Is it Spring or Winter?

April 2, 2010

An unusually windy day for April west of the Cascades

What a way to come back from vacation!  From warm and sunny in the Hawaiian Islands to cold, rainy, and windy here in Northwest Oregon.  At least the weather wasn’t boring for the professional (or amateur) weather geeks.  Today’s wind gusts were similar to what we’d expect from a spring post-frontal wind event; some spots had much higher wind gusts than others.  Heavy showers brought down strong wind from up above…basically strong wind just above the surface “mixed-down” at times.  The strong April sunshine between showers helped mix things as well.  Check out the peak gust of 47 mph at PDX.  I only checked the 1961 to 1990 data, but during that period we never saw a gust above 45 mph at PDX in the month of April.  So this is a rare speed this late in the season.

As for the winter part?  Heavy snow continues in the Cascades…16″ so far at Mt. Hood Meadows.  Enjoy the skiing tomorrow!  It’ll be better than what we saw most of the winter.

The maps don’t look very encouraging for warm weather.  Those of you like me really look at April as the beginning of the gardening season.  This time of year we can usually look forward to at least 2 days a week (or more) of decent outside weather.  By May it’s more like 4 days.  So when I see slop and chilly temps through the end of next week, it’s a bit of a downer.  My nectarine and peach trees are starting to bloom, and one cherry tree is starting, so they could use some warmer and drier weather too.

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen