07 February 2018

a New Thing for 2018

My recent switch to one.com as web and email host came with a WordPress site. 
I'll be test-driving that for a while, in the hopes of 
  1. leaving the past behind me, with all its bad habits
  2. using tags well enough to enable me to also leave behind my geek 'blog
  3. leave behind the latest Blogger interface, where I keep editing the wrong 'blog!

See you at https://geeklog.longviewers.one/ - for a while, at least!

11 January 2018

radar updates & poor timing

The heaviest rain has now arrived in Portland. Sadly KRTX is not back for it, and KLGX is sporadic. We've had nearly an inch, but it's been easier to look out the window than to check the internet. Nothing wrong with that, as long as you aren't making plans for a good time to go outside soon!

Messages from the NWS radar status page:

MESSAGE DATE:  JAN 11 2018 01:25:00

Message Date:  Jan 10 2018 23:47:03
KRTX will be operating in a degraded mode overnight, through 9am PST/ 17z Jan 11

29 December 2017

a lot but not enough

No not my Christmas gifts, the rain!

December had a ten-day stretch of cool dry weather, which immediately put the month far behind normal. The cold and ice came at Christmas-time to keep things sub-par.

Then we tried to catch up.
We had nearly 2 inches yesterday and have 1.8" today. The forecast was for about 2½ inches in these two days, so we're overperforming. Another dry stretch will close out the month and year once this storm passes completely. That will leave us an inch short, which is pretty surprising considering the number of dry days!

Since we are still about six inches high for Oct-Dec, it is not at all a big thing.. just a thing.

25 December 2017

a white Christmas

What a rough forecast week in our region!

I read the forecast pages and especially the discussions (AFDPQR) with interest, as we had plans to do some driving at Christmas. The forecast was firmly split into two camps: those with snow and those with ice and/or cold rain. Since neither is a good choice for travel we considered leaving sooner - but the forecast then crept backward so that Christmas Eve was no better. We finally decided to stay in place.

Even on the morning of Christmas Eve the two forecasts stayed in play! Either a low-pressure center would appear to our north and pull up warm south winds, or it would be to our south and keep the frigid east winds from Walla Walla in place. Suddenly the models really played dirty: we'd have Two lows with the southern one slightly stronger! Could that really be the answer?  Satellite views showed a line of moisture approaching but no spin-up of low pressure anywhere to be found.

By midday a light frozen snow/sleet event began. A bit small for snow but crystalline, falling a bit too fast - and bouncing rather than sticking!  That began to turn things white for a couple of hours but snow finally took over and ended late on the 24th at just over 1½ inches. The temperature never reached 31° by bedtime, so clearly it was on the ground for Christmas! Just to make certain that church services were unlikely a fine mist began to coat the snow with a slick cover.

We stayed inside all day and enjoyed the day as best we could. I believe this was only my second White Christmas in 60 years of life in the lower elevations on the Pacific NW!

Not the Christmas we planned, yet joy and peace in abundance.

21 December 2017


Winter has officially begun..
and an 'interesting' forecast comes with it!

A dry first half of December moistened up impressively this past week. It will not be enough to reach average, especially with more cold weather limiting the moisture to slick but not deep moisture. Driving around Christmas could be a problem.. we shall see soon enough.

04 December 2017

first frost at last

After two months of rain (10¼" and nearly 13"), December is going dry for a week or more. As I've mentioned our location is wettest in November - but December should still end up at 9.4 inches, so a dry 7-10 days will need to be made up later.

On the other hand, clearer skies and colder nights will finally arrive. We're still awaiting our first frost, though we've been in the mid-30s several times. One of the next few nights should be frosty. That's pretty late for around here, but clearing (or an early arctic airmass) is needed to get us to freezing. I always thought of Halloween as Portland's first chance of frost, so by that measure we're a month behind.

One catch though: fog. 

We were foggy all day here it seems, with a high of about 40°. South of Longview skies were mostly clear where the Columbia Gorge winds scoured things out. I had hoped we would be above the fog but that didn't work today; however the dry week is young! We're showing just under 35° at 8:20, but I am watching the clouds swiftly breeze across the full-ish moon. The photo here is exposed just right for the moon in cloud, so the top part is in the clear!

If the sky seals up we could skip the frost again tonight. Some time in the next few days though, the north or east wind will dry things out enough - and frost will happen.

10 November 2017

November being itself

According to the 30-year normals in the PRISM database, November is our wettest month with over 10½ inches on average. We're doing just fine in that regard, ten days in - and much more is coming soon!

Much of the coming week's precipitation is coming with cool air, therefore snow in the mountains will measure several feet by Thanksgiving. Ski areas will rejoice, and skiers as well.

Since we're over 3½" already and this forecast graphic for the next seven days is for ~six additional inches, it appears that November will be an average damp month at the very least. December and January average over nine inches each so the wet season has just begun.. again.

The yard is quite covered in maple leaves, but the trees are not done dropping their loads. The vine maple is still holding on but the best colors have now passed. The prettiest days of autumn are passed, and the clouds are definitely in charge.

11/18 UPDATE - the six inches did not materialize but we're still on track for a normal month. We received quite a lot of rain at times but not quite at the predicted times. Today was pretty but it goes downhill again tomorrow. Just an ordinary November..