Thoughts on the projected storm Saturday

Hey folks! If you're as eager as weather enthusiasts and meteorologists for some 'active' weather the wait is almost over. Our first storm in over a month is on our doorsteps. 

A potent, compact low pressure system will develop today and is projected to make landfall somewhere between central Vancouver Island and northern Washington State.

 Look at those isobars (lines of equal pressure), pretty impressive for a 995mb low pressure system. Very tight pressure gradient.

Look at those isobars (lines of equal pressure), pretty impressive for a 995mb low pressure system. Very tight pressure gradient.

This is by no means a weather bomb, as the pressure drop will not be very significant, but several models are predicting this storm to tap into some sub-tropical moisture, so rainfall totals will be fairly impressive.  

Environment Canada is being prudent in issuing rainfall warning, but don't be surprised if you see a wind warning posted later today.

There's a possibility some weather stations will record 50+mm, so be in the lookout for flooded streets. There's a heightened flood risk with the many leaves lining and clogging vital storm drains. If you get the chance it might be prudent to clear the leaves out of the storm drain in front of your house to prevent flooding.

Oh, and don't rake your leaves unless you like raking your leaves twice. 

Now.  To the winds.  

Winds will pick up from the SE direction late Friday night/early Saturday morning. As of now, these will not be damaging winds for the Vancouver area (30-40km/hr tops).  

The Canadian weather model and the GFS (American), both indicate a greater danger of the dreaded westerly surge, or gap winds when they blow through the narrow straits. There's a favourable pressure differential on the backside of the low system once the frontal system moves through.

The risk of power outages will come from this westerly surge down Juan de Fuca Strait and also another area throughout southern waters of Georgia Strait once the low moves inland and towards the northeast.  

Take a quick look at the projected wind surges from the GFS. 50 knot gusts in the Strait of Georgia. Don't let the modest pressure of around 995 mb fool you, this system is backing steeper pressure gradients than what is indicated by the weaker  low pressure center.

GFS 4km 5pm wind gusts .jpg

This track is shaping up to be quite similar to the one on September 30th, where the NAM model completely blew the forecast where the GFS was most correct of the models, so I'm throwing my faith behind the GFS for now.  

We'll see how this whole thing pans out. 

Enjoy storm watching.