A New Face In The Weather Center

patA pretty slow weather day again today.  As I mentioned in last night’s post the weather should stay boring the next few days. 

We DO have a new addition to the weather center this evening.  We just hired Pat Rosborough as a Weather Producer.  Pat came to KPTV highly recommended by another local weather person who was just hired by a three letter TV station here in town.  He’ll work mainly in the mornings.  Pat went to Tualatin High School and just graduated from University of Oregon with a degree in Environmental Geography.  He’s also pursuing a second degree in Broadcast Meteorology.  We’re happy to have another person in here that’s interested in weather and forecasting.  It’s also nice once again to hire a “local” who knows the area well.  As you may recall, our previous weather producer (Rob Martin) headed out to North Dakota over a month ago. 

Speaking of North Dakota, poor Rob is about to freeze his backside off for the first time.  I’m confident that will happen MANY times this upcoming winter.  A series of cold arctic high pressure systems move south out of the Northwest Territories of Canada into the west-central USA on the backside of a large upper-level high centered offshore.  The brunt of the cold air (especially cold for early October) stays east of the Rockies.  For you weather geeks; if you look at the maps for this weekend closely you’ll see it’s a very similar setup to our ice/snow storm patterns.  Cold high pressure slides in east of us Saturday and Sunday, then a moist flow quickly pushes in from the southwest on Monday bringing increasing moisture while the surface flow continues easterly through the Gorge.  Of course in winter the surface high to our east would be much stronger and colder, but you get the idea.  We’re going into a much wetter weather pattern beginning Monday or Tuesday after a very dry and sunny weekend.  East wind may get pretty gusty over the weekend too along with low dewpoints (maybe 25-35?).

Okay, back to work for now.  I did hear a radio ad about ski passes today, which made me think about El Nino and it’s effects on the ski season.  Maybe I’ll blog about that later this week.

Chief Meteorologist – Mark Nelsen

47 Responses to A New Face In The Weather Center

  1. Chrispdx says:

    I am planning to launch a weather balloon carrying a digital camera tomorrow morning from Tillamook to take pictures of the earth. The balloon should reach 100,000 feet. It appears that the forecast is clear, and so I had planned to launch early in the morning, however, I noticed that there were a lot of early morning clouds this morning. Do you think that will be a problem tomorrow? What would be the best time to launch in order to avoid cloud cover? The balloon’s flight time is approximately 2 hours. I appreciate any any information you may be able to provide!

  2. Tetra says:


  3. Jesse-Orchards says:

    *40s next Monday and Tuesday, I meant.

  4. PaulB/Eugene says:

    The upcoming pattern is more amplified with higher heights over Alaska/Yukon…with airmass origin farther N…like the pole. After thinking about it…I think that the PDX will get down to mid 30s once the gradients slack off later in the weekend…if GFS verifies. It will be as dry as a bone…..

    • Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

      Monday morning could do just that. Appears the peak gradients are Sunday AM, then they slowly taper off throughout the day and overnight hours.

  5. PaulB/Eugene says:

    Did anyone check out those MM5 GFS dewpoints…crazy low…below zero. Anyway…the GFS run this evening markedly colder than previous runs. Other models…NAM, NOGAPS, Canadian, ECMWF…not quite so bullish on cold…but this will be an impressive blast of dry arctic/polar air. With strong offshore flow I believe PDX will not drop below 40F with ongoing gorge winds..but outlying areas such as Hillsboro, Salem, Eugene could drop into the 29-33F territory (mid 20s if GFS correct). Spokane already is forecasting a low of 19F which would be the earliest occurrence of teens in 120 years of observations.

    • Jesse-Orchards says:

      The surface high east of the Cascades in October 1985 was pretty strong, and gorge winds roared all day at PDX, but they still managed to go calm enough at night to hit 32. I certainly wouldn’t write off 30s just yet. In fact those are probably a given.

    • Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

      I did not check DP’s… Been focusing on gradients, 850mb temps. Great post and I hope it is a sign of things to come.

    • Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

      Think Mark may need to lower Sat/Sun temps a bit more? I do.

    • Jesse-Orchards says:

      Model output shows highs in the mid-50s on Saturday and low 50s on Sunday. Anything below 60 is tough to do with a full day of sunshine in the second week of October, but who knows?

      Interestingly, it looks like when the rain arrives early next week there will be residual gorge outflow around. Several runs spit out highs in the 40s for PDX next Sunday and Monday. If, by a long shot, that did happen, it would beat the previous benchmark for first sub-50 high by over a week.

