An atmospheric river just spanned the entire Pacific. This map shows it in action over the course of 11 days. [OC]

An atmospheric river just spanned the entire Pacific. This map shows it in action over the course of 11 days. [OC]

Of course it dumps completely over Vancouver. No wonder we had terrifying rain recently.

everyones busy watching the skies for north korean nukes meanwhile japan smacks us across the face with that long hurricane dick

Beleive it or not, the rainfall is estimated by satellites. While it's not an exact measurement on rainfall, some satellites CAN measure the height of cloud tops and rates of convection among other things. These can be used to estimate rainfall to a confident degree in most scenarios.

Edit: Forgot to mention that satellites can also measure atmospheric moisture directly. When factored in with observed convection rates in the atmosphere, models can estimate precipitation rates. Thank you u/spockspeare for reminding me.

The most accurate way to measure precipitation is directly with weather stations. When over a large area, we use radar observations. When there is no radar around, we look to these satellite observations and models.

It was raining like crazy in Vancouver WA (right above Portland) too, our gutters turned into fountains

Okay, I'm curious: how do they measure the rainfall in the ocean? I like to imagine little rain guages floating in the middle of the Pacific ocean, but that can't be right.

Thanks Ripley

She knew what she was signing up for.

Yeah and it was really warm rain too here in Vancouver, WA. Puddles grew fast but were fun to hit in my little pickup.

That explains all the rain in Vancouver last week.

If I recall correctly, the Japaneses used this to send ballon with bombs to the North American during the WWII.

So everyone who lives in Vancouver, WA clicked into this thread, eh? Down by the Fort it was kind of nuts, really light flooding.

Damn. I’ve never heard of this before but it’s pretty interesting. - Apparently technically one of the first intercontinental weapons. - Only one successfully lethal attack, killing a woman, her unborn child, and her children after they found it in the Oregon woods. - Resulted in the only deaths on the continental US after they entered the war.

california here: please send some this way. we're on fire.

Ain't nobody got fire like Cascadia. BC bro here, we feel your pain.

20 odd years ago, during another California drought, I watch a city council meeting from Stockton (I think...) or some town like that. Guy says, "It ain't fair they's Canadians have all that fresh water whiles we don't. Why ain't our army up there gettin it for us. We needs it, they don't." Gives me chills to think about how many people were agreeing with him.

If you want some of our water, just ask Nestlé.


Tools: Python, bash.

More info:

Another neat aspect of this animation: notice how suddenly the rain increases and comes to a halt at the Cascades. That's the rain shadow effect!

get away from her you bitch

Hey Vancouverittes!

The Seattle Times called it "The Big Dark" or something like that. It was pretty wet here too.

Texan here. I'm gonna pretend for a minute I'm one of y'all. That okay?

Well, shit.

You just took away half of the things I can say to reference a group.

That's okay. Just stop saying y'all

And Seattle!

We had some stronger-than-usual rains last week.

I saw people with umbrellas. Can you believe it!?

Stockton is a cow town, don’t worry, nobody likes them in CA, either.

Dear God, man. That woman had a family.

Sprinkles in Seattle. Rarely rains.

This is showing cumulative rainfall over 11, which is kind of misleading. The final frame is not a depiction of the final state, rather all of the rain that has fallen in that area over 11 days. Some areas along that "river" may be inactive at various times but the cumulative nature of the map hides that fact.

edit: not saying there isn't a river, just that an animation showing currents states might give a more realistic picture

And she died in her husbands arms as he tried to put out the flame.

This is the kind of random act of god bullshit that makes people afraid to go outside.

This is the data source OP used, the NASA GPM:

The Core satellite measures rain and snow using two science instruments: the GPM Microwave Imager (GMI) and the Dual-frequency Precipitation Radar (DPR). The GMI captures precipitation intensities and horizontal patterns, while the DPR provides insights into the three dimensional structure of precipitating particles. Together these two instruments provide a database of measurements against which other partner satellites’ microwave observations can be meaningfully compared and combined to make a global precipitation dataset.

Totally read this as Vancouver-titties. As a resident of Vancouver, WA, I have to confess I liked it for a moment.

Do you want more Californians who can't drive in the rain? Because that's how you get more Californians who can't drive in the rain.

My thoughts exactly, Vancouver Island though..

