Sunday, April 23, 2017

Pacific Mega Moisture Plume Approaches the West Coast

Major Update:  As of last night, Seattle now has exceeded the ALL TIME record for October 1 to April 30 precipitation. The amount so far?  44.67 inches.
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It is the JAWS of Pacific moisture plumes.  And it is now reaching our shores.

Today's satellite imagery is stunning... a wide plume of moisture stretching across the entire Pacific Ocean and headed for the Pacific Northwest.  Let me show you.

First, a visible satellite image --what you would see from space--showing a continuous band of clouds, 1000 miles wide, stretching from the western Pacific to just off our coast. Scary.


Next, an infrared image, which shows the temperature of the clouds (or surface), with white indicating high/cold clouds.  Similar thing.


Or an image from the water vapor channel, showing the emission of radiation from water vapor.  Even more impressive, with clear evidence that some of the water vapor plume has reached our coast.


We can also measure wave vapor using the microwave part of the spectrum, and here is a global viewpoint from that wavelength.  The moisture plume  (at midnight Sunday/Monday) can be traced all the way back to the northern Philippines, 6600 miles away!  Moisture from the subtropics and tropics is coming to us!

As I noted in my previous blog, this is a relatively unusual situation for late April and ground zero for landfall of this moisture will be the Oregon coast. As it rises over NW terrain, substantial precipitation will be observed.  For example, the 72h total precipitation ending at 5 PM Wednesday, brings 2-5 inches over the Oregon Cascades and the coastal mountains.  Importantly, northern CA gets heavy precipitation, which is quite rare in late April.

The latest European Center forecast for total precipitation through Thursday AM shows a very wet Pacific Northwest.

You really want to get depressed?  Here is a count of the number of days with precipitation over the past 30 days.  Western Washington is a sunless disaster area.

The complaints about this winter's clouds and rain have been deafening;  perhaps it was contribute to large migration back to California and relieve the housing situation in the Puget Sound region.   I was wondering why traffic has been greater southbound on I5...perhaps our weather is coming to our rescue, sending the high-tech hordes back to the sun-drenched Bay area.



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34 comments:

Nate Natarajan said...

Hi Cliff,

This is a classic exploit of a statistical weakness, focus the window on a period that supports the hypothesis you want to present. Bay area had a lot of precipitation this year (even until last month that is) but what is perhaps worse is how under equipped it was, blocked roads for several days all over, significant property damage in San Jose, Santa Cruz, Pleasanton etc and just how messy the recovery was. God forbid Seattle level precipitation in those areas. I wish we could have a string of sunny days but certainly not moving back to CA!

DSP said...

A few weeks ago we had a very unusual (for April) windstorm, and now we are going to have a very unusual (for April) moisture plume hit the Pacific Northwest. Last fall was the windstorm from Typhoon Songda. It seems we have had a lot of unusual weather in the last few years.

clive boulton said...

After such a moist 6 months is there any statistical research that predicts an extended period of dry sunny weather follows wet weather?

Emma Peel said...

@clive boulton - I have the exact same question!

Wicked Vicki said...

KOMO (I think) reported that a hot summer is predicted; I skimmed it but did not see their source. Can you comment, please and thanks?

Jim said...

I'm packing up the family and heading back to Santa Cruz (or Truckee), leaving Portland far behind .... just as soon as I win the lotto, which I think should happen any day now.

Andrew Lincicome said...

More like a moist 18 months...

M'sFan said...

It's looking like this atmospheric river is making landfall a bit farther north than anticipated? i.e. waterlogged and depressed Western WA being ground zero...

jno62 said...

Cliff rarely responds here.

Here is a count of the number of days with precipitation over the past 30 days. Western Washington is a sunless disaster area.

I think this is supposed to say "..number of days WITHOUT precip...."

Just another typo.

Michelle Thomas said...

I love reading your blog, you always have great explanations of the meteorological events. But today, I'm a little disappointed. You've decidedly called out those of us residing in the PNW - specifically the Seattle area who're not originally from here.

Not a cool thing to perpetuate. As a military brat who has moved around all her life - I don't have a home town or state. And it's attitudes like that which really alienate people like myself who are nomadic and really move to where there are jobs or where my job tells me to go. The commentary really is ridiculous. I lived in Southern California for a number of years and you know what I called the weather there? "Oppressively nice" it's BORING. There is hardly any actual weather on a day to day basis. I love it here and no amount of clouds or rain is doing to drive me out of this area.

The whole stereotyping and generalization that those of us who are not native to Seattle or Washington can't handle the weather is BS. Especially considering how idiotic most native people in Seattle freak out about a little snow. Try living in the New England area... (I would, if my line of work was in that area.)

Arnie said...

Thanks for another excellent post Dr. Mass.

@Michelle Thomas - are you really complaining about someone making stereotypes and generalizations of non-native Seattleites, and then immediately making a stereotype of native Seattlites?

This must be sarcasm that I'm just missing. Thanks!

Heidi said...

I thought Cliffs comment about Californians heading back to Cali cause of this "miserable" weather was pretty funny myself!! Maybe that's cause I'm a native Rentonite and I might secretly wish it would actually happen!😉

Ansel said...

But right now the weather is making a mockery of the weekend AND today's forecast: Sunny all this afternoon!

Caroline Roberts said...

dont take the chiding so personnally about sending migrants to western was back where they came from ! we have many from Cali who moan and groan about the rain. this anguish re the rain has always been the case for most newcomers!

Mark Anderson said...

Irony alarm!

Fran Bozarth said...

