Where’s The Rain?

Here’s the radar image from 11:45am today.  I’ve been here at home waiting for rain for about 24 hours now.  And it’s still dry outside, pavement & garden.  I planted a bunch of stuff over the weekend, assuming it would get soaked later Monday and that never happened (at least on the east side of town).  Sorry about the lack of posting over the weekend and Monday.  I spent almost all my free time outside over the weekend, which was fantastic (73!).  Then I was at the hospital with my wife yesterday for a pre-arranged operation…no big deal, she’s fine.  But that explains why I’ve been absent.

Obviously there hasn’t been any significant weather the last few days (except for that one lonely thunderstorm over Portland & Vancouver Saturday afternoon.  I see there was all of one cloud to ground strike with it.  Must have been a high percentage of cloud/cloud strikes since so many of you heard thunder.

So today’s pattern is the same as what we had a good chunk of last winter (temporarily this time around).  A deep upper-level trough is digging south into California, giving them unseasonably wet and cool weather.  You can see the core of cold showers moving down the coastline towards San Francisco at midday.  We are in the pathetic southeast flow as the trough approaches right now.  Cold front already went through with a good onshore push, so much cooler today.

Not a ton of rain coming up the next 12 hours…I would bet less than .30″ at PDX, maybe only .15″?  The big soaker is going to be for the folks that really WANT the rain…east of the Cascades.  That southerly flow and wrap-around moisture around the low is very good without the Cascades in the way to block the rain.  Dry land farmers, hundreds of thousands of acres including just about all farmland in north-central Oregon from The Dalles to Pendleton and south to the John Day River, consider April and May rain “gold” I was once told.  That’s because it’s the most critical growing period when the grain (wheat/barley etc…) is really getting going after early Spring and before it dries out in later June/July for harvest.  If they could get 3-4″ of rain in those two months apparently the crop is just incredible.  Of course some years there is less than .50″ and that really reduces the yields.  But occasionally a couple of upper-level lows gives them a nice soaking, and every 10 years or so they get really lucky.

In general we have another nice period of April weather coming up through the weekend.  I figure anytime we don’t have showers/rain for many days straight in April is “good weather”.  Of course we need some showers occasionally from now through September, or else our landscape would look like a desert, but I just prefer to not have a total washout for weeks at a time.  This spring seems just about perfect so far; but I realize everyone has their own opinion.

Mark Nelsen

34 Responses to Where’s The Rain?

  1. Mr Data says:

    It’s pretty amazing the rain is coming from the east/southeast in that loop isntead *instead* of the south/southwest.

    47.3F and light rain. Juneau Alaska style. burrrrrrrrrrrrrr. 🙂

    • Timmy_Supercell (Hillsboro) says:

      Hey haven’t you noticed that the rain over Clackamas County remains stationary, while every other shower in Oregon moved in all sorts of crazy directions? Like some showers in Marion County a little while ago went down south, and the showers from the Cascades are going towards us…. Odd huh?

  2. Hey all, I’m still without a working station and I’m having some really gusty winds here in Albany. Has anyone been watching this?

  3. Timmy_Supercell (Hillsboro) says:

    Did anybody see that orange/pink-ish sky to the south and west earlier? Or was I just seeing things. There was no sun to help out on the colors. It was completely cloudy…

  4. Tyler in Hazel Dell says:

    Looks like rivers are getting ready to break up in Alaska…
    http://akweathercams.faa.gov/imageloop.php

    Btw: Peak wind today of 24 mph so far.

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

    Winds have really gusted good. Picked up my bro from a track meet and waiting in the parking lot the car was really getting buffered around, it really shook. Temp 50.9F

  6. Tyler in Hazel Dell says:

    The last couple of weeks it seems the rain has fallen mainly at night…that is nice…keeps us green while we stay halfway nice during the day!

    Today was just cloudy with a few drops. It never rained hard enough to get even all of the pavement wet.

  7. Timmy_Supercell (Hillsboro) says:

    It tried raining earlier today here in Hillsboro, but it was mainly sprinkles that fell. Still feels nice and muggy out, so it aint bad.

    • Chuck on Mt Scott says:

      Up here its chilly and blustery. With rain turning to light rain now. I went outside and couldn’t believe the temp drop. Winds are from the NE’ish and it makes it feel down right chilly out. Looking at the radar, the rain just hovered over the PDX area for a few hours and is now starting to move away. It’s like the cloud just hung over the area and had no where to go.

