The Weather Takes a Break

TucsonA nice little look at winter this evening from Tucson.  This is how it looked early today in the city after 1-3" snow overnight.  Bob & Elaine  sent the picture from their winter hangout.  They headed down there to escape the cold in the Northwest!
As for our weather…wow, it sure looks s-l-o-w the next few days at least.  A ridge sits over/near the Northwest over the next 7-10 days in one form or another.  All models try to bring some sort of closed low or weakening system near or into the Northwest around Friday…how that actually occurs is up in the air, so I left rain out of the forecast for now.  Since we have several frontal systems moving by to the north, it’s keeping surface high pressure from building east of the Cascades.  That means no gusty east wind for now.  Models develop a bit more easterly flow Wednesday and Thursday with the low approaching from the southwest.  This won’t be a cold high for now since it’s so mild in the Columbia Basin.  We’ll see about next week.  If the ridge were to sharpen over us or back off slightly to the west we would see cooler air develop at the surface.  The big picture though is…do something else for a few days….you won’t be missing much on the weather maps.  Maybe the weather action will return for February…Mark

54 Responses to The Weather Takes a Break

  1. Derek-West Gresham says:

    Interesting that it was actually 1.15 degrees below normal. I dont remember the second half of the month being as cool as it was.

  2. Mat says:

    I don’t think the seven day has changed from earlier. ???

  3. Tyler in Vancouver says:

    Not sure about official numbers, but I ended January 04 0.8 degrees below average.

  4. Derek-West Gresham says:

    Jacob my forecast called for some snow and cold, and definitely not way above average temps. BTW this looks like PDX’s first below normal January in a while. I dont know how Jan 04 turned out in the end but if that month wasnt below normal than it will be the first once since 1993??

  5. jacob BPA says:

    Guess not being bad since most everyone said no snow and Dry
    Wonder hows the Farmers almanac has done so far

  6. jordan-Longview says:

    Look at marks new 7-day. I think he notices the chillier offshore flow.

  7. snodaze says:

    I remember BPA models forecasting a “cold and snowy” Dec.
    Sure!, Not bad for being a month off A?
    LOL… I’m just rib’in ya… 😉 😉

  8. Brian says:

    The CPC says “A massive Arctic air mass, one of the most extensive seen in recent years . . .” They are talking about the cold that the Eastern 2/3 will get.
    I wonder if this airmass is so big geographically that it could overwhelm the entire country, and I wonder how well the models handle such a significant feature like this.

  9. jacob BPA says:

    But by no means peeps is this for sure
    But This winter our models have Handeled the cold air very good
    just a thought

  10. snodaze says:

    Hmm… not all that nasty I guess… sorry, jumped the gun there looking at 500mb.

  11. jacob BPA says:

    Sorry Brein I was wrong on the arrival on the cold air it is 6-7 Day period
    I was looking at something else

  12. snodaze says:

    18z looks naaasty…
    Now watch the iges start showing 3′ of snow in portland over a 7 day period… LOL… (like it was doing last month)
    Here’s to crossing fingers I guess…

  13. Steve D says:

    wow. The 18z GFS has some pretty cold air moving in here around the evening of January 30th! Just 7 days out… Hmmmmm… Let’s see if this holds for the next few runs…and we may be on to something here.

  14. winterhawk says:

    Cold air is always going to win at the surface as long as all things remain equal. That is there isn’t a major kicker to push it out. Terrain and prevailing winds provide a breeding ground for these inversions down here. The same factors normally cause us to starve for snow at the beginning of cold snaps however. Especially the last two, for the most part (other than the lucky few that saw a couple inches). It’s the regional trade off between the Puget Sound and the gorge affected areas.

  15. josh "from Everett" says:

    The point I was making Winterhawk is that the deeper the cold air the harder it is to be mixed out by the warmer airmass up above(850 mbs). When a warm system from the southwest carrying 850 temps in the +’s approaches, usually we start out as snow as long as the cold “pool” is deep enough, say 3000 ft or so. I remember back in ’89 when it was raining at Timberline and my house in Woodburn got 8 inches, amazing stuff!!
    In this pattern though, 95% of the time we get scoured out before any significant accumulation takes place, but it can happen.
    I guess to clarify, we need cold 850 temps and cold surface temps to see anything prolonged, but like Derek said every event is a little different. There are general guidelines though.

  16. Derek-West Gresham says:

    Its really a matter of situation. I have seen some great storms from 850mb temps of about -1 to -3 which normally isnt cold enough but when there is cold air at the surface or gorge air we can indeed get snow. In fact most of Portlands big storms are that way. Typically when we get some -6 to -10 airmass’ come in we get some snow showers but thats it. 90% of the time its the tailend of a coldspell we get snow. This last one being an exception with some at the start too.

