Friday Evening: Strong Inversion Continues

It felt like an average April day today over Portland, that was at 1800′ over Downtown Portland at the top of our transmission tower.  At the same time it was 63 degrees up there, it was 40 here in the city.  THAT is what we call an inversion; warmer air above and cool air trapped in the valleys.  The past two days have been an extreme example of this.  Look at today’s numbers in the Cascade foothills:

MarkInversion_70s

Yet Salem only crawled its way up to 33 degrees!

We got lucky in the metro area today; just enough leftover dry east wind to keep the solid fog/cloud deck from Wilsonville-Oregon City and south.  As a result, we made it to 46 degrees, finally a day near average.

But it won’t last.  This evening’s timelapse over downtown Portland clearly shows a weak southerly flow in the lowest elevations over the central part of the city bringing low clouds and fog north. 

The east wind is very weak now, confined mostly to areas right around the west end of the Gorge and it’ll stay that way through tomorrow.  So that means widespread fog and low clouds and much cooler temps in the metro area tomorrow.

There is good news for Sunday and Monday; the east wind is coming back and it appears strong enough to clear all or most of the metro area again by Sunday afternoon.  Monday (MLK Day) looks sunny to me, similar to yesterday.  For areas south of Wilsonville (Salem-Eugene), you’ll remain in the gloom through at least Tuesday.

Have a good weekend, stay warm!  If you need sun, head up above 1,500′ or out to the Coast.  Or the west end of the Gorge works too.

By the way, apparently it IS possible to ski in a swimming suit, or less.  Dwight sent this picture in from Cooper Spur.  He caught this couple enjoying the 55 degree temps, lightly clothed.  What about “snow-rash”?  Hmmm…

photo_crazyskiers

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

83 Responses to Friday Evening: Strong Inversion Continues

  1. Sifton says:

    This has to be 1 of the strongest/weirdest inversion patterns that I can remember. Beautiful & sunny yesterday in Orchards/Sifton, but just due north (barely over a mile) into Brush Prairie a complete gray out! Fingers crossed for sun today too………..

  2. W7ENK says:

    Hmmm… According to the NWS in Seattle, the sun is only about 600-1000 feet up. That’s really scary when you think about it, just goes to show how incredibly strong this inversion is, and how close we all are to burning to death!! :shock:

    http://oi46.tinypic.com/2ewekp1.jpg

  3. This has been the view out my back window for three weeks, more or less. And with a temperature swing of 4 to 7 degrees on any given day.
    Does claustrophobia come to mind?
    http://i45.tinypic.com/1180hdt.jpg

  4. EA_TTD says:

    Duluth, MN AFD:

    MASSIVE PIECE OF THE POLAR VORTEX WILL RESIDE OVER HUDSON BAY AT BEGINNING OF THIS PERIOD. BITTER COLD CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED TO CONTINUE TUES WITH MAX TEMPS REMAINING WELL BELOW ZERO. KINL (International Falls, MN) RECORD LOW TUESDAY IS -38 WHICH MAY BE APPROACHED.

  5. Fog so thick this am it”s nearly a white out.

  6. 30.9 with light E-NE wind from time to time keeping my temp just up a bit. Freezing Fog very dense at times continues just about everywhere west of I-205. TTD-DLS is now up to -7.5mb nearing my forecast of -8mb(or so)

  7. bgb41 says:

    1/19/2013 Oregon (All) Temperature Summary

    Warmest:
    High:76 at HORSE CREEK(3402 ft)
    Low: 53 at HEBOWX Mt. Hebo(3160 ft)

    Coldest:
    High:3 at NYSSA(2172 ft)
    Low: -16 at UNITY DAM AND BU (3758 ft )

    Largest Diurnal Change: 55 degrees
    DIMLKE (53/-2 ) (4726 ft )

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