A newly revived ski season: once again on life support

CPR might be needed to revive our ski season... 

On a more serious note, temperatures just above your head are rising from abnormally high to historically high.

Let's take a look at some climatology for a second...

The image below shows historical temperatures at roughly 1500 metres above sea level. The sounding today is flirting dangerously close to the 99th percentile. 

This morning's sounding for 850 mb at UIL (Quillayute, WA) showing temperatures already at 8.8C or two standard deviations above normal for January

This morning's sounding for 850 mb at UIL (Quillayute, WA) showing temperatures already at 8.8C or two standard deviations above normal for January

Current satellite gives a better representation of the inversion, and beautiful, blue sunshine at higher elevations (Image by the Satellite Terra):

Note how the higher elevations are cloud-free. The white areas represent low cloud and fog. You can also make out clearing over the Lower Mainland. Seattle may not be as lucky today.

Note how the higher elevations are cloud-free. The white areas represent low cloud and fog. You can also make out clearing over the Lower Mainland. Seattle may not be as lucky today.

By this evening the ridge will move from just offshore to directly over the Coast Mountains. Huge temperature variations will exist depending on if the low stratus and fog dissipates, so a strong inversion is likely at least for the next 48 hours. Meteorologists are likely a little nervous, as many temperature forecasts have a higher likelihood to bust, depending on much mixing takes place throughout the lower levels of the atmosphere.

Tomorrow will be a perfect day for a hike. It will feel more like spring than the middle of winter. The latest time-height diagram from the UW WRF GFS model:

Highlighted area above show a region of air above YVR exceeded 15C for approximately 12 hours...in January. 

Next post I'll outline some long range forecast predictions, but in short, it's not looking good for snowpack or drought conditions, especially in California.

A recent hypothesis has been brought to my attention, suggesting abnormally high sea surface temperatures in the Pacific may at least be partly to blame for the ridiculously resilient ridge.

I'll also highlight and feature information on the East Pacific Oscillation teleconnection, which has recorded the strongest negative values for the months of October-December since at least 1948.

1948.

Let that sink in.

#50shadesofVan