That Darn Marine Layer

1996_IceStorm Now that cooler weather has arrived, I can finally start thinking about the upcoming winter…even though it's still at least 2 months away.  In between we have lots of gray skies and plenty of boring weather.  So…anyone know what year and ice storm this picture is from?  It can be found on the NWS home page.  Answer at the end.

A very tough forecast day with a much thicker marine layer than anticipated.  Looks like the cool air was about 3,000' thick.  I see Wanderer's Peak at midafternoon was 77 degrees (at 4400'), while at the same time the Willamette Valley below was lingering near 60.  This was quite a strong inversion which was tough to break.  I'm anticipating the approaching upper-level trough to the southwest along with cooling in the upper atmosphere will allow a return to sunshine tomorrow afternoon…or at least that's the plan.  Either way the temperature damage has been done.  We went from 90 to 80 to 63 in just 48 hours.  Instant Fall!  Looks like the cool weather is going to stick around through at least Monday.  I notice a trend of the 00z models is to just give us drips of rain Sunday/Monday, instead of a good soaking.

There seems to be some sort of longwave ridging returning to the West Coast Tuesday and beyond, but details are different on each model run.  The 12z/18z GFS and 12z ECMWF were nice and warm with 850 mb temps back up around 10-12.  That would push highs back into the mid 70s.  00z GFS is flatter with even some rainfall Wednesday.  Hopefully future model runs don't flatten the ridging even further.  Mark Nelsen

The date of the picture?  It was from those rare back to back ice storms between Christmas and New Year's Eve…1996.  At the west end of the Gorge where I lived there was just about 6" of solid ice on the windward side of objects, which included school buses tipping sideways and trees down all over the place.  The first storm was Christmas Night and the 26th, the 2nd was 2 days later, before the ice from the first had melted.  I remember during the night of the 2nd storm it was 23 in Corbett with sheets of rain coming down, while the wind was gusting to 60+ mph.  That was a wild night!

32 Responses to That Darn Marine Layer

  1. HIO Phil (Punxsutawney) says:

    High of 71, Low of 50.9 today. Actually had sprinkles for a second around 6:00pm. Will wonders never cease?
    From looking at Radar, I’m thinking I should pull the grill under the eves tonight.

  2. TriforceofInvisibility says:

    Good news is sometimes Triforce has talked to TV weather if the blog is too busy or something when he has time.

  3. TriforceofInvisibility says:

    All right. (Turns on patient mode) It’s 62F out with overcast clouds and it’s amazninlgy dark: Winter is on it’s way where we will have our shots of snow that will miss us, Then Triforce will wonder what went wrong with the storm-system while everone else is discussing the next wave of snow/Cold so Triforce’s questions about the last snow-storm will be unanswered in the pile of topics.

  4. TriforceofInvisibility says:

    All right. (Turns on patient mode) It’s 62F out with overcast clouds and it’s amazninlgy dark: Winter is on it’s way where we will have our shots of snow that will miss us, Then Triforce will wonder what went wrong with the storm-system while everone else is discussing the next wave of snow/Cold so Triforce’s questions about the last snow-storm will be unanswered in the pile of topics.

  5. Luvry (Tanasbourne) says:

    Cool animation of this summers arctic meltoff…
    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/CT/animate.arctic.some.0.html

  6. Luvry (Tanasbourne) says:

    Cool animation of this summers arctic meltoff…
    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/CT/animate.arctic.some.0.html

  7. Tyler in Vancouver says:

    Raining up here in Vancouver…enough to get the ground wet. Feels muggy out now as well. I looked at weather records from last year on this date and we were having very similar weather.

  8. HIO Phil (Punxsutawney) says:

    And Aleta.

  9. HIO Phil (Punxsutawney) says:

    Thanks Rob, Larry. Overcast over here now as well with gray clouds to the east.

