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Tag: Flooding

Lowland Snow for NW Washington on Sunday?

Lowland Snow for NW Washington on Sunday?

Thanks to an atmospheric river last Sunday that brought flooding to many rivers flowing off the Olympics and Washington Cascades and a strong ridge just offshore for the first half of this week, we’ve had mild temperatures to begin February. Temperatures have been particularly warm east of the Cascade crest – in fact, Walla Walla didn’t dip below their average high temperature for this time of the year until February 9th. Fellow WeatherTogether blogger Karl Bonner of The Dalles, Oregon,…

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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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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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Harvey: Worst-Case Scenario Comes To Fruition

Harvey: Worst-Case Scenario Comes To Fruition

By Charlie Phillips AND Mark Ingalls Tropical Storm Harvey has turned from a severe event into a catastrophic, record-breaking event that may go down as the costliest flooding disaster in the history of the United States. And yes, that includes Hurricane Katrina. Some important notes before we start: If you are in Texas and find yourself in need of shelter, dial 211. If water has risen in your home, DO NOT go into your attic. If you can, climb onto…

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Hurricane Harvey Storms Ashore

Hurricane Harvey Storms Ashore

I gotta go to bed soon (gotta wake up at 4:30 tomorrow!), so this post is going to be brief. But there’s no way I could nod off to sleep without writing something about this incredibly strong storm. Hurricane Harvey made landfall at the northern tip of San Jose Island at 10 pm CDT time tonight as a Category 4 hurricane with sustained winds of 130 mph, making it the first landfalling Category 4 storm over the US since Hurricane…

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The Oroville Dam Spillway Failure

The Oroville Dam Spillway Failure

As I’ve mentioned in some of my previous posts, this has been an exceptionally stormy winter for much of California. While these storms have been crucial in eliminating California’s drought, they have also caused a variety of weather-related hazards in the Golden State. And no hazard has been bigger than the crisis on Northern California’s Oroville Dam. Thankfully, the situation has improved over the past week, but there are still a variety of problems ahead. In this post, I’ll provide…

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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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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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