While we usually associate hurricanes with tropical islands and the Southeast coast, a monster storm is brewing in the Pacific Northwest. Triggered by the confluence of jet streams, the storm is expected to hit Washington and Oregon tonight, pummeling the coast with 20-30 foot waves and hurricane-force winds. The northern branch of the jet stream will bring Arctic air from the Gulf of Alaska while the southern branch will send a stream of warm, moist air from the central Pacific; the collision of these air masses, in combination with the merging jet streams, will generate the storm. Torrential rain is expected in the lowlands while heavy snows and high winds will produce blizzard conditions throughout the Cascades.
Meanwhile, the rest of the country is enjoying mild weather with temperatures well above average. We should hit 60 degrees in Columbia today, with partly cloudy skies and a gentle south breeze.