A Warm Screw Up

Well, I had a really bad forecast score last week due to missing EVERY single high temp forecast and one low.  I need to be within 3 degrees; last week’s annoying cool east wind plus some extra warm sunny days messed things up big time.  The first day of THIS week is no different; I went for 55 and we hit 59.  I’m fine with the actual forecast (showers to PM sunshine) was fine.  Obviously some real challenges ahead temperature-wise the next few days as well.  We’re getting into that time of year where we can see unusually warm temperatures, let’s say 60+ from east wind coming down off the Cascades.  In the Thanksgiving to Valentines period our record highs generally come from warm southerly wind.  During this transitional time it’s always tough to forecast high temps.  Tomorrow we start out much cooler than today and have plenty of fog to start with too.  Then drying easterly wind breezes across the metro area by afternoon.  So I figure we’ll end up quite close to today.

I think it’s a different story Thursday through Sunday though as a cool pool of air develops to our east.  It’s pretty obvious on the WRF-GFS model.  Due to that I lowered high temps Thursday and beyond due to strong easterly wind (20g35 mph at PDX seem likely each afternoon).  In that pattern this time of year I think it’ll be tough to get above the mid 50s.  I could be low…we’ll see.    More likely on Thursday it’ll be 52 at Troutdale and 59 at Oregon City and McMinnville.  Coolest temps near the Gorge, warmer farther away etc…

I’m glad we stayed with a dry forecast for the weekend, I see the 00z GFS and ECMWF are still showing a change to wetter flow around Tuesday of next week.  The GFS is much cooler than the ECMWF.  The ECMWF looks like a return to warm systems and flat ridging over the West Coast for the very last week of February.  Either one says we can definitely turn on the faucets and probably take snow tires off too.  Tomorrow might be the big day to call off the rest of winter…

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

64 Responses to A Warm Screw Up

  1. PDX Weather Nut says:

    Our balmy “winter” continues. No significant cold since December. Nighttime temps frequently hovering around the normal “high” for the day.

  2. Mr Data says:

    Took a drive to Roths and to Abiqua Heights to see the view of Salem and man the sky is SOOOO CLEAR!

    I it was DEAD everywhere people waise.

    Usually there are a few pedestrains..mostly at the bars and theather but nope.

    Driving home I saw thru the windwos for a brief second that there was nobodey in the popular Town House resturant.

    Strangly enough the (Silverton mini fair has come into town already which they usually come in late spring and wind up usually getting rained/drizzled on. 😛

    They sure willl appericate the dry/sunny spell we are going 2 have.

    43F here.

    Mr Data out.

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

    You know it is unusual when it is the middle of February I have east winds 15-30mph and my temp continues to hover around 50 F. Also there is a thermal trough off the northern California Coast…

    Summer anyone?

    • Mr Data says:

      What is a thermal trough for California?

      What does it mean for them?

    • Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

      The pattern unfolding is very much like a Summer type patter with the heat low/thermal trough. The difference is this time of year it doesn’t mean much in the way of hot temps, but it does pull in a marine deck up along the northern California Coast which moves north towards the southern Oregon Coast usually over time overspreading the entire length of the Coast.

  4. W7ENK says:

    Okay, so I set my avocado outside to get some sun today, and it promptly went into shock, in only about 10 minutes… Poor thing is all floppy and sad looking now. Back inside; I hope she’s going to be okay! 😥

    I saw my first dandelion blossom in the back yard today, too…

    After a low last night of 37.9°F, we hit 61.3°F at the house. East winds picked up a bit in the afternoon – peaked NNE 15.0 at a quarter to 5. That dropped the temp back down to the low 50s relatively quickly. Gone back to relative calmness tonight.

    If it stays clear and calm, maybe we’ll actually drop below freezing?

  5. Mr Data says:

    52F about 4:00

  6. Mr Data says:

    I just hit 52F and had more sunshine then I did yesterday.

    About 12:30 the clouds burned off fast but we still stayed chilly most of the day and it’s 45.9F
    Unless Mr fog comes back we may be taking a trip to the 30s.

    Why are we having a (Warm Screw Up) as Mark worded it again?

  7. Very nice day!

    55.8° with east winds to 17 mph in the past hour.

  8. BillyBobThornton says:

    Howdy all,

    BBT is back again, man, this east wind here in Hood River has me crying like a little baby wanting his mommy’s sewer lids. I’m with Tez, I think we both need a little suckle on the teets after this crazy wind. What do you all do when the wind is blowing like this? Rob, don’t you live in the gorge?

    • Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

      Hello, BBT.

