Category: Northwest

Temperature Inversions – What, How, and Why?

Have you ever heard a meteorologist talk about an “inversion”? Or maybe you read about a “low-level inversion” in a National Weather Service forecast discussion and wondered what that means? If so, you’re in luck. Let’s break down what a temperature inversion is, how it forms and “breaks”, and why it matters to wind sports…

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West Coast Wind Blog: Low-pressure systems weaken Baja’s East Cape wind

The Baja’s East Cape kiteboarding and windsurfing sites Los Barriles and La Ventana have seen almost 2 weeks of great wind. But on December 9, 2020, those winds came to a grinding halt. This occurred as 2 low-pressure systems blocked both of the Baja wind machines. In this animation of both satellite imagery and model output,…

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West Coast Wind Blog: East wind from an early season “Polar Express” blows smoke through the Gorge to the Oregon Coast.

by Matt Souders with graphics by Mike Godsey. This historic early-season easterly wind event got off to a dangerous start this morning. High winds over Yakima, WA fanned the flames over an 80 sq. mile wildfire. The smoke from that fire can be seen in this visible satellite loop arcing SW, then westward over the…

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West Coast Wind Blog: Upper high pressure and heat wave bakes the western USA

Part 1 the big picture. The headlines are heating up about record temperatures being set from Salt Lake City to Tucson to Dallas and to the 0 percent contained ravaging Southern California fires. At this time it looks like Death Valley, the hottest place on the planet, will reach 127 by Monday. In response, the…

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West Coast Wind Blog: Wind turbulence gusts and lulls: A case history in the Columbia River Gorge.

Gusts and lulls, up and down, crazy wind. Why are winds sometimes mild and other times wild? There are many complex meteorological causes for the turbulence that causes gusts and lulls, but here we focus on gusts and lulls winds where the causes are very local and easy to visualize. The local cause of gusts…

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heat map

Heat Fires up for the 4th of July

Due to COVID restrictions, many of us will miss the skies lighting up with fireworks this 4th of July but though the celebrations will be atypical the weather will quickly shift this week into a more traditional summer pattern. Heat surges up through the center of the country over the next couple of days and…

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West Coast Wind Blog: The inside story and imagery from explosive winds in the Gorge May 31.

by Mike Godsey, mike@iwindsurf.com & Matt Sounders A few days ago I wrote a blog about the strange Cut-Off Low at ≈ 18,000 ft. feet between Hawaii and Baja that was tracking towards San Francisco where it would bring epic winds. Then how the Cut-Off Low would create explosive winds for the Gorge First –…

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