Forecasting Kitsap

Aspiring weatherman Matthew Leach talks about the complex and intricate weather patterns over Kitsap.
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**RED FLAG WARNING ISSUED: Unusual, ‘Prolific’ Lightning Storm Possible

July 25th, 2009 by Matthew Leach

**A RED FLAG WARNING is in effect from 2 PM this afternoon to 5 AM Sunday. A potentially strong lightning storm accompanied by very dry conditions across the area could result in “one of the most critical fire weather set-up in years for Western Washington”. Scroll down to read the message issued by the National Weather Service**

sat_close1

*I would’ve hosted the NWS satellite, but it wasn’t provided in animation, so I “stole” (heh heh, I’m a rebel!) KOMO’s so you can see the rotation of the ULL I’ve been talking about*

Yes! (and Oh No!)

I would trade boiling heat with lightning storms anyday! But then again, this time around we’re likely going to get both, and it will come at a price. You know that ULL (Upper Level Low) I talked about yesterday that has been spinning up moisture in Eastern Washington? Well, it’s going to do something very unusual today: move southwesterly into the north interior today (see above satellite pic) and move south throughout most, if not all, of the Central Puget Sound lowlands by later this afternoon into this evening.

This feature is also likely to tamper with tomorrow’s weather, meaning potentially much cooler temperatures than originally thought. I’ll scale the temps down on Sunday for now, but if current trends continue, this ULL could throw a wrench in starting the heatwave tomorrow which would lead to more thunderstorms…possibly continuing into Monday afternoon…

Before I hand this story off to the National Weather Service, let me just say: keep your cameras ready! If everything turns out as expected, we may experience a midwest-type lightning storm so catching a few strikes is very possible. If you do, send the pictures to me at: forecastingkitsap@live.com !

But of course, there is a lot of danger regarding this storm potential, so I’ll now copy and paste the alert issued by the Weather Service in Seattle:

URGENT – FIRE WEATHER MESSAGE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE SEATTLE WA
834 AM PDT SAT JUL 25 2009

…ONE OF THE MOST CRITICAL FIRE WEATHER SETUPS IN YEARS FOR
WESTERN WASHINGTON…

.AN UPPER LEVEL LOW PRESSURE CENTER CONTINUES TO SPIN OVER EASTERN
WASHINGTON THIS MORNING.

WAZ653-654-656>659-661-662-252345-
/O.NEW.KSEW.FW.W.0003.090725T2100Z-090726T1200Z/
STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA AND NORTHWEST INTERIOR LOWLANDS-
CENTRAL AND SOUTH PUGET SOUND LOWLANDS-
WEST SLOPES OF THE NORTH CASCADES-
WEST SLOPES OF THE CENTRAL CASCADES-NORTH CASCADES-
CENTRAL CASCADES-EAST PORTION OF THE OLYMPIC MOUNTAINS-
EAST PORTION OF NORTH CASCADES NATIONAL PARK/LAKE CHELAN NATIONAL
RECREATIONAL AREA-
834 AM PDT SAT JUL 25 2009

…RED FLAG WARNING IN EFFECT FROM 2 PM THIS AFTERNOON TO 5 AM
PDT SUNDAY…

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN SEATTLE HAS ISSUED A RED FLAG
WARNING…WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM 2 PM THIS AFTERNOON TO 5 AM PDT
SUNDAY.

AN UPPER LEVEL LOW PRESSURE CENTER WILL HELP THUNDERSTORMS TO
FIRST DEVELOP OVER THE NORTH CASCADES THIS AFTERNOON. ONCE STORMS
DEVELOP…THEY WILL FIRST MOVE IN AN UNUSUAL SOUTHWESTERLY
DIRECTION TOWARD THE NORTH INTERIOR OF WASHINGTON EARLY THIS
EVENING AND THEN SOUTH THROUGH THE CENTRAL CASCADES AND THE PUGET
SOUND LOWLANDS LATER THIS EVENING. THUNDERSTORMS COULD ALSO CLIP
THE EAST SLOPES OF THE OLYMPIC MOUNTAINS.

SOME OF THESE THUNDERSTORMS ARE EXPECTED TO BE UNUSUALLY PROLIFIC
LIGHTNING PRODUCERS. GIVEN THE EXPECTED ABUNDANCE OF LIGHTNING AND
CRITICALLY DRY FUEL STATES…MULTIPLE FIRE IGNITIONS ARE EXPECTED.

ONE THING THAT MAKES THIS ROUND OF LIGHTNING SO CRITICAL IS THAT
IT WILL BE FOLLOWED UP ON SUNDAY AND MONDAY BY A BUILDING HEAT
WAVE. UNLIKE WESTERN WASHINGTON`S TYPICAL LIGHTNING PATTERN WHICH
IS FOLLOWED BY COOL MARINE AIR…THIS LIGHTNING PATTERN WILL BE
FOLLOWED BY HOT…DRY AND INCREASINGLY UNSTABLE WEATHER ON
SUNDAY…MONDAY AND TUESDAY. THIS WILL MAKE HOLDOVER AND SLEEPER
FIRES A MUCH GREATER CONCERN THAN WITH A MORE TYPICAL LIGHTNING
EPISODE FOR WESTERN WASHINGTON.

PLEASE RELAY THIS MESSAGE TO FIRE AND ENGINE CREWS IN THE FIELD.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

PEOPLE WHO WILL BE OUTDOORS FROM THIS AFTERNOON THROUGH TONIGHT
SHOULD BE AWARE OF THE LIGHTNING THREAT AND THE ENHANCED THREAT OF
WILDFIRES. MAKE AN EXTRA EFFORT TO FULLY EXTINGUISH CAMPFIRES AND
REPORT ANY NEW WILDFIRES WHICH YOU MIGHT SEE. FIREFIGHTING
AGENCIES SHOULD BE READY FOR SEVERAL BUSY DAYS OF INITIAL ATTACK.

A RED FLAG WARNING IS ISSUED WHEN DRY LIGHTNING OR THE COMBINATION
OF STRONG WINDS AND LOW HUMIDITIES ARE IMMINENT OR OCCURRING.

Matthew Leach

Forecasting Kitsap

forecastingkitsap@live.com

7 DAY FORECAST

55-am1

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