A Few Goals & Vacation Time

August 14, 2009

junkI have one last week of vacation to use next week, which means I won’t be back posting on here until the 24th.  Although Drew or Rob may post in my absence.  

I just realized that my “goals” are due.  It’s one of those really annoying business things where we set goals for the upcoming year and then see how we did next summer.  You know,  “I will exceed our customer’s expectations during the upcoming fiscal year”.   Since the system appears to be down for now, how about 3 weather goals instead?

1.  A good windstorm.  I’d like to see widespread gusts 70-85 mph here in the Western Valleys…well forecast of course so that no one gets hurt.  Needs to start about 11am so we have lots of prep time leading up to it and it’ll pretty much be over by late afternoon.  Then you get the maximum effect; really good video and we can see what’s going on with the daylight.

2.  A quick 2 day snowstorm during the upcoming El Nino winter…maybe 12″ in the city and 24″ in the western Gorge.  Similar to the January 1998 storm.

3.  A deep freeze without any snow.  Low temps in the single digits in the outlying areas for at least 3 days, plus at least 5 days with highs only in the 20-25 degree range.  Sunshine on top of that as well would be nice.  We’d probably need a good 4″ or so of snow cover to get that done.

4.  April/May:  5 sunny days in the 70s each week, followed by 2 rainy days in the 50s…continue pattern for 2 months.

That should do it.  Hopefully it’s not too much to ask for???

I put the 7 Day forecast up here…we’ll see how far off the forecast is by the time we get to the middle of next week!

Chief Meteorologist – Mark Nelsen

A New Face On The Way

August 13, 2009

junkWe have just hired a new weather person here at KPTV/KPDX.  Stephanie Ortmann will be leaving at the end of this month…Brian MacMillan will start soon after.  I can verify for all you weather geeks out there that, like Stephanie Ortmann, Brian is a big weather nut.  When he asked out of the blue “do you have BUFKIT here?” I knew things were going to go well.  He grew up in Lynnwood, a Seattle suburb.  It’s always great to get someone on staff who truly gets wound up about a good thunderstorm outbreak or windstorm, like most of you here.  He’s also relatively young (everyone new is younger than me nowdays!) and full of fresh ideas and energy.  Here is a link to an article about him:


Chief Meteorologist – Mark Nelsen

FRIDAY UPDATE:  Brian has posted a few thoughts down below in the comments, just after 7pm Thursday evening.

Rainy August Night

August 11, 2009

The Dry Spell Is Over

The Dry Spell Is Over

Our dry spell is definitely over this evening as a good slug of rainfall is moving through the region.  Looks like this will go down as the 8th driest period in PDX’s history.  That would be 28 days without even a trace of rain.  If you allow a trace, then we’ve gone 71 days…back in 1967.

High level moisture is pulling away from the lower level wave along the front offshore.  Radar doesn’t look as impressive off to the southwest as well, so we’re probably in the heaviest rain right now, to be followed by lots of lighter rain the rest of the night.  Models have been having real trouble forecasting rain amounts.  Earlier runs showed an inch or more for the Metro area, now the WRF-GFS and our own RPM are showing .50″ or less.  That does seem a bit more reasonable considering there isn’t much more deep moisture offshore.

Not much to talk about for tomorrow through Friday.  Troughiness hangs nearby as the airmass cools off.  850 mb temps bottom out in the mid single-digits Thursday and Friday.  But not much rain.

Ridging gradually takes over during the weekend and beyond, although the last few runs of the GFS have been slower and weaker with the ridge…something to keep an eye on.

Chief Meteorologist – Mark Nelsen

Back To Work

August 10, 2009

Good times during the 10pm show tonight.  Sometime during the “A” block, the main compute crashed in the control room.  That meant no video and no graphics for the newspeople.  That also means all you can do is have the anchors talk, go to a commercial, or go to the weather person.  We have our own weather computer.  So it’s always fun to have a producer yell in your ear “can you do a full weathercast in 10 seconds???”.  That is most likely the reason I looked slightly “off” during a weather segment at 10:15 or so.  Luckily the computer system pulled itself together by 10:20pm or so.  The normal “mayhem” (the kind you are used to) returned to the 10pm newscast soon after.

I think I mentioned in a previous post that I like to take almost all my vacation time in the summer.  Lots of camping, hiking, and bicycling.  Basically spend a lot of time with the family since I normally don’t see the kids in the evening due to my shift.  So I just used up 7 of those vacation days.  No big weather last week, even with that upper-level low close by, a bit disappointing for those wanting thunderstorms (most of us!).

Not a whole lot of weather going on.  After having troughiness near the West Coast for the last few days and the next 4, it appears that a regime change occurs once again.  Both GFS and ECMWF go for West Coast ridging once again…the 2nd half of August will probably be much warmer than the 1st.

Chief Meteorologist – Mark Nelsen

Consecutive 90+ Degree Day’s Record Falls

August 5, 2009

90daysPDXYesterday our official high was 85 degrees.  That marked the end of our 90+ run at TEN consecutive days!  The old record was set back in 1967 and stood at 8 days.  As most of you already know we also broke numerous other daily records for high temps. 

I am not one who likes hot weather but I am glad we got something out of this by breaking the record.  Now some may use this heat wave record as proof of Global Warming/Climate change, I think one event for anything is not enough to put a nail in the coffin.  If you went by that logic we would have been headed for the next ice age during Arctic Blast 2008-2009, only 8 months ago.   

Now for the forecast….

I don’t see anything that might signal a “Mark’s on Vacation” dooms day event but the big story is that we are going to get cold! (That’s relative)  Once this upper level low down in Cali moves inland we will see nice, cool temps here in the valley(below average) and near average temps on the coast.  Oh and a chance of showers, best chance on Friday but not out of the woods over the weekend yet.  I will keep a close look to see if that might change.  I don’t see any threat for thunderstorms even thought the flow for kicking them our way looks to be improving with the ULL moving inland.  Oh Well.

Enjoy the nice, near average weather today.


-Meteorologist Rob Martin