Saturday, March 18, 2006

Windy Not Windsday

People like to ask me about the weather. Why, yes, I did notice it has been windy and stormy lately. Is it part of the big storm up north? It feels kind of warm--maybe it is a "pineapple express" storm?

Check out the latest jet stream analysis at the California Regional Weather Server. We are in the region south of the Pacific Northwest storm system, but north of the "pineapple express".

[Pineapple express storms originate near Hawaii and bring the storms with the heaviest precipitation to southern CA. The colder ones originating in the Aleutian low do not typically bring much moisture this far south.]

A bit of weather trivia
The wind vectors in the first plot point in the direction of the wind flow. The wind barbs in the second plot point in the direction that the wind is coming from. When looking at a wind analysis, be sure you know whether you are looking at a wind vector or a wind barb. The difference is only 180 degrees.

The cyan blue lines are lines of constant pressure, isobars. See how the jet stream winds follow the contours of the isobars?

Here is another example of a wind barb plot (from the unisys weather server); this one is for winds at the surface at the same time.

Notice that the surface winds do not usually blow in the same direction as the jet stream winds.

Our rain gauge is empty.

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