  17. winterhawk says:

    Actually, 850mb temps become less of a factor as the cold air becomes more shallow. Inversions are usually less than 3000 feet thick and are not reflected at all in the at 5000 feet. The snow storm last week was a perfect example. It only took a few minutes of wet bulb cooling to turn all areas to snow within 50 miles or so of the gorge. This occurred with 850 temps barely below zero while surface temps were between about -2 to -4.

  18. Sandi (Wilsonville) says:

    And one of those moments of sun is directly over the beach at Lincoln City. It is a BEAUTIFUL day on the Oregon Coast! :o)

  19. josh "from Everett" says:

    * -5 instead of 05

  20. josh "from Everett" says:

    -850 temps are good to look at during the beginning of a colder pattern as they usually move in fairly quickly, much quicker than surface temps. As the cold layer deepens they become less of a factor as higher 850’s can still produce snow. That being said, it is very tough for us to get snow any higher than say -4 or 05 in my opinion regardless of surface temps. Usually ends up being sleet/freezing rain, or very wet snow in these instances. If we want something that will accumulate then they come into play more.

  21. Brian says:

    Jacob, I am not sure what you mean by outside the 10-day period. The sight that I look at only goes to 10 days, and it looks like it starts at about day 7 and really gets going around day 8 or 9. I admit I do not know a lot about looking at models, and I live a lot further north then you do, so maybe you are saying the cold air (IF this verifies) would not reach Oregon until later? I know it is only one run, so I am not too excited right now.

  22. jacob BPA says:

    The ECMWF is What Im looking for Wed as the Change but still outside the 10 day and not sold on it as of yet
    But it does 2 things that Im thinking the other models will do. it Sharpens the high and pushes into AK and drops the jet Directly over NW with a strong N Flow!
    As per thought, The Eastside will cool down and feel if we dont get a shot of cold air the gorge may give it to us in one way or another
    Gorge cold air Low coming from the South that would be fun
    Stay tuned
    I love this winter its been Exciting with moments of sun LOL

  23. IceKeeg - Close-in SE PDX says:

    Thank you winterhawk – I thought they were in that range. I know the colder the 850 temps get the closer to sealing the deal we can get, but it goes to show there is a lot of grey area, and it’s hard to be cut and dry about what temperature in which layer guarantees “x” precipitation type.

  24. Brian says:

    Well, I know not to get my hopes up, but the new European model is pretty amazing. It has been flip-flopping a lot, so I am not taking it seriously yet.!Geopotential%20500%20hPa!240!North%20America!pop!od!oper!public_plots!2007012312!!/

  25. winterhawk says:

    850mb temps during the event last week were in the -1 to -4 range for the most part. That set up had very little to do with the 850mb temps however as our main cold air source was low level.

  26. Tyler in Vancouver says:

    Jethro, peak wind for me the last 3 days is 7 mph.
    Sean-Indiana…it’s looking more and more likely most of the central/eastern US gets very cold next week. Some of the cold air makes it’s way west, but maybe not far enough.
    48.9 here, beautiful day.

  27. Jethro - South of Canby says:

    It really is amazing how boring this weather is… I got a weather station on Friday, and the winds have been dead calm. I had to go out and spin to anemometer by hand to see if it was working… it hasn’t read anything other than 0.0 the whole time I’ve had it… now that is boring!
    */resumes pineapple express dance*

  28. ChuckyD81 says:

    Just poking fun…no offense intended.

  29. ChuckyD81 says:

    Ok, so I can see how one might take my comment as semi-hostile…but it wasn’t intended that way. (Which I cleared up post earlier this morning)
    Thanks for clearing up what a condescending remark is by the way…I’ll write that down.

  30. Jerry says:

    WEATHER RIGHT NOW= BORING. I need some of those models to pick back up!!! CMON WINTER!!! WE AINT DONE YET!!!

  31. sam says:

    by the way GO BEARS ALL THE WAY!!!!

  32. IceKeeg - Close-in SE PDX says:

    Quick question – what was our 850mb support during last week’s snow? Not just the day of the most snow, but the next day too when we had some flurries and light snow later in the evening.
    The reason I ask is that UW Student suggested in the last post the following: “In order to even have a chance for snow, you need ATLEAST -6’C at 850MB.”
    I might be way off, but I thought we actually were a bit warmer than that for part of the event. Besides, it would make sense to me that so long as our lower levels are sufficiently cooled (thank you gorge) even if the upper levels hover closer to 0 Celsius, the snow will survive all the way down. The colder it gets up there, the better chance we have for sure, but there is some grey area to consider.

