Joe the Transformer

“Where’s Joe?”, a new game for kids and adults.  I’m talkin’ “Joe Trough” here, that little big boy we talked about a coupla days ago that’s going to bash the West Coast now in a little over 48 h.  Try to find “Joe”  here.

Did you find him in the satellite clouds on these weather map?  He’s entering the scene, “stage left” as a hint.  If this was a silent film, there would very a dramatic and dark organ accompaniment at this time:  “Joe” is a villain, about to transform into a monster.   Yes, that’s right, “Joe” is a “Transformer”, to recall movies that we’ve all enjoyed where things turn into bigger things (I am so kidding here).   But, “Joe” WILL destroy some stuff in a couple of days.

For us little older weather-centric folk, it was obvious where “Joe” is.   Of course, I know you, too, are weather-centric, hungering for more information, thinking about quitting your current job to become a weatherman, “why did I chose my current profession in the first place?”, the kinds of things that TRULY weather-centric folk ruminate about all day.

So, I will tell you.  “Joe” is that comma-shaped cloud in the north Pacific almost due north of the Hawaiian Islands at this time (5 AM AST, 12 GMT today), and oddly, separate from and to the north of the long bank of clouds that stretch from Duckville (sometimes called “Oregon”, sorry Beavs) and northern California into the central Pacific and then on to Okinawa I think.

So, how do we know “Joe” will become a monster?  Our computer models are so good these days, they just never miss a situation like “Joe” is presenting to us.  All the ingredients are there, sharp air mass contrasts, STRONG  upper level trigger (“Joe Trough”) on top and approaching the long frontal band mentioned above, and starting to make it expand and swell up.  The most incredible thing to us weather folk, is that now, “Joe” doesn’t even have an eyeball (no low center) on these maps above and in the latest one below for 5 AM AST today!  I will show you that latest map with a “no eyeball Joe” below, it’s just a bend in the isobars (yellow lines of equal pressure); his power comes from above.  Soon, JT will cause the air to start wrapping around itself and a hurricane like eye-center will form out of what was just a long, almost straight band of clouds.



But look below at what the models say will happen in but 48 h! The transformation is into practically a cold season hurricane striking Oregon. Certainly hurricane force winds and pounding rains of several inches will strike northern California and the Oregon coasts in but two days.  There are so many isobars I can’t count them all, and, as you know, the more tightly packed a lot of isobars are, the stronger the winds.

Two things are exceptional about this storm, the time of year, and that its so far south with this kind of intensity.   Very rare to see such an intense low strike the West Coast south of Seattle at any time, but in late March?  Wow.

Look for some damage reports in the Pac NW and Cal beginning on Saturday.


Just some friendly, non-threatening Cirrus clouds (ooops, and maybe a lenticular or two since I just saw one–something we meteorologists call, “retrospective forecasting”–really helps your accuracy ratings…and here at 8:03 AM, seeing Ac cas with long virga trails.  Better predict those, too, now).

Not much else for the next few days in the skies, but we’ll get a part of the remnant of “Joe Hurricane” on Sunday.  Expect a lotta wind and dust in the air, and then a SHARP drop in temperatures after the dry (boo-hoo) cold front goes by.  Also, go here to experience more excitement at the Tucson NWS when it gets a bit closer.

The End.