UPDATED 22 Dec 2010
See New Live Charts and added text
OK, I’ve been looking at where these storms are coming from, so I thought I might as well put some of those links and pictures here.
http://image.weather.com/images/sat/pacglobsat_720x486.jpg is the above image directly.
You can see both the band of clouds from just north of Hawaii that runs into the top of Baja California and the blob of clouds that pulls down from the Gulf of Alaska into the Northern California coast. I’m under the blob…
http://www.weather.com/maps/geography/pacific/pacificglobalsatellite_large.html gives the full page including controls for what area to view.
http://www.accuweather.com/maps-surface.asp gives you the Accuweather weather forecast map. It is much more readable and with better visuals than the next map, though with a lot less data on it, and I’ve not figured out how to capture just the map image from the page (didn’t see much reason to…)
http://www.hpc.ncep.noaa.gov/sfc/90fwbg.gif gives a North American Weather Map, as above, but live data.
Notice the sting of L for LOW pressure areas that runs right up the coast. That’s the typical string of storms configuration we get here. One at a time they tend to run down and over me. IFF I’m very lucky, that jet stream loop digging up from Hawaii and into Baja will shift a bit and send me some warmer air. As it is now, it’s just a venturi sucking cold down onto me. And wet. Did I mention the wet? ;-)
I just love the way (at least for now… later this live chart will have changed) you can see the way that L off the coast of N. California made a cold front that has run down toward Los Angeles and is helping to break up the stationary front.
Waves and Sea Temps
http://weather.unisys.com/surface/sst_anom.gif Click the link to get the present SST map.
Those residual warm spots are fading fast. We’re oh so slowly turning icy blue and purple over the whole ocean. This is not going to be a pleasant winter.
http://www.oceanweather.com/data/NPAC-Eastern/WAVE000.GIF waves out in the Pacific.
http://www.oceanweather.com/data/ where you can click on a box on the map and get any other part of the ocean you like.
The waves are all running down toward me too ;-) Out to sea they are 7 meters or about 22 feet tall. Glad they soften by the time they hit the shore. “Only” 10 feet or 3 meters.
Surfers Like This Stuff Too
http://www.stormsurf.com/ has a neat wind animation, but you need to click on the “wind” tab to see it. I’ve not figure out how to do an embed of it yet.
They also have a GEOS satellite image at this link:
Or straight to the image via:
Isn’t infra red vision fun? At least you can see where the IR is.
Some Classical Wind Charts
For these two winds charts, you really have to click on them to get the giant version where you can read the little “wind barbs”. The wind is blowing from the “feather” end toward the round dots. The more feathers, the faster the wind. How to read the wind barbs, if you would like some help.
Winds in the Pacific, just off shore from California / PNW.
And the live version now:
http://www.opc.ncep.noaa.gov/UA/USA_West.gif winds hitting the Western USA coast.
Winds as they hit the California Coast. Notice the stationary front that hits about the Mexican Border.
And the live view now:
OK, that’s’ what I’ve got for right now. I know, not much of a posting. It’s mostly just so I can find what the weather was like today (the saved images) and where to get them again (the links). Eventually I’ll make a ‘live version’ so I can just check my weather report… but for now it’s just an archive of some interesting resources.
Oh, notice that there is a string of lows out to sea and north into the Gulf of Alaska. Those are storms headed at me. There is also a “Pineapple Express” type chain of clouds from Hawaii that runs into Mexico at that Stationary Front on the US Border. There’s a bit of mixing on both sides of that front, but for now that is not getting off the border much. I’m getting the stuff from further north. Lucky me.
UPDATE 22 December 2010
I’ve added some live charts into the display. You can now see, for example, on that last wind chart, how that stationary front near the Mexico border has broken up and is now a cold front. (Cold fronts are blue triangles, warm are red half circles, stationary alternates red and blue, round and pointy). The cold swoops down from the Gulf of Alaska and then gets sucked inland. The stationary front got a bit broken up in the process.
You can also see how, on the third map above, the Live Pacific winds map: The lows have turned into a succession of cold fronts headed my way. That’s how it works out here…
In the mean time, the “Pineapple Express” part is doing what it typically does, which is drench the very southern edge of things. Arizona in particular is getting a load. Flooding in some places. “Dry Washes” are now rivers. Even if it’s been a “dry wash” for 30 years, you still treat it like a raging river. At least, that’s what my Dad taught me…
You can keep tabs on the flooding and stream levels in the links on this posting:
Though I probably ought to make a ‘live charts’ version of that one too. Maybe after I clean the “debris” of the local trees out of my yard… (We’ve had a ‘bit of wind’ with our rain…)
Finally, look very carefully at that SST map, then at the live one. You can actually see the progressive cooling of the Pacific. It’s subtile. A little more purple in the dagger. A little less green in the warm spots. A bit wider range to the deep blues. Look at the tip of Kamchatka, or that ‘warm bit’ of the coast of Sydney and near Alaska the shrinkage of the light blue/green bits. I think I really need to put the time into downloading and learning one of those blink comparator thingys…
I just think it’s “Way Cool” how you can SEE the ocean cooling, the heat transport into the storm clouds, then the deposition of the ‘working fluid’ after it’s dumped it’s heat to space. Finally, the air goes on to mix with that “cold end” of the heat engine: The Deep Freeze “Canada Express” that’s offering up a potential White Christmas as far south as the Carolinas…
I really envy weathermen, they get to do this stuff all day ;-)