It has been dry so long around here that many of you have forgotten what precipitation is like. But according to our models...and particularly new technology "rapid refresh" models...we might see some showers and thunderstorms before the day is up.
And the threat of lightning-caused fires is real.
The U.S. is probably the world leader in something called rapid-update, intermittent data assimilation....a fancy way of saying a version of numerical weather prediction where every hour new weather observations are brought in and a new (generally short term) forecast is made. Every hour a new forecast! Such systems take advantage of all data sources (surface data, radar, aircraft data, satellite data, etc). The folks at the NOAA Earth Systems Research Lab (ESRL) have been working hard on this technology for several decades and during the last year or so the predictions have improved rapidly.
The top-of-the line system run by NOAA is the HRRR (High Resolution Rapid Refresh), which has a resolution of 3 km (1.8 miles). The runs started this morning indicate a band of showers and thunderstorms moving northward this afternoon and evening. Here are the forecasts of reflectivity...what a weather radar would see.. at 9 AM, 5 PM and 7 PM. Heavier rain is associated with warmer colors (yellow, orange, red). If true, we will see showers over Washington later this afternoon.
Some of these showers will be thunderstorms. The forecast line is not particularly vigorous and many of the thunderstorms will be "high-based" meaning that the rain will be falling for great distances through dry air. Thus, only limited precipitation may reach the ground. Lightning might hit relatively dry ground...with the clear threat of fire initiation.
A visible satellite photo this morning at 11 AM (see below) shows a line of showers developing over Oregon...and they are now moving northward into Washington.
The showers in eastern Washington are the most significant right now and they are accompanied by some lightning. Anyway, today will be a good test of some of our new tools.
Seattle School Board Race
I strongly support Sue Peters for school board and I hope you
will too. She has been a strong advocate of better math in Seattle
Public Schools and I have been extraordinarily impressed during my
interactions with her. She has a very impressive educational resume,
including serving on a number of district committees and task forces,
has a respected education blog, has been an active volunteer in local
schools, and was a founding member of the Seattle Math Coalition. Sue is
supported by FOUR of the current school board members and has a long
list of endorsements by local organizations. The Seattle Times, the
supporter of corporate education philosophy, endorsed her
opponent...another sign that Sue is on the right track.
Check out her web site at: http://suepeters4schoolboard.org/http://suepeters4schoolboard.org/
Please vote for her in the primary and support her campaign.