Very Windy Days Ahead

Well, well, well, sorry about that Trace-.08" this morning.  Apparently it really set a person or two off didn’t it?  As long as those nasty comments don’t become a regular occurrence, I’ll leave the comments open.  I just love the DELETE button in this case!

So first in the short term:

We are going to be quite close to getting a "downslope" windstorm for tomorrow night and Friday.  A very strong dome of Canadian high pressure slides south into the Western U.S.  The air is not really all that cold, but it all comes shooting over the Cascades AND through the passes/Gorge.  Peak pressure gradients across the Cascades (PDX-DLS) appear to be 10-13 millibars by early Friday morning.  A 12 millibar gradient with this setup has, in the last 2 winters, produced easterly wind gusts to 60mph around Battleground/Hockinson and gusts to 45-50 mph in the hills around Portland.  Often these areas get stronger wind than the Gorge since the wind is really coming right down off of the Cascade foothills.  Then the offshore flow dies down pretty dramatically Friday night.  So it’s going to be a 2-day windy/sunny period.

Now long term:

Models are all over the place starting on Tuesday.  One common theme is retrogression of the upper-level high over us to the West.  If it just moves a bit west, we stay mainly dry from Tuesday onward but cooler, but not extremely cold (12z ECMWF, 00z Canadian, 00z GFS).  If it moves farther offshore, we could really get slammed with a late season arctic outbreak or snow.  For now, scenario #1 seems to be more likely according to the latest evening models (no, not because I don’t want to work a long and grueling snow/ice storm!).  But all is not lost even if that is the case through the middle of next week.  All the models still keep a chilly pattern around for awhile.

24 Responses to Very Windy Days Ahead

  1. cory says:

    Check out Channel 2 North American Weather Model
    Look at Day 15 it takes the jet well above Alaska Backdown and hugs the Canadian coast then swings out a little into the pacific ocean by vancouver
    Island then right over Oregon and Washington

  2. Derek says:

    Wow, its really borderline still. Its a really tough call too. When I am looking at the models that show north america what does -3 mean, or -6, or whatever. Is that like -3C. or ???? I guess I have to wait another day before we may know what will probably happen. In all honesty it seems more likely that nothing will happen in terms of snow but maybe the next model run will shift the ridge off further to the west.

  3. charlie says:

    the gfs is messing up with the trough in the west by Hawaii. The EPO has gone negative for a period of time. It means the Pacific Northwest would be in a cold pattern for a while. I think we will have many chances of getting snow from February 18th-25

  4. Mark Nelsen says:

    Yes, I do read these, especially since we took the comment approval off a couple days ago. Looks like we are all behaving nicely!
    A link to my web site is here. Click on my name.

  5. CORY says:

    LONG TERM…(MONDAY NIGHT THROUGH THURSDAY) EXTENDED MODELS CONTINUE TO SHOW UPPER RIDGE RETRODGRADING OVER THE PACIFIC MON NIGHT AND TUE MORNING. THIS OCCURS AS A SURFACE FEATURE OVER B.C. MOVES SOUTH…CARVING THE TROUGH OVER THE CENTRAL U.S. WESTWARD. THIS PUTS PAC NW IN COOL NORTHERLY FLOW AND PATTERN THAT COULD POTENTIALLY BRING SNOW TO THE AREA. AT THIS TIME THERE DOESNT APPEAR TO BE A SYSTEM THAT HAS CLEAR SIGNS OF SNOW IN THE GFS. THE 00 ECMWF DOES SHOW A SURFACE LOW TUE AFTERNOON THAT SHOWS POTENTIAL BUT THE 12Z RUN IS LESS PROMISING. UK AND CANADIAN SEEM TO BE LEANING TOWARD THE 12Z ECMWF. MANY SMALL DETAILS COULD CHANGE SEVERAL TIMES BEFORE DAY SIX. FOR THE EXTENDED FORECAST… COOLER WEATHER…MOSTLY DRY FOR NOW. KWE
    This from 2:30
    Interesting and usually the NWS is conservetive
    on its long range

  6. Dan Burroughs says:

    In reply to Ben. Thank you for the compliment on Bob Lynott, He was my Step Grandfather.

