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November 2014

Keeping the Chill

Posted: November 13th, 2014


Where winter storms go to retire?

Where winter storms go to retire?


If you can, check out the southern sky. See those clouds? That’s Portland and other places along the Columbia River getting snow, sleet, and freezing rain. That was supposed to be ours. Some of it, at least.


That old, typhoon-nudged mass of arctic air located way to our northeast turned out to be stronger than expected, and we’ve stayed clear, cold, and exceptionally dry as a result. The pattern actually looks a little bit like the one that dominated the hemisphere last winter. (Brace yourself and search “polar vortex.”)


Atmospheric flow will stay northerly and dry through the middle of next week. Forecast models suggest that the blocking ridge of high pressure will weaken early next week and that we might see rain by Wednesday. Let’s wait and see.


The models do agree on no precipitation at all in the City or mountains through next Tuesday. Temperatures look to be colder than expected, too. Lows are now forecast to drop into the 20s for the next four mornings. Highs will be in the 40s, and easterly winds, while stronger in the foothills, will remain relatively light. Cold, but light.


Impacts to SPU systems and services are expected to be minor. Damaging winds in the watersheds have eased, it’s too dry for ice to from and affect solid waste collection, and drainage crews finally have room to catch up on cleaning leaves from drains. That said, this is a good time for a reminder on how to “keep the chill out” and prepare pipes for the not-so-common cold.


NWS Area Forecast Discussion
NWS Forecast Table Interface—Seattle
NWS Forecast Table Interface—Tolt Reservoir
NWS Forecast Table Interface—Chester Morse Lake
SPU “My Services”