show the front that moved across the area early this morning is now nearly stationary from the Cascades into Northwestern Oregon. A broad and rather deep upper level trough is centered around 145w longitude. Upper level disturbances are rotating around this trough and are riding Northeastward along the front across the Pacific Northwest. The first disturbance enhanced precipitation today as it moved Northeast across the area. The GFS shows another wave now over the Oregon offshore waters shifting Northeast across the area tonight. The axis of the heaviest precipitation amounts will likely be shifted about 50 to 100 miles farther to the South and East of where the rain was seen today. Yet another disturbance — this one now seen as what appears to be a developing instant occlusion North of the front near 135w — appears that it will move across the area on Thursday
. Thunderstorm activity that was seen earlier today over the coastal waters has mainly moved into Vancouver Island — but some isolated lightning strikes can still be seen over the offshore waters. Some thunderstorm activity can be expected over the coastal waters tonight and there is a chance that a few lightning strikes will be seen along the coast and in the Western Olympic mountains. The air mass is expected to be a bit more unstable over the interior Thursday afternoon as the instant occlusion moves Northeast across the area. Lifted Index values fall to around -2.1 and capes rise to about 500 j/kg in the Seattle area 21z Thursday per the nam12
and the GFS is slightly more unstable. Showers with a chance of thunderstorms will be in the forecast for the entire area on Thursday. Showers diminish Thursday night
and come to an end Friday morning
across much of the area as a deep low develops off the Northern California and Southern Oregon offshore waters. This low appears to be developing in response to a system dropping Southeast from the bering sea as it phases somewhat with the remains of ana Northwest of hawaii
. The latest nam12 and GFS solutions show the low reaching its maximum depth at around 985 millibars off the Central Oregon coast
while the Canadian and ECMWF solutions are 5-10 millibars deeper. Offshore flow and short wave ridging aloft may bring a rather dry period — albeit cloudy — to the area from late Friday morning into early Friday evening. The low quickly becomes vertically stacked in all of the models off the Oregon coast — then it matures — moves Northeast — and gradually decays as it moves Northeast across our area Saturday evening
. Depending on the depth and track of the low — it may get windy over portions of Western Washington later Saturday into Saturday night. But with the low decaying and wind field expanding — expect the threat of high wind in the forecast area to be below 25 percent. Some model solutions — like the 12z Canadian solution — keep the track of the low South of the forecast area. This is not unreasonable given the general split flow pattern being seen over the Western U. S. Of late. Temperatures will be seasonable for this time of year and it will remain rather cloudy as we go through the next several days. Albrecht .
Long-term: — showers can be expected behind Saturday nights low pressure system on Sunday. Beyond that time — models are having a tough time with the details. The ECMWF has a storm track to the North of the area with frontal passages here through the middle of next week. The storm track on the GFS is just to the South of the area
— still a wet one for Western Washington but less windy. The Canadian solution is closer to the ECMWF. In any case the pattern will remain active. Albrecht
. The low level flow will remain Southerly. Expect areas of ceilings and visibilities in the 1-3k feet and 3-5 miles range — respectively — through tonight. However heavy precip will result in occasional IFR ceilings/vsbys. sea — ceilings have lifted into the Visual Flight Rules category but ocnly ceilings in the 2-3k feet range can be expected through part of tonight. Cigs near 2k feet may become predominant late tonight or early Thursday.
Puget Sound — Small Craft Advisory in effect for hazardous in effect for the coastal waters and West entrance to the Strait of Juan de fuca. Small Craft Advisory for rough bar in effect until 6 am Thursday for the Grays Harbor bar.
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