Lots of Rain Coming…Eventually

October 8, 2014

7pm Wednesday…

You can stop watering your lawns/gardens this weekend for the season; I plan to turn off my drip irrigation that goes to my raised beds at home and you can too.

Our forecast has changed a bit over the past 24 hours, mainly removing some rain from Saturday and Monday.  I don’t think a changing weekend forecast in early October is as big a deal as in May though…especially considering we have gone through 5 consecutive warm and mostly sunny weekends.  Public expectations for good weekend weather go downhill quickly in October.  Still, it’s looking like we’ll only see a few sprinkles or showers early Saturday and then dry the rest of the weekend.

Why the changes?  Our upper level ridge wants to briefly bounce back up over us Sunday and Monday between a weak system Friday night and a much wetter westerly jet for Monday night through the end of next week.  You can sure see it on the ECMWF ensemble chart… tseries_850t_000-360_Portland

Note the big (and brief!) spike in 850mb temps later Sunday through early Monday.  Also notice the chilly temps right afterwards.  It’s going to feel like late October the middle of next week!

So enjoy a “bonus” weekend with mainly dry weather.

Even with the delayed start to the rain, it IS on the way.  Take a look at the 10 day forecast from this morning’s ECMWF:


and the 8 day forecast accumulation from the midday (18z) GFS:


They both show a good soaking, at least an inch, and maybe 2 inches in the next 8-10 days.

And this time once the ground gets wet it’s not going to dry much.  I notice with the high humidity and short days this week that my lawn isn’t even close to drying at noon.  And my garden doesn’t even look dry after many days without rain.

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

A Historic October Warm Spell

October 6, 2014

It hasn’t happened in 23 years here in Portland…4 days in October at/above 80 degrees.  In fact we average an 80 degree day every other October or so.  Take a look at the “scorching” high temps today:


How unusual is it to see 4 or more 80 degree days in October in Portland?  Here are the years…

2014: 4 (+1 tomorrow???)
1991: 6
1987: 5
1980: 6 (first 6 days of month…consecutive)
1979: 4
1952: 6 (first 6 days of month…consecutive)


ECMWF Monthly Run

October 3, 2014

It’s a day old now, but ECMWF 32 day run (along with its ensembles) looks like this:

500za_week1_bg_NA 500za_week2_bg_NA

After the middle of the month it allows more somewhat splitty troughs to move through with the ridging gone.

500za_week3_bg_NA 500za_week4_bg_NA

Interesting to note the 32 day control run (surface map) shows wetter conditions to the south with a splitting trough.  Rain for California but just cooler and a little wetter for us.   I hope that’s not a sign of the winter season to come!


Water Year Ends A Bit Dry

October 1, 2014

11pm Wednesday…

The water year numbers are in…Portland was a bit below normal rainfall-wise over the past year. MarkRain_WaterYearPDX  We use a “water year” because we want to capture each rainy season separately; which always straddles two years.  Of course our wet season was extremely dry up through January, but then we made up big-time in February and March with very wet weather.  In fact March was our wettest March on record.

How about October?  It’s pretty obvious, looking at long-range models/maps, that the first half of the month is going to be quite dry.  Last October was very dry, but the one before was a real soaker!


Enjoy the dry and mostly sunny weather the next few days…

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

Warmest September on Record In Portland

September 30, 2014


September 2014 is going to be our warmest ever recorded in Portland.  The high temperature of 67 is in this afternoon and it sealed the deal as they say since we won’t have any more highs/lows to calculate before midnight.  This September just barely beats 1994 temperature-wise.  Add August, which was our warmest ever recorded too, and it’s been a heck of an ending to summer and early fall!

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

Brand New Podcast

September 29, 2014

It’s been awhile, but Brian and I are back on track.  We just recorded a podcast on Friday and it’s available for your listening pleasure.  You can find it here.



Finally, a Really Strange Email!

September 29, 2014


It’s been 9 months since I’ve added a new letter/email to my FUN, WEIRD, & MEAN EMAILS link above.  But I got a real gem today.  Here you go…

Email Address: XXXX@aol.com
First Name: XXXX
Last Name: XXXX

Message:: Hi Folks, I’m a regular watcher of KPTV news, and have noticed a media trend of using the word “haboob” in place of “dust storm”, I personally find this political correctness absolutely DISGUSTING and take offense at the use of this word in America. Either broadcast your entire program in Arabic or in English, but don’t mix it up in an attempt to be cute and clever and politically correct, because you offend many people with that tactic. America has lost enough to that 3rd world, let’s not lose our dignity of being proud Americans. Speak ENGLISH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  

I don’t really have any comments on this except that we probably use this word because it sounds kind of naughty, not because it’s an Arabic word.  And it sure doesn’t have anything to do with political correctness; I would probably be one of the last people to adopt it then.

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen


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