Dense Fog

January 29, 2009

_DSC1573 A great set up for widespread dense fog in the lowest elevations of western Oregon again tonight.  Light wind, low level moisture, and cooling air, plus a long January night.  I think the fog will lift a bit more quickly tomorrow afternoon due to a weakening cold front approaching from the west.  That should stir up the airmass slightly.

Speaking of that front, it looks incredibly weak moisture-wise as it moves in tomorrow night.  Our RPM models gives us all of a trace of precipitation through Sunday.  So I have a feeling the majority of us will stay dry.

The 7 Day forecast looks REALLY dead with either ridging or split flow through the end of next week.  By the end of next week, we will have gone through our 4th work week with little to no precipitation!  That length of time with no significant precipitation is pretty rare in the dead of winter.  At least you'll be able to jump like crazy in the sunshine out on the beaches again next week.  This picture was sent to us from Tim Maronay.  He was out at Warrenton a couple weeks ago.  During the windstorm here in the metro area, he escaped to the much calmer and warmer coastline.

I have a day off tomorrow, then I'll be back on Monday.  Mark Nelsen


A Short Post

January 28, 2009

I got way behind tonight since I had to attend an Oregon AMS planning meeting.  But that's good since there is no significant weather in our future!  Now this meeting included our honorable President Bobby Corser…also known to the regulars here as TV Weather Producer.  We spent quite a few minutes after the meeting discussing important things.  You know, weather maps and who's dating who in the Portland TV weather scene…or something like that.  I told him this was cutting into my blog time, so he has been kind enough to send a "guest post".  Mark Nelsen

Well the weather has finally calmed down. 11+ days of snow is great for winter. I personally have to say a little break is very welcomed. We had our AMS planning meeting tonight and I am very excited for events coming up. We will take a look back at the December snow storm and maybe a another one…..models are hinting at one?!?!  We will also have a chat about Rose Festival Weather in May. Of course all of our meetings are posted on the Oregon AMS website. Enjoy the weather while it's somewhat calm. I'm wishing for a wind event. That would round out the winter !   Bobby Corser – Oregon AMS President


Another Snowy Portland Day

January 27, 2009

Snapshot  The Portland NWS forecast office picked up another 1.2" of snow this morning, adding to the winter total.  There was .7" last Saturday night/Sunday AM.  Funny how in most other winters this would be a big deal, but instead it's just another little burst of winter snow this year.  Of course it's nice when it comes in quickly and disappears quickly, at least for our jobs here at a TV station.

Things worked out really well this morning, except that the ultra-fast timing of our RPM model was correct, not the UW mesoscale models.

A nice surge of mild air has made it all the way through the Gorge…I see The Dalles is in the mid 40s…for the first time in 2 weeks!  I bet some of you out there have stripped down to boxers and are running around in the streets??? Maybe not…but it must feel good, especially since you'll probably have lots of sunshine with westerly downslope wind tomorrow.  That will also be the first time in two weeks you've seen any of that bright yellow orb in the sky.

Back here in the metro area, our weather looks REALLY boring the next week or so again.  One change though this evening is an increasingly sharp shortwave for Saturday morning.  Not a lot of rain, but a vigorous cold front passage Friday night ahead of it.

Thanks for all the snow measuring you folks did this morning, it filled out the maps nicely, especially since there were no spotter reports from the NWS again today.

As Steve Pierce has pointed out in NUMEROUS emails today, we are doing really well with our winter snow.  The NWS forecast office site has recorded 23.2" of snow so far this winter.  At the PDX Airport site, snow measurements stopped in 1995.  If you put those two together, then this is the 3rd snowiest winter since WWII, or when the PDX site began taking observations.  Thanks for the info again Steve.

Mark Nelsen


Snow Totals: Tuesday A.M.

January 27, 2009

As of 11am, it looks like most areas getting above freezing, Gorge wind is gone, and precipitation is tapering off.  So put in your snow total from the morning snow in the comments

1. New Snow

2. Location

No other comments or discussion in this post please.  Keep discussing weather in other posts.


Another Snow “Event”?

