• Sailing is all about the Weather.

    Big into the exploration of Atlantic Hurricanes since Katrina came uninvited into his world, James (Jim) Gurley (JamesG161) has followed every Tropical Storm birthed in Atlantic, Gulf and Caribbean waters since. Being a boater, he knows that we often need more time to prepare than we get from the TV weather folk. Jim relies on the science of storm development to share early warning info with friends and fellow boaters.

    Early in 2018, Jim and John Shepard, (JSSailem) started to chat about the weather data available. John asked Jim to help forecast Pacific NW storms, and this morphed into discussions on weather forecasting.

    For John, sailing in the PNW is sometimes hit and miss. One day is ugly, then a string of beautiful days but no wind, followed by a series of blue-sky days and 12 knot breezes. Being ready for those great sailing days means you need to look to the Pacific Ocean and what is brewing. John has been into Pacific NW Weather since the 1970’s when his first PNW November storm hit bringing more than 40 days and 40 nights of continual rain.

    Together we want to share information, new APPs, safety, and thoughts about letting the weather help you. Identify some of the resources for sailors and help prepare you for your next sailboat outing.

    It is far better to go out on the water knowing what to expect in weather terms, than to be out on the water and see dark ominous clouds suddenly appear, unprepared.

PacificNW weather update.

Oct 22, 2014
16,409
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
More news from my buddy Rufus.
He affirms that the affects of the ENSO activity will continue to bring wet cold weather. My last picture of the Pacific showed a Low Pressure cell building over the Aleutians. Today that same area looks like this...
Windy Sun1.jpg sun2.jpg

With the LOW cells moving East of the Aleutians and towards the Pacific NW. These cells are being urged forward under the influence of the Jet Stream. Note the alignment of the moisture from the Hawaiian Islands along the north side of the HIGH pressure cell now moved inland over Utah/Idaho/Wyoming.

The mountain snows will be piling up in BC over the next couple of days.

Rufus has posted a fresh update and look at the early December weather.
Sunday November 21
Early Sunday post because the coast is calling - we’ll be spending a few days at the beach before Thanksgiving. Update, per usual, on Black Friday. For now, here’s the latest outlook.
Weak system arrives later on Monday (north to south), bringing onshore a bit of rain or showers. By Tue afternoon, partial clearing and morning fog will return in the usual places. Dry, foggy Wed.
Thanksgiving: the next system will be the beginning of another rather extended WET cycle, with moderate-to-heavy rain. It all begins in the north Wed night, as a moisture laden front moves onshore. Western WA & BC first on Thanksgiving Day, then the system will drape over OR, as well, overnight Thanksgiving. Black Friday will be a wet Friday to start, drying down by late afternoon. Don’t put the rain gear away quite yet. More rain hits Vancouver Is & NW WA by sunrise on Saturday, and making its way into OR by Sunday morning. This system should not be quite as wet as the Thanksgiving storm. Still, more rain where is really isn’t wanted at this time.
A short break in the action for early the week after Thanksgiving, but the rain returns first to the northern half of Vancouver Is Monday night, and spreads to all the PNW by sometime on Tue, Nov 30. This storm will be a drencher - from northern CA to BC. Fortunately for BC, much of the precip will be ‘held’ as snow in the mountains. Good placement. WET Wed Dec 1. A powerful Pacific storm will rapidly move in overnight Wed, bringing WIND (!) and heavy rain Wed night through Thu Dec 2. Early yet, but models charts a Low pressure center of 974-978 mb making landfall over Vancouver Is sometime Thu night. If verified, damaging WIND will be likely over some portion of the PNW Thu night. Freezing levels drop Fri morning after the strong cold front passes. Frosty Sat Dec 4, if the sky clears in your area.
What was earlier modeled to be cold, low-snow-pattern for the first weekend of Dec may be delayed, as models are mixed - could be wet and mild, with plenty of wind that weekend, or continue to the colder wet side, with snow levels falling through the weekend, on into the following week.
Bottom line - early Dec should be chilly, with mountain snow and the chance for snow at the lowest elevations of the season. For now, the parameters we discussed last time are still showing on the charts for early December — 'snow cold' air mass over the Gulf of Alaska & eastern AK & the Yukon, setting up strong Pacific storms for the PNW, along with colder conditions as the month unfolds. It will be interesting to watch what actually develops.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!! Stay safe and have a good time.
-Rufus
 
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Oct 22, 2014
16,409
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
My friend Rufus has posted his "Black Friday" weather report for the Pacific NW.
Perhaps it should be termed a White Friday report as the forecast for the next couple of weeks calls for the white stuff falling from the sky as temps drop and the La Niña weather pattern continues to pump moist air into the region. More wet weather forecast for the folks in BC.

