Cold Showers Are Back

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

27 Responses to Cold Showers Are Back

  1. I miss the cold weather… That’s why it’s alright with me having this kind of weather now… Hope summer would come soon…

  2. salemphil says:

    LOL I use Mary’s peak down here for my snow guage in the coast range.

  3. Camas~Mom says:

    Mark – I have the same gauge – I look at that mountain as my view out of the back of our property. πŸ™‚ We weren’t here in 1999 however, and I think they cleared even more this year. Poo.

  4. TheTriforce says:

    63.7F out. We’ve hiked Saddle Mountain before. We were going up once and it was getting hot outside since we were not exactly used to hiking and then the marine layer came in and going down it was ‘to my parents’ borderline cold. It felt nice to me. It was like ‘ahhhhhhhh’ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

  5. Here’s a link with a good map of Global Temperature Anomalies for March that I found while reading an article on coal shortages. The Northwest was definitely cooler than normal.
    http://climate.uah.edu/march2008.htm
    Oh, I was the one with the snow obsession. TypeKey had signed me out for some reason.

  6. Hey Mark…i didnt realize that the rest of the world has these markers..!…the Best one i’ve heard of is the on the Elkhorns from Baker City…good snow years create an “Indian Chief” image on a spot on the east facing side….the longer it lasts, the better the water year…

  7. …i dont think i like my new keyboard…not near as forgiving of my mistakes…

  8. Mark Nelsen says:

    How funny, we each have our own “mountain snow gauge”. Mine is that cluster of bare mountains NE of Washougal…Silver Star Mtn. area. Their open sides face south. The latest I’ve ever seen snow up there is the week before the 4th…probably 1999. We’ll see what happens this year.

  9. ….snow in the Coast Range in May…how very strange..i cant remember being able to see it whit this time of year ever….my historical long range looker at is Goat Mt. (the one you see when going between Estacada and colton, and it looks shiningly whiter than i can remember this time of year, also…

  10. Anonymous says:

    …hmmmm, dead quiet around here. Well…nothing really going on weather wise.
    ..so on to my obsession with snow in the Coast Range πŸ™‚
    There’s still snow visible from Beaverton/Hillsboro on the higher portions of the coast range. I took a look at the SNOTEL site for Saddle Mountain 3110′ (Thanks Mark), and if I’m reading the tables correctly, here’s some May 1st data. Records from 1980 to present.
    2008 – Snow water Equivalent 28.0″ Snow Depth 56″
    1999 – Snow water Equivalent 15.2″
    1985 – Snow water Equivalent 9.8″
    1982 – Snow water Equivalent 6.6″
    All other years were less than 1″ or zero. If I have my numbers correct, you can see that this year is almost double the next closest year. Does anyone else remember being able to see snow from a distance on the coast range in May.

  11. The conditions east of the Rockies are very different than ours in terms of thunderstorm development. They get low level moisture or “fuel” from the Gulf of Mexico transported northward. Coupled with strong surface heating, then a disturbance in the upper levels comes out of the Rockies usually and with that you have the colder pocket aloft, drier air, and the jet stream punching eastward. If you can get all of the ingredients to come together that’s when you see severe thunderstorms massively erupt as a dryline or cold front pushes off the Rockies into the western high plains. It pushes eastward into that moist unstable air forcing it upwards quickly. The main difference is cloud top height, wind shear, and updraft strength. The updrafts are much stronger and taller so the water droplets continue on a cycle up and down, then back up and down until they become too large to propel upwards and fall to the ground. That’s why they get golfball to grapefruit sized hail.
    I did want to share an experience I’ve had here. We’ve had golfball sized hail at my house before.
    July or August 1990 t-storm over eastern Multnomah County, Clackamas County. I was working doing excavation and I remember heading out to the car at 6:00 AM to find dew covering everything while sitting at 65F. I remember vividly from the job site about noon-ish seeing massive towers all over the Cascades. Around 2-3PM these were forming into large thunderheads. So it’s about time to go home very hot in the mid 90’s and as we are traveling east towards 82nd I finally have a few to the southeast where I see the most massive and dynamic looking storm that I’ve ever seen. The cloud structure was amazing with ripples and tube like features in it standing out against the eerie brownish purple background. As we got to just about 122nd and Holgate golf ball sized hail began falling. YES in Portland GOLF ball sized hail. I remember seeing car after car pulling over off the side of Holgate some with broken windshields. Now the ironic thing was I saw no lightning, yet and trust me I had my eyes peeled out the windows to the east and southeast. I remember as if it was yesterday my boss says to me, “sure looks like it could lightning there” and no sooner he said that the sky exploded with lightning, and this wasn’t our typical lightning, no this was more of a white-blue color and very very fast, seemed to strike from a lower base and it was cloud to cloud just tons of it. As we got to my house around 8:15 PM I saw my family standing in the front room window and we weren’t really sure if it was safe for me to get out and walk up my drive way as the lightning was fierce probably 1-2 bolts per second the majority of the time. So I run for my life into my house where I see the familiar *RED SCREEN* on the Weather Channel scrolling on I believe Rogers Cable. The scary thing is the TV kept shutting off and on, but at times I was able to read the entire warning. It said [Severe Thunderstorm Warning. Dangerous frequent lightning, 3-5″ of rain, golf ball sized hail, 70mph winds, and possible tornadoes]. Then the TV would shut off again. Watched from the window through a very ominous brown/purple sky and it was really quite terrifying. Golf ball sized hail continued to fall, but LUCKILY it was not falling heavily. I did not see any rotation, nor did we get any winds with it. I watched the storm until around 10:30 PM as it headed north into the foothills of the south Washington Cascades with frequent lightning the entire time. This my friends was a classic supercell and I don’t mean A PNW cruddy version, no this was just like they get in the plains. My Dad told me just before the storm hit that they were hearing a constant roaring for 5 minutes or so. I am not sure what this would have been some type of turbulence or something…. Anyhow this is definitely the strongest thunderstorm I’ve ever experienced. I have seen a few other nice t-storms and of course nocturnal lightning displays are awesome.

