More Sun & Winter Meeting

I felt like I left the kids out in the cold last night when I hopped on the computer this morning and realized in all the high pressure/sunshine excitement I forgot to blog.  I figure that’s alright though since you seem to talk amongst yourselves just fine without me.

A VERY persistent pattern over us.  Ridge of high pressure sits overhead through Friday, then gets beaten down by a pretty good shortwave trough that eventually moves through the Northwest Sunday.  Tough call on rain for Sunday.  Most likely a few sprinkles or a shower here & there.

The ridge may pop back up again after that, so I’ve "sunnied" up the forecast for next Monday-Wednesday.  Of course with 850mb temps around +5 to +9 instead of +17 (today), it’s going to be quite a bit cooler as we head into the first week of October.

By the way, I’m working on some graphics tonight for the annual WHAT WILL THE WINTER BE LIKE? meeting that the Oregon Chapter of the American Meteorological Society sponsors each Fall.  This year it’s going to be on October 20th, a Friday, 10am-Noon at OMSI’s auditorium.  I highly recommend you try to get there because it’s a real-life version of the constant winter discussion that takes place on this blog.  4 or 5 professionals will give their prognostication for the winter.  I don’t forecast for the winter, but start the presentation with a look back at the past year (and last winter).  The event is free and open to the public.

Tonight I’m working on that depressing snow chart that shows yearly snow at PDX for the last 130 years.  Wow…time to move to Spokane or Missoula if you want to see snow apparently. 

A couple of notes on the snow charts:

In December 1995 when the NWS installed the ASOS unit, snow observations stopped, then restarted a few years later.  Observations are now taken at the Airport AND Portland Forecast Office, about 4 miles ESE on 122nd Ave near Sandy Blvd.  I’ve kept track of both over the years, but sometimes measurements were incorrect or incomplete, especially in the late 1990’s.  One other note;  the NWS includes snow pellets, hail, & ice pellets (sleet) in the totals.  So some trace amounts may just be hail, but not snow…MarkPortlandsnow6years_1
Portlandsnow Corvallissnow

86 Responses to More Sun & Winter Meeting

  1. Ashley Watson says:

    I can’t believe what some of you are saying!!! Looking at the snow and temperature charts for the last 130 years leads me to no other sensable conclusion but to beleive that snow and bitter cold are on their way out if not already there. The 2003/2004 winter season did see 12-20 inches around the valley but what is that? That is nothing compared to the 1800’s
    or many years in the 1900’s. We had 30,40,50, or 60 inches of snow in one season!!! Things have changed and no matter what the gfs or other computer model says we as thinking human beings are smarter than these computers. We should know from past expierence that a certain weather pattern seems highly unlikely if not impossible any more. When was the last time we had a record low in december or January. Dec 1998. In my opinion I am 100% convinced that as far as weather goes these following things will never happen again atleast at the Portland airport:
    1. No temps below 20
    2. no snowfall above 4 inches
    3. no below normal winters
    The evidence is overwhelming. Just because something is so obvious dosen’t mean it should be dismissed. I’m sorry Mark. Your a great guy the best weather forecaster Iv’e ever known
    and I’m not trying to knock you but I just have to speak my mind. If any body has any insightful thoughts please chime in.

  2. Jesse says:

    Looks like another warm day in the works. Temperatures are almost exactly where they were yesterday at this hour. These mid-80s need to end!! lol. Tomorrow looks like it may be our last near 80 day until april or may though, I’m hoping…

  3. Jesse says:

    Yeah, I would like to. Looks like October 20th is a Friday, which I usually have off. So yes, I’m probably going to try and get down there. I wanted to go last year but I had work and school that day.

  4. Derek Hodges says:

    That is true Jessie. It looks like the cut off is just of the coast of California rotating showers and storms NW right into us. hmm… Too early to say though. Jessie were you planing on going to the winter weather meeting?

  5. Jesse says:

    Looks like the cut-off low may stay closer to us in the extended, keeping us cooler and showerier with less ridging next week, at least as the latest GFS is concerned.

