Fun Viewer Letters

June 8, 2010

A REAL piece of 20th century! A cranky viewer vents...

I’ve been forecasting weather here in Portland for 19 years, 17 of those on TV.  I really feel that the first 10 years were the most fun with respect to viewer interaction.  In the 1990s many viewers sent ACTUAL LETTERS through the post office.  I’m sure that’s shocking to those of you under 30 years old, but keep in mind email (for the general public) has only been around 15 years.  Imagine no Facebook, Twitter, Blogs etc…people actually had conversations with each other; and they sent letters through the mail to complain about the weather.  For years there was the “rain lady”.  The Oregonian has referenced her and while at KOIN-TV Jim Little and I used to get her mean letters.  She loved rain and sent hate-filled notes when an anchor or the weather person would complain about it.  I clearly remember one that appeared to be written on the back of a church bulletin!  And it wasn’t a nice “christian message” either!  Good times back then.

So this brings me to today;  I finally got a nasty weather letter!!!  It’s probably been 8 years.  Yevgeniy, our intern, took a nice snapshot of the letter.  Here’s the text (unaltered for dramatic effect):

(Dear) Weatherforcasters ?!

Please stop having two forcast each 1/2 hour news segment.  They tend to change from hour to hour anyhow, and are seldom correct.  We are sick of planning with your inept job performances.

Just come on at the end of the news segment and tell us what the weather was on the prior day.  You should be able to come pretty close on that one.

Let’s have a few more sports or good news stories.

Your incompetence is bewildering.

A former fan

Good stuff eh?  Sometimes you just gotta love this job!

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

Summer Appears on the Maps

June 8, 2010

Our 4 week bout of unusually rainy and chilly weather will end soon…hope for the masses!

I took Monday off to take advantage of some warm and sunny weather…and it didn’t disappoint.  Plenty of afternoon sun, warmer temps, and dry enough for my daughter’s softball game.  We’ve got another nice day in progress today; although plenty of high clouds are filtering the sun.  We have nice offshore flow this morning, so with some sunshine we should get into the 70s easily this afternoon, unless the clouds decide to stay thick.

What has grabbed my eye the last 3 days or so is a sudden change in the weather forecast this weekend;  it appears summertime conditions are going to set in over the weekend.  Actually two things are in the works.  First, we’ll get our only significant warm spell/hot period  (by late spring standards) we’ve seen so far this season.  Usually we do that much earlier in the Spring at some point.  The other item to note is beyond that on the long range maps.  Much higher upper-level heights along with much weaker troughs passing by.  This means a familiar June pattern of warmth, then onshore flow and cooling, followed by weaker onshore flow for warming again…etc.  None of this involves any sort of significant rain, so the “faucet” is about to shut off.  This looks like the turn from chilly and wet spring conditions to more settled “early summer” conditions.  That’s not to say we’re done with cool and wet troughs until September!  Sure, it could be, but we won’t know I suppose until early July.

So how warm this weekend?  Looks like 850mb temps somewhere between +13 and +18 Saturday/Sunday before some sort of onshore push later Sunday.  Models don’t agree on the details; but these temps will easily get  us into the low-mid 80s in the lowlands, maybe warmer (90???).

Due to the expected change in the weather, I planted most of the rest of my warm weather veggies today anticipating they can survive 3 cool/wet days before the big warm up. 

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen