The Big Winter Meeting

snapshotObviously it’s going to be really wet Saturday, so here’s something to do.  It’s time for the 17th annual What Will the Winter Be Like meeting at OMSI.  Hard to believe we’ve been doing this since the early 1990s!  It used to be held in a small conference room and maybe 15-20 people would show up.  Now we regularly see more than 100.  You are invited…the event is open to the public.  The meeting basically consists of 4­-5 forecasters getting up and giving their thoughts about what might happen during the upcoming winter.  A lot of times they are wrong, sometimes they are right, but there is always lots of good discussion.  Also lots of El Nino, MJO, QBO, and other big phrases.  The event is held in the auditorium and lasts about 2 hours.  I will be there, but I just give a review of the previous year’s weather.

Okay, let’s talk weather.  Rain is the big story.  00z models all give us quite a bit of rainfall, at least 1-2″ in the Valleys between midday tomorrow and Saturday evening.  Now our RPM shows 3.68″ rainfall, the GFS looks like 4″ or so as well.  The WRF-GFS doesn’t look quite as wet, and the NAM goes nuts with maybe 4″.  We’ll see, it’s quite a narrow line of rainfall along the cold front tomorrow evening.  We’ll see…

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

327 Responses to The Big Winter Meeting

  1. Timmy_Supercell (Hillsboro) says:

    Now based on 60 year cycles and overall patterns, it does look like we should see a snowy winter once again, but you never know….

  2. JohnD says:

    I am just finding a couple of moments to chime in here on the blog–since attending the AMS “What Will The Winter Be Like” meeting this past Saturday at OMSI. I had never been to one of these events and I must say that it was really, really, cool. Great bunch of people, great presentations. I really enjoyed it.

    This is what I “heard” from my total novice (but impassioned) perspective:

    Steve Pierce
    Wonderful historical analysis which focused on the ‘9 and ‘0 years of prior decades. Plus 30 and 60 year cycles. Based on that, we are due for a big (if not BIG) weather year this year–e.g. lots of low elevation snow if the analytical pattern sustains.

    Tyree Wilde
    Warmer and dryer than average amid what he preceives to be a still evolving El Nino pattern.

    George Taylor
    Warmer and dryer than average amid a weakening El Nino. Low potential for low elevation snow.

    Pete Parsons
    Fascinating presentation. Acknowledged uncertainties. Possible milder than average but wet winter season. Stated that in the pattern that he foresees, we can get either a lot of low elevation snow (because if artic air does make it into our area at some point–e.g. mid-Dec., it is hard to eject because of the expected overall pattern)–or very little. It will “depend”.

    Kyle Dittmer
    Another fascinating presentation. He talked about the influence of sun spots a lot. He explicitly forecasted SIX snow events for the city of Portland of 3+ inches or more!

    Anyway that is what I “heard” these gentlemen to say. It is going to be a lot of fun observing how it all plays out while following you guys as well.


    • Ryan (Walnut Grove) says:

      One thing I did note with Steve Pierce’s presentation on the 09/10 winters was anytime El Nino conditions where present the winter usually ended up being a dud with 2″ or less snow.

      At last check we where in weak el nino conditions with the idea being that it has leveled off and will weaken but not go away until spring. Although I do believe George Taylor noted that he did not believe we where in an El Nino yet and what little Nino effect that was present will rapidly trail off.

      Additionally… Most the big 09/10 winter snows also came with a -PDO and I was under the impression that we are currently +PDO (about .8 or 1?).

      So I’m thinking if we continue with a +PDO and a weak El Nino this winter will be incredibly boring. But if the PDO goes negative and the ENSO neutral things could be fun!

  3. Tyler says:

    Seems like a pretty typical October day to me. Mostly cloudy, a few sunbreaks highlighting the fall colors.

    It was pouring this morning around 6:30. It was raining so hard, I pulled radar and lightning data to see if something unexpected was moving into the area. However, that quickly passed.

  4. Cloudy 54.6F….0.03″ rain so far

  5. Tetra says:

    Darn I was hoping to be able to help……..especally if it’s a weather history question cause I like looking that kinda stuff up. 🙂

    56.3F and overcast. I’ve often wondered why they call it overcast anyways? That doesn’t sound like a cloud name. :p

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

    Tetra, I actually don’t remember the question now lol.