      Nope I live a few blocks from Gresham. I wish I lived in the Gorge. Hmmm what do I do… I enjoy it. It’s only ever annoying when gusts 40+ slam the front of the house and windows. Then it can become difficult to sleep.

  9. Ryan (Walnut Grove) says:

    Hmmm… A colder regime is gaining steam with the GFS model which seems to be coming round to the Euro.

  10. Steve in Snohomish says:

    Bright and sunner today. Word.

  11. Karl Bonner says:

    A Cool Screw-Up today in the south valley – still foggy and 45-ish an hour past noon!

    • Punxsutawney (aka HIO Phil at work by Sunset High) ~280' says:

      Hmmm…KHIO is -4 degrees today v yesterday at 1:00pm. That would seem to suggest we don’t make it to the forecast high of 58 out here but there’s still time for a late push.

  12. Punxsutawney (aka HIO Phil at work by Sunset High) ~280' says:

    At 31 for a low today, Hillsboro had its second 32 or less minimum so far the year today.

    So that’s 2 for 2010 for the first 48 days. Last year (cooler than average) had 39 freezing or lower minimums through the first 48 days at KHIO.

    Also, there were no 32 degree or lower readings in Hillsboro during the month of January. As far as I can tell from looking at the records; that has never happened since official records began in 1929. Not in the strong El-Nino of 1982-83, not in the warm period in the 1930’s. Not even close. January 2010 is a real outlier.

    Also, I only saw one February without freezing temps, 1999. Strange in that 1999 had a lot of low snow levels that spring that had low level peaks still snow covered late into the spring.

  13. Ryan (Walnut Grove) says:

    I think Mark has drawn the ire of the weather gods with the “winter is over” comment. The models, while not show snow, did get dramatically cooler long term as of the 12Z.

  14. Mr Data says:

    Oh when is Mr Fog going to go away?

    I am still stuck at 42.3F outside and feel todays warm up is screwed.

    (sigh)

    So much for that average week of Feb sun.

    Well actually we don’t usually get it all in one week solid but you get what I mean right?

  15. k5mitch says:

    46.5 F
    mostly sunny

  16. Ron says:

    Is there going to be another significant wind event at Crown Point with these pressure gradients or will it be just in the 40mph-50mph catagory?

  17. Punxsutawney (aka HIO Phil at work by Sunset High) ~280' says:

    Well I saw something pretty rare this winter. Ice on the old wreck outside this morning.

    33.0 at my station when I left.

  18. Corbett Tez says:

    Thanks Mark..for the answers, NOT the wind!!! 🙂 Actually, we’ve been very surprised by how often it is NOT windy out here. When we were getting ready to buy and move here EVERYONE said that it was windy ALL the time. Much like how people from around the country think it rains ALL the time out here. The wind in the winter just makes us appreciate the amazing days out here in the Summer and Fall all the more!!

  19. Mr Data says:

    Good night.

    By the way the Ant King was me. 🙂 I can transform into creatures using shape-shifting tricks.

    (I wish)

    • Karl Bonner says:

      “Tomorrow might be the big day to call of the rest of winter.” Sorry but I don’t understand this statement as written and spelled. Did you mean to say “call off,” Mark, and just made a typo? Or what else?

      I’m glad to hear you devoting attention to the subject of February ridges and how difficult the temperatures are to predict. We’re right on the edge between the sun being too weak to warm us up and the sun being too strong to not warm us way up. It kind of feels like October…it can get warm during a dry spell but not drastically warm most of the time, and the nights during dry spells are almost invariably on the cool side.

  20. The KPTV Ant King says:

    Ahh Corbett Tez ignore them when they bash you for (complaining)

    Which according to law you have the God given right to complain as long as you don’t put others down who may disagree with your point of view on whatever topic you are upset about.

    Life isn’t always roses and flowers. 🙂 http://www.smileyhut.com/naughty/axe.gif

  21. Corbett Tez says:

    And the difference between my bitching about the wind in the gorge and all the weather geeks on here complaining constantly that our weather here in the NW is “boring” is what exactly!? I could say the same to you…if you want more interesting weather, move to Buffalo and enjoy lake effect snow, or Oklahoma City and enjoy intense thunder storms and tornadoes! I LOVE living out here, but this winter has been crazy with the wind – much more than in past years. I’m simply wondering how long this next wind event will last? And when this particular pattern we seem to be stuck in will shift so we can also enjoy some of these wonderful early spring like days (today being an exception of course).

    • Mark Nelsen says:

      Don’t worry, I used to whine about it all the time too, then forget about it by April.