Black Friday 2021​
Lots of rain will continue to fall over the far NW corner of the PNW; trending drier for the rest. Let’s go through the latest outlook.
From now until late Tue Nov 30, rain & showers will be almost continuous for portions of Vancouver Is, southern BC and the NW corner of WA. Heed Nat’l Wx Service alerts as to flooding issues. For SW WA, OR and ID, additional precip is charting for Saturday & early Monday. Fog & dry conditions are likely to develop by Tue, excluding the far NW.​
Ponder Points. Here’s where the models begin to chart a mixed message (happening frequently this fall, for sure) -​
1st scenario: generally dry and gradually cooler conditions for Wed Dec 1 through the end of next week. Maybe some showers over the weekend of Dec 4,5, with a N-NE wind developing as cold High Pressure dome drops deep into the heartland, east of the Rockies. Mild-to-warm (esp for OR) Sunday & Mon, Dec 5,6 before it turns colder with snow teasing Patrons north of Bellingham by Dec 9th.
2nd scenario: coldest air of the season begins to drop into the PNW, with increasing chance for low level SNOW during the weekend of Dec 4,5. A Low develops over northern CA, drawing 'snow-cold' air over OR & WA for snow showers becoming likely at the surface. Ground may not be frozen yet, so accumulations may delay; cold Fraser Gap outflow - strong wind - could set up sometime that weekend, too. (The pattern for Dec 4-12, 2021 has similarities to that of our very snowy Dec 2008.) Cold wx for much of CA, too, with the 2nd scenario.​
Overall, both solutions do project our weather turning colder with very low snow levels as the week of Dec 13 gets under way.​
La Nina. We are in a rather COLD La Nina pattern. The image below (as of Nov 23, 2021) illustrates the cold (blue color) sea surface temperatures from the west coast of South America on east across the central tropical Pacific. The Pacific Ocean offshore of the PNW is also running colder than average. This is our second fall/winter with a La Nina pattern in place. Yes, back-to-back La Nina winters do happen, as this will be the 6th time since 1999. While not a certainty every time, La Nina winters generally produce more low level snowfall and above average precipitation in the PNW. As the chart below indicates sea surface temps in the ‘middle’ of the tropical Pacific 0.75 - 2.0 degrees C colder than average. We’ll see how all this plays out over the next 3 months. For now, be prepared for the chance for low elevation SNOW as the month of December gets underway. It is probable.
IMG_6267.jpeg
“Prosperity is something that business people create for politicians to take credit for."
-Rufus​
 
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Oct 22, 2014
16,409
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
I’m Dreaming of a
White Christmas…
Or so the melody goes. This update by Rufus says there are possibilities for a dream come true. The good news for our BC friends is that the rain will let up and give all a breather.

