Weather Blog

Welcome to 9 million square miles of storminess

Welcome to 9 million square miles of storminess
Google Earth photo superimposed with satellite imagery from June 2, 2010.

Sure, it's been a soggy day out there around Western Washington, but we're certainly not the only area getting wet today.

In looking at the satellite image, we marveled at just how large this storm is and how far its moisture plume stretched back across the Pacific Ocean -- nearly reaching Vietnam!

So I fired up Google Earth and did some rough calculations, and if you count the broad area of low pressure that covers from central Alaska to halfway-to-Hawaii and west-to-east from the Aleutian Islands to about Boise, Idaho, that storm covers about 5.93 million square miles!  Then, if you add in the plume of moisture that stretches from that western boundary of the low back to its origin just to the east of Vietnam, I came up with another 3.1 million square miles.

Put the two together, and you've got 9 million square miles of western North America and the Pacific Ocean getting wet from this storm and plume. To put that in perspective, it's big enough to cover about 126 Washington states and still have some rain leftover!

Photo: Google Earth, with satellite imagery taken early on June 2, 2010.