A Cold March Day

March 9, 2009

The picture here is one I took for my school visit Powerpoint presentation.Picture1 It's the form I start with each day when I get to work.  It's one of two that Drew and I fill in.  I started doing this back in the Jim Little – KOIN days.  I have found that part of the forecasting process is to write down much of the information.  If you click on the picture you can see some of what I look for.  Now this may seem old-school to those of you under 30, but I just like having things written down.

Today Drew did all the forecasting, filling out the sheet, making the graphics etc…  That's because I spent the day visiting 3 schools down in Woodburn and Salem, plus I had lunch with Jim Little and Pete Parsons.  We were like old men reliving the glory days of 1990s forecasting at KOIN.  Ahh, the pleasures of no internet and waiting for the 12z ECMWF to come across the 1980s era fax printer once a day.  Okay, maybe those weren't the glory days for data, but good times.  Of course it's always good to catch up with former co-workers and friends too.  They both work for the state down in Salem nowdays.

So my point about the forecast sheet is that I walked in 20 minutes before the 4pm show without having looked at all the model data, just trusting Drew's forecast and what I had looked at last night.  Luckily the weather pattern is slowing down and the basic point was simple:  snow showers end tonight, but we stay cold for another day and a half.  Then it's on to spring-like weather Wednesday afternoon through Friday.  More rain this weekend.  By the way, I only worked until 6pm today, so Drew should be on in about…10 minutes.  I'm at home ready to go to bed.

I'm happy with the weekend/Monday forecast.  Models did well with the cold.  High temps both days made it to 43 at PDX…pretty close to our forecast.  I thought there might be slightly more snow, but I said Trace-1" each morning, at least most lower elevation sites saw the trace.  This was a classic situation like we saw last winter with respect to elevation vs. snow depth.  I came up the hill from I-84 on the way home and didn't see a trace of snow until right in Corbett at 700' or so.  Then it gradually increased to 4" on the ground at my home just over 1,000'.  A friend up Larch Mtn. road about 5 miles farther has 11" (all from Saturday evening to now) on the ground at 1800'.  Those of you in the hills had a nice March snowfall.

I'll blog about the warmer weather and changing long range models tomorrow night…Mark Nelsen