Bruce’s Weather Brief February 11-12 Winds at 45 Knots for Now

It was yet another impressive week of weather for the Pacific Northwest. Snow in the lowlands, and lots of snow in the mountains and in Whatcom County. We totally more than made up our rainfall deficient for the year. Having gone from 1.5 inches behind a week ago to almost 3 inches ahead today.

Then today we have 45 knots of southerly at West Point and that will last through the day and into the early evening before it starts to back off. As you can see from today’s surface chart we’ve got a moderate high pressure system off the coast (1024MB) with a dissipating low pressure system that has the isobars bunched over the Puget Sound hence the gale warnings for our waters. By tomorrow however that high pressure system will strengthen and move in over the Pacific Northwest giving us a brief respite from this never ending stream of wet frontal systems.

The weekend actually looks pretty good for sailing on Saturday, and great for power boating on Sunday with sunblock advisable for both days. Yes, SUNBLOCK! Actually, you should never leave the house without sunblock if you’re going on the water. Saturday you can expect 10-12 from the south in the morning for most of the central and south Sound with slightly more north of Pt. No Point and into the eastern Straits. As the days wears on you can expect the southerly to slowly back off in the central and south Sound with it becoming about 5 knots by late afternoon.

As you can see from the Sunday Surface Chart we will definitely be under a high pressure system with little wind in the Pacific Northwest, plenty of sun but not much breeze.

The really interesting chart is Valentine’s Day which is showing a pair of significant low pressure systems. The one(966MB) up in the Gulf of Alaska has a front that extends from 60N, 145W to 20N, 150E. WOW! The deeper low (960MB) off the north end of Vancouver Island doesn’t have a long front however both of these will be impacting our weather from Wednesday on into the next weekend. Keep an eye on this and if you have to do the delivery to Olympia for the Toliva Shoal Race, why not go this weekend? Just a thought.

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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