Snow, Wind, and Progess in Seattle

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It is a funny thing about the weather...when things get interesting EVERYTHING seems to happen at once.  Or let me put it this way.  Sometimes there are ingredients for a major explosion laying around...the fuse, the matches, the explosives.   The question is whether they will all come together to produce the big bang.  Explosion or not, a lot is going to happen during the next few days! 

The last few days have been colder than normal (see figure) and ironically the first two weeks of November has been considerably drier than normal (by about two inches here in Seattle).  That will change.
Red lines show average high, blue lines average low
You are about to experience a weather roller coaster.  Tomorrow, a strong warm front will move up the coast (see surface chart) and before it passes powerful southeasterly winds (sustained 30-50 mph with gust far higher) will strike the Vancouver Island coast. (see wind graphic) and strong southeasterlies will strike the waterways of NW Washington (30-40 mph gusts).

This warm front and its associated low will bring heavy precipitation to the region...rain below 2000 ft and snow...lots of it.. in the mountains.  Here are the predictions for snowfall during the the next two 24h periods:

We are talking about the potential for several feet in the mountains and significant snow on the eastern slopes of the Cascades and northeast Washington (produced by easterly upslope flow as the front and low approach).  Travel in the passes could be problematic...especially the higher ones.  Prediction:  some of the ski areas will be open for Thanksgiving.

But then we get to the fun part.  The warm front moves through, followed by a cold front.  Cooler air moves in.   The low center moves southward to the southwest top of Washington and cool air is drawn in through the Fraser River Valley.  Some of it strikes the Olympics around Sequim, producing some light snow.   (see figure).

This is getting close to the western Washington snow pattern except for two important issues:  there is little or no precipitation by this point due to lack of upper level support...maybe a few showers--yes even snow showers.  And the air is not quite cold enough to guarantee snow.   But remember what I said about explosives....a lot of the ingredients are in the vicinity, if the evolution is a bit different than could get interesting.

Seattle School Board Victories

   The Seattle School board race faced incumbents, who supported very poor math textbooks and who were extraordinarily uncurious about the illicit and wasteful activities in the district, against some excellent challengers.  Two days ago, one of the challengers--Marty McLaren--was declared the victor by her opponent.  Today, Sharon Peaslee moved ahead of incumbent Peter Maier and it is clear that she will win.  This is an extraordinary victory for Seattle's kids and the city in general.  A game changer.  Both Sharon and Marty support world-class math instruction that will allow our kids to be competitive with student in Singapore, Finland, and other top education countries.  They both prize the opinion of parents and the community--opinions the incumbents have ignored.  Sharon and Marty are not in "blame the teacher" mode that is so popular among the incumbents and their monied allies from the eastside.  They will ask questions and will want to take a careful look at the "books". These new school board members, plus continuing members that have shown a willingness to listen to the community, can promote a new direction for Seattle Schools, and I trust a quick exit for the current mediocre Acting Superintendent Susan Enfield, who has made one serious error after another.   The Seattle Times has played a very negative role in this race--supporting the incumbents because they were "professional" and because they knew where the problems were (since they caused them!).  The ST even had an editorial complaining when one of the challengers won and blamed it on "the unions."  and crowed that Peter Maier handily beat his challenger.   I have been embarrassed for the ST and hope they rethink their shallow and uninformed editorial approach to the Seattle Schools--the community deserves better, much better.

PS:  It is fascinating the difference between the early and later voters in this race.  Later voters broke overwhelming for the challengers.  Why?   The last few weeks brought headline and headline describing illegal and ill-considered actions in the district.  The challengers worked very hard to get their message across.  And perhaps the early voters were retired or disengaged folks that follow the recommendations of the ST (a bad idea!), while many of the later voters were busy parents who knew what REALLY was happening in the district.

Sharon Peaslee
Marty McLaren
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