Another Year Gone…

SnapshotSnapshot2A bunch of Portland weather geeks got together at the NWS on Saturday…here is their group picture.  Now you can put a few faces with names that regularly appear in the comments.  Sorry I couldn’t make it, I had walls to paint and trim to nail.  But what a motley crew eh?  You can click on the picture for the full resolution.

Well, we are just a few hours away from the year 2008, but I really don’t have much to be sad about.  2007 treated me well and I hope/pray for more of the same this upcoming year.
I did learn something today;  DON’T park in front of a sign that says "Don’t Park In Front of This Gate!" .  Let me explain…

I woke up to beautiful sunshine early (for me) at 7:30 or so.  With fresh snow on the ground and much more a thousand feet up, I figured it was early in the day or never for some quick X-Country skiing.  I headed up Larch Mtn. Road east of Corbett, made it to where the snow was just scraping the bottom of my Subaru, and found a spot to park off the road and out of the way.  In front of the aforementioned gate.  Not a soul in sight, blue skies, and a couple feet of snow on the ground, what could be better?  Of course no loggers are going to work on New Year’s Eve Day with all that snow on the ground right?  Nah…so I enjoyed the skiing for an hour or so, came back down and saw my car had been moved (with alarm on) about 20 feet.  There were 3-4 pickups and some irritated-looking guys standing around.  Oops…well, turns out they were real nice guys and didn’t see the need to call the towing company.  Instead they plowed out the turnaround area and we talked weather (of course).  That was pretty generous considering what an idiot I was parking on the road to their operation.  So I have to give a shout-out to Tim Baker (Baker Logging) and I think it was Daniels Logging from the Aims/Sandy area for not crumpling my car with their bulldozer.

Now, on to weather…pretty slow, for about 36 more hours.  High pressure settling into the Intermountain region means gusty east wind is now blowing through the Gorge and spreading out through the metro area.  It has pretty much eliminated the fog & low clouds.  I notice lower dewpoints are even spreading south down the valley too, so other than high clouds, we have a bright, mostly sunny day for January 1st.

The cold front offshore is weakening as it moves in Wednesday morning before daybreak.  This one is much warmer than any in the last week, so it’s all rain west of the Cascades with a snow level up around 4,000′.  Above maybe 500′ at the west end of the Gorge and from Bonneville Dam out east at river level, it’ll be freezing rain or snow, more likely snow.  Probably a quick couple inches early Wednesday morning.  The flow never goes westerly later Wednesday or Thursday for that matter, so the cool air is going to get trapped in the Gorge through that period.  So this setup is not cold enough to get freezing rain out to Troutdale, but cold enough to make a mess in the Gorge itself.  Watch out if you’re traveling through there on Wednesday.

Back to wet & windy Thursday-early next week.  I notice two things.  As of the 12z/18zruns, several deep surface lows track south to north WELL offshore, similar to the big coastal windstorm early this month.  The first two have quite a southeasterly gradient;  not much strong  wind in the valleys.  The other is starting Saturday:  Back to cold/wet onshore flow.  Snow levels will probably come down into the hills again on Saturday, Sunday, or Monday.  So our wet La Nina pattern is going to continue…enjoy the sun tomorrow.

Don’t forget, if you’re bored and have nothing to do, come on out to the Oregon Zoo at 11am tomorrow and watch the weather guys in town get their hind ends frozen in the polar bear pool!  Mark Nelsen

245 Responses to Another Year Gone…

  1. Cherie_in_Vernonia says:

    here comes the precip…headed my way. Can’t stay up to watch it tho ………so if it turns to rain I will miss it :0)

  2. Cherie_in_Vernonia says:

    50 & light rain in Astoria….warm up there huh

  3. Rob aka Gradient Keeper -Far S.E. Portland- says:

    Rick,
    Thanks for the kind words… Western yeah quite a few characters over there. It gets to be a bit too hectic, insane, and out of control over there at times.
    Heat,
    I also agree. I also suspect perhaps frozen precip might extend a bit further westward IF the east wind persists until morning. It’s going to be all about dew points. Right now mine is 22F. As moisture edges closer and the east wind slowly dies down the dew points should rise. I just am not 100% sure that they rise enough for us all to be completely out of the woods. If we are sitting at 32-36F come morning with dew points 22-26F then it is possible. We will just have to keep watching the dew points and to see if any southerly flow is developing down the valley using PDX-EUG as well as Mesowest observations map.
    As of 11:00 PM
    PDX-DLS -8.5
    TTD-DLS -8.7
    Despite gradients weakening slightly the winds haven’t died down much. Corbett just gusted to 59mph. I suspect it is due to the inversion.

  4. timmy - scappoose says:

    heat you are right. the inversion is not thick. all kptv tower temps are above freezing… there isnt much hope for us west of troutdale. if only it was colder eastside.