Here is the Rufus forecast for the the first half of December.
Friday December 3
Waiting - for Christmas, for snow. One we are sure of, the other, well, let’s give it a try. Challenging forecast to ramble through, so better fill that Mug. Ready?
Mild conditions across much of the PNW will yield to a much colder, typical December pattern soon. It will happen in stages. First, to the relief of many in NW WA & BC, the incessant rains have let up, yielding time to repair, replace, rebuild. That said, a weak system will move onshore Saturday, ushering in some precip, mainly north of Portland. As that Low moves SE, colder air will fill in, setting up the chance for snow above 1,000 ft, and a snow/rain mix at the surface north of Seattle. It will continue mild over Oregon.​
The next, much stronger storm, will arrive from the NW by Monday morning. This Low will generate a fair amount of rain & wind for WA & OR; the Coastal Mountains of Canada will likely get a good shot of snow. By Tue, it will dry out during daylight hours.​
Second stage, in a manner of speaking, starts overnight Tue - this one will drop the freezing level rather low, esp over western WA, so expect snow showers mixing down to 1,000 ft by Wed night, and even though showers will diminish by Thu, the freezing level may drop lower still. Portions of western WA could get some snow in the foothills, although the ground will not be frozen to hold very long. A weak trough may arrive Thu night Dec 9, drawing in more cold air and dropping snow levels to sea level or very near so in many west side locations, esp north of Portland (or even Salem). Not a lot of moisture with this disturbance, so rain/snow mixed at the surface will be light on Fri Dec 10; should be all snow in any showers north of Chehalis. If not foggy in your location, a hard frost is likely Saturday morning, the 11th.
Third stage. Pooled, cold air over the Gulf of Alaska will sag south even more by Monday Dec 13. The transition could be Sunday the 12th, with increasing chance for rain as a surface Low moves south along the coastal waters. If the Low turns inland early (as some model runs suggest), the air mass will be cold enough for very low elevation snow, esp western WA; a few model runs track the Low farther south into the San Francisco area, keeping much of the PNW on the narrow, warmer edge of the broad upper level Low for an extra day or two. We’ll see. Rain and showers will persist on/off through Tue Dec 14.​
Middle-to-end of the week, Dec 15-17: Fourth stage: heavy rain over central/southern OR as another push of cold air arrives from the NW. This one may have the needed cold air aloft to spark SNOW at all elevations from Eugene north. If not, snow will be everywhere on one’s path west, south, north or east over any terrain over 500-1,000 ft. Chain time. A weak series of fronts may push in from the NW, each with enough cold air support to threaten low level snow or rain/snow mixed for all areas west of the Cascades as the week ends.
The weekend of Dec 18,19 is trending chilly, with snow or rain/snow mixed depending on elevation. Precipitation could be heavy at times, which could drive snow down to the surface periodically.​
Second Cup: Various global weather models have been struggling on a consistent solution for the Dec 12-19period, as we have noted here for several forecasts. Anyway, we must report that the overall pattern remains on a trend for COLDER air to begin arriving into the PNW from the NW over the eastern Pacific (not from our usual ‘Arctic outflows’ out of the Fraser Gap or Columbia River Gorge). Snow at the surface in the PNW requires quite a few atmospheric attributes to align just right — a few of these do properly align during the period in question. We usually lack moisture when the air aloft is cold enough for snow. The cycle discussed here is right on the edge of ‘cold enough’ while also having plenty of moisture. We recall December 2008 when a similar combination was charting - and verified. Will December 2021 be a repeat? Close call for now.​
For our California Patrons - heavy rain and surprisingly low elevation snow is possible during the period discussed above. Be safe!​
Our quip today reminds us that forecasting is always tough, even for the best of us: “The phonograph is not of any commercial value.” -Thomas Edison, 1915.
-Rufus​
 
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Oct 22, 2014
16,409
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
Here is your Friday Rufus weather outlook. SNOW for Christmas in the low lands? It might happen.
Skiers Rejoice...
The Snow is coming! The snow is coming!



Friday December 10

Lots of impactful weather on the way. Mug up.

A large pool of cold air, that we have been discussing here, is beginning to settle in over the eastern Pacific / Gulf of Alaska. The resulting broad Low pressure trough will spawn several surface Lows over the next several days, most of which will track south towards CA and southern OR. But first, a powerful storm will arrive this weekend. WIND will be strong - steady at 35-45 mph in places, esp over western WA, 25-35 mph over western OR. Gusts, both regions, will likely top 45-50+ mph - meaning power outages are probable. Plan ahead, Patron! Rain will be heavy, with anywhere from 1.5” - 3” possible in the lowlands between now and Monday afternoon. SNOW in the mountains will be measured by the FEET. A range of 2 ft - 6 ft of snow is being forecast, depending on elevation. For Patrons traveling over the passes, beware, this is NOT a joke - have winter gear with you at all times.

Next week will remain on the damp side, with occasional low elevation snow (500-1,000 ft) or mixed snow/rain at the surface, esp north of Seattle. More snow in the mountains. Wed, Thu and/or Fri Dec 15-17 mornings could be ICY, if the sky clears in your area. Do not rule out surface snow in the Bellingham/Lynden/Abbotsford areas anytime between thisSunday and the end of next week, as a weak outflow from the Fraser River Gap could enhance that chance.

Mixed chance for cold showers and dry conditions for the weekend of Dec 18,19. It will continue on the cold side. Models have differed on the solution for Christmas week, but for now, expect conditions to remain chilly, and maybe even turn colder because of increasing COLD outflow through the Gaps (Fraser & Columbia Rivers). Another large cold air mass will reform over the eastern Pacific, setting up increase in offshore winds at the same time as Pacific moisture rolls in — yes, the classic set up for snow and/or freezing rain. Either way, it looks WET most of that week. Note that some solutions place a Low pressure cell just off the coast of WA, along with a dramatic pressure difference because of COLD High pressure over inland BC. NW WA Patrons know the drill — strong outflow, freezing temps and moisture.

Christmas Eve / Day: trend is for chilly-to-cold weather to continue and for the chance for SNOW for NW WA & BC (see above). For SW WA, OR and portions of northern CA, very wet period on Christmas Eve; damp Christmas Day. Snow level around 1,500-2,500 ft. Hood River area may have frozen precip issues. Any mountain travel will require chains/snow tires.

In Summary: lots of rain, wind and feet of mountain snow on the way for all of the PNW; the chance for periods of surface snow or a rain/snow mix cannot be ruled out, esp for Patrons in the far NW corner of the region. Yep, December.

-Rufus
 
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Oct 22, 2014
16,409
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
You sneaky BC Sailors... You slipped one in on to us. Exporting your heavy rainfall. Filling our creeks and streams with your winter rain. You got the Weather guys all excited down here. At 06:03 They posted Flood Warnings for the Willamette Valley.

Maybe I'll be able to run my boat down to Oregon and park it in the back yard... Naaa. We will have to wait for the Cascadia Event for that to happen.

Mean while we are going to need to brush up on our sand bag loading. If it keeps raining maybe Ark building.

Thank you Pineapple Express and La Nina for the water.
 
Oct 22, 2014
16,409
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
My Buddy... Rufus is calling for a PacificNW White Christmas.
Lets let Elvis sing it out loud and strong...

Monday December 20

For those that dare to dream of a White Christmas — grab a Mug, fill it, and let’s see if that dream will come true this year.

In our last report, we repeated one of the frequent attributes of wx models - that earlier prognostications often end up being correct. On Dec 13 we wrote extensively about what could happen in the period from Christmas Eve through the following week — that a White Christmas was possible across most of the PNW (if you still have that email, read it again, as that will best explain the dynamics of what may happen later this week). Now, what gives?

We have a better than 50% chance for a White Christmas here in the Willamette Valley, SW WA, Puget Sound environs, Lynden/Abbotsford, etc. What we have coined ’The Juneau Low’ — our Christmas Present from Alaska — will, by tomorrow Dec 21, begin to drop south along the Alaskan Panhandle & coastal BC to arrive in time for the big holiday. The cold-centered Juneau Low, along with additional Lows will have enough trajectory over the eastern Pacific to pick up moisture and roll it onshore for surface snows, on and off, from Christmas Eve into early 2022. Remember 2008? Cold air aloft should keep the snow around between snow systems. Some of the Lows will bring rain at first, then back to snow.

Cold Arctic air pooling over eastern Alaska/Yukon will also be shifting southeast, setting up the classic cold outflow from the Fraser Gap (and post-Christmas, the Columbia River Gorge). Temperatures will plummet as the modified Arctic air gushes through the Gaps (Fraser Gap WINDS will be potentially damaging strong. Prepare.) We will get into the subfreezing temperature outlooks in a later report, for now, be sure to prep business & residential plumbing and thawed livestock water supplies, as this event could extend several days overall. Travel will be challenging at all elevations.

How much snow? Projections are always iffy, but for now, we will peg 2”-6” snow south of Salem, 6”-8” Salem north, similar amounts over much of western WA between Dec 24 & Jan 4. Bellingham north will likely deal with snow drifts in the usual problem areas. Again, all of this snow dream stuff could be just that, a dream. However, there is less uncertainty as confidence is growing throughout wx forecasting industry in the PNW that The White is quite possible as the holidays get underway.

For now, the heavy rain (Mary’s River at Corvallis at flood stage) will cease as this day (Dec 20) progresses. Tue should be mostly dry and relatively mild. The next wet, breezy system is due sometime on Wed. This one is the first of upcoming Lows spinning south along the Alaska Panhandle & BC coast. The second one will combine with the 1st to become our Christmas Present, setting up the snowy forecast you just sipped through.