Clearly you don't understand what the pacific northwest has been like this year. I've lived here for over 50 years and never endured such a dreary, soggy weather year. Maybe, just maybe things really are getting that bad. By many expert accounts,the changes will be rapid.

Fran Bozarth said...

Nate,Clearly you don't understand what the pacific northwest has been like this year. I've lived here for over 50 years and never endured such a dreary, soggy weather year. Maybe, just maybe things really are getting that bad. By many expert accounts,the changes will be rapid.

Bret Bucher said...

The mass of the storm is the absolutely in the area where the U.S. Government is spraying aerosol in the sky from Air Force KC 130 just look up in the skies on any sunny day and watch for multiple jets flying side by side along the I-5 corridor, it is so obvious, amazes me how people don't see it and think I am a conspiracy theorists, no actually I have all the flights documented, and furthermore many of the flights do not appear on radar.

Alex said...

Honestly, good riddance to the fair-weather CA transplants who can't stand a few rainy days.

Alex said...

Funny reading all the whinging from people who never had to experience a 'Noreaster.

Organic Farmer said...

I am concerned about frost away from the water later this week with the southward dip in the jet stream.

Lots of blossoms in the orchards, and some tender veggies in the ground.

Remember, with the cool pattern, clouds at night are our friends. Keeps us from frost. Clear skies at night forcast later this week worries me.



Personally, I always figure the people who want storms, cold and snow are all Southerners (from south of the 45th parallel!)... Figure lousy weather is a novelty for them. Ha!!

Connie said...

Just found your blog and am very thankful for your efforts. Found it by entering the search term in Google "Why is it raining so much in the Pacific NW April 2017." I was suspecting that this spring has been unusual, and it's nice to get the geeky details. (In the meantime, have masochistically had a toolbar bookmark to MIMIC for a couple of years.)

Zathras said...

You can be sure Cliff is just being funny Michelle--you cannot quite make out his New York accent on the blog, but it is there. And a lot of us consider ourselves to be natives even though we have similar stories. I was born on Long Island where my father worked for Grumman. We went to California, and then Dad came here to work at Boeing. But I've been here most of my life (I'm also a meteorologist!). When we kid about people leaving, it is probably because we imagine leaving--at least for a break, and to recharge our vitamin D (deficiency causes sarcasm).

Jim said...

Honestly, good riddance to the fair-weather CA transplants who can't stand a few rainy days.

It's not the rain that gets me, it's the lack of sun. I grew up in Florida and that place has an average rainfall that exceeds Oregon or Washington. But in terms of sunny days, Florida has close to 70% sunny days as opposed to Oregon and Washington which have less then 50%.

Our family Dr. told us to start supplementing Vitamin D. Why is that?

Data used: (I think the rain fall totals are suspect because it shows Oregon getting more rainfall then Washington - that can't be right, I thought Oregon got less?)

rainfall
sun
vitamin d

PS it isn't all PNW dislike, I have a reverse commute vs driving highway 17 from SC to the valley for 25 years, that is a score, trust me; I can grow tomatoes vs where we lived in Santa Cruz was close to the beach so fog was ever present; I can drive to Hood after work to ski as it's only an hour vs 5 hours to Truckee from the valley; I could buy a home semi close in (mid NE 40s) to Portland vs cardboard boxes in Santa Cruz go from more then I paid here and the Simpson opening clouds are nice.

tom said...

Hahahaha....just spent 5 days on Oahu-didn't see the sun for the first three days and it rained like heck.....I felt right at home. (I live on the Olympic Peninsula)

CyclicalSyndicate said...

Yes Bret!!! Finally, someone who gets it!! The government is trying to drown us!

Wait... what?

Go sell crazy somewhere else, Bret. No one cares about your chemtrails bullsh*t.

Masura said...

OMG readers, lose the stereotypes already! Who cares where people come from or how long they have lived here. Fact: This. Weather. Sucks.

Angela B., Kirkland said...

So what became of this atmospheric river? Did it shove off northward? Because Scott Sistek is now saying dryer than normal for early May.

research junkie said...

With weather manipulation on the books for decades now + global warming hoax + we have incentive for the usual PRS: Problem-Reaction-Solution. The aim? Global Domination via climate change initiatives. For proof, check into the facts on this Initiative which ultimately puts the Climate Board above world governments. What??! Yes. This "board" would of course be controlled by the same group of wizened old pedophiles currently running the banks, media, large corps, all of it. Check it all out, then you'll know if someone refers to global warming as "man-made" that they ALSO work for the beast.

janet jenney said...

Sun-drenched Bay Area.....hmmmmm. I guess you haven't noticed that they have had abhorrent amounts of rain during the same period.

wff255 said...

Bret Bucher, if you're going to spread your made-up conspiracy garbage at least you should figure out what you're talking about. If the government was using the KC130, you would not look up and see jets, because the KC130 is not a jet.....

cgt said...

Had a nice partly sunny day here in Bellingham, was expecting rain. A few drizzles after 6:30 pm, no torrential downpours from this swath spanning the Pacific. Is it actually hitting the coast somwhere? Yesterday was mostly dry too, though I was on S Vancouver Island.

Pacific Thunder said...

"Sun drenched Bay Area"?!! Wtf. You haven't heard of the foggy city by the bay have you? I lived in Seattle for 22 years, you can handle 6 months. Take a winter vacation to Mexico next year.

Pacific Thunder said...

I saw a headline today Al Gore demands $15 billion for global warming. Not sure I totally get what you are saying. Appreciate mentioning the "Problem-Reaction-'Solution' " paradigm = I see this all the time.