“Normal” September Ahead

What a soaker this weekend…record rain Saturday, then a few thunderstorms scattered around Sunday (although drier than I expected in general), just a bit gloomy today.  Things have returned to normal now with the moist subtropical airmass no longer in the Pacific Northwest.  As a result we’ve got cooler nights ahead and some sunshine the next couple of days.

The big picture over the next 7+ days is definitely not set in stone, but it appears that we PROBABLY have much more pleasant September weather in store for the last week of the month.  The main problem is: where will a warm ridge of high pressure in the upper atmosphere set up shop?  Will it be along the West Coast, or farther east, in the Rockies, next weekend and beyond?  I always like to watch for trends in the models;  the trend today and this evening is for the ridging to hang on at least through the first part of the weekend.  The 12z ECMWF and 00z GFS have very little rainfall Sunday, with ridging kicking in again Monday.  I don’t trust that for now, so we’ve left the rain in the 7 Day forecast Sunday and Monday.  It COULD be a very warm weekend (best in weeks!) if the cold front and rain holds off.

Late last week and today I pulled out the La Nina graphics, cleaned them up a bit from 2007.  and put them in the 10pm show.  Tonight I talked about the Fall/Winter rain possibilities.  Interesting to see how the winter of 2007-2008 lined up with all the graphics I made the Fall before.  Things turned out about as expected except no big windstorm in the Valley and no big arctic freeze.  Plenty of mountain snow, valley rain, and coastal windstorm otherwise that year.  Plus the hills around town really got pounded.  I had 39″ of snow at 1,000′, yet PDX only had a trace.

So what about rain the rest of the Fall?  Most likely above average; same for winter.  Very few La Nina Fall/Winters end up below average.   Temperature is a tossup.  As we just saw, lots of cloudy/rainy weather can be mild.

More La Nina tomorrow…

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

78 Responses to “Normal” September Ahead

  1. Yevpolo1990 says:

    May as well share…
    Guys, my first ever weather forecasting video demo!

    • pappoose in scappoose says:

      Congrats Yevpolo! It’ll be old hat before you know it.

    • Gidrons says:

      Very good. I liked that you didn’t block the maps, like many of the current mets do. Sad to say, but when Jack Capell couldn’t stand and would narrate from his desk, I thought that was the best.

  2. W7ENK says:

    Woo hoo!!! I’m really looking forward to this weekend! Y’all are gonna see upper 70s and low 80s, where I’m headed the forecast calls for:

    Gerlach, NV
    Fri 87
    Sat 89
    Sun 88

    That’s gonna be SO nice…
    Can’t wait! ^_^

  3. RobWaltemate says:

    Today near Long Beach WA, low 52 06:55 high 63.4 13:30 with a DP of about 53 and not much for clouds, and in the sun it was very warm. So I will “PROBABLY” get in another Harley ride soon? “Normal” around here is wait for 5 minuets for the weather to change, haha.

  4. Punxsutawney (aka HIOPHIL) at work by Sunset High elev ~280' says:

    Where was this in July?!!


    91 on Tuesday, which would be a record at KHIO.

    And yes, it’s the 18z…

    • Garron near washington square says:

      WHOOAAA! They need a forecast model wheel you could actually bet on in Vegas! I’d be broke by now, but man it’d sure be a fun ride!!! I’ll put $5 on 9/29 being overcast and a high of 68, with low clouds breaking around 3 pm for an extra 5:1 pay out…lol Then I’ll put $10 on hitting the all time hi for October on 9/17. Hope we get that sun though, I could use one last sunny weekend to get the yard work done!

  5. Garron near washington square says:

    Weather prediction vid from the UK

    I have another video via utube that is from the aspect of a UK weather geek. It is interesting because a lot of the things we’ve discussed about the upcoming winter here, are also very relevant in the UK.


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

    I hope it is okay that I post this here…
    As many of you know my Father has been unfortunately stricken with ALS. I wanted to inform you that the fundraiser Walk to Defeat ALS is this coming Sunday, September 26th.

