The Muck.. and no online WX station
Since the December 17th snowstorm, we are still without fiber optics (no internet)... so the weather station is not back online yet. I don't have an estimate when it will be back. The station itself is still operating fine, and collecting data... so when it comes back online, all the data will be refreshed and updated.
Weatherwise, we took a break from the active weather the last week with high pressure settling in over the region.
While this has been a nice reprieve for the snow laden trees and weary backs from snow shoveling, it's also created a deep inversion layer over the area, which has caused low clouds and fog to hang over the valleys and basins of eastern Washington... so no real appreciable sun for us!
Here is a view on top of Mission Ridge near Wenatchee on 1/1/13, looking east into the Columbia River Basin... you can see the layer of thick clouds down below about 4,000 ft extending all the way past Spokane and beyond... 150+ miles to the east, with the beautiful bluebird skies above.
Here's a closer north angle view of the muck in the valleys toward Leavenworth/Lake Wenatchee/Plain.
They say this is normal around these parts in winter, but it's been like this for the MUCH better part of the last 2+ months... plus, add on 1-2 months of heavy smoke immediately preceding that... it's been... not always so fun.
... There is just very little mixing in the atmosphere on the east side in winter, and it's also a big basin (bowl), so the low level moisture and cold air just settles in and gets trapped in this bowl. The sun angle is so low this time of year, that is is not effective to help 'burn it off'.
The east side (of the Cascades) is touted to be the 'sunnier and drier' side... That may be the case in summer, but it's been closer to the opposite in winter so far, as the west side has seen more sun the us this winter (that's somewhat relative, but it makes me feel a little better saying it).
Here is a satellite view that clearly shows all of E. Washington shrouded in clouds while the west side, Seattle, etc.. basks in the sun.
The NWS is considering air stagnation advisories/burn bans for some areas as pollutants/smoke to getting stuck in this layer of this inversion could cause air quality issues.
Fortunately (I use the word cautiously), more active weather appears to be in the offing.. as the PACNW ridge of high pressure that has settled in is progged to weaken and open the door to some weak to moderate storms and more 'mixing of the atmosphere', to hopefully provide some relief of the low clouds and fog. All bets are off for full sunshine, however. :(
"Welcome to the PACNW", is what people are telling me after hearing my complaints...