January 26, 2009

Snapshot Drew & I just spent the last 1/2 hour doing some serious surgery on the forecasts…any forecast page that involved the time between 7am and noon tomorrow needed some bandaging or maybe even total replacement.  Some of those forecasts were on life-support anyway.

Up until the 00z model runs, it sure looked like the cold air wasn't going to stick around long, plus the precipitation arrived at the same time the good southerly wind arrives.  Here's what I see now that makes me think a widespread snow is likely in the morning here in the metro area:

1.  Nice dry airmass over us…great for evaporational cooling.

2.  On several mesoscale models, including our RPM, they show the sudden evaporative cooling in the north Valley and Metro area sometime around 8-10am producing a "meso-high" pressure right over us.  This thing was there just a bit on one 12z model, but now I see it on 3 models.  This would imply for a couple hours there may be no or little southerly wind at the surface here in Portland.  That's a big one considering the combination with #3.

3.  A nice burst of moderate precipitation at the same time as #2.

4.  In general it just looks good to my weather eyes for a quick morning snowfall.

One big kink in the plan is that several of the models show warming well up there, maybe above 2,000'.  This may give us ice pellets and/or freezing rain (less likely) at the same time.  My gut feeling is that it'll be all snow, but I thought that once with a system that turned out to be all freezing rain too!  So Drew and I threw some ice pellets or freezing rain pockets in as well.

I still like the idea of gusty southerly wind and rapid warming to around 40 degrees beginning around noon.  I also notice a nice westerly surge through the Gorge at the same time.  This will be the first time The Dalles has been above 35 in about 2 weeks!

Gotta go!  Mark Nelsen


Snow Totals: Sunday Special

January 25, 2009

This must have been the slowest, steadiest mini-snowstorm I've seen in a long time.  Took about 10 hours for us to receive 1/2" to 2".  Temps have been closest to or below freezing as you get closer to the Gorge.  So the sticking began first yesterday evening with those near the Columbia River and eastside.  Not exactly a "non-event" as I said in the previous post (bad call), but after December this does seem a bit pathetic doesn't it?  From radar and satellite, it appears the moisture is dwindling this morning, so we should be about finished, plus temps will rise into the mid 30s the next few hours.

Put in your snow total from the overnight snow in the comments

1. New Snow

3. Location

No other comments or discussion in this post please.  Keep discussing weather in other posts.


It’s Snowing! Storm Stories

January 24, 2009

Tunnels_Beach_3 I've got a mixture of snow/sleet falling (lightly) at my home this morning and the ground is white.  I won't put in a snow picture because we all know what it looks like.  Plus, I like this one better from a beach on Kauai…it makes me feel warmer.  You old timers may remember the view from the movie South Pacific. 

The snow was quite a surprise since this is one of those times that I haven't been paying close attention.  I had a close eye on Sunday (non-event), and told several people last night that today should just be partly cloudy as I verbally shot from the hip…oops.  There isn't much falling, but there are definitely fluffy snowflakes floating down nicely.  Must be the westerly flow developing up above the weakening offshore-flowing low level cold airmass still flowing through the Gorge.  Speaking of that…after 9 days of wind gusts over 50mph, TODAY should be the day with gusts less than 40 mph (or maybe less than 30 later???) through the west end of the Gorge. 

Now, for the storm stories.  I heard two good (or bad) ones last night.  One is from an unnamed person building a house near Women's Forum Viewpoint near Corbett.  The house was almost finished, including the beautiful new hardwood floors.  Apparently a door wasn't set right or something, and the east wind gusts 70-80 mph blew it open during the snowstorm in December.  That allowed the air pressure to blow out other doors and maybe a window, filling the house with snow.  Then pipes burst as the interior dropped into the 20s.  So there were 4 ft. drifts INSIDE the house, the garage door was bent out from the air pressure, and a beautiful frozen waterfall down the main stairs (the new wood stairs). And dozens of gallons of water in the duct system once it melted. That wouldn't be fun.  All this on a house that had almost been finished.  The other story was a renter who had lots of leaking and mold coming out of the ceiling after the melt had begun…turns out there was several feet of snow that had drifted in through the roof vents in the attic!  Then it melted.  So remember to check your attics if you live in an east wind spot and we have that 15-20 degree snowfall that can make it through vents and gaps…Mark Nelsen


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