Another absolutely stellar week of weather in the Pacific NW just passed with more rain, snow, lightning and possible funnel clouds. If you were watching the Doppler radar, it was one of the more interesting weeks. It is however not that unusual for this time of the year and if you can say one thing about the weather, it is that spring is definitely on its way, maybe a little early but after all this rain I think we can all agree that we deserve a little break. Besides, if you’re racing in CYC’s Center Sound Series it’s a great time to go out for a little practice session before the Blakely Rock Race kicks off what is probably the most popular medium distance racing in the Pacific Northwest next weekend.
The Climate Prediction Center came out with their latest and it looks like we are still in for cooler and wetter than “normal” weather for March and April. The good news is that in this pattern it usually means a warmer than normal summer. Like go out and buy air conditioning for the house warmer? Probably not that much warmer. The other side of that is we will also still continue to build snowpack in the mountains which will help reduce the fire hazard going through the summer. Let’s keep our fingers crossed for that!
This weekend doesn’t look great for sailing however it will be pretty nice just to be on the water. Plus, with 5-8 knots of wind, that’s the perfect amount of wind to get the crew reacquainted with racing before next weekend. The only significant breeze (15+ from the south) in the Sound will be over Saturday night and into Sunday morning. If you’re anchoring out, make sure you’ve got plenty of scope out and your swing radius will clear the other boats in the anchorage.
The most interesting feature on the surface charts for this weekend is that 1039 MB high-pressure system off our coast today which will deepen and strengthen over the weekend to 1045 MB on Saturday. This will move away from the coast on Sunday allowing a weak, 1008 MB low-pressure system to invade the Pacific Northwest late Sunday and into early Monday. To give you a better idea of just how strong this high-pressure system is, just check out the 500 MB charts. What you see is the classic springtime pattern of the northern hemisphere starting to heat up because of longer days and that helps to strengthen the Pacific High. As it builds it becomes more capable of deflecting low-pressure systems to the north of the Pacific Northwest. Just don’t get too excited because as you look at the last day of the month you’ll see another significant low-pressure system coming right out of the Gulf of Alaska and aiming right at us at it weakens that high-pressure and pushes it to the south.
Needless to say, we’ll have an in-depth look at the weather for next weekend specifically for the Blakely Rock Race. Remember to pick up some daffodils to leave at Blakely Rock in honor of the beloved Kelly O’Neil Henson as you go around next Saturday.
Be safe and enjoy the weekend!