Early Rain

October 18, 2006

Junk2_1The first person to call me (and whine) was Shauna Parsons this morning, it went something like this:  "Mark, I’m sitting here IN THE RAIN at the Pumpkin Patch…I THOUGHT it was going to be a dry day with morning fog?".  What she really meant was: "You fool!  Can’t you ever get it right?  You dishonor our First, Live, Local newscast with your forecast for today."

But now of course it’s old news that this evening’s rain showed up about 12 hours early.  It was light…only about .05" at PDX, but enough to keep the high temperature about 6 degrees below where I expected it to be.

Easier forecast for later tonight and tomorrow as a healthy cold front slides over the top of the building upper-level ridge and into the Northwest.  Heaviest rain should be around midday (like Sunday’s system).  It might even dry quite a bit towards sunrise.

Then it’s on to ridging…surface high builds to our north Friday, gradually clearing us out.  Then a switch to strong offshore flow Saturday & Sunday.  This will be the first "winterlike" east wind event in the Gorge.  MM5-UW clearly shows a closed surface high developing Saturday afternoon and Sunday in the Columbia Basin.  About 8 millibars gradient from DLS-PDX should give us gusts to 50 mph in the Gorge and 35 mph in the metro area.  It also means a beautiful weekend.  I have NO idea why another station in town is calling for a rainy day Sunday.

Long range maps are still all over the place, but there seems to be a tendency for either ridging or split-flow near the West Coast.  With that uncertainty, I’ve left rain or significant clouds out of the forecast early next week.  Of course last week at this time I thought all of THIS week would be sunny too.

Don’t forget the Winter Weather Meeting coming up Friday at OMSI (10am-Noon and open to the public).  It’s free and you’ll get to meet lots of other weather friends (geeks).  But please, no weather gang fights alright?