Gloomiest Day in Months?

June 20, 2010

It could have been!   I just ran into this posting from my college professor Cliff Mass up at the UW.  He says here, that the solar radiation sensor at the UW recorded it’s lowest level since the end of February.  The point is that the gloom was constant up there the whole day, similar here in Portland too.  And the sun is the highest of the year!  I think what he was really trying to say is “it doesn’t get any worse than this”.  At my home where it tends to be wetter up around 1,000′ way out on the east side of the metro area, it drizzled or sprinkled every time I looked outside…constant wetness, like a rain forest.  Oh yeah, we are considered part of the world’s largest temperature rainforest in the foothills of the Cascades, but this is nuts.

Looking ahead, not much better except Tuesday and Wednesday should be very late-June-like with lots more sun.  Models sure want to push in another unseasonably cold trough and showers at some point between this Friday and the following Monday-Tuesday.  We could possibly have ANOTHER cool and cloudy weekend in the works.

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

Saturday Night Showers

June 19, 2010

I’m in tonight because Brian is feeling a bit under the weather.  I’m always happy to help out, since I know most of my co-workers are glad to come in when I’m on the verge of death (or if I have a man-cold).  The weather was pretty slow today; a bit better than expected, but then finally plenty of showers and downpours showed up this evening across a good chunk of the Metro area.  I feel a bit redeemed over a yucky Saturday forecast.

Out of time, but tomorrow looks about like today, minus the heavy showers.  I’m not going whole hog with the warm up next week either.  A longwave trough is still hanging in over us with heights MAYBE up to 576dm.  That’s typical late June mild weather; as opposed to the really cool late June weather we’ve been having.  So still an improvement ahead the next 7 days, but not a big startup of summer conditions.

Chief Meterologist Mark Nelsen

Unhappy Northwesterners

June 17, 2010

I was a bit disturbed yesterday after an incident at a “large food warehouse” that also sells tires, $1.50 koscher hot dogs, and vacations on the way out the door.  I’m sure you can’t figure that one out but we can’t be giving away free advertising even on the weather blog.  So I’m walking past the nice woman who smiles from the “leaf-free gutters” area and I hear “there he is!” .  My head quickly swivels to the right, thinking I also heard get ‘im!”, but maybe that’s just in my head.  It’s the lady that checks the receipt on the way out the door.  She then says (while looking at the other receipt-checker) “I just want to wring his neck!”  She was referring to the cloudy and cool weather.  But she didn’t just say it, she acted it out!   I didn’t grow up behind a barn…well, kind of, but anyway, she made a twisting motion with her two hands…remarkably similar to the first process in butchering a chicken.   No, not the axe method, but the other.  So reflexively I rubbed the back of my neck to make sure my head was still connected to my spine…luckily it was!  She DID smile, but they probably smile at the chickens before that move too. 

The point of that little Thursday afternoon story is that folks are cranky out there.  People need some warmth.  I got one email from a viewer that said he was on his 4th try with cucumbers.

So where do we go from here?  No significant change through the early part of next week for sure.  The general dip in the upper-level flow keeping chilly temperatures over the Pacific Northwest stays put through the middle of next week.  One small disturbance (an upper-level low) is dropping down through the Queen Charlotte Islands this afternoon and should arrive over Northwest Oregon by tomorrow evening.  Up until that time we get quite a break.  The onshore flow weaks a bit tomorrow for a bit more sunshine and a warmer atmosphere overhead could actually get us within a few degrees of normal!

Tomorrow evening/overnight could get interesting though!  Our RPM model and the WRF-GFS from the UW both show a sudden explosion of showers (possible thunderstorms too) sometime after 6pm tomorrow in Northwest Oregon.   The two models are quite similar.  They have heavy showers developing in the southeast flow ahead of the approaching low over the east side of the Metro Area, and North Oregon Cascades.  Then they move north-northwest up into Western Washington overnight tomorrow.  The WRF-GFS has over an inch of rainfall by Saturday morning in that area!  Should be fun to see how it plays out.

Looking at our 7 Day forecast, I admight it sure looks like a “Pessi-Cast”, but as mentioned in earlier posts I sure don’t want to imply that we have any good stretch of weather on the horizon.  I think there is only one day on there with temps anywhere near average for the last two weeks of June.

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

Record Tied Today

June 16, 2010

Looks like we tied the record cold high temperature for today.  That would be the coldest June 16th high temperature @ PDX.  So not a new record but a tie…and chilly!  A typical high temperature is 73 degrees!

Another Funnel Cloud

June 16, 2010

We had 3 separate pics/videos from viewers down in the Stayton area.  Looks real clear cut to me.  Plus Carol Lundberg (the photog) says she saw plenty of rotation.  Cold core funnels are quite common in the Pacific Northwest, especially nowadays when everyone seems to have the ability to take a picture or video with just a few seconds notice.  They rarely touch down (as a tornado of course), but usually just dissipate after a few minutes.  If you ever have a weather pic to send, send it to


Mountain Snow

June 16, 2010

It’s June 16th, and 4″ of fresh snow is on the ground this morning at Timberline Lodge.  That plus a soaking rain falling here at home (far east metro area) and I’m going to cry…looks like January outside.  I’ve had about 6.50″ of rain so far this month here and it’s still coming down.   I’m sure those 80-90 degree days are just around the corner…

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

A New Record! Wettest June

June 15, 2010

It’s done, the heavy rain that passed over PDX from 9-10:30pm has pusehd us past the June rainfall record.  You’ve now lived through the wettest June in history here in Portland.  At least back to the early 1940’s when records began at PDX.  The 4.21″ number includes the .08″ ending at around 10:20pm.

I’ve made a few modifications to the 7 Day forecast…I really like the “Optimicast” wording being used here on the blog.  That’s been a continuing issue lately in the 3-7 day forecasts.  Models can’t seem to handle the nearly continuous longwave trough we’ve had along the West Coast the last 4 weeks.  They have kept trying to fill it and bring upper-level heights to more normal levels for this time of year.  The trend is still there this evening with the 00z GFS slightly lower on heights again as we head into the weekend.  For this reason I’m extremely leary of showing sunshine and mid-70s over the weekend, so I dropped it quite a bit.  Same thing for Friday and next Tuesday.  The main message?  The cooler than average weather is going to continue with no sign of a big warm spell in sight.

Today’s “low” high temp record (it only made it to 57 @ PDX) was from 1954.  Anybody looked into that summer?  That would be anybody other than the “number master” Steve Pierce?  It only hit 86 that year in this city AND that was in mid-May!  In the months of June-September we only made it to 82!  July was full of 60s and 70s.  Shauna Parsons suggested that “75 would be really nice”, that was until I suggested it probably included abundant cloud cover, occasional drizzle or showers, and lots of gloom in general.  Then she agreed that 1954 doesn’t sound so great.

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen