• 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 Wet with intermittent Rain followed by damp drizzle

Oct 22, 2014
16,440
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
If your a native Pacific NorthWesterner this is no surprise. November starts our winter. The La Niña current events of the summer in the Southern Equatorial Pacific sets up winter for the river of moisture we call the Pineapple Express.
7C419DD9-1370-4EE0-A0FC-05C9A5788438.jpeg

Look at the steering currents at 18000 ft from Hawaii to the Juan DFuca. That is the river of moisture bringing the rain that feeds our PacificNW green trees. It also dampens the socks in our Birkenstocks.

Rufus has just posted his outlook. Rain is in the forecast.


Monday November 15

Our hearts go out to all Patrons in NW WA and southern BC - the heavy, flooding rains just won’t let go. More to come before we get out of November.

As noted, serious flooding & landslides are impacting so many Patrons around the PNW. For some, the moderate-to-heavy rainfall has continued daily since last week. Temps have set records for WARMTH, which has held freezing levels high, sending all the heavy mountain slope precip right down rivers into the flooding lowlands. Yikes. There will be a few short breaks in the steady rain between now and the end of November. However, while OR and much of western WA will dry out reasonably well, inches more rain will fall in NW WA and southern BC.
 
May 7, 2012
987
Hunter e33 Maple Bay, BC
Don't know about Seattle but here on Vancouver Island the average total rainfall for the month of November is 100mm (3.9”). To date this year we are touching on 200mm. Given that we are only half way through the month I suggest the final 15 days will be sunny and dry. Right :) Hard to believe that 2 months ago we had water restrictions that didn’t allow watering of grass nor washing cars or boats:eek:
 
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Oct 22, 2014
16,440
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
Leave your Rain Slicker by the door for the next 15 days. You are going to need it.
Mother Nature catching up for all that dry sunshine weather last summer and spring.
 
Feb 26, 2004
22,024
Catalina 34 224 Maple Bay, BC, Canada
This is NOT normal. Repeat, NOT normal. I've lived here for now six Novembers. It is NOT normal.

Why?

...an extraordinary "atmospheric river" event that dumped a month's worth of rain on some parts of the province's south over the course of two days.

Four highways out of metropolitan Vancouver are closed by slides. The road to Victoria on Vancouver Island was closed for repair of one of its two lanes from 1800 to 0600 last night.

This is NOT normal.
 
Sep 20, 2006
2,832
Hunter 33 Georgian Bay, Ontario, Canada
This is NOT normal. Repeat, NOT normal. I've lived here for now six Novembers. It is NOT normal.

Why?

...an extraordinary "atmospheric river" event that dumped a month's worth of rain on some parts of the province's south over the course of two days.

Four highways out of metropolitan Vancouver are closed by slides. The road to Victoria on Vancouver Island was closed for repair of one of its two lanes from 1800 to 0600 last night.

This is NOT normal.

and that would be 4 of 4 highways in / out of Vancouver, except going to Seattle.
 
Oct 22, 2014
16,440
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
I hear your concern @Stu Jackson . A sudden wall of water dumped on the Island first time in 6 years is a pain.

I moved to the Pacific NW in 73. First year a November Storm showed up and deluged the SW corner of the state. It was followed the next couple of years with terrific early snowfalls in the Cascades. Skiing in November through April/May. This made for great skiing

Wiki shows 11 Extreme Storm events: Pineapple Express - Wikipedia, similar to the great Columbus Day Storm Columbus Day Storm (1962)

One might suggest that the past 6 Novembers have been drought years.

Certainly not a yearly event.

Stay safe.
 
Sep 20, 2006
2,832
Hunter 33 Georgian Bay, Ontario, Canada
I hear your concern @Stu Jackson . A sudden wall of water dumped on the Island first time in 6 years is a pain.

I moved to the Pacific NW in 73. First year a November Storm showed up and deluged the SW corner of the state. It was followed the next couple of years with terrific early snowfalls in the Cascades. Skiing in November through April/May. This made for great skiing

Wiki shows 11 Extreme Storm events: Pineapple Express - Wikipedia, similar to the great Columbus Day Storm Columbus Day Storm (1962)

One might suggest that the past 6 Novembers have been drought years.

Certainly not a yearly event.

Stay safe.
The wall of water was dumped on the mainland through the mountains. Mudslides and flooding have now isolated and flooded several towns and have wiped out all roads and rail lines to Vancouver through Canada. The only highway open to Van is from Seattle.
 
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Oct 22, 2014
16,440
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
I understand @Scott B.
While this years storm is causing bad experiences for many in BC ( which I pray for their safety), it is not "abnormal" nor "unusually extraordinary" (from a weather perspective) for such an event to occur in the Pacific NW.

It is important to understand the origin of these events so that we can be prepared. These rains are a weather event most often associated with the observation of the La Niña Current in the Pacific Ocean. This past summer we have observed the La Niña current. We talked about this earlier in the year on this forum.
1637194162044.png

Typical La Niña weather patterns in the continental United States.

NOAA talks about La Niña here...https://scijinks.gov/la-nina/

The only conditions that can make the event worse is if we have had a strong snow fall prior to the arrival of the Pineapple Express. This occurred in 2007 and 2012. Snow fell early in the winter. This was followed by the Pineapple Express with moisture (think rain) and warm temperatures that melted the snow pack.

While that year the folks in BC were not in the direct path, the communities in Washington were devastated. The major highway I5 which transports goods North/South through Washington State was shut down in 2007 and 2012.
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It is important for us all to consider these events and prepare for their potential here in the PacificNW, just like the folks near the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico have to deal with the potential of Hurricanes and Tropical storms.