DISCUSSION: As reflected by the discussion (attached below) which is courtesy of scientists working at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Satellite and Information Service (NESDIS), there is a fairly potent low pressure system getting ready to officially landfall near the Washington/Oregon state border during day on Saturday (02/04). Having said that, this low pressure system is already delivering substantial impacts to many parts of the Pacific Northwest as of much earlier in the day on Friday. The majority of the impacts being felt across the states of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana include heavy mountain snow as well as rain and/or ice (depending on the given location). Many counties within the aforementioned states have already been under winter weather advisories and/or winter storm warnings for quite some time and will remain under winter weather advisories for at least the next 24 to 36 hours as this winter storm continues to impact these areas.
"This GOES West water vapor imagery shows an area of low pressure spinning toward the West Coast today, February 3, 2017.According to the National Weather Service, this upper-level low over the Eastern Pacific will slowly weaken and move onshore over the Pacific Northwest throughout the day, bringing a plume of moisture into Central and Northern California, and across much of the Northwest into the weekend. Coastal areas will have rain, possibly heavy at times, while areas of higher terrain will see a wintry mix of snow, rain, and ice. Snow will spread eastward into the Northern Rockies by this evening and into the adjacent Northern Plains by Saturday.
Water vapor imagery, which is useful for both determining locations of moisture and atmospheric circulations, is created using wavelengths of light sensitive to the content of water vapor in the atmosphere. Bright and colored areas indicate high water vapor (moisture) content (colored and white areas indicate the presence of both high moisture content and/or ice crystals). Black and brown areas indicate little or no moisture present."
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©2017 Meteorologist Jordan Rabinowitz