New Years Eve Weather and then...

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New Year's is rapidly approaching and so is a strong warm front (see satellite image above).Rain has now reached the south Sound and you can expect a relatively wet day. For those thinking of celebrating outside I have good news....most of the rain should be through by 10 PM...and with with warmer air and scattered showers, it won't be too bad to welcome the new year at the Space Needle or some other outdoor venue. I should note that it will be quite windy along the Oregon coast this afternoon (see graphic). This kind of situation can produce strong coastal accelerations and sustained winds of 20-40 kts and high gusts can be expected in that area.Sea level pressure (solid lines) and low-level temps (shading)

Winds shown by shading

Tomorrow will be showery and then Friday night a modest low will make landfall on central/northern Vancouver Island and move north of us (see graphic). It will be windy on the coast and offshore tomorrow afternoon, and as the low moves north of us (see next graphic) the pressure variations and winds will increase over the lowlands. However, but the winds will be modest (generally 10-25 kts) over the lowlands with higher gusts near water.

Saturday will have some showers and decreasing winds and then Sunday looks dry. Temperatures will be on the edge for snow in the passes today and tomorrow (there could well be several inches of wet snow before the temps warm enough to turn it to rain), but it will be cold enough for snow on Saturday in the post-storm showers.

The long term forecast is very interesting. A weak disturbance brings some light rain on Monday, but then a major ridge builds in the eastern Pacific and stays there for many days. We could completely dry out with no major weather for quite a while. Temperatures would be well above normal. Is the El Nino winter about to begin? I suspect most of our interesting winter weather will be behind us as we start 2010. And happy new year to those reading this blog...
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