shows light to moderate rain pushing into the interior of Western WA this evening as a low pressure system approaches. Cloud top brightening on Infrared satellite imagery
indicates the system is in a developing phase. Msas analysis places a 1009 millibars closed surface low off the N/Central WA coast at 04z. Models show the 500 millibars trough closing off overnight and becoming vertically aligned with a slightly deeper 1005 millibars low by 12z . This process will tend to slow the progression of the system and hold rainfall over Western WA longer. Heavier rainfall amounts of a half inch to one inch will fall within the favored deformation zone to the E/ne of the Central low circulation. High resolution models generally agree this will be from the coast through greater Puget Sound and the Southwest interior/S Cascades over the next 12 hours or so
. The North interior should have lighter rainfall amounts. Given the current satellite/radar trends — will update the forecast to call it rain rather than showers. Will also remove the thunderstorms given the precipitation is more stratiform on radar. Snow will fall in the mountains through Friday morning but the heaviest precipitation will likely be to the West of the Cascades. Snow levels will fall from about 4500 feet to 3500 feet Friday morning with a few inches of snow possible. Highest amounts up to 5 inches — just below advisory criteria — will likely occur over the Southern Cascade zone around Mt rainier. Rain transitions to showers late Friday morning or afternoon depending on how quickly the system shifts Southward. It will dry out faster across the N. Surface high pressure building over Southern B. C. Will provide increasing Northeast offshore flow later in the day into Friday night. Lower dew point air means showers will end. It also will become breezy — especially across the North interior where Fraser outflow will develop. The air mass will also be cooler and Lows will probably be in the 30s most spots Saturday morning. Dry weather and sunshine will return to Western WA over the weekend. Northeast offshore flow will hold temperatures back somewhat — but still near average in the low 50s. Exposed areas that have breezy winds will probably stay just above
Saturday/Sunday mornings. However — sheltered locations and the typical cold pockets will see Lows near
and possibly dipping into the upper 20s in a few spots. Mercer .
Long-term: — no update from previous Discussion: — a weak weather system will bring a chance of rain Sunday night through Monday night. The strength of this system has been waning in recent model runs. Tuesday through Thursday is likely to be a dry period — with a chance of rain returning Friday. Highs and Lows will be slightly below normal. Burke
will drop South through the coastal waters tonight
and through the Oregon waters on Friday
. The air mass around this low is moist and somewhat stable. Rain wrapping around the low
will give Marginal Visual Flight Rules ceilings and visibilities tonight into Friday morning. Conditions will dry from the North starting midday Friday as high pressure at the surface and aloft builds over British Columbia. Albrecht sea — expect 3-5 miles rain mist broken clouds at 1000 ft. to 1500 ft. overcast cloud deck at 2500 ft. through 18z Friday. Northeast wind 3-6 knots will become North 7-10 knots after 15z. Albrecht
will drop South through the coastal waters tonight
and the Oregon coastal waters on Friday
. Strong offshore flow will develop in the wake of the low as a 1030-1035 millibars high pressure system over British Columbia builds into the area from the North. Winds will diminish and become light on Sunday as a ridge of high pressure moves Southeast across the waters. Another round of strong North to Northeast winds are expected later Monday into Tuesday
as a 1040 millibars high builds over British Columbia — then moves by the area to the NE. Expect light wind tonight. North to Northeast wind will increase 20-25 knots along the Central and Southern outer coastal waters early Friday morning. Small Craft Advisory North to Northeast winds will spread into the remainder of the coastal waters and to all of the inland waters Friday night into Saturday. Albrecht
Puget Sound — Small Craft Advisory starting 15z Friday for the coastal waters from James Island to cape shoalwater 10-60 nautical mile offshore.
The Area Forecast Discussion is issued four times daily around 3AM, 9AM, 3PM, and 9PM.
The original form of the discussion, in all CAPS can be found at http://www.srh.noaa.gov/data/SEW/AFDSEW or With hyperlinks to Jargon http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/total_forecast/getprod.php?prod=XXXAFDSEW&wfo=sew&dict=no&version=0
Another form with hyperlinks to images referenced in the discussion can be found at: http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/sew/gafd/latest_webafd.html
A complete list of airport weather stations used for the METAR reporting system is at: http://adds.aviationweather.gov/metars/stations.txt . Regional airports weather station designations are at the bottom of this page.