  10. Boring Larry in Cherryville el.918 says:

    …around 2:30 or so, driving home, there was scattered drops from the east edge of Sandy thru the next 3 or 4 miles…….here, it’s just solid grey i see, and really calm right now…almost eerily calm…

  11. Boring Larry in Cherryville el.918 says:

    …around 2:30 or so, driving home, there was scattered drops from the east edge of Sandy thru the next 3 or 4 miles…….here, it’s just solid grey i see, and really calm right now…almost eerily calm…

  12. Atmospheric Wrath -Far S.E. Portland- says:

    HIO, good eye…. I see it also. Some weak convection has developed in the SSE-SE flow aloft over Clackamas, Marion, Linn, and Lane Counties as well as over the central Cascades. There also appears to be a decent area of rain over Wasco County and extreme north central Oregon.
    Hmmmm so let’s check SPC parameters..
    Instability is pretty much non-existent except for some very weak numbers showing up over the central-southern Cascades. Perhaps some light showers over the Foothills, east side of PDX/Willamette Valley late this afternoon/early evening. I’d expect activity to decrease rapidly after 7-8 PM.

  13. Atmospheric Wrath -Far S.E. Portland- says:

    69.2 here
    Mostly sunny
    Triforce, be patient. Sometimes folks are very busy with work, or other things which does not allow them to be available to post frequently or to answer questions.
    I’m sure Robert will answer you when he is able to do so.

  14. Atmospheric Wrath -Far S.E. Portland- says:

    69.2 here
    Mostly sunny
    Triforce, be patient. Sometimes folks are very busy with work, or other things which does not allow them to be available to post frequently or to answer questions.
    I’m sure Robert will answer you when he is able to do so.

  15. Atmospheric Wrath -Far S.E. Portland- says:

    69.2 here
    Mostly sunny
    Triforce, be patient. Sometimes folks are very busy with work, or other things which does not allow them to be available to post frequently or to answer questions.
    I’m sure Robert will answer you when he is able to do so.

  16. TriforceofInvisibility says:

    67F here and sunny with the usual haze. 😦 Triforce still wonders what year Robert moved here.

  17. TriforceofInvisibility says:

    67F here and sunny with the usual haze. 😦 Triforce still wonders what year Robert moved here.

  18. TriforceofInvisibility says:

    67F here and sunny with the usual haze. 😦 Triforce still wonders what year Robert moved here.

  19. TriforceofInvisibility says:

    I will not ask again. What year did you move up here Robert?

  20. Luvry (Tanasbourne) says:

    First of all…
    I feel the media actually underplayed the devestation that has taken place down there on the Texas Gulf Coast, evident by these pics.
    These are far an away the most amazing and descriptive pics of what happened down there,
    http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2008/09/t…ventful_life_of
    2nd, Rob, you are probably correct, the 18z will probably pull the flip flop thing again…if it doesn’t, we know it’ll happen, lol.

  21. Luvry (Tanasbourne) says:

    First of all…
    I feel the media actually underplayed the devestation that has taken place down there on the Texas Gulf Coast, evident by these pics.
    These are far an away the most amazing and descriptive pics of what happened down there,
    http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2008/09/t…ventful_life_of
    2nd, Rob, you are probably correct, the 18z will probably pull the flip flop thing again…if it doesn’t, we know it’ll happen, lol.

  22. HIO Phil (Punxsutawney) says:

    Welcome back Luvry,
    Hope the worst of it was standing in the suit. I remember a sunset like that with a red sun in Eastern Oregon some years ago. Pitty you didn’t have your camera.
    Ha! I noticed the 12z GFS flipped back to wetter weather with lots of zonal westerly flow in the upper atmosphere. A transitory ridge later in the time frame and then the low Luvry mentioned. Watch the 18z take it back and the 00z put it back in. I wonder if Mark’s pulling his hair out, or if this just “comes with the territory” this time of year so to speak.

