Bruce’s Weather Brief, Chilly with a Good Chance of Open Anchorages

It may be cold but at least there’s very little white stuff forecast for the Salish Sea. The mountains will get more and California will even get some much needed moisture in the form of both rain and snow.

As you can see from the current surface chart our weather is currently being dominated by two significant high pressure systems. The first is a 1034 MB high situated over southern BC and the second is a very summer-like 1036 MB high located in the Pacific off of the mouth of the Columbia River. Our current cold weather comes from the former with very cold air coming down out of the Fraser River valley. As is typical of this time of the year, yet another huge low pressure system will come out of the Bering Sea and push these aside. See the 18 Dec Surface chart. Yep, that’s a 940 MB low with a frontal system that extends from the Aleutians to SE Alaska and then back to almost the Philippines. That is a major system and it will be visiting us about the 20th of December.

What does this mean for weekend boating? It will be cold however the breeze will drop off after today and in the central to south Sound conditions will be 5-15 from the south, a little stronger in the northern Salish Sea. If you’re a total curmudgeon and don’t have anything to do around the house in advance of the big holiday, you’ll find most of the anchorages pretty empty. So go out and enjoy yourself just be aware that hypothermia can be a real threat this weekend and if you fall into the water and can’t get out, you are pretty much dead. So please be careful.

Have a great weekend.


Bruce has raced and cruised the Pacific Northwest his entire life. He earned a Bachelor's of Science from the University of Washington in Biological Oceanography and learned meteorology "to keep from getting kicked around on the race course." Bruce spent nearly two decades as Associate Publisher for Northwest Yachting Magazine, retiring in mid-2015, and was the chairman of the board of trustees for the Northwest Marine Trade Association in 2014. (photo of Bruce driving Playstation is a bit dated, but cool)

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