  7. Rick says:

    This is for Don asking about ‘where are you finding all of these models?’ KPTV weather site. As you scroll down you will find ‘Mark’s weather page’, filled with every model and detail that you will need to see, plus some links to other weather sites. The section with ‘model comparison’ will show you the 00Z, 06Z, 12Z, and 18Z runs for the GFS. Move the arrow over the specific hours and you can see the movement on continuous slides. In addition to the ECRMF and Canandian which seem to aid in blending all of them together on one website. It is a cool site.
    Rick

  8. Keith says:

    THIS IS INTERESTING…
    I was looking on http://www.noaa.gov last update AREA FORECAST DISCUSSION
    NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE PORTLAND OR
    830 AM PST THU FEB 9 2006
    .LONG TERM…NO CHANGES. PREVIOUS DISCUSSION FOLLOWS…
    NO CHANGES. PREVIOUS DISCUSSION FOLLOWS…(SATURDAY
    NIGHT THROUGH WEDNESDAY) A WEATHER SYSTEM WILL PASS TO THE NORTH OF
    THE AREA SUNDAY NIGHT AND MONDAY…FLATTENING THE UPPER FLOW OVER THE
    AREA AND RIDING DOWN THE BACKSIDE OF THE RIDGE OVER THE ROCKY
    MOUNTAINS. WITH THIS SUNDAY SYSTEM THE RIDGE RETROGRADES OVER THE
    PACIFIC…LEAVING THE NORTHWEST IN A MODERATE NORTHERLY FLOW…AND
    CLOSE TO A SNOW PATTERN FOR OUR AREA. THIS PATTERN DEVELOPMENT IS
    MOST EVIDENT IN THE GFS…AND THE ECMWF AND CANADIAN TEND THAT WAY IN
    THEIR SHORTER RUNS. TEMPERATURES WILL COOL DOWN SOMEWHAT DURING THE
    NEXT WEEK WITH EACH SUCCESSIVE SYSTEM CARVING OUT THE BROAD TROUGH TO
    THE EAST. NO PRECIP EXPECTED AT THIS TIME BUT WILL HAVE TO WATCH THE
    DEVELOPMENT OF THE RIDGE TO OUR EAST TO SEE IF THERE -MAY- BE A
    SEASON ENDING SNOW EVENT. NOW…STILL FAR TOO EARLY TO TELL. KWE
    Cross Your Fingers ; )

  9. Matthew says:

    Well the latest AVN run is now picking up on it beginning Tuesday morning so I’m a little more convinced that something might happen. The only thing I noticed is the lack of moisture. Looks cold and dry, but at some point we have to transition out of it with a moist pacific system.

  10. Ben says:

    I too, want snow and cold weather just as much as anyone else on this board, but with it being Feb. and with the GFS seemingly getting warmer and moving away from a cold snap, I just don’t see it happening which sucks.

  11. Dan Zeit says:

    Cheers to Mark and Rod. They are the best Meteorologists in Oregon today. But I would like to honor Oregons two pioneer tv meteorologists. They were the best in their time. Bob Lynott on Koin,and Jack Capell on Kgw. They were great,and they did it without all of the high tech forecasting computers available today. As far as the weather goes it seems less likely today it will get real cold next week. However it will still be chilly. And with this in mind we will be right on the edge for a major snow event. Our best shot now for snow next week will happen if we get an insider slider to drop down the coast and arrive about 3-5AM. Otherwise it looks like sunny but chilly (38-43) maximums,and feeling much colder with a strong north to east wind.

  12. ron says:

    Where do I find these models you guys are talking about? The only one I know is at the KATU site

  13. garron Slocum says:

    PLEASE KEEP THIS UP AND RUNNING!
    I just want to thankyou again for this weather-window, sorry a few dead bugs on the window can spoil such a great outlet into NW weather. And as much as it may be a hassle for you guys during the cold and snow, I’m sure I speak for most of us when I say lets get the winter we’ve avoided narrowly for a couple years, then ONTO SPRING!!! Thanks again for all the hard work 🙂

