Location Is Everything II

April 11, 2006

I mentioned a few weeks back how location is just everything.  Well my forecast went from "complete bust, I can’t do anything right" to "wow, what a forecasting machine I am!" in about 30 minutes.

Here’s a little story from today to go with that:

As you recall, last night I mentioned (and showed on the tube), that showers would develop over the higher terrain this afternoon and most of the metro area would probably stay dry.  So I get up this morning, do some work outside and then it starts raining with cloudy skies at my home between 12-1pm.  I drive through cloudy and very convective looking rainy skies into the middle of the metro area where it dries up.  Then by the time I get to downtown it’s warm and partly cloudy outside, where it never rained all day!  Just living at 1000′ on the west slopes of the Cascades puts you into rainier weather in some cases.  When I left home I was convinced the day was going to be a widespread washout and I’d have to write up a big forecast screwup for the blog tonight.  Instead the showers stayed where expected during the daylight hours.  The models did quite well.  It’s amazing how different the weather can be from mile-to-mile in this showery weather.

So tonight another wave is moving north through the Willamette Valley.  It should be the last from the low that’s heading into California.  Then our attention turns to the west for a strong cold front coming on Friday.  I do expect light convection to break out again tomorrow afternoon, mainly over the hills.  BUT, the flow will be westerly tomorrow, so we have a better chance of getting leftovers drifting out over the valleys.  As for that cold front Friday…easy call…solid cold rain.  Then several days of cold showers from the west.

Thicknesses and 850mb temps support snow down to 2000′ over the weekend, which is pretty low for mid-April.  Some of you may remember an Easter Sunday around 1980 where snow fell down to 500′ or less.  I forget which year, but it may have been in March, not April.  Anybody out there remember?  Either way it won’t be quite that cold this time.

Long range maps show no end to the seasonal wet/mild pattern.  No sign of warm 70-80 degree weather yet.  April temperatures HAVE been a bit above average, mainly due to warm nights