A Dry Cross-Section

Here’s the 00z Cross-section from the WRF-GFS up at the UW. Several things to notice: First, there is very little moisture from the surfact to 10,000′ or so through Saturday afternoon (at least). Solid sunshine on the way. Easterly flow increases the next 24 hours and then stays very stable through the weekend. We have a strong east wind on the way but nothing too wild. Gusts around 50-60 mph in the Gorge, so probably at least 80 mph at Crown Pt. Should be good up there the next 3 days. Since the east wind mostly disappears for the season after the first week of March, this maybe be the last or one of the last chances to get thrown to the pavement? The other item of note is the cooling airmass the next 3 days. Check out the 0 deg. Celsius line.  Look how low it drops by Saturday afternoon.  That’s another reason I’ve lowered the high temp forecast the next few days compared to today’s high near 60.  We may have trouble hitting 50 on Saturday and Sunday.  Not exactly a cold spell, but a more typical late February cool east wind.

Models are still mostly together showing a return to westerly flow and rain by next Tuesday at the latest.  The ECMWF is the driest, the GFS a bit faster with the rain arrival.  The point is to enjoy the next 3-5 days of dry weather and sunshine!

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

44 Responses to A Dry Cross-Section

  1. PDX Weather Nut says:

    Way above normal temps in Whistler, BC at the Olympics … near 50 degrees when it should normally be around freezing

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

    Nearly perfect day today. Temps in the upper 50’s and E wind gusting 35mph or so. Looks like that might increase slightly overnight according to the latest 12z 4km cross-section model.

    Appears this offshore flow episode could last into at least Monday now.

  3. Rookie says:

    I usually start hearing frogs in Feruary in my neighborhood (Rock Creek). Sometimes its Mid Feb, sometimes later.

  4. biochemist says:

    The apricot trees started to bloom. Someone needs to tell them it’s 6 weeks early for them to bloom. All the raspberries are in full leaf, too. It’s too early for the tender crops to come out of dormancy. Darn. How long will the east winds whip through Hillsboro? It’s balmy in the sheltered places and fooling the trees out of dormancy.

  5. SilentReader says:

    Not sure if this means anything but man the frogs are really loud. I seem to recall the frogs being this active more in mid spring. Sounds like 1000’s of those little buggers out there.

    guess the mild temps have things ahead of schedule

    OR I just never realized the frogs this time of year before.

  6. Jethro (Canby ~187') says:

    61 degrees and gorgeous clear blue skies… I think it’s about time to call it a day and get some much needed weeding done!

  7. WEATHERDAN says:

    Because we don’t get nearly the effects from the gorge winds down here in Salem as you do in Portland I don’t see the cool off to be as big down here in Salem. Here is my forecast for the next 5 days for Salem.
    Thursday Sunny 62/32
    Friday Sunny 61/36
    Saturday Sunny 58/33
    Sunday Sunny 56/32
    Monday Pt Sun 55/35

  8. Aloha Rainshadow says:

    ALOHA!!!! From the beautiful island of Oahu!!! It’s currently a beautiful day out, partly cloudy, around 70 at 10 am. Have to attend a gooood buddy’s wedding today on a balcony overlooking the ocean off of Waikiki ( I know, I know, rough life) hahahaha. Hope all are well and hope Mark is jealous of me looking at a pool full of beautiful ladies in bikini’s LOL!!!! ALOHA!

  9. Mr Data says:

    Little Miss Muffet sat on her tuffet eating her (something and something which I can’t remember) along came a spider which sat down beside her and frightened miss muffet away.

  10. First time this season that the sunshine coming through the glass doors at work has been strong enough to raise the indoor temperature above the 68 our office is set at. Another taste of Spring…and getting closer to the day I can throw those doors open and let fresh air in…

  11. Nice “downsloping” east wind….in just about all areas…

    Currently 53° (After a low of 49) with east wind gusts to 28 in the past hour…

    Beautiful day!

  12. Mark Nelsen says:

    It’s nice to see more and more home weather stations are sending data to CWOP (or WxUnderGround for that matter). I see Ariel, WA is new and a windy location around Marmot or Cherryville, OR is online too.


  13. Timmy_Supercell (Hillsboro) says:

    49F now with ENE wind @ 13mph.

  14. Jesse-Orchards says:

    Beautiful morning out, 35 with light east winds.

    Looks like we will see our coldest airmass of the year so far this weekend. 850s progged to drop to -5c with some backdoor cold air sneaking in around the east side of our ridge. Some outlying areas could be down as low as the low-mid 20s Sunday morning. Also looks like some good mountain snows, with fairly low snow levels, for the long range.

    So much for an early start to spring, though the last few days were pretty mild in the Portland area. Hope you liked your 48/37 down in Eugene with fog much of the day yesterday Karl, not to mention your freezing fog this morning. I guess the sun isn’t quite strong enough to completely mix things out in the afternoon yet. 😉

    • Ryan (Walnut Grove) says:

      Wow… I’m not that far from Orchards (Van Mall area) and I only got down to 48 last night! It is amazing what a difference a couple miles can make!

    • Tyler in Hazel Dell says:

      Very wide range in temps! 33.6 out here in Hazel Dell and everything was frosty. At home in Minnehaha (off of 54th street) it lowered down to only 49.1!!!

    • Mark Nelsen says:

      And the 12z GFS taketh away. It’s dry until next Thursday or Friday now with 850mb temps at/above freezing (after the Saturday cool-air shot).

  15. Timmy_Supercell (Hillsboro) says:

    Rob, be careful of those spiders. One of them got me a stomach flu in August last year (if its a hobo spider that is 🙂 )

    Well, hope some of that east wind reaches here at least over 30mph, otherwise too boring.