  14. JOHN DAVIS says:

    When I recently stumbled upon Mark’s Blog I thought: “Very cool, I have found some weather friends.” I am a lifelong Western Oregonian. During college years I considered for a time meteorology as a profession and I certainly otherwise have been a weather hobbiest for a lot of years. One of my huge passions (right up there with UO-Duck football) are winter weather events–particularly snowstorms. I’ve asked myself why? Certainly they are exciting but more than that the transforming element is just plain magical and enchanting. Pure fantasy at Nature’s best. Like you when we get “an event” I savor every element of the cycle from eager anticipation through walks, pictures, shoveling and finally the dimishing snow piles. Of course the “down” side of this includes some encumbrances like chaining up, traffic hassles and higher heating bills. It is a rare winter, indeed, when we have enough opportunites to actually get full acclimated. But in any event the enchantment is worth the price. Although I have wondered at times if we lived in a climate where snowstorms were common place, would we still savor the enchantment? My wife is from Massachusetts, for example, and she definitely attests to being a life long snow lover no matter what!
    So why do we live in a place where it rarely snows? The “problem” is that it can and DOES snow here–just not very often. We live in East County. Not infrequently in winter we can have evening temperatures in the 30’s with strong winds. Looking east you see the beautiful snow covered mountains. If you brought in an “outsider” on such nights and you told them that it hardly ever snowed they would think you were lying. Remember 2 years ago? Indeed we had a bonafide blizzard–at least in East County. What a treat! Howling winds, 15′ temperatures, sheets of white and 3′ drifts for hours and days. Do you also remember that we almost evolved a second event 2 weeks later that would have colored that winter as very significant if not historical? What we need now is a season defining event. THe minor event of December was not it. The rain, rain, rain can’t be it can it? Will the current model evolve like it is very tentatively hinting? I wouldn’t want to bet money on it but I, obviously, wish that it would. We need an event to “prove” to ourselves again that it can and does snow in Western Oregon. We will love every second of it–then on to spring. And we will try it again next fall/winter–with just as much eagerness as every other year before.
    P.S. I am a pretty good Mark Nelson TV fan. He seems to have great integrity, savvy, dedication and expertise and, of course, professional accomplishment. He is also “down to earth” enough to seem like “one of us”. I don’t know if he reads the Blog response comments but I hope he does.

  15. Michael says:

    Ben, what are you looking at? The 06z GFS makes it even colder, and the 12z is still cooler than the 00z.

  16. Cory says:

    the GFS still shows cold air but it looks like it has add moisture Ben whos web site are you looking at????
    ie blue is cool red is warm????

  17. Sarah N says:

    Ben, do you realize you just sent a dagger to my heart? Haha, damn I want some PDX SNOW!! Mark, do your magic and push that ridge offshore!

  18. cory says:

    Looking at the model on katu it shows moisture with the flow coming out of the north. Snow????????

  19. charlie says:

    won’t the upper ridge bring us cold temperatures next week and good chances of snow?

  20. Ben says:

    New GFS looks much warmer…sorry no snow this time.

  21. Derek says:

    I enjoy the hype of it may snow or something but its really going to get on my nerves if this keeps going until like 3 days before or something and then changes. lol Oh well, at least it still may happen. I can’t remember but I think the 18z had some real cold air in here unless my memory is failing me. Oh yeah, one more question. Are any of these models usually better than the others at predicting this many days out in this type of situation? Your the best Mark, I don’t listen much to anybody else anymore because you are right on all the time.

  22. Sarah N says:

    Mark, thanks for the update. I can honestly say you’re hands down the best meteorologist in town (okay, okay, former KPTV’er Rod Hill is a close second). Thank god you’re not merely a mouthpiece for the often-erroneous NWS…that would suck. Keep up the excellent work! Kudus to Drew Jackson and Stephanie Kralevich too!

  23. Rick says:

    Mark,
    It is amazing that all of us arctic air freaks are ‘shoe horned’ up here in the mild PNW isn’t it? We should set a December trip up to Nome next December 21st or so. During the winter months I will usually look at the extended 6-10 and 8-14 days that the CPC puts out at noon daily. They predicted the long wave ridge currently over us fairly well. (they have an east coast bias so the PAC NW does not get mentioned too often) During the last three forecasts they have been continuing the theme of retrogression of the high and replacing it with an eastward moving trough. Not that a lot of moisture can generate over land, but some really cold air whould would feel great for a couple of days or O.K. a week +. Now that the long prelude is over, my question to you is, Does the government really pay for forecasts 14 days out? We have a tough time 10 hours out as in the case last night. I thought looking at the cloud mass approaching the coast last night that it looked like it was a little thick not to produce some moisture.
    I appreciate your forecasts. It’s usually the only one I pay close attention to. We always don’t like to hear what comes out, so be good to us, let winter go out with a bang.

  24. Tyler says:

    I always like to go up to Crown Point when it gets windy… but I’ve noticed…if it’s windy here at my house, the winds are usually calmer than normal up there (ie only around 60 mph, as opposed to 80). Must be that the air flowing over the Cascade foothills relieves some of the pressure of all the air coming through just the gorge.
    Tyler

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