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November 2013
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Adapting to the Rain Shadow

Posted: November 16th, 2013

KATX_20131117_0427.Z1.lrg

A dramatic rain shadow protected Seattle from significant rainfall yesterday. The non-event had been accurately predicted by models all week. Also well forecasted were the convergence showers that passed through the city late last night.

SPU’s extreme precipitation warning system, Seattle RainWatch, wasn’t very busy during the storm that provided power outages and heavy snow elsewhere. Only a single one-hour accumulation alert—barely exceeding the 0.30″ threshold— was issued during the convergence event over NE Seattle (see below).

KATX_20131116_0703_Z3_lrg

Despite the lack of intense rainfall and alerts within the city, RainWatch still provided SPU with a clear picture of the storm, it’s shadow and zones of convergence. Over time, these types of regional- and neighborhood-level rainfall assessments, combined with other relevant information about its systems, will help SPU better understand sensitivity and adapt to a changing climate. For more information, please contact SPU’s Climate Change team.