For a Glossary of jargon used in these discussions see this link
NWS Glossary lookup. You can either type in the word you are looking for in the box below or browse by letter.
Browse by letter:#
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
To learn about cloud types see this article with pictures
Under normal conditions, a 1000 mb height is near the surface (sea level - 400 ft),
standard sea level pressure is 1013.25 mb at 15C°
By looking up current pressure and temperature, we can calculate what the standard mb height levels are today.
Standard sea level pressure is 1013.25 mb at 15C° — also known as a standard atmosphere.
Most of the time,
1000 mb is near the surface (sea level - 400 ft) (In really deep low pressure, Sea level pressure can drop well below 990mb.)
850 mb is near 1,500 meters (5,000 ft),
700 mb is near 3,000 meters (10,000 ft),
500 mb is near 5,500 meters (18,000 ft),
300 mb is near 9,300 meters (30,000 ft).
*Note: When 500mb heights are said to be "rising to 540" it means 5400m above sea level. (height above zero geopotential meters.)
But, confusingly, when discussing 850mb heights, the convention is to omit the leading 1, so that 850mb heights of "540 dam" are actually 1540 meters above sea level.
(What committee came up with all this? I guess we have to remember that bits used to be very expensive.)
Just remember that when (constant pressure) heights rise it means that the pressure on the surface is rising too. More on heights and how they are reported: http://www.theweatherprediction.com/basic/obs/
For Cloud levels (aka ceilings) in the untranslated discussion: Just add two zeros to the right to get the actual forecast cloud level in feet. So 030 is 3,000ft.
Alternate Weather Jargon glossaries:
NWS official glossary -- Very complete except for idiosyncratic forecasters Or use above form.
Contractions only from NOAA
METAR interpretation http://weather.cod.edu/notes/metar.html
NOAA's official abbreviations http://weather.cod.edu/notes/abrv.html
Acronyms ACARS Aeronautical Radio Communications Addressing Reporting System VFR Visual Flight Rules Numerical Forecast Models Abbreviations CMC Canadian Meteorological Centre ECMWF European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts GEM Global Environment Multiscale (CMC's short-range model) GFDL Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory's Hurricane Model GFS Global Forecast System (formerly known as the AVN and MRF) MM5 Penn State University/National Center for Atmospheric Research's Mesoscale Model NAM North American Mesoscale (formerly known as the Eta) NGM Nested Grid Model NOGAPS Navy Operational Global Atmospheric Prediction System RUC Rapid Update Cycle Forecast Model SREF Short Range Ensemble Forecasts UKMET United Kingdom Meteorological Office Washington Airports and other NWS stations elevations in meters N W elev WA ARLINGTON MUNI KAWO 48 10N 122 10W 42 WA BELLINGHAM KBLI 48 48N 122 32W 50 WA WHATCOM (BLI) KHUH 48 57N 122 35W 26 WA BREMERTON NTNL KPWT 47 30N 122 45W 147 WA