Cold Showers Are Back

April 29, 2008

SnapshotPoor Stephanie had to head up to Government Camp, hanging out in the cold, snowy April weather.  Of course I just sat here in the 70 degree weather center.  What a jerk eh?  But wait, I remember spending the entire ice/snow storm in January 1998 and most of the pre-flood 1996 ice event outdoors, so I’ve "served time" too I suppose.

Nice showers popped up this afternoon over the region.  Not a single cloud to ground lightning strike in the metro area, so the rumbles heard must have been cloud to cloud strikes.  At one point our new hail algorithm on the radar showed good pea-sized hail in the north Sherwood to Tualatin areas.

Showers have died down with the loss of daytime heating, but they should be back tomorrow afternoon once again with afternoon "heating" and a cool and marginally unstable atmosphere overhead.

A nice day on Thursday inbetween weather systems.  Then a warm front brushes us Friday through early Saturday as a weak ridge builds overhead.  This brings a warmer May-like atmosphere over us for the weekend.  In fact I notice the general trend starting Friday through next week is higher upper level heights through the period.  This MAY be the turn towards "normal" spring weather (can I plant my potatoes finally?).  We’ll see…Mark Nelsen

Warmer Weekend, But Chilly Pattern

April 25, 2008

SnapshotI just checked the winter snowfall total at Government Camp, near 4,000′ elevation on Mt. Hood. Looks like the after early next week (with more pass-elevation snow), we’ll have the snowiest winter up there since 1974-1975.  There were a string of years with 350-450" up there in the early-mid 1970s.  We sure won’t beat that since May is almost here!  But a heck of a winter at the lower-mid elevations in the Cascades.
A tough forecast the last 2 days for this weekend.  Luckily models seem to have formed a consensus on dry, but lots of high clouds tomorrow, then rain at some point Sunday afternoon.  Enjoy the warmer weather.  The Mark Magic Chart says a solidly sunny day tomorrow with the same atmospheric conditions would produce a high of 75-78.  That’s because there is a nice downslope easterly wind and 850mb temps rise to around +8 or so in the afternoon.  The WRF-GFS from the UofW keeps insisting on a high of 80 degrees tomorrow.  Wouldn’t that be nice if my forecast was that far off?

A cold trough returns later Monday through Thursday of next week, so enjoy the mild weather this weekend.  Mark Nelsen

A Cold Spring So Far…

April 23, 2008

Snapshot2 I had about an hour of extra time this evening, so instead of catching up on work (like emails that are clogging up my inbox), I decided to see how chilly this Spring has been so far.  Looks like (as of April 22nd), we are in the running for 5th coldest March-April average temp.  So of course the next question in my mind, and I assume in many others’, is:  So what happened in May?  The answer surprised me.  Looks like most of the really chilly springs aren’t ALL that wet.  The other 4 Mays were all under 1.50" rainfall.  So maybe there is hope for drier and warmer weather?  Or maybe I’m just really reaching out for some improvement and I’m not being realistic.
By the way, I used a couple of pictures from Jerry in Vernonia tonight.  They show the same spot April 19th this year and April 1st last year.  It’s very clear that this growing season is far behind last year’s.  The pictures are off to the left in the Viewer Photos album.
Today’s wind was a surprise, obviously upper-level winds surfaced FAR more than expected.  When was the last time you’ve seen 3 millibars EUG-PDX produce 35-50 mph wind gusts?  Usually we’d have 6-10 millibars with that kind of wind.

Moving on, I’m just about out of time here, so the sad weekend story is that a warm front is going to linger over us much of Saturday…so the warm/dry Saturday forecast is gone.  Hope is still there for Sunday…keep your fingers crossed!  Mark Nelsen

A Quick Post

April 22, 2008

SnapshotA very brief post tonight because I got behind.  Nice bands of heavy showers moving up from the south tonight.  They are swinging around the surface low that’s offshore.  At least the satellite LOOKS like spring with the southerly flow and a few lightning strikes.  Of course the east wind that blasted me out in Corbett this morning while at the school was most definitely winter.  Through the morning hours the wind chill out there was in the 20s.

Oh, more rain tomorrow…Mark Nelsen

Back to “Regular” April Weather

April 21, 2008

Snapshot_2Well, it looks like we’re pretty much done with snow at low elevations.  What a cold, & white at times, weekend.  Of course that white came as either snow, hail, ice pellets, or snow pellets.  Sometimes we saw all four in 15 minutes!

George Taylor, our state climatologist sent this info out today:  The latest snow on record fell in Corvallis yesterday.  The old record was April 11th.  So the "possibility of snow season" down there was extended by almost two weeks!

Interesting weather pattern tonight that I sure would like to see in January.  A surface low is developing offshore where cool air has been spilling out of British Columbia and combining with moisture coming from the west.  It will turn pressure gradients offshore by morning for east wind through the Gorge.  The low swings towards the coast tomorrow, but then just sits there off of Newport until Wednesday morning.  Then it decides to move inland to our south during the day Wednesday.  This would be a great setup for a significant snowstorm in the winter.  But, in April it just means some rainy and gray weather the next two days.  Our RPM model has insisted for 3 runs now that some convection will swing north around the low tomorrow afternoon/evening.  I notice that there is some forecast instability, but we’ll see.

Hopefully the models are correct forecasting an upper-level ridge for about 2 days this weekend.  We all REALLY need some warm and sunny weather.  Kim Maus has been taking kick-boxing classes and nicely threatened to take me down if the weather doesn’t improve "inmediamente".  She’s normally quite nice, but just like lots of other folks, has had about enough.  I agree, I wasn’t even amused in the least by the weekend snow.

On the gardening front, I took a brief survey of my fruit trees today.  Looks like the peach trees just kind of "stopped" in the last 5 days.  The blossoms just stopped opening while the snow was on them, but I don’t think it got below 31 degrees, so I think they made it.  Apple blossoms weren’t quite open yet, so they are probably safe too.  From what I hear the Hood River Valley fared well, but not the higher elevations behind (south) of The Dalles.  A bigger freeze there for the cherry trees.   Mark Nelsen

Snow Totals: April Edition

April 18, 2008

Now REALLY, this is the last time we’ll do this, you know the drill:

3. ELEVATION (if you know it)

14.5", Wankers Corner, 400′


Winter Go Away!

April 18, 2008

SnapshotWell, I can’t take it anymore…it’s too cold, and I don’t look forward to waking up to snow on the ground again in the morning.

Everything is proceeding according to the weather plan this evening.  The well-advertised cold airmass is moving in.  I’m just amazed at how cold it is here in the 2nd half of April at 10pm.  Our tower temp at 1800′ is 30 degrees,  a dusting of snow has fallen in spots at the Coastline, and it’s only 16 degrees at Timberline!

The core of the upper-level low is currently over Southern British Columbia, and only moves to S.Central Washington by Monday morning.  I have scanned lots of maps and see little to no organized areas of precipitation through Sunday.  That’s the main reason I’ve laid off the possibility of snow in the lowest elevations here in the Western Valleys.  It’s clearly going to be cold enough the next 3 nights for snow to stick down here, but the moisture seems to be limited to mainly afternoon/evenings inland.  The Coast is a different story.  Pretty much a constant feed of heavy showers move onshore now through Sunday.  So at night some accumulation is likely even at the lowest elevations out there.

What happened in Seattle tonight really shows what precipitation intensity will do in this airmass.  3-5" of snow in N. Seattle/Everett, while it was 40 degrees or higher in the central/southern part with little or no precipitation.  So I’m VERY aware that any organized area of showers could give us a "surprise" snowfall here in the metro area the next 2 days.  I’m crossing my fingers and assuming that won’t happen.  Enjoy the weekend and discuss amongst yourselves…maybe we’ll hit 85 just 10 days from now??? One can hope…Mark Nelsen