First Mistake of Spring

March 22, 2006

What was I thinking???

Last night I made what is probably the 2nd worst mistake a meteorologist can make here in the Northwest in springtime.  I jumped a little too quickly on long range models showing a nice warmup early next week, making quite a big deal out of mid 60’s or even close to 70 Monday-Tuesday.  So everyone’s hopes were up…

Of course the next few runs of the ECMWF & GFS decided to bring a shortwave trough through by late Monday and keep it cool/showery Tuesday-Wednesday instead.   So a big (and annoying) change to the 7 Day forecast followed this evening.

By the way, the worst mistake I could make in springtime is only slightly different.  Make the same promise for a weekend, and do it for several days before "revoking" the sunny forecast.

That said, ECMWF & GFS in the big picture have that wave early next week as just a temporary rut on the road to warmer weather and ridging developing over the Western USA.  So I COULD have made a big deal out of possible much warmer/dry weather later next week, but who wants to run headfirst into a brick wall twice?

Short term forecast is interesting as satellite imagery seems to confirm the forecast for tomorrow.  Nice wave moving north along the stalled frontal system that is just offshore.  That will keep it out there through tomorrow afternoon, then the whole mess pushes in by evening.  Considering we made it to 58 with solid cloud cover today, a 6 degree rise should be easy to achieve tomorrow.  IF by some chance we get partly cloudy or mostly sunny for more than 2 hours, we could easily jump to 68.  But I’m getting older and more conservative (in forecasting at least), so 64 still looks like a good high for PDX. 

Regardless of the amount of sunshine, it should really feel like spring around here tomorrow.   Plus I just bought some more bulbs for the garden today (you can never grow too many plants right?) so I’m in a "Springy" mood.  Time for some warmth!..Mark