"Translated" Seattle area forecast discussion.

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Area Forecast Discussion National Weather Service Seattle WA 9:00 AM PDT Sun May 24 2015 .
Synopsis: — a surface ridge offshore will maintain low level onshore flow over Western Washington through middle week. This will keep skies mostly cloudy. Weaker onshore flow from middle week onward will allow more afternoon sunshine and a warming trend. The air mass over the Cascades will continue to become slightly unstable late in the day keeping a chance of showers in the forecast for that area.
.
Short term: — visible satellite imagery shows West WA under clouds again this morning

— with various cloud layers moving across the area. Low level winds will remain onshore today

keeping the marine layer intact — so at the best there may be some isolated sun breaks late this afternoon. An upper level low moving Southeast over B. C.

will end up just North of Vancouver at 00Z/5 pm

this afternoon. The approach of the low will keep middle level steering winds Westerly

which will keep any thunderstorms that form over the Cascades this afternoon East of the crest. The forecast still has a chance of showers near the crest this afternoon and evening which is reasonable. The upper level low will move over the
North Cascades near the Canadian border Monday morning then shift slightly over the Okanogan Monday afternoon

. This seems to cause some subtle but important changes. The marine layer remains intact and weak lift from the low may produce areas of drizzle over the interior Monday morning — possibly extending into Monday afternoon near the Cascades. Drizzle coverage will have to be expanded in the afternoon Pacific Northwest flow on the West side of the low will work down past 850 millibars near the top of the marine layer — which should weaken the marine layer

enough for some sun breaks to develop Monday afternoon. Weak Westerly low level onshore flow will continue closer to the surface. Finally — with the low center over or near the North Cascades the air mass will remain unstable for afternoon convection. Steering winds will be variable or Northerly which would open mainly the
North Cascades to afternoon thunderstorms again. On Tuesday — onshore flow Monday night seems to have a bit more Westerly component

and is weaker. In addition — drier North Northwest flow appears to work down lower in the marine layer — to around 925 mb/2500 feet

. This will weaken the marine layer further — enough for partial clearing Tuesday afternoon. This should allow maximum temps to warm to the middle 60s to near 70. The upper level low will still be hanging out near Spokane so the unstable air mass will continue over the Cascades for afternoon convection. Kam .
Long-term: — previous Discussion: from the 315 am
Area Forecast Discussion
— extended models again in good agreement with the upper level low moving Southeast on Wednesday and an upper level ridge building off the coast. Upper level ridge moving over the area later Thursday into Friday and remaining over the area on Saturday. 500 millibars heights rise into the middle to upper 570 dms with 850 millibars temperatures warming to around plus 15c. Surface gradients remain onshore which will temper the warming trend somewhat but the onshore gradients also weaken leading to more sunshine and warmer days. Highs will get into the 70s in many locations in the interior on Thursday and remain in the 70s through Saturday. The air mass over the Cascades will remain slightly unstable keeping the threat of late day convection in the forecast. Felton


.
Aviation: — a weak upper level low over Southern B. C. This morning

will dive Southward over WA later today through Monday

. This system will increase onshore flow and deepen the marine layer. Some patchy drizzle may develop when the cloud ceilings lift. Break out is not expected at most terminals today with predominately Marginal Visual Flight Rules ceilings through at least Monday morning. The air mass is moist

and weakly unstable aloft. The flow aloft will be light West North Westerly. sea — ceiling 1-2k feet this morning with occasional IFR through 17Z — gradually lifting to around 2500 feet in the afternoon. Light drizzle could occur as ceilings lift later today. Breakout is not expected. Southwest wind 4-8 kt. Dtm


. Marine — high pressure will remain offshore with lower pressure inland. Westerly winds in the Strait will run 10 to 20 knots through early middle afternoon — then rise to small craft 15 to 25 kt. Small craft advisory strength Westerly winds are likely each evening in the Strait tonight through Tuesday night. There is a possibility of brief Gale strength wind tonight. Onshore flow will weaken Wednesday and Thursday. Chb/dtm
. Seattle

Watches/Warnings/Advisories

— WA — none.

Puget Sound Small Craft Advisory Central and East Strait late this afternoon through tonight.


www. Weather. Gov/Seattle 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