  23. Luvry (Tanasbourne) says:

    Well, back from a one day trip to Bend…was WARM over there yesterday, standing out in the sun for the funeral in a suit during 89 degrees is NOT fun!!!!
    I have to say, on my way back, I saw one of the most amazing sights I have seen and didn’t have my camera…the fires burning in the cascades down by crescent/Odell lakes were putting off one hell of a smoke plume moving N along the cascades…well the sun set through that smoke and for about 10 minutes, the sun was RED, and I mean bright red when it mixed with the smoke, almost eerie. The smoke continued to have a red glow to it for about a half hour before the it set, amazing I tell you.
    As for the 12z gfs run, looks like we may get our first reallll fall system in here mid next week, the model wants to bring in a fairly wet system on wednesday. Also, long term ensembles are setting up a very large low in the pacific, possibly putting us under a moist SW flow, that’s a ways out though…but it could be our first windstorm type pattern of the year. Don’t see anything of the likes but ya never know! This time frame would be around the very end of sept/first of october. Our weather is so boring I’m looking at long term, lol.

  24. Ryan (Walnut Grove) says:

    I’ll take a ’96 like ice storm a long with an ’04 like snow storm this winter please!
    I have lots of PT time to burn before the end of the year and a couple major weather events that might prevent me from getting to work would be stellar. πŸ™‚

  25. HIO Phil (Punxsutawney) says:

    I rather liked the 00z Mark. It had lots of rain and cool temps. The 06z looks to have backed off. Must be fall because the models are having trouble making up their minds.
    NWS overnight discusion from the long range portion:
    CONFIDENCE IS LOW FOR THE REMAINDER OF THE FORECAST AS MODELS TREND TOWARD 180 DEGREES OUT OF PHASE AT TIMES.
    I noticed that the upper NE has frost and freeze warnings, a bit earlier than normal for them. Some records falling. Fall is on its way.
    Robert – You can live comfortably in So. Cal, it just takes $, lots and lots of them.

  26. HIO Phil (Punxsutawney) says:

    I rather liked the 00z Mark. It had lots of rain and cool temps. The 06z looks to have backed off. Must be fall because the models are having trouble making up their minds.
    NWS overnight discusion from the long range portion:
    CONFIDENCE IS LOW FOR THE REMAINDER OF THE FORECAST AS MODELS TREND TOWARD 180 DEGREES OUT OF PHASE AT TIMES.
    I noticed that the upper NE has frost and freeze warnings, a bit earlier than normal for them. Some records falling. Fall is on its way.
    Robert – You can live comfortably in So. Cal, it just takes $, lots and lots of them.

  27. Sean (Lebanon, Indiana) says:

    Definitely remember the ice storm of Dec 1996! Very crazy weather for that week to say the least..

  28. TriforceofInvisibility says:

    Robert: What year did you move up here? Cause we moved up in late 96 and stayed at the Christian Renewal Center cause we didn’t have a house for a short while.

  29. TriforceofInvisibility says:

    Robert: What year did you move up here? Cause we moved up in late 96 and stayed at the Christian Renewal Center cause we didn’t have a house for a short while.

  30. Robert in Vancouver says:

    Ahhhhhh…and in December of 1996 I was living comfortably in the nice balmy weather of Southern California. An ice storm wasn’t even a figment of my imagination!
    Wait. Isn’t “living comfortably in…Southern California” an oxymoron?

  31. Atmospheric Wrath -Far S.E. Portland- says:

    Thanks for the update, Mark.
    I’ll never forget the ice storm of December 26th 1996.
    The damage done to our trees/power lines was very extensive. I know I’ve posted about this before, but I figured why not re-hash things now.
    The low/high voltage lines sagged into each other from the weight of the ice causing huge arcing and rather impressive explosions which rattled the windows and house. Eventually the Elm Tree caught on fire briefly to which the Fire Department had to be called. Then hours later the Maple tree split in half taking down the line to the house. Then I had repeatedly told my Parents, “Move the car! move the car!” well as my Father and I were in the process of doing so the Plum Tree to which it was parked under split in half just missing the car. We were without power for 6 days. The other thing that stood out was standing outside about 5:30 AM and hearing boom after boom as transformers blew, lines were downed, then hearing dozens of branches/trees snapping all around…
    It was historic. ….

  32. Atmospheric Wrath -Far S.E. Portland- says:

    1st !

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