      Next week would be a classic overrunning snowstorm set up in a few months

  6. Aloha Rainshadow says:

    If the 00z was correct, i think all without wind would see a hard freeze easily. We’re talking -1 and -2 degree 850mb temps. That is VERY impressive for early/mid october, this is a continental type airmass also, even more impressive. Loving the 00z passionately.

    • Karl Bonner says:

      I’ve never seen a dry cold snap this early in the season before. Usually when we get our below-average temps during October it’s when there’s a solid deck of clouds and cool air from the Gulf of Alaska. Even when I lived in The Dalles most October chills came from the northwest, not from the east. The three cold Halloweens this past decade is about the earliest that I’ve ever seen patently cold continental air blanket the entire NW.

    • Jesse-Orchards says:

      Karl, October 1985 had a similar early October cold snap. PDX actually recorded their earliest freeze on record with that one.

      This one actually looks more impressive in many areas, especially the Northern Rockies. For instance, I noticed the NWS is forecasting consecutive lows of 7 degrees for Missoula, Montana Saturday and Sunday mornings. The previous records for those days are in the teens to around 20.

      Lots of areas in the PNW – especially east of the Cascades and Northern Rockies could smash record lows by up to ten degrees this weekend. This is shaping up to be a fairly historic event.

    • Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

      Yes, yep, and yes!

  7. Andrew Johnson says:

    As if the possibility of seeing 3-5 inches of rain tomorrow wasn’t exciting enough I just read this NWS discussion for my area (Tulsa)…anyways…bring on winter!

    While the initial shot of cold air will be fairly impressive for
    early October…it appears that an exceptional cold event for this
    early in the season may take place from later Saturday into early
    next week. Arctic air will surge south across the area Saturday
    afternoon and evening and looks to remain entrenched until at
    least Tuesday. Temperatures falling into the 30s northwest of
    Tulsa Saturday afternoon certainly appears reasonable. As
    usual…several of the medium range models…including the
    GFS…seem to be oblivious to this incoming airmass. If skies can
    clear…a hard freeze may occur as early as Sunday morning across
    parts of northeast Oklahoma and northwest Arkansas…with freezing
    temperatures perhaps encompassing more of the area Monday and
    Tuesday mornings assuming skies can clear. Daytime temperatures
    may struggle to reach 50 in some places Sunday and Monday. It is
    likely that future forecasts will need to lower temperatures
    significantly this weekend into early next week.

  8. Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

    Hmmmmm appears to me 00z GFS shunts the colder air even a little bit further west than previous runs.

    • Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

    • goducks09 says:

      Saw that too. A few days out, but nonetheless neat to see. Now only if this was late December…..Haha

    • boydo3, N. Albany 500' says:

      Ya, Rob I think you’re on to something. It’s gonna really feel like fall in a few days.
      My son in ND said they were getting sleet and snow today. And the cold hasn’t even arrived yet!
      The good news is he is moving back to the PNW!
      I wonder how the weak El Nino is going to affect us here. Seems like it has stalled some lately. But who knows.
      Looking forward to winter storms and the excitement on this blog.

  9. Tetra says:

    For some reason my question went below Timmy instead of Rob even though I specificly clicked on Rob’s reply feature. 😦

    • Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

      No worries. I would say south winds 20-30 gusts to 40mph. I’m eagerly awaiting tonight’s 00z GFS, WRF-GFS models.

  10. Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

    18z GFS Extracted text data for PDX
    *Note the prolonged period of barometric pressure below 995mb and 850mb winds 50-60mph sustained.

  11. Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

    Excerpt from the NWS AFD


    • Timmy_Supercell (Hillsboro) says:

      Precipitation… Isn’t that what we thought would happen? Looks look you guys are getting better at stuff like this, I have a lot of catching up to do.

  12. Josh "The Snowman" From Everett,WA says:

    Geez Mark, are you just trying to get some fresh faces in there so you don’t look so young anymore??

    I mean, for crying out loud, how old is he, 12?? LOL.

    Anyway I digress. Here’s a cool link that shows who got snow and where each day last winter:


    • boydo3, N. Albany 500' says:

      Josh, that’s is cool. But it misses some of the short, elevation dependent and localized snowfalls. Still it is a very neat loop.

  13. Ryan (Walnut Grove) says:

    It is definitely looking like my hike up on the Lava Canyon trail this Saturday will be cold! I was really expecting much warmer temps.

    • Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

      It was looking pretty good up until 2-3 days ago and then the models were suggesting the 2nd surge of colder air diving out of the Canadian prairies would move a bit further west instead of just impacting Montana and the northern plains.

    • Tyler says:

      I’m headed up to Wildcat Mountain then up to Lost Lake hopefully Friday, should be nice, even if it is cool, that is nice.

