Questions Answered II

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.

2 Responses to Questions Answered II

  1. Kirk says:

    Wow Ashley your on fire!! Man I thought I was the only arctic freak. Everyone says I am crazy for always wishing for snow. I do not know what hurts more the Ducks loosing or this mild winter. Mark you must think a lot of us are crazy but a snowy day is a holiday! Trust me I know we live in an area that dose not favor cold weather but that is part of the reason snowy days are special. When we bought our current home I made sure we were at a 1000ft and east of I205 to up our chances for wintry weather. We have cracked out the sleds twice this year at least it beats our old valley home. Hey Mark thanks for all you do the effort really shows.

  2. Ashley Watson says:

    To Mark,
    I have been very disappointed with the way our weather has behaved the past 6 years. What is going on?????? we don’t get arctic fronts anymore. They just don’t seem to be able to breakthrough the rockies and slide far south enough. It used to be we would get 1-2 good arctic pushes each year and now we don’t get anything!!! And what is up with this omega blocking ridge in the middle of winter that sticks around for a week or more. I think that has replaced our arctic air flow. Why can’t the ridge be a little further out to sea instead of right over us????? I think Mark did a great job at forecasting last weeks snow or lack of it but that is not the point. I moved here in 1992 and back then you could forecast cold and snowy weather 5 days out with some accuracy. Now you can’t even forecast a flake or two one day in advance. Forecasters are pulling their hair out. What is going on. The old days when 2-4 inches of snow was no big deal and now we hardly even get that.
    thE GFS is such a misleader!!!!!!!! It might get 99% of the snow and cold forecasts right. Why do you use it??? I know people who haven’t been to 4 years of college and they recognize that something is wrong. Not to put down your education or anything but you have to have a better idea about what is causing our weather to do these things than ‘global warming’. I think the arctic air is shallower and not as strong as it used to be so it takes the path of least resistance down to the east side of the US.
    You might not have all the answers but mabey you have your own ideas. it would really be nice to hear them. Your forecasts of snow and cold that don’t come true make me not even want to be interested in weather. It makes me questions your methods and models for forecasting. I know it’s not an exact science but with al your great new equipment it’s not getting anymore accurate atleast in our part of the country. THanks for taking the time to listen to my long and silly e-mail. Please respond soon.
    p.s sorry if it sounds like i’m bashing you that wasn’t my intent ashley watson

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