"Translated" Seattle area forecast discussion.

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Area Forecast Discussion National Weather Service Seattle WA 930 AM PDT Friday Oct 24 2014 .
Synopsis: — a deep low will reach the coast this afternoon and then fill as it moves Northeast. Rain and windy conditions will occur this evening over Western Washington. Sunday and Monday will be showery. Another weather system will arrive Tuesday. Wet and breezy weather is likely at times through the end of the week.
.
Short term: — a deep low off the Southern Oregon coast will move Northeast today — reaching the Washington coast this afternoon

and moving inland over Western Washington tonight. Windy conditions will develop over most of the area tonight — easing late. Showers will follow Sunday and Monday with the next system arriving Monday night. The depth and track of the incoming low pressure center vary slightly in the latest models. Most agree on the basic idea that the low will move onto the coast around kqhm 23z 01z

— then fill and move Northeast until it crosses Admiralty Inlet around 03z

. Windy conditions will develop on the coast this afternoon and spread inland this evening. The strength of the wind over the Seattle areas will depend on the North South pressure gradient. The kPortland Bellingham gradient varies from about 10 to about 14 millibars in the latest models. In general high wind starts around 12 or 13 mb . For now have kept the idea of around a 12 millibars gradient for a few hours this evening — implying high end advisory winds or 20-35 miles per hour gusting to 50 miles per hour with perhaps a few exposed areas going a little higher. Wind Advisory covers most of Western Washington except for the far North. As far as weather — a rain band is moving through the metropolitan area this morning but radar indicates there could be a break of a few hours

. Rainfall amounts over the interior will be fairly light but will be heavier on the coast. Rain will fall everywhere tonight before turning more showery late. A decent convergence zone is likely late tonight and Sunday morning. The pattern remains showery the rest of Sunday — with some showers still around Monday. Burke .
Long-term: — previous Discussion: — the next system will approach the Pacific Northwest on Tuesday with the advancing warm front bringing rain back into Western WA. Pops were boosted as models mostly agree on this and rain shadowing will not be an issue. A 985-990 millibars surface low will start to fill as it tracks East Northeast across Northern Vancouver Island by Tuesday night. This system will produce strong Southeast pressure gradients so Wind Advisory level winds are probable from around Whidbey island Northward and along the coast. Gradients never turn Southwesterly through Puget Sound so much less wind expected here. This will be a wet system with 24 hour rain amounts of 2-4 inches likely in the Olympics and Cascades — especially N. There will be a lull in showers between systems on Wednesday. However — it will not be completely dry. The 00z GFS/ECMWF are in better agreement on bringing another system into the area on Thursday. But models are implying this system will split — so it may not be well organized. There will be a chance of rain at times the rest of the week.


. Hydrology — the Skokomish river appears to be bottoming out near 15 feet this morning. It will rise again in response to heavy rain today and tonight. It is possible the river will get close to flood stage late today or tonight. For now the forecast takes the stage at potlatch to between 15.5 and 16 feet. Flood stage is 16.5 feet. A break in the rain will allow the Skokomish to recede river Monday. Another front Monday night and Tuesday will bring 2-4 inches of rain to the Skokomish basin. Will need to keep a Watch on this but the

Current forecast
keeps the river below flood stage. Otherwise — flooding on other rivers is unlikely over the next 7 days. Burke
.
Aviation: — Southwest flow aloft will continue over the area today — then veer to Westerly tonight as a vigorous frontal system and its upper trough moves through Western Washington. The air mass will be moist and somewhat unstable. We have mainly Visual Flight Rules conditions across the forecast area this morning — with locally lower conditions in rain and fog. Conditions will deteriorate late this afternoon and evening as the approaching frontal system reaches the area — and as moist onshore flow follows the front. There could also be isolated thunderstorms along the coast — but they are unlikely over the Western Washington interior. Winds will increase as the surface low associated with the frontal system tracks Northeast across Western Washington this evening with areas of sustained 20 to 30 knots winds and gusts to 45 mph. sea — winds will continue to be variable to 15 knots today — but they should trend toward Northeast during the day as a surface low approaches Western Washington from the Southwest. Winds will increase rapidly early this evening as the low tracks Northeast across the forecast area — becoming Southwest 20-30 knots gusting 40 kt. Winds will probably peak around midnight. Mcdonnal
. Marine — a 992 millibars low will move Northeast across the coastal waters late today — making landfall along the Central Washington coast late this afternoon.  Gale Warning s are in effect for the coastal waters for this. The low will track Northeast across Western Washington this evening — and Southwest flow will increase rapidly in its wake. Gale force West or Southwest winds are likely for the coastal waters — the entire Strait of Juan de Fuca — and Puget Sound and Hood Canal. High end Small Craft Advisory winds are a good bet for Admiralty Inlet and the Northern inland waters. High pressure will move across the forecast area Sunday. A warm front will reach the area late Monday — with a cold front moving through from the West Monday night and Tuesday. This feature will likely produce Gales over the coastal waters and some inland waters.
. Seattle

Watches/Warnings/Advisories

— WA —
Wind Advisory for the coast — Southwest interior — East Puget Sound lowlands — and Puget Sound/Hood Canal area.

Puget Sound — Puget Sound and Hood Canal. Small Craft Advisory Admiralty Inlet and Northern inland waters.


you can see an illustrated version of this forecast Discussion: at http://www. Weather. Gov/seattle/gafd/latest_webafd.html
Other regional discussions translated:  Seattle | Spokane | Portland | Pendelton | Medford
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.

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To learn about cloud types see this article with pictures

Discussion Heights*:

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.

Typical Heights* values above the 850mb level.:

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
http://lena.jax.org/localinfo/weather/txt/glossary.html
http://www.crh.noaa.gov/dtx/afdterms.php
http://www.theweatherprediction.com/jargon/
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