  14. Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

    To me it almost looks like a Winter time east wind this weekend with a colder breeze and the PDX/TTD-DLS gradient peaking around 8-11mb twice both on Saturday and the second stronger peak Sunday AM as the cold air settles into the Columbia Basin.

    Also any thoughts about this

    1006mb wave well off to our southwest on Wednesday cruising along 37 N, 143 W. 500mb trough axis is at about 138 W, but doesn’t appear all that deep or sharp.

  15. Punxsutawney (aka HIO Phil at work by Sunset High) says:

    06z GFS

    Has those east winds Rob was mentioning and does look chilly for early October starting Saturday. The east winds make it to Hillsboro. Rain starts Monday afternoon/evening and continues through the extended. Also note the 850mb wind speeds Monday-Tuesday next week. The GFS has been very consistent I must say. KTTD output


    • Mark Nelsen says:

      Yes, the temps on the weekend need some pretty intensive surgery…downward. Looks like everyone away from the Gorge wind could get a hard freeze.

  16. 34.4° low this morning with patchy light frost. Sunny skies here this morning.

  17. Eternal Yamcha (SE Milwaukie) says:

    Hmmm, I’m looking at the Extended GFS and I’m starting to notice a few peculiar things in the mid-to-long term other than the cold.

    Looks like the models are showing a weak storm kicking up on Sunday the 11th and it moves within 130 W. It’s a bit too far north and weak to really stir anything up, but it’s definitely a nice thing to finally see on the models.

    As the system on Sunday moves north and degrades; I’m noticing what looks like a weak low pressure system quickly sliding up north from around 40 N and by early Monday it crosses 130 W. While this one appears to get absorbed by something much larger out in the Pacific, it tracks relatively close to us and moves rather quickly up north.

    Now I’m not putting much stock in the forecast models this far out; but Monday is October 12th and they’re predicting that a storm breezes rapidly from south-to-north along the coast that should pack some decent winds… On the 47th anniversary of the Columbus Day Storm. I ain’t saying anything, I doubt we’re gonna get much, if anything. But that would be just amazing to get even a medium strength storm to suddenly spin up and track semi-close to the legendary storm’s track on its anniversary.

    And then on Tuesday the models are saying that what could potentially be our first windstorm to move on through. It definitely looks like a doozy…

    Again, this is all basically wishcasting at this point. But I’m definitely going to be pouring over the models the next few days to see what, if anything, plays out. The east wind is gonna be great… But I am sincerely hoping that one of those three storms turn out to be something worthwhile. We were robbed last year when it came to windstorms.

  18. jory says:

    So where did these clouds come from?

    • Ryan (Walnut Grove) says:

      Marine layer from the onshore push we had…. Looks to be burning off rather nicely.

  19. Tetra says:

    It’s a 45.1F and 37F dew. The temp has been steady: It is overcast with no portion of sky visable. 😦

  20. Tetra says:

    48.2F with dew-point of 34F. Do people have their water pipes burst during an October freeze due to getting caught with their pants down on preparness?

  21. Karl Bonner says:

    Where are the maps Mark mentions in this post?

    It would be quite fascinating to see the interior Northwest get really cold in the first half of October. While I do recall some years when a cP air mass slipped into the east side during early fall and brought crisp, but not frigid, conditions (late September 2000 immediately comes to mind), I’ve never seen a serious cold spell at this time of year, at least not one that is dry and cloudless.

    Although rain storms can bring some chilly days in early October (e.g. highs in the 50s), if the sun is out we’re almost guaranteed to reach the 60s at low elevations on both sides of the Cascades. It would be fun to see a sunny afternoon in the 50s…but no fun to see my pepper plants nuked before their crop is quite finished.

  22. Ben Randall says:

    thanks for the update mark

  23. Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

    00z WRF-GFS

    This looks quite chilly.

    Seems like a decent chunk of colder air moves into eastern Washington/Columbia Basin. Easterly gradient gets cranked up pretty good.

    By Saturday morning 850mb temps of -6c to -8c are seen from the eastern Gorge throughout the Columbia Basin and eastern Washington.

  24. Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

    Mark, thanks for the update.

    I notice the 00z GFS has the 522thickness line into the northeast corner of Washington. I’d like to see how this matches up on the 00z WRF-GFS extended run later, and also to see how strong of an east wind develops. I’m also thinking as Jesse mentioned earlier the cold high slips a little west and could this perhaps be a chilly east wind?

  25. Snow-Zone/Monmouth-Elv200' says:

    Number 1. 1st.

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