Major Extratropical Cyclones of the Northwest United States: Historical Review, Climatology, and Synoptic Environment



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December 15, 2006



March 3, 1999 January 20, 1993

Figure 22: Satellite imagery of major Northwest windstorms at the time of maximum winds over western Washington. 0900 UTC December 15, 2006 infrared (a) and water vapor (b) GOES imagery. Infrared imagery at 1330 UTC March 3, 1999 (c) and 1800 UTC January 20, 1993 (d).

Figure 23: Major stages of a typical Northwest cyclone-based windstorm.



1 Corresponding author:

Professor Clifford F. Mass

Department of Atmospheric Sciences, Box 351640

University of Washington

Seattle, WA 98195

cliff@atmos.washington.edu

(206) 685-0910



2 http://www.climate.washington.edu/stormking/

3 Before 1928, winds were measured by the Weather Bureau with a four-cup brass anemometer, compared to contemporary three-cup anemometers. Thus, pre-1928 wind speeds are not strictly comparable to those reported for latter storms.

4 For example, Graham and Grumm (2007) found that the Columbia Day Storm had greater synoptic wind and geopotential anomalies than any other cyclone for the period 1948-2006.

5 This band of very heavy precipitation resulted in intense rainfall, approaching 1 inch over an hour, to some locations. Extraordinary urban flooding occurred, including the drowning death of a woman in her basement.


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