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Super Typhoon Songda Threatens the Pacific Northwest

Update October 12th 7:15 am: A High Wind Watch has been issued by the National Weather Service in Seattle for Thursday evening thru Friday morning. There is potential for damaging sustained winds of 30 to 40 mph gusting to 50 or 60 mph. Continue to monitor the latest forecasts.

If the transition from summer to fall felt like a comfortable adjustment, then buckle up; because this weekend will make you feel like you stepped into December…in 2006.

The typical hallmarks of stormy weather are expected this weekend; incessant heavy rain, blustery winds and dark days. Saturday however, may bring more than the typical Northwest storm.

Super Typhoon Songda

Category 3 Typhoon Songda is churning 700 miles southeast of Japan. All forecast models are projecting this monster to get caught up in strong west winds. From there, the remnants of the typhoon transitions into a post-tropical storm and hitches a ride all the way to our shores. At that point, the future is unclear.

There are two options provided by the weather models.

  • Option 1: Former Typhoon Songda swings north. Fierce winds batter the Oregon and Washington Coasts, but winds further inland are much less intense.
  • Option 2: The center of the storm landfalls on Vancouver Island, sucking strong winds into the Puget Sound causing much damage to the region.

This has the potential to be a historically catastrophic windstorm for the Northwest, the effects could be similar to the major Hanukkah Eve windstorm of December 2006.

Meteorologists have not yet issued warnings due to the lack of certainty in the forecast. My advice: prepare for the worst case scenario and stock up supplies.

Keep updated here and on the https://www.facebook.com/pswxgeek.

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Very Wet and Windy Weekend – Weather Model Update

**Weather models four days in the future are used to roughly predict patterns and trends, not specific weather events. This is not a forecast, and the actual outcome is not certain. Please use the National Weather Service for actual forecasts**

Monday morning’s models are still painting a stormy picture for this weekend. Here’s a breakdown. We’ll label the storms as Storm 1 (Friday arrival) and Storm 2 (Saturday arrival).

Keep in mind, Storm 2 is the post-tropical remnants of Typhoon Songda. This is definitely an eerie flashback to Columbus Day 1962, although no models are showing it taking a similar track.

GFS: This run shows Storm 1 making a pretty strong impact to the Northwest. The landfall location was nudged south and it arrives on Central Vancouver Island as a large and weakening 976mb on Friday morning. Storm 2 bombs within the next 24 hours and takes a sharp swing to the north, missing Vancouver Island and sparing us a major windstorm.

GFS Winds and Heights at 850mb (~5,000 ft.)

GFS Winds and Heights at 850mb (~5,000 ft.)

WRF-GFS: Being a higher resolution model, the UW-WRF projects Storm 1 to be more complex than the lower res. GFS. It shows multiple “pinwheel” style lows orbiting the parent. According to this model, one of these lows makes a direct hit on the N. Oly. Peninsula as a 974mb low Friday morning. This would be very windy for the Puget Sound. I feel that these pinwheel features are less permanent and more apt to evolve as the models come in. Storm 2 swings north and clears Vancouver Island.

WRF-GFS “Pinwheel” low hits Washington. The closer the black lines are together, the windier it is.

ECMWF: This model has been remarkably consistent run to run, but is not in agreement with other models. Storm 1 travels further north, and thus is a less impactful track into N. Vancouver Island. BUT, Storm 2 moves much closer to us. It takes a track into North/Central Vancouver Island as a 956mb low. The surrounding pressure will already be low, so 956mb isn’t as devastating as it sounds, but winds would be very strong on the coast, and north Puget Sound. Further out, ECMWF also develops a strong windstorm next Tuesday; will have to watch this as well.

Conclusion: There is little to no certainty in the specifics, but it still looks very windy and very wet even if none of the lows make a direct hit on Van. Island, WA or OR.

Stay tuned here and on the Facebook Page for the latest weather models and weather reports!

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A Look at Weather Models and Possible Windstorms Next Weekend

This is a speculation of current weather models looking at a possibly very stormy period: next Thursday through Sunday. The current forecast is for wet and windy weather. Stay tuned to Puget Sound Weather Geek on the Facebook Page for updates! Continue reading

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Surprise Power Outages!

Continue reading

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The Beginning of Stormy Weather

As the meteorologists eye the weather models, I think it’s time to get the raincoats ready! Stormy weather is on the horizon and I’m excited! Continue reading

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How a “Neutral Climate” Will Affect The Winter and Why You Should Prepare For Major Windstorms Now

The Climate Prediction Center came out with an outlook on the El Nino/La Nina climate patterns for this year, and it looks “neither here nor there”. The ocean temperatures off the coast of South America are expected to remain neutral as opposed to warmer(El Nino) or cooler (La Nina). What does this mean for the weather here in the Northwest?

The neutral climate pattern usually brings about (you guessed it) normal, middle of the road weather for the Northwest; normal temperatures and normal rainfall. So now you can tell your friends and family to prepare for the typical wet streets, gray skies, and 24/7 jacket weather for the fall and winter. But that’s not all you need to prepare for this season.

Surprisingly, neutral climate patterns are the prime time for major windstorms in the Northwest. Take the time while the weather is calm to make sure you’re ready for the big storms that knock out power to thousands every year.

Also be sure to ‘like’ the Puget Sound Weather Geek Facebook Page and bookmark this blog to stay up to date on windstorm threats and forecasts. I do extensive coverage during extreme weather events, so stay tuned!

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Is Summer Over?


After another sweltering wave of heat last week where temperatures got into the 90°s and Fire Weather Watches and Heat Advisories were issued across Western Washington, it appears that typical Washington weather is back,  and possibly for good.

Photograph taken by Sandra Scragg

The repetitive heat spells were caused by a persistent ‘dome’ of warm air that we often see during the Summer. However it seems that we’re at the point where that big dome is transitioning into a ‘dip’ of cooler air swinging in from Canada.

Whether you love it or hate it, the cooler weather is coming back!

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Stormy August Day!

It’s a chilly August day and showers are scattered across Western Washington. Thunder and heavy rain are possible Sunday and Monday afternoons as well.

This is all due to a super cold blob of air in the upper atmosphere rotating in from the north as part of an Upper Level Low pressure system. In other words, this bubble of cold air is going to mess with our summer for a little bit!

We can expect the weather to get warmer and more pleasant by the middle of next week.

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Stormy Morning and a Great Week Ahead

We’re starting off the day to a stormy start as an upper level low popped off some storms across the Puget Sound early in the morning. Intense lightning and thunder was reported across the area!

Lightning image captured by skunkbayweather.com

As this system clears out, things are going to change pretty dramatically for the weekend and beyond, and it can be described in three words: Summer. Is. Back.

Wow! Definitely looks like we’re stuck with sunny skies and toasty temps for the foreseeable future. Enjoy it and stay cool!

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When is Summer Coming Back?

Well it doesn’t really look like July out there anymore, and considering the trend of our summer so far (sunny day – cloudy day – sunny day – cloudy day) you’re probably wondering how long this is going to last.

Well, as is the case with a lot of weather forecasting – it’s unclear.

This bout of cloudy/showeryness is due to an upper level low (ULL) off-shore. This is a spinning blob of cooler air and moisture in the upper levels of the atmosphere.

This particular system will swing through the region this weekend bringing cooler and showery weather. A few thunderstorms may be in the mix for Saturday as well.

Afterwards though, the models and forecasters aren’t sure whether a warm spell will form, or whether another one of these ULL’s will bring us back into cloudy/rainy land.

The forecasts are calling for a chance of rain each day until the middle of next week.

Weather Underground 7 Day Forecast

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