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Joe’s Weather Blog: This Is Getting Old! (FRI-12/12)

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Good afternoon…there are some thin spots in the clouds this afternoon so at least there may be some filtered sunshine out there this afternoon

Forecast:

Rest of today: You now the drill, although there may be a thin spot or two in the clouds this afternoon. Temperatures will creep upwards into the lower 50s.

Tonight: Clouds thicken back up. Maybe some mist. Steady temperatures in the 40s

Tomorrow: Same song-different verse, but milder with highs in the mid-upper 50s

Sunday: Cloudy and breezy. Rain should essentially hold off till the evening hours (maybe later) with highs pushing 60°

Discussion:

This dank weather is getting old. A persistent flow of moisture from the Gulf Of Mexico…underneath a layer of warmer air above the surface is contributing to what we call an inversion. With little to no surface wind the air is just stuck. There is no stirring of the airmass and despite the fact the a few thousand feet above us it’s 1) warmer and 2) drier…we just can’s get any decent breaks in the clouds.

At night one of the best ways to see this low cloud cover is by utilizing the fog/low cloud product that is available when looking at the satellite picture. This is what it looked like around 3AM this morning…you can clearly see the extent of the low cloud cover out there (so we’re not alone)

goes-east_4km_fog_reflectivity_20141212091500

Again with the airmass in place not stirring up today…another gray day is expected.

This is also seen when looking at the balloon launch taking a profile of the atmosphere above us…here is the latest sounding

 

The RED line is the temperature trace and the GREEN line is the dewpoint trace as the balloon ascends. Notice how the lines are on top of each other through about 880 mbs (blue numbers on the left). This tells me the atmosphere is virtually 100% saturated. That’s about 4500′ or so up. So that’s the extent of the cloud thickness (give or take). Also notice how the RED line jags to the right above that. That means the temperatures actually increase above the saturated layer. The blue numbers/diagonal lines are the temperatures/dewpoints in °C. So up around 820 mbs the temperature is about +7°C or about 46°F. Warmer up there than on the ground. (From last night)

12PM Update: The AM sounding today does show that a little drying has taken place just above the lower clouds…that has allowed the clouds to thin a bit today and since those clouds are a bit thinner…temperatures will pop a few extra degrees

Now this will gradually change over the weekend as warmer air and higher surface dewpoints force the temperatures up. This will be aided by south winds that increase more on Sunday. All ahead of the big CA storm that will be moving into the middle of the country.

This CA storm has been a powerhouse with hundreds of thousands of customers without power at various times over the last few days because of a combination of wind/rain. Some wind gusts have been over 100 MPH in the higher elevations of CA especially. Rain tallies thus far have been impressive and while flooding is a big concern now…hopefully a good amount of this moisture is starting to recharge the reservoir system a little bit. The higher mountain elevations are getting big snows as well.

Here is the water vapor loop from Rutgers. You can still see the dynamic storm affected CA

Yesterday was the 11th wettest day in San Francisco with 3.4″ of rainfall. Take a look at the precipitation from the storm…still impressive and much needed…

 

and falling in an area that is soooo parched!

 

 

 

The deepest red represents the worst of the drought…

The storm will move into the Plains later Sunday into Monday…you can see how things evolve by going up to about the 18000’evel or the 500mb level and seeing how the storm closes off in the Plains states…

 

It will NOT be nearly as potent in terms of precip production when it gets to us…but we should get at least something from it, assuming the storm’s core doesn’t track too far to the south of the region.

At this point I’m expecting 1/4-3/4″ of moisture from the storm later Sunday into Monday. There may be one decent shot of rain then more “showery” rains on Monday.

Behind the storm, colder air will wrap into the region so after peaking on Sunday we should see chillier weather on Monday and for all of next week. Oh and yes there will again be a lot of clouds next week.

And so it goes.

Have a great day…I should get an update to the blog over the weekend. I’m not on the air this weekend but will still get something out to you.

Joe

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