      East wind will blow from tomorrow through at least Sunday. So a solid 5-6 days of wind.

      Not sure why that wind sensor in Corbett stopped yesterday morning. Could be a computer reboot with an automatic windows upgrade. Tomorrow is math volunteer day for me in the same room, so it should be running again by 9am.

    • Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

      <—- Is looking forward to the wind.

    • ChuckyD81 says:

      For the record…regarding my questioning whether you researched the area before you moved there…I was simply inquiring.

      In other words, I don’t share the same viewpoint of the antagonistic comment that was made after mine.

    • pappoose in scappoose says:

      I’m sure I would complain as well with the incessant wind out there. The beauty of the gorge is the payoff.

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

    Our overall pressure pattern is in process of changing. The flow across the valleys from Olympia to Eugene has already completed it’s transition to northerly flow. As well I see the OTH-GEG Cross Cascade gradient has already switched offshore, albeit lightly. PDX/TTD-DLS is lagging behind which depending on the overall setup is often the case. That should also turn offshore soon. Then as the day progresses tomorrow should increase quiet a bit. I’m thinking peak PDX/TTD-DLS will be 7.9 to 9.4mb this event.

    • W7ENK says:

      Nice pics! Looks like a beautiful time in the Gorge today.

      Thanks for posting!

    • boydo3 N Albany says:

      That’s cool that there are hiking clubs. So many places to go in this great State! And so close. Thanks for posting.

    • Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

      Nice pics, Tyler. I’d have to say my favorites are the night pics with the moon, bridge, and fog.

    • MasterNate says:

      Tyler, since you enjoy hiking so much I would like to suggest Table Rock, Rooster Rock and Peechuck Lookout. All are located SE of Molalla. Table rock tops out around 5,000 ft I believe. Very beautiful hike. You most likely need to wait until late spring due to snow. Well, maybe not this year.

    • W7ENK says:

      Oh yes! Table rock (Molalla) is a wonderful hike… especially on a crystal clear day (like today) It’s a fairly easy hike, ~3 hours up and 90 minutes back down, and that was with two kids in tow. The last couple hundred vertical feet get pretty steep for some people, but I don’t think it’s anything to worry about.

      If you go in the early spring, be careful along the “glacier”. It’s not really a glacier, but just a steep icy slope along side the trail about half way up, and my friend Mike almost lost his daughter as she lost her footing and slid several hundred feet down toward the big rocks at the bottom… thankfully, she was able to stop herself, but it took almost 2 hours to retrieve them both back to the trail. Needless to say, that kind of ended that day!

      All in all, Table Rock is one of my favorite trails for introducing noobs to PNW hiking, but just like anywhere else, be safe! 🙂

    • Andrew Johnson says:

      Table Rock is a classic!

  23. Tyler in Hazel Dell says:

    Jesse was remarking we wouldn’t hit 60…I thought we would, but more so Wednesday or Thursday, not today!

    I just returned from the gorge and have never seen the water so flat! The wind was so calm there was fog forming over it as well. Pics to come!

  24. scott in SLC says:

    Just lurking a lot this winter moved here last summer from Oregon. formerly Scott in S.Corvallis. I thought we would have a great winter here (Snow I mean) unfortunatly El creepo, I mean El nino has made it very dry, in fact the Wasatch snow pack is reported today at 65% of normal, that’s low for here. There may be some better, or more interesting weather in the near future…looks like some northerlies on the east side of your ridge are going to drop an upper low right on top of us thursday, then a nice barclonic zone is going to set up while the westerlies undercut your ridge, could give us some nice snow for a few days, I’m suspect because nothing has happened this winter but we are hoping. I hope the great NW gets active as well. P.S. Good to see Rob back that whole mess seemed like a bunch of well you all know.

  25. W7ENK says:

    ***Repost from the previous thingie***

    63.9° for a high in Milwaukie today! I hope that’s accurate… sure felt like it to me, but I’m still just a bit skeptical.

    So, does anyone have any idea what the conditions on Mount Hood will be like on Sunday? I’m taking my little buddy snowboarding for his first time, and I don’t want it to suck to badly for him! 🙂

    I’d actually like to know, because if the weather up there is going to be crappy, I don’t want this kid to get a bad first impression… I’ll just hold off until next weekend or the one after.

    • boydo3 N Albany says:

      Could be icy. And without fresh snow it may not be so great. But keep an eye on the sky because something might move in by the weekend.

