Monday, January 20, 2014

Cloud Bowl of Eastern Washington

Cliff Mass Weather Blog - Sunday, Jan. 19

So that  all of you have the proper sympathy with our brethren in eastern Washington here is a WSDOT cam shot Saturday in Richland.  How many ways can you say dismal?  And such low clouds and fog coupled with low temperatures often produces freezing fog on the bridges in the Tri-Cities.  Just wonderful.

While many of you are thinking about the Superbowl, today let's talk about another bowl:  the Cloudbowl of eastern Washington. While a warm, blazing sun is considered the signature condition of eastern Washington by some (see the logo for the Tri Cities Visitor Bureau below), the truth is that during the middle of the winter the Columbia Basin of eastern Washington is often filled with fog and stratus clouds: a cloud bowl.
full article -

Monster inversion: Mt. Rainier station warmer than Las Vegas

Published: Jan 17, 2014 
This is the inversion (picture at right).  Mt. Rainier in the warm layer of air above the clouds & fog

Here is a nice chart of high temperatures Friday: 
Paradise Ranger Station at Mt. Rainier (5,000 feet): 69°
Las Vegas: 68°
San Francisco: 67°
Forks: 64°
Hurricane Ridge: 57°
Mt. Baker Ski Area: 54°
Stevens Pass: 54°
Snoqualmie ski area (Alpental): 52°
Mt. Rainier's Camp Muir (10,100 feet up): 43°
Seattle (Sea-Tac): 42°
Everett: 40°
Tacoma: 39°
Weather patterns that feature strong inversions can make for some zany temperature readings, but zany could be quite the understatement Friday.

How else to explain those enjoying the sight of Mt. Rainier from Paradise Ranger Station (5,000 feet up) were experiencing warmer weather than those on the Strip in Las Vegas?
At 3 p.m., the temperature at Paradise was a whopping 69 degrees, while it was a paltry 67 in Vegas. A strong ridge of high pressure has brought incredible warmth to the middle levels of the atmosphere, while the cold nights have in turn allowed cold, dense air to remain trapped at the surface, resulting in cool, foggy weather down in the lowlands.
Seattle-Tacoma-Everett areas were stuck the upper 30s to low 40s for much of the day -- colder than the 10,100-foot elevation Camp Muir, the last stop before summiting Mt. Rainier!

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