  33. Rick says:

    Sean- GO COLTS! No, I am not a fan per say, but it was really good to see Peyton get over the hump. He seems to be such a humble guy, that it is nice to see good guys can finish first…on a similar, non weather related note- my nine year old son, who is an Eagles, Seahawks, Falcons, fan (in that order) asked me if I could get him a P. Manning jersey last night LOL

  34. sam says:

    I would have to agree with Rick. its hard to see facial expressions. i as well sit on the side and love reading what people post about the weather and i am enjoying learning how to read maps and models and all that jazz. i would make a suggestion that if any one is giving constructive advise or criticism say so when you are typing or if you are joking about something put a little smiley face or LOL or JK or JP or whatever so people who are reading it dont take it seriously or take it as a stab or a put down. i think this would help with the “arguments” that happen on here. thats all thanks everyone for being so helpful to me and others who are new at this and trying to read models and such correctly

  35. Rick says:

    Chucky- not coming after you,respectfully, or however you want to put it… Josh has been on here since the inception of this blog. By reading ALL of his posts, it would be fairly obvious that he just didn’t take up model reading yesterday. So when you give a ‘lesson’ on what something is, something he knows what it is, that is a condescending statement, which indeed would be ‘button pushing.’
    Perspective- no one can see facial expressions, connotation, etc. so be careful with how you make statements/pose questions. I usually sit by the side and stay out/quiet with these non weather rants, but hey the weather is boring, so I will go into attack mode LOL Not really

  36. Sean (Indiana) says:

    Right now with the pattern in a +PNA and -NAO for the time being, the high pressure isn’t going to be moving much. Though it does look like the cold will be spreading back west. Just how far west? That’s a good question and something that will have to be watched..
    Weather quiet for the most part here, looking at another clipper system moving through this evening and ushering another cold shot in along with some light snow. Temps into the 20s for highs and lows in the lower teens. Looking a bit further, it’s looking like a major arctic shot will be moving in next week for the Plains & Midwest. With thickness values approaching 495-500 for my area. Could possibly bring the first below zero temps in, again that’s out towards the future. But the models have been trending that way at least.
    Winter isn’t quite over yet, but time is running out.. Even for me here in the midwest

  37. ChuckyD81 says:

    Statements = Button Pusher?????
    Hmm…when did that association get made?
    I made my post with the intent of informing Josh where those meteograms come from, in the event that he was unaware. I wasn’t trying to push buttons.

  38. luvrydog says:

    Hey Rick, Josh, I can tell you it is the boring weather that is keeping everyone away. Just busy here and if nothing is goin on in the weather I’m pretty much gonna spend my time away from the computer! As for the weather…some signts there could be a retrogression of the current high over us down the road but the models will give then take away, not a very confident picture in my opinion, we’ll have to wait until they consistently show for about 4-6 runs the same solution, then maybe it’s something to mention but I will not put my eyes on anything PAST 10 days…there’s absolutely no reason to. Hope everyone is well.
    One thing i worry about is that the models are starting to go out to the period where our chances for snow begin to dwindle…I know, I know we still have all february but chances start to dwindle after the next few weeks for sure!
    And Rick, a couple button pushers would never keep me away from what I love!

  39. Rick says:

    Josh, EXACTLY! Indeed the 00Z from 1/22 did show -10 to -13 850mb heights for SEA for three frames, and while they are not interpreted by mets (sometimes a good thing LOL) they are a quick way to help someone if they want to do a little more in depth search.
    I sure hope it is the boring weather keeping people away from the blog and not a few ‘button pushers’ that question everyone on everything that have pushed people to other chats.
    Let everyone speculate, especially in the extended. With this type of weater pattern, it is all that we have….eventually that high pressure is going to move, which of you are 100% certain that it doesn’t retrograde allowing for colder weather for Feb?

  40. josh "from Everett" says:

    To UW student. I’m aware of everything you mentioned. I am just mentioning the possibilities that are out there being that it is so boring. Of course that meteogram is mostly fiction, but the numbers are there. BTW, when I posted that link the 850 temps were in the -12 to -16 range for a few days, it has since reverted back to a warmer solution.
    Yes, Chucky, I know that those plotted numbers are gathered from the maps. Just easier to look at the numbers than freeze every frame on the map and decipher where is what.
    I just figured it would give us something to talk about as things are going to be veerrryyy boring for the next few days.

  41. kirk says:

    Mark thanks as always. I will check for your updates nightly. Other than that catch you all next week!! 37.6 and boring!!!!

  42. Derek-West Gresham says:

    The weather reminds me of school…drool check! 🙂

  43. Derek-West Gresham says:

    Still can’t believe my cousins got school off from that! They built a 5ft snowman.

  44. Andrew---Ellensburg, Wa and Portrland, Or says:

    Thanks for the update Mark!

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