    • Tyler in Hazel Dell says:

      Very wide range in temps! 33.6 out here in Hazel Dell and everything was frosty. At home in Minnehaha it lowered down to only 49.1!!!

    • Tyler in Hazel Dell says:

      Timmy—don’t eat the spiders, then they won’t make you as sick!

    • Timmy_Supercell (Hillsboro) says:


    • Sean in Felida says:

      If there’s one of those critters in the house, I make my wife take care of them. Or should I say I request she takes care of them. Are guys more afraid of spiders than women? That’s her opinion. Other than spiders in the house, bees down the back while driving are another one of my big fears (done that one). Guess I’m a wuss.

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

    Ahhh…..Headwind! 😦

    Tailwind Tonight! 🙂

  17. k5mitch says:

    For your reading pleasure or displeasure, more on global warming

    Scientists still sparring over future of Pacific Northwest snowpack.


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

    I just saw/killed another large brown spider outside on our back patio. I have never seen these in February only during the Summer usually. This makes 3 of them now over the past 3 days. I think the earliest I have seen one was late April or May.


    Run FOR YOUR LIVES!!!!

    Okay, a bit over dramatic there.

    • W7ENK says:

      Do they look like this? About 3/4″ to 1.5″ around their legs?


      I have these in my yard already, and had one on the wall in the living room last week. They’re actually quite poisonous!

    • Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

      The one I just killed looked exactly like that…. Fantastic.

      Did you know studies have revealed that Spiders are attracted to TVs? Mine watch SportsCenter. It’s reassuring to know that while mine are biting me that they are sports savvy as well.

    • W7ENK says:

      :double shudder:

      I SO hate spiders! These Hobo Spiders are a cousin to the Brown Recluse, though are not quite as poisonous.

      I had one get into my shirt a couple years ago after doing yardwork. It bit me on the side of my torso, which sent me to the ER totally red and inflamed on my right side. After I had come back inside, I felt the bite, took off my shirt and the little %@&#er fell to the floor. I trapped him in an empty water bottle and took it to the ER with me.

      I still have a small dark spot where the bite was.

      Not a fun experience!


      I SOOOOOO hate spiders!

    • Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

      I hate them… My vacuum doesn’t. That’s how I take care of them.

      Weather related: Still a balmy Fiji like 49.3F here.

      PDX/TTD-DLS still hovering around 4.2 to 4.7mb. This should increase overnight and into tomorrow.

    • k9onyx - Debbie - East Vancouver says:

      I have no idea what possessed me to come read the blog this morning but I wish I hadn’t. I’m gonna have nightmares, and not about the weather! I grew up in Florida where spiders can be the size of your hand and have been scarred for life. I would show pix but that means I’d have to see them. Google wolf spiders and banana spiders. We had brown recluse and black widows there as well. Anyway, you’d think these tiny spiders we have here wouldn’t phase me but they are scary looking and can be quite aggressive and I’m just as scared.

    • Jethro (Canby ~187') says:

      Definitely NOT good news for this arachnaphobe! Whether they are hobo spiders or common house spiders, I hate them and will crush them on site if I have something heavy near me… if not, I will go find something heavy!

      The only spiders that don’t bug me are those little black jumping spiders (sometimes they have orange on them) — they are kind of cute and pretty much harmless.

    • pappoose in scappoose says:

      I prefer the personal touch when I kill the critters, I get a tissue and grab them between thumb and forefinger and squeeze until I feel the little body pop.

    • Brenda, E Vancouver says:

      I’ve had a strange hairy brown spider that is about 1 1/2″ to 2″ in the body alone and then legs kinda like a tarantula. Took a good amount of Raid sprayed directly on it to stun it. It raised up on it’s back legs if you came near it and was too big to just be stepped on (like stepping on a mouse). I’m not sure what kind of spider it was but smacked it with the broom until dead. I’ve seen several and think they are living in my arborvitae trees. I hate spiders and so does my husband. He didn’t believe me about how big the spiders were until he went to get in the shower and there was one in there. Freaked him out, and I felt better. Maybe the only time it liked a spider.

    • philinforestgrove says:

      Grass spiders and common house spiders are sometimes confused with hobo spiders. Subtle differences. Easiest difference is the dark banding on the legs of the grass spider and no banding on the hobo.

  19. boydo3 N Albany says:

    Definitely time to get out there and dig it!
    The coast should be awesome. Down right tropical!

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

    Mark, thanks for the update.

    Hmmm nice stretch of east winds. I’d like to see a few little flags here and there (50kts), but I am not a beggar.

  21. W7ENK says:

    Hmm….. Interesting!

    • W7ENK says:

      Okay, so this kind of chart is a new one on me… Let’s see if I’ve got my head wrapped around it here:

      1) Of course the flags are wind speed and direction. But

      2) the numbers up the Left side (Y-axis) are elevation in Millibars? And

      3) the yellow block at the bottom, is that the surface pressure?

      4) Obviously, the bottom line is the date, broken down by 00 hour and 12 hour (basically Midnight and Noon, but is that GMT or Local?)

      5) The Red line is temp in Degrees C (it says that)

      6) What is the green line? I’m stumped.

      Who knows, I could be totally bass-ackwards on all of this. I apologize for my naïveté, but I’m a noob when it comes to charts like this. 😳

    • Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

      I think the yellow is the surface or ground.
      The time I think is local as you’ve described, or it could be UTC.
      Green is relative humidity if I am not mistaken.

      I’m a noob also.

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