  12. Hillsboro/Beaverton generally doesn’t do well with Westerly or Northwesterly flow. The showers tend to die off as they come off the Coast Range. The showers as they travel west have more time to rebuild and then there’s the lifting and (compressing?) effect as they near the Cascades which helps to intensify them. IMO that’s why you see more thunder/hail reports from the east side of town, especially Gresham/Troutdale and Boring Larry in Cherryville. The more southerly or even southeasterly the flow, the better chance we have for strong whether on this side of town.
    There are alway’s exceptions of course, like Saturday April 19th of this year when we had very strong showers with hail/graupel and snow in westerly flow.
    Glorious – I’m not sure where the definition changes from small hail to large. I do know that the large hail you see in the Midwest comes from very powerfull supercell thunderstorms that very rarely occur in western Oregon because of our Pacific climate. Perhaps someone else can give you a better explanation. I have seen marble to dime sized hail in the metro area.

  13. Luvry says:

    And windstorms/tstorms πŸ™‚

  14. Mat ne portland says:

    Good thanks. As far as snow went this year the whole metro pretty much got shafted so don’t feel too bad. Thats what really matters right? Snow and sunshine? Cold in the winter with snow and warm in the summer with sun.

  15. Luvry says:

    Good, thanks Mat. u?
    This sux though, i’ve been reading everyone’s reports of hail/hailstorms over the past 2-3 weeks, hillsboro gets SHAFTED during these! I haven’t got anything here, no rumbles, no lightning, no hail…I swear Beaverton/tanasbourne area is a hotspot for NOTHING!

  16. Mat ne portland says:

    Nice little hail storm just passing overhead now. 51.7 Luvry, how you been bro?

  17. Derek-West Gresham says:

    I see another line is coming, and the sun is out. Should make for some good fun I hope. πŸ™‚

  18. gloriousnumber1 says:

    Hey does anyone know why they always say “small hail”? I know many places in the country get very large hail, and I’m glad we don’t. I just wonder what weather phenomenon has to occur for that “midwest” golfball and baseball sized hail to fall.
    Have a great day everyone!

  19. Derek-West Gresham says:

    Heavy rain and hail here, maybe a rumble of thunder too. More building up to the west again as well.

  20. A Special Weather Statement was issued at 12:12 for a cold core funnel cloud near Salem. Clouds are starting to fill in on the West side with some light showers apparent.
    Rob – I appreciate your contributions to this blog.

  21. Thanks for the update Mark…. Poor Steph πŸ™‚
    With increasing sun breaks we might fire off some convective hail/isolated t-storms.
    850mb right now is -4c to -5c
    500mb right now is -30c to -32c
    Warmer air aloft approaching the central to southern Oregon Coast. My best guess is that will slowly filter inland cutting off convection after 5-6:00 PM. There still might be a more stable showery air mass afterwards. Watching SPC parameters to see if and when any instability develops.

  22. Tyler Mode in NW Vancouver (Hazel Dell) says:

    Like Mark mentioned, late this week it looks as if models trend toward slowly rising heights, and for once there is NO TROUGH! Actually, the 12z GFS develops a thermal trough around the 10th, but of course that is a long ways out.
    51 here with a few sunbreaks right now.

  23. TV Weather Producer says:

    Mark,
    I can confirm the pea sized hail. I was driving down Roy Rogers Rd. and it looked like it snowed. Very intense shower had just moved through and cars and ground covered.

  24. I do hope we get back to “normal” spring weather soon…(normal here right now is about 74). This yo-yo weather is driving me insane! Lately it’s been 80-90 on weekends, then plummeting to upper 50s to mid 60s during the week. I think we’re done with upper 50s here… but yesterday was quite chilly with a brisk west wind. It’s especially chilly after that hot weather on Sunday. Looks like more mid 80s to even around 90 here coming up!

  25. Anonymous says:

    And so the final day of April 2008 begins. I’m nursing another pint of 1554 Brussels Black, it’s 38.3 outside, and I think my Japanese Maple *finally* has some semblance of foliage.
    Maybe by June 1 I’ll have some shade. If it’s warm enough to want shade.

  26. 1st that claims to be 1st…
    …oh yea, the weather…drippy rainy 38.1….

  27. TheTriforce says:

    It’s 42F here with a humidity of 72% and a DP of 34 Mark in case you are reading. πŸ™‚ Well, it’s overcast here. 😦 Ruins the view of the stars.

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