Chaos In The Pacific: Storm Parade Route Unknown

Ensemble Models did pick up on #YVR's recent wind event several days before, but fail to indicate how impactful it would be. Ensembles are a great tool more than 72 hours out, but our best used for determining storm tracks and level of confidence

Ensemble Models did pick up on #YVR's recent wind event several days before, but fail to indicate how impactful it would be. Ensembles are a great tool more than 72 hours out, but our best used for determining storm tracks and level of confidence

As the storms in the Pacific work to finalize their parade route, forecaster's are simply left scratching their heads along the West Coast of North America. It's common knowledge that the Pacific Ocean is west of Vancouver, but its shear beauty can wreak havoc on our weather forecasts.

East Coast forecaster's have a wealth of temperature sensors and intricate weather sensors upstream and to their west, while the west coast is left with scattered buoys and periodic ship reports. They also have access to the NAM/HRRR/RUC/RAP short range high resolution weather models while the Pacific Northwest hangs on the fringes of these domains, making it even more tricky; therefore, we heavily rely on global models for the majority of our forecasting. To make matter's worse NOAA is reporting a satellite outage that may be affecting weather model accuracy and reliability — Trust me, you don't want to be a Vancouver forecaster right now. 

I've made a quick Youtube video showing anastomosing Ana and her nearly two week journey through the Pacific Ocean.

Current location of Ana -- It's hard to believe this little blemish in the vast Pacific Ocean will play a role in our long range forecast in the coming days, Van.

It's simply too early to be discussing an exact track or impact for Ana, but people need to be vigilant on the West Coast. I can't remember a time where tropical storm force winds were shaded in for portions of B.C — truly a rare event.

It's likely that Ana will significantly weaken before reaching the B.C coast, but gusty winds and heavy rains can't be ruled out at this point.

As far as ensemble tracks are concerned, solutions are tightly paired together while Ana remains tropical and even a slight strengthening is forecasted. However, when Ana begins to transition, models diverge with regards to potential solutions. Have a look for yourself:

Now, it appears another strom is brewing that will likely bring storm force winds to portions of western CONUS (Continental Unitied States) with gale conditions for B.C., for Saturdy evening, but I'm currently quite unsatified with model guidance.

48 Hour spread (uncertainty) is very, very high for portions of southern BC, indicating models are offering a wide degree of solutions and aren't set on a single outcome. 

48 Hour spread (uncertainty) is very, very high for portions of southern BC, indicating models are offering a wide degree of solutions and aren't set on a single outcome. 

Current model consensus does not indicate this will be a particularly damaging wind event for #YVR and southern BC, as the track of the low is forecasted to make landfall around Hoquiam, The longwave trough offshore will provide an ample environment for a system to undergo significant cyclogenesis off the coast of Oregon, with the strongest winds south and east of the centre. The low is also anticipated to begin filling by the time it reaches the waters off the Washington coast, which is good news for Southern BC. There is however, very high confidence the track of the cyclone will stay within the yellow boundaries, defined below:

We need to wait another 24 hours for a better idea of the impacts for southern B.C., but a couple observations as of now.

  • The low modelled so far, doesn't look as compact, but a little elongated and unorganized; consequently, this doesn't scream historical wind storm, #YVR. 
  • We also may need to watch out for strong westerly wind surge as the low crosses through Washington state.

Don't forget to use the hashtag #BCstorm when reporting adverse weather and observations and tag @WeatherNetwork and @50shadesofvan

Weather Network Reporter Deb Matejicka is in Vacouver covering these developments!