  6. Sean says:

    I’ve been to several of them, really quite interesting to hear different peoples takes of the upcoming winter season. But, now that I no longer reside in Oregon I really doubt that I will be able to make it this year..
    I did get some good lightning pictures from the storms that rolled through Central Indiana yesterday, but my son has been under the weather so I haven’t had a chance to get them up, I will post them later today. It was amazing to see how many people in the neighborhood just ignored the storms and continued their outdoor work while it was going on (one was out mowing his lawn) as there were several strikes very close to the house.
    Thats the one thing I like about being in Indiana, is that it’s only about 5-7 hour drive to the heart of tornado alley. I’m planning to become a trained weather spotter next year for Central Indiana, since unfortnately I missed the training for this year already. Already looking forward to next springs severe weather season.

  7. kirk says:

    After seeing those snow charts it is not suprising that we get excited over a good winter storm! I am glad that I moved out of the Portland banana belt. Part of the reason I moved was so I could enjoy more winter weather. Last year we were sleding in my back yard in Nov and got our last dusting of snow April 15th. I now live north of Camas in the foot hills at 1000ft. I have lived in the Portland area all of my life. When I was a kid I would watch the news and wish I lived in Sandy because they always had snow. You do not have to go far out of town to get some regular winter weather. I do love the summer time in Portland too it is hard to beat. Oh well I will be back in Nov when the snow chances come again or not.

  8. Andrew says:

    I wonder if i might be able to make it to OMSI on the 20th, that sounds fun.

  9. Justin says:

    Yeah, good night. Major windstorm October 19, first call. 18 and 00z GFS are already hinting at a major blowdown.

  10. Derek Hodges says:

    Yeah, looks promising, but that doesn’t really mean anything lol. I guess I should go to bed, see you the 20th haha. Maybe it will snow that day or something just to make things exciting.

  11. Justin says:

    Possibly, yes. For example PDX actually recorded 0.1” of snow in March 1978, during what I believe was a hail/graupel-only type event. But mostly its just the trace amounts you see in the record books that are contaminated, I’d have to read a bit more into our data to see what’s what exactly.

  12. Justin says:

    Also of note Derek is that the 90 day SOI is the least negative its been since spring. If anything it seems as if the Nino is weakening already, will have to see the latest MEI data but the ENSO regions look a bit more tranquil.
    For ENSO I’m thinking this year will still most be like any of the following:
    3 out of those 5 also had a -PDO. If you need index analogs then I’d still say those 3 (51-52, 63-64, and 68-69) are as good as any.

  13. Derek Hodges says:

    Does this mean that some of the old records are so to speak, “contaminated”, that meaning they have sleet and everything added in so the snow records are higher than they should be.

  14. Justin says:

    Yep, if you notice most stations outside of Portland, even Seattle now, have moved back to just officially recording snowfall data the same way as they record rainfall. Portland, Salem, Eugene, and Olympia are some of the stations around here that still don’t do that. And again, I’m speaking for PDX only, the NWS Office does a respectable job.

  15. Derek Hodges says:

    SOI remains very weakly positive, thats a good sign. SST’s may end up almost matching 03/04 although PDO will be more negative. I predict 8inches at PDX this year..I know I’m crazy.

  16. Derek Hodges says:

    Yeah it is too bad they are doing that. They just need to say here is the official site with official recorders, call it good, and never move it again. That way we know they will be right.

  17. Justin says:

    Yes and the trace of snow in May 1953. Often times the old METAR obs would just record all ice and hail as snowfall, which accounts for a lot of oddball snowfall reports from Texas in June. I miss those good old days, the ASOS has pretty much killed official snowfall records for the Northwest, and in this day with all the talk of climate change I think official snowfall data is pretty important.

  18. Derek Hodges says:

    As to what Mark said, that would expalain the trace in August for one year haha

  19. Justin says:

    Yeah, Mark and Jim were a great team together. I know he’s pretty sick but it would be fun to see Jack Capell again as well, I’m sure he’d be pretty upset with all the boring weather we’ve had here in recent years.