BURLINGTON/MT V KBVS 48 28N 122 25W 43 WA CHEHALIS CENTRAL KCLS 46 41N 122 59W 54 WA COLVILLE MUNICIP KCQV 48 32N 117 52W 572 WA DEER PARK KDEW 47 58N 117 26W 668 WA EASTSOUND/ORCAS KORS 48 42N 122 54W 8 WA ELLENSBURG KELN 47 02N 120 32W 519 WA EPHRATA KEPH 47 18N 119 31W 383 WA EVERETT KPAE 47 55N 122 17W 180 WA FAIRCHILD AFB KSKA 47 37N 117 39W 750 WA FORT LEWIS/GRAY KGRF 47 04N 122 34W 92 WA FRIDAY HARBOR KFHR 48 31N 123 02W 32 WA HANFORD KHMS 46 34N 119 35W 223 WA HOQUIAM KHQM 46 58N 123 56W 7 WA KELSO LONGVEIW KKLS 46 07N 122 54W 5 WA MOSES LAKE KMWH 47 12N 119 19W 362 WA OAK HARBOR AIRPA K76S 48 15N 122 40W 58 WA OLYMPIA KOLM 46 58N 122 54W 58 WA OMAK KOMK 48 28N 119 31W 395 WA PASCO KPSC 46 16N 119 07W 121 WA PORT ANGELES KCLM 48 07N 123 30W 85 WA PULLMAN/MOSCOW KPUW 46 45N 117 07W 773 WA PUYALLOP/THUN KPLU 47 06N 122 17W 164 WA QUILLAYUTE KUIL 47 56N 124 33W 54 WA RENTON KRNT 47 30N 122 13W 21 WA SEATTLE/BOEING KBFI 47 33N 122 19W 4 WA SEATTLE/METRO KSEA 47 27N 122 19W 136 WA SEATTLE/WFO KSEW 47 27N 122 18W 130 WA SEATTLE/ARTCC KZSE 47 17N 122 11W 99 WA SEATTLE/CAMANO I KATX 48 12N 122 30W 151 WA SHELTON KSHN 47 14N 123 08W 82 WA SPOKANE KOTX 47 41N 117 38W 727 WA SPOKANE/FELTS KSFF 47 41N 117 19W 609 WA SPOKANE/METRO KGEG 47 37N 117 32W 735 WA STAMPEDE PASS KSMP 47 17N 121 20W 1208 WA TACOMA KTIW 47 16N 122 35W 89 WA TACOMA/MC CHORD KTCM 47 07N 122 28W 98 WA TATOOSH/VOR KTOU 48 18N 124 38W 520 WA TOLEDO WINLOCK M KTDO 46 28N 122 47W 113 WA VANCOUVER KVUO 45 37N 122 39W 8 WA WALLA WALLA KALW 46 06N 118 17W 363 WA WENATCHEE KEAT 47 24N 120 12W 377 WA WHIDBEY IS. NAS KNUW 48 21N 122 39W 14 WA YAKIMA KYKM 46 34N 120 32W 324 WA BURLINGTON/MT V K75S 48 28N 122 25W 43 WA COLVILLE K63S 48 32N 117 52W 571 WA DEER PARK K07S 47 58N 117 26W 668 WA DESTRUCTION ISL 47 40N 124 31W 21 WA PORT ANGELES CG KNOW 48 08N 123 25W 4 WA SMITH ISLAND 48 19N 122 10W 15 WA PEARSON/VANCOUVR K60S 45 37N 122 39W 8 WA WEST POINT (LS) 47 40N 122 34W 3 BC ABBOTSFORD AIRPO CYXX 49 01N 122 22W 58 BC AGASSIZ (AUTO) CWZA 49 15N 121 46W 15 BC ENTRANCE IL AUTO CWEL 49 13N 123 47W 5 BC ESQUIMALT METOC CWPF 48 25N 123 25W 12 BC HOPE AIRPORT (MA CYHE 49 22N 121 28W 39 BC HOPE SLIDE CWKV 49 16N 121 13W 674 BC KELP REEFS CWZO 48 33N 123 14W 1 BC MALAHAT (AUTOB) CWKH 48 34N 123 34W 366 BC MERRY ISLAND CWMR 49 28N 123 55W 8 BC MT SICKER RADAR CXSI 48 51N 123 45W 1 BC NANAIMO AIRPORT CYCD 49 02N 123 52W 28 BC P. MEADOWS CS AU CWMM 49 12N 122 40W 5 BC RACE ROCKS AUTOB CWQK 48 17N 123 31W 5 BC SAND headS (LS) CWVF 49 06N 123 18W 1 BC SATURNA ISL (MAP CWEZ 48 46N 123 02W 7 BC SHERINGHAM AUTOB CWSP 48 22N 123 55W 21 BC SQUAMISH (AUTOB) CWSK 49 46N 123 10W 60 BC VANCOUVER (AUTOB CWHC 49 17N 123 07W 2 BC VANCOUVER INTL A CYVR 49 10N 123 10W 2 BC VIC. HARTLAND AU CWVV 48 31N 123 28W 49 BC VICTORIA (AUTOB) CWLM 48 25N 123 19W 70 BC VICTORIA HARBOUR CYWH 48 25N 123 23W 10 BC VICTORIA INTL AR CYYJ 48 38N 123 25W 19 BC VICTORIA UNIV CWYJ 48 28N 123 18W 39 BC W VANCOUVER AUTO CWWA 49 21N 123 10W 178 BC WHITE ROCK AUTOB CWWK 49 01N 122 46W 15