    • pappoose in scappoose says:

      It’s been gusty here also Chuck, just had a gust of 20 from the N’ish. Sprinkles . Radar shows another band of rain coming our way, wonder if it will fizzle before it gets here.

    • pappoose in scappoose says:

      Looks like the rain still doesn’t know which way to go.

  8. Timmy_Supercell (Hillsboro) says:

    Wow, considering most severe thunderstorms in the PNW any time of year, I’d say this is some of the most active I have seen in terms of SVR warning boxes…

    KCBX radar looks to be very busy.

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

    There needs to be better radar coverage on the east side.

  10. pappoose in scappoose says:

    TV met reports a tornado touched down 25 min ago 20 miles south of burns.

    • Timmy_Supercell (Hillsboro) says:

      If only there was a radar station in Bend or something, I bet Doppler radar would have signified rotation prior to the tornado.

    • pappoose in scappoose says:

      Yeah, we for sure don’t see that well over there.

    • pappoose in scappoose says:

      Not a confirmed tornado yet but reports of power poles down.

    • Timmy_Supercell (Hillsboro) says:

      They did say some strong outflow winds of 60-70 mph have occurred in certain spots. Most likely that was caused by thunderstorm wind and not a tornado.

  11. Timmy_Supercell (Hillsboro) says:

    This was about 45 minutes ago…

    BULLETIN – EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
    SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING
    NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BOISE ID
    347 PM PDT TUE APR 20 2010

    THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN BOISE HAS ISSUED A

    * SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING FOR…
    EAST CENTRAL HARNEY COUNTY IN SOUTHEAST OREGON…AND WEST CENTRAL MALHEUR COUNTY IN SOUTHEAST OREGON…

    * UNTIL 430 PM PDT/530 PM MDT/.

    * AT 336 PM PDT…AUTOMATED SURFACE OBSERVATIONS INDICATED DAMAGING WINDS UP TO 70 MPH. THESE DAMAGING WINDS WERE LOCATED NEAR ANTELOPE SPRING…OR 27 MILES WEST OF ROME…AND WERE MOVING NORTH AT 40 MPH.

  12. Timmy_Supercell (Hillsboro) says:

    It would be cool if spotters had their training east of Cascades today, because SE Oregon has severe thunderstorms right now as we speak.

  13. Mr Data says:

    Wow look at it come down! 😮

    55F.

    So much for Mark’s blog “Where’s the rain?” Now we know where it is!

  14. Steve Pierce (Vancouver, WA.) says:

    ** THE ONLY CHANCE TO ATTEND A METRO AREA “NWS WEATHER SPOTTER TRAINING SESSION” IS TONIGHT **

    This only happens once a year. This is a must attend event if you want to be an NWS Spotter! NWS Weather Spotter Training will be held tonight (Tuesday) in Vancouver, WA. This location is right off of I-205 just north of the Columbia River near SR-500 in the Orchards area of Vancouver. This is a great chance to get involved and become a spotter for the NWS! Hope you can attend!

    You can find all the details at the following link:
    http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/pqr/info/spotnews_2010_spring_web.pdf

    Steve Pierce
    Oregon AMS

  15. Aleta-West Gresham says:

    Finally started raining here.

  16. Mr Data says:

    I guess I suck tat long posts.

    What I wanted to know is who and when started youtube videos like the ‘Let’s Play” series where you choose a game you are good at and make commentary on it as you plug thru the levels?

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

    Mark, thanks for the update. Your absence is understandable. I see you are going with the same rainfall totals I commented on last night and even that looks kind of sketchy right now. Light rain is falling here now as a batch of light rain moves up from the south and I even see a few moderate showers over Yamhill County which are moving the opposite direction towards the south. Interesting. I also see quite a few lightning strikes over south-central Oregon down into western Nevada.

  18. Battle Ground Brian says:

    Front has passed thru my area. We have not got a drop of rain, but the temp dropped 4 degrees last hour with gusty West winds all of a sudden. Seems like a classic el nino split at the moment.

  19. W7ENK says:

    Well, it’s raining in Clackamas now… 😦

  20. Aleta-West Gresham says:

    Was wondering what happened to that rain! Thanks for the update

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