  20. Justin says:

    Yeah, I think its a little bit trippy how all fot he coinciding NWS COOP offices just sort of record over the other and nothing anymore is ‘official’ when it comes to snowfall. I might as well give them my snow measurements and tell them to make it official, probably would be more efficient.
    And Derek, the NWS office moved in the mid 90’s to Gresham, the Utah Climate Center site has their snowfall data. Lately the NWS Office has been way better about it than PDX.

  21. Derek Hodges says:

    Ok.. Well on the bright side only 34 days till November. lol

  22. Dmitri K says:

    It would be very cool to see them in person. Jim Little and Mark Nelsen were the first Mets I ever liked, and still my two favorite of all time. They are the sole reason why I only cared for KOIN forecasts in the 1990’s.

  23. Dmitri K says:

    Nope, same spot as far as the Airport is concerned.

  24. Justin says:

    I’d imagine a lot of the Jim Little board will probably show, Wolf Read, Little, Mark, Taylor, hopefully a few more Northwest climatology experts.

  25. Derek Hodges says:

    So did the location of where the measured the snow move? If so that would explain some of the drop in snow over the last few years.

  26. Dmitri K says:

    I just totally misspeled bureaucracy…

  27. Dmitri K says:

    Yeah its crap how they’re not official anymore though. Sounds like beaurocracy to me – you have an officially automated system, but you have trained professionals there still measuring snow like they always did, but its not official anymore because of the automated system. Hmmm.

  28. Derek Hodges says:

    I know George will be there, and Mark, and probably a few other of the “top dogs” around here.

  29. Justin says:

    It sounds like a cool idea, but I just wish they could reschedule to a weekend or to an evening, Friday afternoons though generally don’t work for me.

  30. Derek Hodges says:

    Well I really hope some of you guys are there because it would be nice to meet ya in person.

  31. Dmitri K says:

    Yeah I wonder. We do know its “4 or 5 professionals.” I wonder if George Taylor will be one of them.

  32. Justin says:

    And I see Mark updated the post again, makes more sense to me now. I honestly didn’t know that they still took snow measurements at the airport, but then I don’t see why they wouldn’t still even if they are automated.

  33. Justin says:

    Speaking of the die hards who actually be there, who all will be there? Anyone know?

  34. Dmitri K says:

    All joking aside, that would be very interesting. But yeah, in the end I probably won’t be there.

  35. Dmitri K says:

    Hey, I don’t think its “just a weather convention” to the die hards who actually be there. You gotta protect turf. Word.

  36. Justin says:

    *or anything*

  37. Dmitri K says:

    I’m actually not sure if I’ll make it either. It would be fun though, if nothing else but to see what all of your mugs look like (already seen yours Derek) LOL

  38. Justin says:

    I figured you’d probably do something like that anyways Dmitri, lol.
    I still like my decked out in red plan just in case I can actually make it there. We should probably stick to one color though, don’t wanna make us look like the Crips and Bloods are anything. I mean, its a weather convention for god’s sakes…

  39. Dmitri K says:

    How about we all wear black. And I mean everything, black. Pants, shirt, shoes, coat if necessary. That way we’ll not only know who we are but also look a lot more sinister.

  40. Justin says:

    Hey Derek, naw, your hair isn’t that messed up. If I ever see you out at OMSI or some place then I’ll be sure to holler, I’m still debating whether I should go to that conference next month.
    BTW, congrats again on your snow machine, looks great. If this winter sucks then you have the secret weapon there. The ONE encouraging thing about the last 3 winters is that we have seen sturdy arctic airmasses in each of the 3, 2005-06 again proved that we could still get ample amounts of cold air, as did 2004-05 to a lesser extent and of course 2003-04. So here’s hoping that the return of snow will follow.

  41. Derek Hodges says:

    Yeah Justin those seem more accurate. I hope this year brings up the average. Also this is me
    My hair is messed up a bit but hopefully somebody from here will recognize me.

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