UPDATE: Flood Watch Ended for Port Alberni thanks to cooler temps/snow in mountains — But Flood Warning for Cowichan Valley issued (details here)
As Jeff Masters at WUnderground and many other weather bloggers have said… this year hasn’t been your typical El Nino year in North America. Why? Because we had an exceptionally negative Arctic Oscillation and North Atlantic Oscillation that kinked the jetstream all crazy like and allowed waves of very cold Arctic air to flow down into North America and Europe (and very warm air to flow into Alaska and Greenland).
Well… that weather pattern is breaking down now… and it looks like the jetstream will move south into a more El Nino like pattern and flow across the continent, bringing more storms to California rather than us and warmth to the Eastern US.
Before that happens though, we need to get through this weekend. We’re expecting over 100mm over the next couple days, and then probably another shot over 50mm on Sunday/Monday.
Once we hit late next week, the temperatures *should* cool off a bit and while we won’t be getting any large dumps of snow, it should at least calm the nerves of VANOC as the snow comes back to the local mountains.
Oh and, and speaking of the Olympics. Apparently there is a new data gathering service being set up by the NOAA flying out of Japan to coincide with the Olympics in Vancouver . Their goal is to gather weather data from the West and Central North Pacific waters where data is sparse right now.
The Pacific is literally where most of the weather comes from for North America, so this data will be fed directly into computer models and should make them more accurate in their long term forecasts not just for us, but all of North America.