California will get in on the action, first as rain/wind storms, then the potential for low level snowfall as far south as the Bay Area. News time, if this verifies. The Sacramento Valley could get a hard frost if the sky clears during Christmas Weekend, and again in early January. Bundle up; protect plumbing.

“Every area of trouble gives out a ray of hope, and the one unchangeable certainty is that nothing is certain or unchangeable.” -Pres. John F. Kennedy.

-Rufus
 
Oct 22, 2014
16,409
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
Here is a Christmas weather message for all you PacificNW sailors. If you have not yet prepared your boat for sub freeze temps do it soon. The Arctic air is coming.

Rufus Forecast
Christmas Eve 2021

The staff here (me, myself & I) wish you and their family, a wonderful Christmas this year. The weather details that we presented in the Special Statement published on Dec 22remain the foundation of this forecast update. Will try to keep this brief.

Rain, wind, showers and plenty of mountain, foothill snow on the way today into this evening. Several areas are reporting snow, as well. Christmas Day will present rain showers turning to SNOW showers, at times, starting up north (NW WA, BC) and moving south by midnight across west side locations. Timing may vary.

Mittens Time. SNOW showers Sunday & Monday, with a few thrown in on Tue, esp south of Salem. Modified Arctic Air moving in mid-week will be very dry, but we do see some moisture moving from the Pacific, at times. STATIC ELECTRICITY will get your attention. News media & regional forecasters are working hard to keep PNW residents informed. Heed Nat’l Wx Service watches & warnings.

COLDER as the week progresses, with record or near record LOW temps possible, depending on snow cover & position of the cold Arctic air east of the Cascades. The brunt of this Arctic Event will hit NW Washington/BC. Single digit lows possible in NW WA; 12 - 17 degrees are possible in wind-sheltered, snow cover locations up & down the western valleys of the PNW. We will have a few DRY CRISP winter afternoons. Sunglasses needed for snow-glare!

The amount of moisture that could arrive next week is uncertain, but overall, any that does should fall as SNOW in most locations until late week. We could have a slight warm-up (just above freezing) late next week, but models return additional low-snow cold after New Year’s Day weekend. Winter will not let go completely as we enter 2022.

California will have plenty of weather issues, from heavy rain, to lower-than-usual snowfall, to subfreezing temps in the north.

Bring your Mug here again on Monday. Merry Time has arrived.

-Rufus
 
Oct 22, 2014
16,409
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
Well we had a White Christmas.

Oregon mountain pass
284399A1-DF41-4D92-9D4D-06E0BD6F7C53.jpeg 1FFE7BC7-0324-4C10-BEDE-9FC0F72531A7.jpeg

At home. Boxing Day.
88553D36-04EF-4D57-976C-DED2C84C47DD.jpeg 278DFD1B-E8DC-4238-B0C0-BCB14311A66C.jpeg

Bottom line - there’s a lot of winter weather on the charts for the PNW as 2021 ends and the New Year begins. Keep safe, and enjoy The White.​
-Rufus​
 
Feb 14, 2014
5,785
Hunter 430 Waveland, MS
What no snowman?
Where is the puppy dog pictures of her first snow romp?
How about snow ice cream?
Pictures of your initials drawn in the snow?

Geezzz you have no SNOW BALLS!!

Jim...
 
Oct 22, 2014
16,409
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
I was looking at the weather and it looks like the temps are dropping. Our Marina has declared itself closed due to surface ice. Shut down all the water to the slips. Hoping they leave the power on or the boat will freeze - in.
 
Feb 14, 2014
5,785
Hunter 430 Waveland, MS
Our Marina has declared itself closed due to surface ice. Shut down all the water to the slips. Hoping they leave the power on or the boat will freeze - in.
Ice on Salt water surface? :yikes::yikes:

Move South to the Gulf of Mexico.

Your Home Construction friend...
Jim...
 
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Nov 21, 2012
295
Yamaha 33 Port Ludlow, WA
I was waiting for motivation to start winterizing. Boy howdy. The drive from Boise to Port Ludlow on Sunday was a trip to forget. Olympia was a mess. Got it done and drove back yesterday. That was no picnic either.
 
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Nov 21, 2012
295
Yamaha 33 Port Ludlow, WA
There's enough fresh water flowing into Port Ludlow that the surface was icing up. Not enough to stop me from rowing the dinghy around, but enough to slow me down.