  5. Heatblizzard silverton Or near the gardens elevation 360 ft says:

    To tell the truth don’t tell this to the “snow lovers” but I am now think if any preicp to nite it will be freezing rain. Why? Because look at the inversion. Up there it will start as rain then fall thorough the layers which down low will probely be near to below freezing surface we could have ice. That seems more realistic. Don’t ya think? Sorry if there are alot of bad grammer. The coffee cup isn’t full for snow of any sort.

  6. Mback (Troutdale) says:

    I’m down for the Rick.

  7. Rick says:

    Thanks Rob! I am a long time lurker with an occasional post, and I want to personally thank you for all of your endless research and updates! I know that there is a hugely diverse crowd here. I dart into Western from time to time so the drink/noose analogy was taken from some of the cooks over there. Keep up the good work. Lets get the North Pole to North Bend gradient cranked up here in the next couple of weeks. O.K.?

  8. Rob aka Gradient Keeper -Far S.E. Portland- says:

    Rick,
    “Although, maybe it is time to saddle up and have a drink in one hand and a noose in the other….”
    Nicely said Lol. I can foresee that happening with a few on here *coughs* I will not mention names!

  9. Rick says:

    0Z not as quick to change the pattern, but it is still showing the block forming to our west. In fact if you take the OZ at face value, at hour 384(wow, that is really la-la) the high pressure seems to nose a little further north into AK(compared to 12 and 18Z) in addition to a big low sliding down the coast from AK. Yesterday not one model hinted at anything other that zonal flow. Today that changed with the 12Z then the 18Z. Since the 0Z(all GFS based)has not reacted as quickly some are stating ‘arctic air gone..’Remember many details/trends will work themselves out in the next week. One, two, three…15 model runs 240 hours out will never pan out as to the exact detail and sometimes not even close. IMO it is merely a tool to indicate a possible scenario. A pattern change is difficult to nail down. Will we experience a pattern change? We will find that out watching multiple runs of all models and identifying a trend. Not one run or one day. Although, maybe it is time to saddle up and have a drink in one hand and a noose in the other….

  10. Rob aka Gradient Keeper -Far S.E. Portland- says:

    As of 10:00 PM
    PDX-DLS -9.5
    TTD-DLS -9.4
    OTH-GEG -11.0
    I actually think the east wind might increase overnight back to a PDX-DLS/TTD-DLS of -10 to -12….. It would be more confined to the Gorge/eastern PDX metro and not the mountain wave/downslope we saw today.
    Here are my reasons….
    1)The cold pool east side is bit better established tonight
    2) An obvious inversion developing (Horse Creek 48 F) that would compress the east winds speeding them up further.
    3) Lower pressure/frontal band appears to be approaching faster than the strong ridge over the east side/northern Rockies is moving eastward.
    I only post this because we have certainly seen this happen before. We’ll see…..

  11. Sandi (Wilsonville) says:

    Enjoyed the video on the KPTV website of Mark jumping in the Polar Bear pool!
    We just returned this evening from a nice winter break trip to visit friends who live in Canada near Vancouver BC. It was a beautiful day today for the drive back to Oregon… and it looks like we came home just in time for some potential interesting weather here!

  12. Cherie_in_Vernonia says:

    temp 34 dp 26
    WAS 31 & 30 earlier

  13. Boydo3 says:

    Going to work at the coast N of Florence tomorrow. My bro has a new hand held anemometer. Lets see what it reads on the beach.

  14. J.R. (clackamas 250ft) says:

    Current Observations: Clackamas 250ft
    TEMP: 37.6
    DEW POINT: 17
    Humidity: 43%
    WIND: E sustained at 13-16MPH GUST Ranging from 20 – 28MPH

  15. Jon (Stevenson, Wa 500 ft) says:

    The NWS is forcasting a possibility of Snow after midnight, with the snow level at 3000 feet, and 3500 feet tomorrow morning for my location. I am at 500’ft in the center of the gorge
    my temp is at 32, and dewpoint is probably in the teens considering troutdale has a dp of 21.3 Marks forcast for the gorge makes more sense.
    its nice to finally have a strong East wind!

  16. Boydo3 says:

    GEM and euro still show colder long term. But maybe the next run they revert to something resembling summer too.
    I hate em all right now! Start counting woolly worm rings I guess.
    I too was up in the mountains skiing today. Cold surface winds kept temps in the low 20s all day. Breezy east winds.

  17. Rob aka Gradient Keeper -Far S.E. Portland- says:

    Happy New Year everyone!
    Winds have only died down maybe 4-6 mph during peak gusts.
    I am still gusting 35-41mph.
    As of 9:00 PM
    PDX-DLS -9.7
    TTD-DLS -9.5
    OTH-GEG -11.0
    I’m surprised my wind sensor remained intact Lol.

  18. Tornado Aly (Vancouver) says:

    Just wanted to say Happy New Year to everyone!!!

  19. Cherie_in_Vernonia says:

    I see rain in LaPush & Quillayute…but none in OR yet

  20. Mback (Troutdale) says:

    BLarry, Puter ready for me tomorrow?

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