Gotta love all the rain over by Washington

THANK YOU for pausing on the last frame for a few seconds instead of immediately looping like most other gifs of this nature

And over there at the far left of the screen you can see a very powerful storm heading for southern Japan

It is, if you've ever lived in the PNW.

Wow. I'd never heard of this either, it was super interesting to read about though. Check this tidbit out...

"On March 10, 1945, one of the last paper balloons descended in the vicinity of the Manhattan Project's production facility at the Hanford Site. This balloon caused a short circuit in the power lines supplying electricity for the nuclear reactor cooling pumps, but backup safety devices restored power almost immediately."

What are the odds?

Rain over man! Rain over!

Breaking News: It Rains in Seattle.

Vancouver Island is just a shield for Vancouver. 99% people don't consider what happens over there, unfortunately.


"Stunned, the four unhurt men rushed down the hill just as another bomb, a smaller one, exploded. [...] The mangled bodies of the four boys were scattered around the bomb crater. [...] Elyse too was still alive, but her clothing was on fire, and she died while Archie was struggling to smother the flames with his bare hands."

"A bomb disposal expert, who located and disarmed several unexploded bombs lying nearby, guessed that the bomb had been kicked"


That's not to single out the Japanese, they just didn't have the strategic freedom to fly their own bombers armed with their own firebombs over the US, as the US did for Japan. Imagine this thousands of times over.

from this book

The Vanguard of Canada, The Sponge of the west!

Citation needed when spreading fud

I grew up there, can I join the party?

That's one thing I dislike about the english language. Despite having the largest vocabulary of any language, there is no formal plural form of "you".

Edit: It looks like "you" is the plural form of you. It also looks like the english vocabularies size is a bit more complicated than I implied. The economist has a good article on it. I'm sorry for the misinformation.

We should take off, and measure the rain from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.

We don't need rain to be shit drivers bro. We excel at that already

Meanwhile, 100 degree weather in southern California.

So, magic.

Yeah. My lawn was pleased.


I just read the article OP posted in comments. It's a very common feature during the fall/winter.

I do the same thing often, so no judgement, but you should really read the article before posting.

I hear that, I had no idea that it was a buffer until now and I've lived downtown for a long time and bitched about the rain since I got here. Thankyou for your sacrifice Vancouver Island peoples.

Killed a bigass snake in Stockton. Doin 80 on the I5 just after the sun went down. On our way to Disneyland. Made the wife happy to know there was one less to worry about. Bastard was so big, I almost had issues keepin it in my lane. She wasn't so happy about that though...

Can confirm. Lived in Dallas for a handful of years and recently moved to the PNW. I feel I've been released from a horrible jail.

To be fair, it was a deliberate act of humans, not a random act of god.

Actually, here in Vancouver, WA we use y’all quite a bit. The southern drawl is gone, but the northwest is an anomaly in terms of speech style (and our accent, which we all claim to not have).

Imagine an alternate timeline where thise security systems malfunctioned and the Japanese by luck blew up the manhattan project.

That's crazy, thanks for pointing that out

There's a lot of places in California that are still rural, and have a decently sized conservative population - Humboldt County (where I'm from), Shaver Lake in Fresno County, Lassen, Trinity, Del Norte. Basically anywhere living is harder for a Californian and they have to plow their driveways in the winter.

I live on the coast, and we've been having unseasonably warm days this year, with at least 3 I can think of that have broken records from a minimum of 40 years ago or more. We used to get a shitton of rain during the summer, but not so much now, which is shitty.

Also Van Isle here. A week ago, my well was nearly dry. Not anymore.

Have you seen the trees around here. That hazy blue line in OP's gif is why. Some places have wind to take the leaves off...

Texas ain't stupid!

pretty close sort of.

Acoustic Rain gauges typically moored under the surface. they can differentiate the sound of rain hitting the ocean.

Is this why SoCal had record breaking heat this Monday through yesterday? Did it all get concentrated up north causing a massive 3 day heat wave?

This used to be true, but the last few years have seen an increase in how often we get those heavy downpours.

I miss the 300 days a year of drizzle/mist.

The Mystery of the Vancouver Rain, finally solved! Tune in- in perpetuity- for sequels to this thrilling mindbender.

No one tell them about all the oil in Alberta please. They might think Canada needs an extra dose of Freedom.

So this caused some of the worst weather I've had while hunting? We got a huge wind storm, a ton of rain, then a foot of snow overnight, then more rain. Soaked to the bone and cold is a way to describe it. We sit outside for 8 hours a day, in rain gear and covered with tarps.

Lots of old good ol boy ranchers out here . Hippies came in a started growing weed . The ranchers hated them for it st first but when they saw how much money it pulled in the started growing too . Now the good ol boys are some of the biggest mega growers in the county. Lots of liberals in eureka . Lots of conservatives in SoHum .

Was it worth it?

They drew up war plans after WWI on how they'd beat every nation on earth in different wars. Like War Plan Red for fighting the Commonwealth of Britain forces and detailed plans on invading Canada. I see the US like Batman with his contingency plans for the Justice League.

I see the US like Batman with his contingency plans for the Justice League.

Like a psycho billionaire that keeps secrets and is unpredictable...


I saw a break in the rain, so I rode my bicycle from East Vancouver (border of Camas)to downtown Vancouver the other day. It decided to lightning, thunder, and hailstorm on me. The sewers we're clogged with leaves so I kept having to get off my bike and wade through foot-high water all around 4th plain. Stupid decision but an epic adventure.

Have you tried video games?

Or Vancouver bc

Vancouver BC literally went from drought and wildfires in August/September, to being completely flooded in October. Seriously, cars got stuck and roads were shut down, I've never seen it flood here before. What is going on with this crazy ass weather?

screams in alien

Holy shit I never meet anyone from there, everyone thinks I live in Canada.

How’s it been there? I haven’t been back in a few months.

I know a doctor in Miami that has found distinct isotopes from Fukushima in Wisconsin milk. I guess this shows how.

Ha!! That’s seems about right, they grow great fruits and veg up there, but it’s pretty country, most people don’t know how isolated some parts of CA really are.

Just no where anyone would ever go, besides for cowboys training camp, but, fuck the cowboys.

Stockton is the butthole of Cali

Between our water, our oil, our elbow room, and our borders, I expect our dose of Freedom is already drawn up in a filing cabinet somewhere.

Portlander here. This last storm was much more like a January winter storm than something we expect up here in the PacNW this early in the rainy season. The reason we don't use umbrellas much up here (except for parasols to hide from the summer sun,) is that most of the time, our rain is a spitting constant drizzle, rather than gully-washers.

Let me work it.

I think there was a radio lab episode about it. Look it up!!

I always find it surprising that Humboldt is such a conservative place considering all the hippies that live out there in the Emerald Triangle.

I lived in Vancouver, WA from 7/16 to 7/17 and I clicked in. 😂 (live back in stupid TX again, now)

Now I am imagining US army tugging clouds using their F-22s and dragging lakes using their Abrams....

Could someone tell me whether this is an effect of climate change or is actually a normal phenomenon? It's kinda scary. 😯

Edit: If this happened over the city where I live, I'd be under the water. 200, that'd be apocalyptic!

Edit 2: My bad! It's a common phenomenon! We're safe...!

"What made the October 2017 atmospheric rivers most notable was their length. At times, the flow of moisture extended roughly 5,000 miles (8,000 kilometers) from Japan to Washington. “That is about two to three times the typical length of an atmospheric river,” said Bin Guan, a researcher at the Joint Institute for Regional Earth System Science and Engineering, a collaboration between NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the University of California, Los Angeles."

Ah, it makes sense now. I was wondering why the "river" wasn't actually doing any flowing. I guess the river metaphor holds if the storms aren't the river's water, but objects floating down that river.

I live right under that rain shadow. 20 minutes from the pass. When that shadow stopped and rained over us my river went up 12 feet in 10 hours. Was amazing and disturbing at the same time.

Stirring up all that fukushima radiation they spilt.

I meant more in the stereotypical it's rainy in Seattle sense

Washingtonian here. I love my state but trust me... the real party is in Canada

I live in Vancouver, Canada. Can I join the party?

These rainfall observations are from satellite. You can read more about how it works here.

Pretty much rained all day this past Saturday. It was a nasty drive to PDX.

100 degree? You must be boiling!

In the northwest we call this the pineapple express, and it goes on and off all winter long. It brings warm rains from asia and hawaii. When it is not in effect, or the stream is south of us, it is colder and relatively dry