Tough Questions & Wet Weather

January 4, 2006

It was VERY nice to see some sun today, along with a bit of blue.  It really does look like a temporary break as all models put us into a cool & wet westerly flow again starting Friday.  Apparently January will be a wet month too!  Hopefully we can avoid a long period of sustained valley AND mountain rain.  That would avoid major flooding.

A maintenance note:  You may notice that blog postings more than a few days old are closed for comments.  It’s really not a "vast FOX-12 conspiracy", trust me.  It’s as simple as I don’t want to search back more than a few days to look at comments.  Not that this blog is all about me but…well, than I don’t have to reread too many comments.

(Wow, that makes my eyes hurt, but I can’t figure out to to make the text larger again, I better stick to fronts/dewpoints)

Now on to the big questions:  A week ago Ashley wrote some quite "intense" comments about our lack of cold weather or snow the last few years.  Ashley has been calling me off/on for years, at least since the mid 1990’s right?  I was just a young dude then, but supposedly older and wiser now.

"forecasts aren’t getting any better"

I would strongly disagree.  Each of the last 3 winter weather events (Jan 2004, Jan 2005, Dec 2005) were known about and predicted days beforehand.  I doubt we will ever have a major windstorm here again without at least 2 days warning (and I mean a 75-90+ mph gust here in Portland).  Remember when the kids got out of school early during the Dec. 1995 windstorm?  Of course we still miss forecasts, but it’s much better now than 20 years ago!  One of the quotes from the "surprise" December snow was something along the lines of "but I thought it wasn’t going to show up until sunset!".  Forecasts must be getting better if viewers are disappointed rain or snow showed up 2 hours early.  In the past we would have just said "snow Sunday, probably later in the day".

"the GFS (model) is such a misleader, why do you use it?"

Because it correctly forecast those 4 events I listed above for one!  I think I know where this question comes from…and I could ask "why are you looking at model forecasts for 10-16 days from now when you don’t think it can be correctly forecast anyway?".  Don’t complain about models not panning out after getting all excited about something that far in the future.  Notice the 18z run today?  It has snow/cold here 16 days from now…If that same pattern is in the 5-7 day timeframe it’s a different story, otherwise consider it fantasyland.

"what are your ideas on our weather the last few years?"

It does seem to me we have more blocking ridges lately, but someone show me the facts to back that statement up.  The human mind is notorious for incorrectly remembering past events/trends.  And it does appear to be milder the last 20 years here in the Northwest.  Global Warming?  Looks likely to me, but we won’t REALLY know until we look back 30-50 years from now.  So why argue about it now?  I have a pretty strong political viewpoint on it too, but let’s just be friends and keep that out of the blog eh?

That’s all, back to work…Mark