Big thunderstorm day around Medford yesterday. There would have been several dozen lightning strikes that this camera could have captured, but it only takes a pic once a minute. If only there were a way to have it triggered by lightning. Oh well, pretty neat anyway.
There may be one hell of an arctic blast for all of us in the Pac NW early next week. A 1044 mb high over southern B.C. and the upper flow coming straight off the pole like that would be pretty ugly, and all the models show some variation of this. Not sure about the snow, but the old saying for lower elevations around here goes: "You can get snow when the cold arrives and when it leaves."
The 500 mb chart (oranges and yellows) is next Sunday afternoon and the surface chart (blues and greens) is Monday afternoon.
People throw around the word blizzard a lot, but most snowstorms are not actually blizzards. A blizzard is defined as falling and/or blowing snow which reduces visibility to 1/4 mile or less with sustained wind or frequent gusts at 35 mph or higher for at least 3 hours.
What is going on tonight in the northern plains actually fits the definition (see ob from Rapid City, SD, pictured). They've been meeting this definition since 2:20 pm today, local time.
Look at that large swath of hurricane force wind gusts off the Oregon coast late Saturday morning (all the blues, tans, and whites - white is >80 mph!). Then this storm moves up to batter Portland around dinner and Seattle area in the evening and night. Batten down the hatches!
Looks like Matthew is undergoing an eyewall replacement cycle (ERC). In an ERC, an outer eyewall begins to form around the inner eye and gradually cuts it off. This is a natural process in strong hurricanes.
There is good and bad in the ERC. The good is, it tends to weaken the maximum winds (in the intense inner eye), but the bad is that it spreads the winds out over a larger area (bigger eye).