Another cold explosion is coming to the Northwest

Winter is not over for us yet. Another snow scene heading towards the mountains. And some lucky people in the lowlands might see some snowflakes!

Another cold arctic blast is upon us on Sunday.

As discussed in previous blogs, there was a major high pressure peak over the eastern Pacific Ocean (see 500 hPa pressure/altitude map above for about 18,000 ft ASL at 1pm today, outside below).

Such ridges are quite frequent during La Nina years like these. Lower pressure troughs can move south down the eastern slopes of such ridges….and you can see a trench in southern California right now. It’s raining around LA now.

But on Sunday morning, another trench will move around the summit… a strong one… and one that will be in the right position to suck cold air into the area…. with the coldest at east of Crested Falls (see picture below)

Cold air will move in later on Sunday and Monday.

To prepare you for the cold, here’s a map of sea level pressure (solid line) and lows temperature (color) at 7 a.m. Tuesday.

VERY VERY cold air will move southeast of the Rockies (brown and dark purple) and east of Washington will receive modified arctic air (purple). But even western Oregon and Washington will get a piece of the cold action (in blue). Cold enough for snow to fall everywhere in the area on Monday. But we won’t have much rain at that time.

But the trench will bring rain and snow in the mountains on Sunday … few doubt it.

This is Central Europe’s modeled total snow forecast for the 24 hours ending at 4pm on Sunday. On one foot in the Cascades and some across the lowlands far from the water. The skier will smile.

Over the next 24 hours, snow will follow the trench south (see 24-hour snowfall ending 4 p.m. Monday). Light snowfall in eastern WA, but plenty of snow on the Oregon Falls and eastern Oregon.

We are still far enough away for the forecast to change slightly, but cooler air and some cold weather will arrive on Sunday and Monday.

And did I mention the winds?

Strong, icy, northeasterly currents will push out of the Fraser River valley, through Whatcom County, through San Juans, and then out of the strait (see wind forecast below.

4:00 a.m. Monday). You must feel sorry for the people of Whatcom country…they have really been through a lot of weather. Strong winter currents will also accumulate on top of the Cascade.

Skiers will be happy with the snow, but Monday will bring fairly chilly winds atop the Cascade. So be prepared if you go up there.

It will be great when the weather is vibrant again after a few weeks of boredom.

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