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Old 29-11-2008, 10:42   #1
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North Pacific low

Anyone watching that whopping low in the north pacific? NOAA predictors have it absorbing the leading low within 72 hours, dropping to 960... and 96hr forecast has it covering from 60N to 20N.
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Old 29-11-2008, 10:45   #2
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Old 29-11-2008, 11:10   #3
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Surface 96hr forecast

NOAA surface winds forecast 96hr

(Thanks again Valis!!)
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Old 29-11-2008, 11:17   #4
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David M: Thanks for those links, that image is awesome, but some of the annotations - those "ship" ones which are right in the path of that thing... Makes me worried about the news over the next couple days.
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Old 29-11-2008, 11:57   #5
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Here is the official NOAA chart for the same region.
http://www.opc.ncep.noaa.gov/shtml/pyba01.gif
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Old 29-11-2008, 12:03   #6
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Maybe I am missing something being here on the other coast but it seems that large low pressure systems in this area with 30 to 35 knot winds are pretty common in the winter months. What makes this one different?
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Old 29-11-2008, 12:23   #7
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The weather patterns are not unusual for this time of year in this area. The original chart showed the possibility of landfall of the storm in the Vancouver BC area, which would be a concern to folks living there. As it turns out the storm will hit much farther north. Where these things get scary is when several systems merge into a "perfect storm" before landfall. Also by convention high winds in this area are not allowed to be called hurricanes or typhoons with those names reserved for other parts of the world. But we do get 100+ mph winds in this area allbeit infrequently. Weather forecasting on the west coast is very difficult since there is no land to the west close by. Many of us are in the habit of consulting the surface analysis charts on NOAA or other sites.
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Old 29-11-2008, 12:59   #8
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Originally Posted by Chuck Baier View Post
Maybe I am missing something being here on the other coast but it seems that large low pressure systems in this area with 30 to 35 knot winds are pretty common in the winter months. What makes this one different?
These are the storms that sink fishing and other commercial boats. It's not only the wind and waves but the water temperature too! Our currents come out of the North unlike the East coat where you get the warm waters from the South.

The East coast cold weather comes down out of mid Canada and swoops across the NE.

Ours shoots down out of the Gulf of Alaska carrying lots of COLD moisture with it (rains ice water) . And some times it crosses the Rockies and onto the Mid West. They are predicting snow here by Dec. 11th. The Mid west may see it in a couple weeks. Once this starts it doesn't stop until Feb+.
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Old 29-11-2008, 16:21   #9
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I compared the nepacific weatherfax to GRIB files. They are are slightly different. The 7 day GRIB files show nothing over 40 knots with the system tracking to the Gulf of Alaska and dissapating. Either way, I am glad not to be in that.

BTW the long range forecast for Calgary (rather inland) show a big temperature drop starting Dec 9.

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Old 29-11-2008, 16:29   #10
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it has been my experience over decades of dealing with and observing the forecasts by the NWS and NOAA that they have a very difficult time forecasting weather tomorrow let alone 2 weeks out. The only job on the planet where you can get paid very well, always be wrong and never loose your job.
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Old 29-11-2008, 17:34   #11
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::nod::

Definitely, Chuck.

One of the things I watch for is the 'bomb' storms we get with some regularity. They start out as a normal front, then suddenly steepen and accellerate. Hurricane force winds with very cold temperatures = not nice.
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Old 29-11-2008, 21:24   #12
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Originally Posted by Chuck Baier View Post
it has been my experience over decades of dealing with and observing the forecasts by the NWS and NOAA that they have a very difficult time forecasting weather tomorrow let alone 2 weeks out. The only job on the planet where you can get paid very well, always be wrong and never loose your job.
...same with the Presidency
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Old 30-11-2008, 19:12   #13
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Alright you guys, educate me. (please!) This looks like a cold weather hurricane. Why will this one dissipate while the ones in Caribbean get stronger till they hit land? And with the center so low in pressure, how come the winds are not traveling faster? Why aren't these storms tagged and followed like hurricanes?
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Old 30-11-2008, 20:50   #14
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Because Gales a really hot chick around these parts and we get goose bumps just saying her name...nope no hurricanes for us...
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Old 30-11-2008, 21:53   #15
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::laughs @ stillraining's comments::

Although it may look somewhat like a hurricane, it really isn't as cohesive. The amount of energy in the system is dramatically lower because the system is cold. The wind speeds are lower because the pressure gradient is not nearly as steep - the storm is much larger than your average hurricane; the tightly wound southern storms are the difference between a club and a rapier. I'd rather be poked by the club.

If either a high pressure or low pressure system runs into this one, it may continue a while longer. But getting as low as 960 is rare for a northern storm.
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