Questions Answered II

December 29, 2005

We’ll talk current weather, then get to those "accidentally-erased questions".

00z models keep the solid rain in here much of tomorrow.  I think we’ll see lots of localized small street flooding, but not enough for more than maybe 5-7 rivers approach or go over flood stage.  Plus, we get a break Saturday and lower snow level to help things out.  Wind shouldn’t get too wild UNLESS an unforecast low pressure center suddenly develops along tomorrow’s front sitting over us.  If one were to develop and move along the front into Western Washington…that would be a problem for the western valleys.

Looks like the moisture gets shunted a bit farther north next week, so we stay mild, but no real heavy rain.

Okay, let’s try again with those questions you’ve asked:

1.  (During the cold spell)  "If there is warm air higher up with cold air down here at sea level, how come there was a lot more ice in the West Hills, SW Portland, Lake Oswego Hills than down in the middle of the City?"

Very good question.  But you have to really think of the setup during ice storms (or any time cold air is flowing out of the Gorge) as two distinct airmasses.  And within any air mass the temperature goes down as you rise in elevation.  So on that Monday morning, temperatures right in downtown PD were about 34, it was 32 up in SW Portland and L.O.  And the top of the West Hills were about 30 degrees.  Lots more ice in those places.  Once you hit the inversion around 2000′, temperatures jumped to around 50 degrees.  But continue going up and it would gradually drop off 3-4 degrees for every thousand feet.

2.  "Will U2 still hold their concert (Monday, Dec. 19th)?"

Amazing that several people asked me about that.  I just stick to weather.  Forecasting Bono’s next move is too tough for me to tackle.

3.  "What about the rest of this winter…will we see any more ice or snow in Stumptown?" Submitted by Wayne Garcia

By the way, Wayne is as nice a guy in person as he seems on TV.  Too bad he didn’t offer a pair of dice at the same time.  Who could have said November 30th we’d see a mini ice storm the 3rd week of December, but temps in the 50’s the following week?  No matter what you hear, no one I know can reliably forecast more than maybe 7-10 days in the future (depending on the weather pattern).  And once again…forget those sites on the internet that claim they can give you exact conditions 7 days from now.  I blogged on that subject a few weeks back.  I WILL say that not a single model has any sort of unusually cold or arctic air patterns through the first 10 days of January.

4.  Is a TV station in town really shutting down their news department?

Most likely idle rumors started by bored TV newsfolks, but there is that rumor going around Portland TV circles.  It sure won’t be KPTV, we know that.