Cold Mornings

February 22, 2010

That was a chilly morning! Take a look at the low temps. I know a bunch of you had lower 20s this morning; of course the urban areas are generally warmer on calm and clear nights, so we only dropped to 27 here in Portland. Even that was a record for the day AND the coldest temp at PDX in 8 weeks (actually the coldest since the morning of the, uh, uh, little snow “event”). Let’s move on before that wound is ripped wide open again. I just took my “snow” car in to have the studs taken off. Yes, I know living at 1,000′ in the west end of the Gorge that I could see some snow again; in that case the 4 wheel drive will do just fine in a few inches of the white stuff. But the possibility of a widespread snow/ice event is over now that nothing is showing up through the first week of March.

I did spend part of the weekend over in Cove at a family function. That’s the eastern edge of the Grande Ronde Valley, right up against the Wallowa Mountains. That would be a great place to retire with good winter snowfall, lots of summer sunshine, and great summer thunderstorms. But it felt like I jumped back 2 months into December. High temps up around 40 and lows in the upper teens. A very brisk bike ride at about 35 degrees, but a beautiful place.

Back here westside we have moisture for rainfall finally moving in tomorrow afternoon. That’s after 7 days of dry weather. There will be some nice evaporational cooling tomorrow, very similar to what we saw in late December, but 5-10 degrees warmer. We are going for a high of 48 (just changed it to 46 with earlier arrival of rainfall), but I could easily see a high around 45, then a drop to about 40 when the precipitation begins. Either way we’ll see a gray, cool, and eventually wet day on Tuesday. A big reminder that we are still technically in winter. Plus, snow levels may drop to around 3,000′ at first tomorrow afternoon. We haven’t seen that much since December.

The big picture looks wetter for the next 7-10 days, but a still a tendency for ridging over or northeast of us. That still spells relatively weak weather systems and good breaks in the rainfall. The system due in here Thursday looks a bit warmer; probably rain in the passes.

There will be a break either Saturday or Sunday, so the weekend might not be so bad…we’ll see.

Stay warm tonight and tomorrow!

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen