Monday, November 06, 2006

More on the weather

I'm kind of a weather nerd and one of the disappointing things about living in the PNW is how static the weather is compared to where I lived in the Midwest (where you'd need the AC one day and it'd snow the next, with a tornado in between). Around here, the local TV weather forecasters will sometimes tell us what it's like in other parts of the country, simply because there isn't enough local weather to fill up their segment.

So when we occasionally actually get something dynamic going on, everybody goes a little nuts. Including the National Weather Service forecasters. Below I've copied yesterday's forecast for the next couple of days. The caps lock is permanently stuck on at NWS, so I apologize for that. But I've bolded some of the "juiciest parts."

WEST OF THE CASCADES...

SYNOPSIS...

A WARM FRONT IS ALREADY SPREADING RAIN BACK NORTHWARD ACROSS THE
LOWER COLUMBIA AND INTO SW WASHINGTON. THE LEADING EDGE OF
A VERY JUICY TROPICAL AIRMASS IS APPROACHING THE WA/OR COAST...WITH
COOLER...LOWER THETA-E AIR OVER THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST. THIS COMBINED
WITH A LOW LEVEL SOUTHWESTERLY JET INCREASING TO UPWARDS OF 60-70 KT
WILL SET UP A NEAR-PERFECT RAINFALL PRODUCTION SITUATION...WITH
EXCELLENT ISENTROPIC LIFT COMBINING WITH EXCELLENT OROGRAPHIC LIFT
TO PRODUCE INTENSE RAINFALL RATES ACROSS WESTERN WASHINGTON AND NW
OREGON TONIGHT THROUGH MONDAY NIGHT. THE HEAVIEST RAIN WILL SLOWLY
SAG SOUTHWARD ACROSS WESTERN OREGON TUESDAY AS A COLD FRONT
GRADUALLY PUSHES THE BEST DYNAMICS TO THE SOUTH AND EAST. BY
WEDNESDAY AND THURSDAY...IT APPEARS THE REGION WILL BE IN A COOL
SHOWERY REGIME...WITH FREEZING LEVELS FALLING TO AROUND 4000 FT IN
MOST AREAS

DETAILS...

12Z SUN - 12Z MON:
THIS MORNING`S MUCH-NEEDED BREATHER FROM THE HEAVIEST RAIN ACROSS
WESTERN WASHINGTON IS QUICKLY COMING TO AN END. BY MID AFTERNOON RAIN
SHOULD BE FALLING ACROSS ALL OF WESTERN WASHINGTON AS THE VERY MOIST
TROPICAL AIRMASS BEGINS TO GLIDE OVER THE SLIGHTLY COOLER AIR ACROSS
THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST. THIS IS A CLASSIC SETUP FOR GOOD ISENTROPIC
LIFT...ESPECIALLY AS 850 MB SW WINDS ENERGIZE TO 50-60 KT+...SO EVEN
IF THE REGION WAS FLAT...MODERATE TO LOCALLY HEAVY RAIN WOULD
DEVELOP. AS WE ALL KNOW...WESTERN WASHINGTON IS CERTAINLY NOT
FLAT...AND OROGRAPHICS WILL BE IN PLAY. HEAVY RAIN WILL BE STEADY BY
MONDAY MORNING ACROSS THE OLYMPICS AND WASHINGTON CASCADES...WITH
MODERATE RAINS WIDESPREAD ACROSS THE LOWLANDS OF WESTERN WASHINGTON
AND NW OREGON. CURRENTLY EXPECTING THE FOLLOWING 24 HR PCPN
ACCUMULATIONS FROM 12Z SUN - 12Z MON.

Fine, maybe it's not that funny, but I thought it was. And here is something that is definitely funny (from the Onion re: the Mars rovers' lack of Spirit). Thanks to inkycircus for showing me this one.

5 comments:

Writer Chica said...

Thanks for the laughs, both the weather report and the Onion.

I really liked the part, "So even if the region was flat..."

hehehe

Astroprof said...

It's all relative. I remember this past summer, when we were having average daily highs around 103 and lows in the upper 70's, and NOT under a severe heat advisory because the temperature dropped below 80 for a few minutes each day, another part of the country WAS under a severe heat advisory because the highs were going to be "near" 80!

Sonnjea B said...

I love the NWS pointing out that Western Washington is not flat. Hey, guys, thanks for the heads up!

Anonymous said...

As a Mars junkie and a collaborator on the rover mission -

Spirit has been sitting still in the midst of winter since April! Winter has forced her to seek refuge on a north-facing slope to save energy. She finally rotated for the first time in months (~30 deg) over the weekend. No real driving planned until after turkey day. So yes, all of us involved are a little bored and excited to get moving!

I particularly like the bit about Spirit complaining about analyzing the same boring soil. Because it's true!

I won't admit who I am, but I know some "utopia" blog readers will have good idea ;).

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