Potential for strong winds and heavy rain as the weather system creates “baroclinic leaf”

The system, which arrives on Wednesday, has a feature called a “baroclinical leaf” that indicates an interruption in the mix of warm and cold fronts.

SEATTLE – A weather system on its way to hit West Washington has the potential to bring stormy weather.

The system, which arrives on Wednesday, has a feature called a “baroclinical leaf” that indicates an interruption in the mix of warm and cold fronts. The “leaf” approaching the Washington coast points to the potential of very strong winds and heavy rain, according to KING 5 meteorologist Rebecca Stevenson.

The residents of West Washington are used to what is known as an occlusion front, which is the mixture of a warm air mass of a warm front and a cold air mass of a cold front. The fronts usually close when the rain hits the coast.

However, the obscuration of the fronts did not occur at some point in the course of this weather system. This creates the trait “baroclinic leaf” that can be seen in satellite images.

The incoming system could bring gusts of wind up to 50 miles per hour for the north Washington coast, San Juan Islands, and Admiralty Inlet from Wednesday through Thursday morning. According to Stevenson, it will rain heavily at times until Thursday afternoon.

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