The Unending Trough

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The weather west of the Cascade crest has gone downhill again and the we will stay in this June funk for the next several days.

The reason: the amazingly persistent trough over the eastern Pacific. But before I get into that, above is an interesting graph, which shows the water usage in Seattle for this year, 2009, and for averages over 1985-1991 and 1999-2008 (courtesy of the nice web pages of Seattle Public Utilities).

The water usage this year is really down compared to either 2009 (a warm, dry year) or normal. It looks like few of us are irrigating our gardens, with usage just above winter levels. Another interesting fact is how much less water we use now compared to the 80s, even though population is up. Clearly, water-conserving toilets and shower heads are making a major difference, and perhaps some individuals are making better landscaping decisions (drought-tolerant plants, drip irrigation, etc). With low water usage and a cool wet late spring, Seattle reservoir levels are above normal!

Now about that trough. Below are the upper level (500 mb) weather maps for last night and for the next few days. A low or trough dominates the eastern Pacific off our coast, and that brings clouds and some light rain showers this time of the year. Highs in the mid to perhaps upper 60s for a while.

The current forecast for July 4th? You don't want to know and I don't want to tell you. And there is plenty of time for the forecast to change. Just have indoor options for your big holiday barbecue!

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