atmospheric River

Mountain Snow Continues To Pile Up

Mountain Snow Continues To Pile Up

It has been a wonderful past few days for mountain snowfall, and we have gobs of additional snow on the way this week! I was skiing in Whistler from the 14th through the 18th, and although the first two days were sunny and the third was rainy, the 17th and 18th had heavy snow all day long. Though the alpine lifts were closed due to high avalanche danger and blizzard conditions, we were able to find some incredible powder stashes…

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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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Quick Update on Tomorrow’s Storm

Quick Update on Tomorrow’s Storm

Today was just a prelude to the stormy weekend ahead, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t exciting! A cool and unstable air mass poured into the region, bringing brief but heavy showers to the lowlands and heavy snow in the mountains above 5,000 feet. The satellite picture taken this afternoon by NASA’s polar-orbiting TERRA satellite shows how efficient the mountains are at enhancing precipitation during this setup. Paradise at Mt. Rainier National Park lived up to its name today! This…

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First Storm of the Season Comes Through, But An Even Stronger One Looms

First Storm of the Season Comes Through, But An Even Stronger One Looms

Our first respectable storm of the season drenched Western Washington and Oregon with heavy rain on Wednesday and Thursday, bringing an inch of rain to many places in the lowlands and several inches in the mountains. Over the past 24 hours, the rain has primarily been concentrated over SW Washington and NW Oregon as a juicy cold front/atmospheric river has slowly sagged southward, bringing nearly an inch of rain to the Portland metro area and over 4 inches to the…

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Storm Season Begins This Week

Storm Season Begins This Week

One of my recent posts talked about how the transition to winter is quicker than the transition to spring. Though the post was concerned with temperature changes and had a global perspective, we in the Pacific Northwest tend to experience a particularly rapid pattern change as our summertime Eastern Pacific high disintegrates and strong zonal flow enters the area. And this coming week will be a textbook example of just how fast that change can be. A very strong, 165+ knot…

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Why Has February Been So Wet?

Why Has February Been So Wet?

The 2016-2017 winter has been an extraordinarily wet winter for California, but Washington and Northern Oregon have actually been drier than normal for most of the winter. But with Seattle on track to break their all-time reocrd for monthly rainfall in February and Portland not too far behind, one wonders what is responsible for the sudden change in our weather. In this blog I’ll explain why we’ve transitioned to a warmer and wetter pattern, and take a look ahead through…

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Snow Much Less Likely For Portland, More Likely For Seattle

Snow Much Less Likely For Portland, More Likely For Seattle

Tonight’s model runs are in, and every model has shifted the plume of moisture I was talking about in last night’s blog slightly further north. Now, it appears as though Portland will be too warm for snow, while Seattle will see several inches of extremely wet, gloppy snow that may have trouble sticking at the lowest elevations. Let’s start by looking at current conditions around the Pacific Northwest. As you can see, temperatures are still quite mild around the Portland…

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Freezing Rain, Flooding, and Avalanches – Oh My!

Freezing Rain, Flooding, and Avalanches – Oh My!

I apologize for not posting as much as I would like recently! I’ve been very busy tweaking the site and preparing for WeatherTogether’s booth at WeatherFest, which is part of the American Meteorological Society’s (AMS) annual conference. As luck would have it, the AMS conference is in Seattle this winter, so it definitely made sense to do something there! WeatherFest is an open-floor exhibit featuring a variety of different local weather organizations and booths. I’ll be working alongside Brie Hawkins…

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Warm, Wet, and Windy Weather Next Week

Warm, Wet, and Windy Weather Next Week

A major pattern change is in store for us next week. After dealing with very cold temperatures and heaps of snow for those lucky folks in Portland, we will see temperatures in the 50s, snow levels above 7000 feet, and very heavy rain as an atmospheric river plows through the Pacific Northwest. There is still a significant amount of model disagreement at this time, but minor flooding is possible over regions of Washington and especially Oregon next week. Let’s start by…

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Snow To Return To The Cascades

Snow To Return To The Cascades

Wednesday, February 17, 2016 6:15 pm It was a bad week for the snow-lovers of the Pacific Northwest. Over the past couple days, we’ve had very moist and relatively mild flow coming into our region from the WSW. The result? Heavy rains on the Olympics and Northern Cascades, with much lighter precipitation in the Seattle area due to rainshadowing by the Olympics. These “atmospheric rivers” are really good for showing how much our topography affects our weather around the region….

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