    • W7ENK says:

      I think we can deal with icy, especially if the sun is shining… I’m just worried about wind & rain. I’ve been on the mountain on wet and windy days, and they’re no fun! The wind might be a bit of a turn-off, but I think the kid and I can manage if it isn’t too crazy.

      Any thoughts on what the winds might be like up there? Rob, maybe you can help me out?

    • Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

      Hmmmm may depend on where you’re skiing at. I think the peak winds may be slightly on the decline Sunday. Perhaps 30-50mph around Ski Bowl/Timberline. I have to say I am not familiar with Meadows enough to say. I’m not sure if they get as much easterly flow there.

    • W7ENK says:

      30 mph might be manageable, but I think 50 mph would be a bit excessive. I guess I could always take him up there, and if the wind looks like it’s going to be too intense, then we can just play in the snow for a couple hours.

      Thanks for the info!

  26. The KPTV Ant King says:

    It has been soo gloomy living in the basement of the studio for so long.

  27. The KPTV Ant King says:

    Ant thoughts:

    (Ahhhhhhh it’s good to be out in the sun with temps in the upper 50s and can’t wait till it passes 60F)

    (I need to find some sugar in the Fox 12 studio blog room and then bug Mark)

  28. Annie in Vancouver ~330 ft. says:

    Wow! We hit 62 here in Vancouver?? My daughter and I are sick, so stayed in with the heat cranked to 72 all day. I thought it felt warm out, but didn’t check my wx station all day. I am loving the sunshine, even if it is from under a blanket on the couch 🙂 Im sure we’ll be feeling better by the end of the week when we will have continued sunshine and warm temps though.

    One question, how strong is the east wind supposed to be later this week (Thurs/Fri)? Will it still feel warm, or will the wind be persistent and strong enough to make it feel cold when playing outside?

    Thanks for the update Mark!

    • Justin (Brush Prairie) says:

      Pearson hit 62, which usually means Vancouver hit 58.

    • Mark Nelsen says:

      I agree with you Justin. Pearson has been about 2 degrees warm (from what I see) for over a year now…including that 108, which I bet was more like 106. Notice how Vancouver the last year has regularly been warmer than PDX? It never used to do that.

    • Tyler in Hazel Dell says:

      Agreed…it may have hit 60, but when it was 108 at KVUO I was 105. It seems to be skewed the largest on sunny days…perhaps the sensor is exposed to the sun too much?

    • Justin (Brush Prairie) says:

      Yeah, I first started noticing it around late 2007, when their highs became noticeably warmer than PDX/HIO/SPB on an almost daily basis. You can’t really chalk it up to location or microclimate as no such trend existed in the first 11 years that VUO reported temperatures. I seriously have to wonder why the NWS hasn’t corrected whatever it is. I don’t even bother to check that station now.

  29. Mr Data says:

    I see your point Corbett.

    I am glad you are enjoying today which here made it to 59F for the first time this year. 🙂

    I wonder if we shall see frosty nites upahead where it warms fast in the afternoon?

    • Karl Bonner says:

      I don’t think it’s dry enough for anything approaching frost….yet, that is. If humidity gets quite low as the dry spell progresses AND there’s a good push of moderately cool air from the north and east, then places without a lot of wind at night may see frost this weekend.

      The past couple days the forecasts have been arguing a lot over temperatures between now and Sunday….Wunderground just bumped Eugene’s Thursday high back up to 63 after it had been lowered to 59 earlier today. And I see that Mark’s 7-Day shows a steady cooling trend – 2 degrees per day until PDX is back down to seasonal average (51) by Sunday. So while we’re obviously starting this dry spell out on a very spring-like note, we may regress back to late winter conditions in a few days, though it should still be dry.

      It’s actually the opposite of what I’d expect from a typical spring-in-February ridge: usually you start out on the foggy and cool side, then the ridge builds up from the south and the afternoons start to get really toasty. The current setup actually makes me think about the October ridge where cold air sneaked in from the northeast. Granted this is not nearly as Arctic as that one was, but it’s a similar kind of deal: gradually slumping temperatures with a dry east wind.

  30. Corbett Tez says:

    Hey Mark…couple of things. 1) Is the anemometer on the Corbett school down again? 2) how long is THIS East wind event supposed to last? Also, just out of curiosity, just how many East wind days now over 25MPH have we had out here this winter? And how does that compare to recent years?

    This pattern we’ve been in this year has been the most annoying since I moved out here 4 years ago – every time it looks like we’re in for some nice weather, we get socked with another “wind event!” Today being an obvious exception – beautiful sunny day – no wind, temps around 61 here at the house!! GORGEOUS!!!

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