    Timmy, yep I used “Droppin” back then. That nickname is from my DJ Droppin name (Google me)

    • Timmy_Supercell (Hillsboro) says:

      I looked up the blog archives on May 2006, and actually didn’t see any questions that you asked, maybe it was another month… 🙂

  7. Tetra says:

    What was your question Rob?

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

    This is extreme but expected. Currently -45F with wind chill of -74F at Amundsen -Scott South Pole Station Antarctica. Thats brutal…

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

    I wonder how big of a snow storm we would have to have to make it equivalent to the columbus day windstorm in its intensity? Is it even possible for us to see a snow storm here that we could consider it comparable to being just as historic, rare, or damaging as columbus day?

    • Timmy_Supercell (Hillsboro) says:

      Maybe in the year 19620! I think 6 feet of snow in one week would just about do it, but have we seen that much snow ever?

    • Mback says:

      Yes, the great snowstorm of 2008 was historic. Think of the last time you saw PDX under an arctic influence for almost 2 straight weeks? Add the E wind factor and you had homes in the Troutdale area that were buried in snow up to their fence and roof in a few cases.

      If that isn’t enough, look at the 2006 windstorm on the coast. It was the longest windstorm that we had ever seen. It may not have had the impact on PDX as the Columbus Day storm did but it was definitely historic.

      It seems weather is all about patterns and is not a matter of if something will happen but rather when.

    • Snow-Zone/Monmouth-Elv200' says:

      We would probably have to be in an ice-age to ever see that much snow.

    • Snow-Zone/Monmouth-Elv200' says:

      Or maybe if we had the biggest, strongest, coldest arctic high that we could ever see sitting over the north west and then have a very wet pineapple express slam into the arctic air and not have it erode away?

  10. Doppler Dave (NE PDX) says:

    The meeting had a mixed bag of predictions, although everyone was in agreement that this is a tough winter to predict. There was general consensus for a wet start to the winter and then being drier than normal after the beginning of the year. As for snow, a variety of opinions although it seemed that everyone leaned toward a warmer than average winter. There was debate about whether the current weak El Nino will weaken or strengthen over coming months, but consensus that it is not a strong El Nino. A few comments about the possiblity of events such as a pineapple express, to arctic air to windstorms, but that overall the winter will trend wet in the beginning and dry toward the end.

    • boydo3, N. Albany 500' says:

      Thanks, Dave! When we get a more detailed account of who said what, we should save it and compare later how the winter really turned out. Maybe a small wager as to who is right would be fun. Or a prize of some sort! My family goes on the record every year. It’s fun to see who wins.

  11. philinforestgrove says:

    Looks like Rick is finally peeking his head up into the lower corner of this sat image.
    Pretty cool looking. Wonder how far north it will affect weather in CA?

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

    The Patriots are really picking apart the Titans. Titans must not be used to all the cold and snow..

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

    Ummm speaking of… I have a question back from May 14th, 2006 that hasn’t been answered. :p

    • Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

      I read the article about the meeting. It sounds like they expect the unexpected a real “crapshoot”, but they do not expect another December repeat. In other words they summarized things the same as they do every year. lol

    • Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

      I replied to the wrong post 😮 what a dumb ass I am. 🙂

    • Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

      Also most analogs matched up with 2006 a weak El Nino. Snow in November, December, and tapering off in January. Also the December wind storm! Yeah bring it on!

      Oh and my Kansas City Chiefs actually won a game today! 😀

    • Timmy_Supercell (Hillsboro) says:

      Oh it would be nice to FINALLY get a windstorm, and at least a good one since 2006. Well the 2007 gale was nice, but in the Valley, rain was its biggest threat, so i could do without that.

      My mind keeps telling me we won’t see any significant snowfall this year.

      And don’t call yourself dumb, we make mistakes 🙂

    • Snow-Zone/Monmouth-Elv200' says:

      Timmy, your right only 1ft of snow this year wont be that significant. But lets hope for 3-4ft or so….

    • Tetra says:

      What’s the question?

    • Timmy_Supercell (Hillsboro) says:

      Rob, I believe your username was Droppin back in 2006?

  14. Jory (Sandy) says:

    So can we get a runthrough of how the meeting went? I see bits and pieces, but not the whole kit and caboodle!

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