    If anyone is interested in donating please e-mail me
    > atmosphericwrath@comcast.net <

    I can then get you the info so you may donate to our Family's team. Of course I know these are hard times with our economy, but if anyone of you can donate myself and our Family would greatly appreciate it. If you cannot I more than understand. I consider you guys all friends if not Family(In a weather geek way)
    What is ALS?

    Often referred to as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive, fatal neuromuscular disease that slowly robs the body of its ability to walk, speak, swallow and breathe. The life expectancy of an ALS patient averages 2 to 5 years from the time of diagnosis.

    Every 90 minutes a person in this country is diagnosed with ALS and every 90 minutes another person will lose their battle against this disease. ALS occurs throughout the world with no racial, ethnic, or socioeconomic boundaries.

    This crippling disease can strike anyone. Presently there is no known cause of the disease yet it still costs loved ones an average of $200,000 a year to provide the care ALS patients need. Help make a difference and donate or join a walk today.

    • Garron near washington square says:

      Rob I am so sorry to hear that. I myself lost a friend to that awful disease and am vividly aware of what you and your family must be going through, and will do all I can to support your family. Best wishes and prayers.

    • W7ENK says:

      So sorry to hear, Rob. My grandfather passed at age 75 from Lou Gehrig’s when I was a kid. I don’t remember much, but I do know it was very hard on my Mom.

      Thoughts and Prayers, man. Best of luck to you and your family.

    • Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

      Garron and Erik,

      Thanks for the kind words, thoughts, best wishes, and prayers. Yes we are definitely going through a lot I guess you could call them painful and sobering transitions. As for myself it is a constant struggle finding the strength to be able to cope and deal with this.

    • pappoose in scappoose says:

      I’ll send some prayers for your Father. Carry on bravely.

  7. MomOf2Kiddos says:

    I thought I just saw a funnel cloud just north of the Cornelius Fred Meyer. By the time I got around the corner to my house, it was dissipating. Wish I had gotten a picture, at least so I could get a better look.

    • W7ENK says:

      I seriously doubt that’s what it was, there’s absolutely NOTHING that would lead to that today.

      Who knows though, maybe?

    • RobWaltemate says:

      It was about this time of year when one of the houses we built got hit by a micro burst maybe. Lots of hail damage, broke a window, dented the wood corners like someone took a round hammer to them. You could tell the direction of the wind from the dents in the gutters and skylight flashings. Also took most of the rocks of the composition roof (not flat). There was enven a pickup that got hit by this and his insureance company didn’t belive him until we sent some pics of the house that got hit. The house was on the beach about 151st and Pacific Way. Seems a lot of stuff comes through that area.

    • …can’t resist temptation……
      One of your kiddos wouldn’t be named timmie, would he??? 🙂

    • HIO Phil (Punxsutawney) elevation 189' says:

      That’s a good area to look for them when the weather’s active, but with today’s atmosphere I have a hard time believing it was one even though I remember a report of a funnel down around Corvalis earlier this year out of what was essentially marine layer clouds.

      I’ve seen three funnels and one tornado going back to 1984 in the area from Cornelius Pass Rd to Banks, and I have not been out there every day by any means.

    • MomOf2Kiddos says:

      I was thinking the same, the weather wasn’t what I’d consider the right kind of weather for it at all. I wish I had just pulled over and got a pic w/my cell cuz at any rate it was just an odd looking cloud, like a limp windsock, and didn’t last but a minute or two. I have seen a real funnel cloud here though, got pics of it that time too 🙂

  8. william Johnson says:

    hello all last night i herd mark say that this year is gonna be another strong la ninia year . I live here on the Northern oregon coast just like he stated in his graph that in 95 had a good windstorm in 2000 another good windstorm and 2007 the great coastal storm that one i lived through it was not pretty and really dont want another one like it . What i dont understand is how can any weather forecaster tell us how high the winds got here on the northern oregon coast .when the power went out throught the whole area we where told that the sustained winds where 75 to 80 mph with gusts to 139 mph here in astoria well heres one for ya just as the storm was rmping up is when we lost power throughout the whole county was at around 10 pm that night i know after all power was out the storm got a whole lot worse than it did when we finally lost power people i know who had their own personal weather stations that ran off battery power and some used generators to power them picked up sustained winds of 120 to 140 mph with gusts to 165 to 170 i dont know if it was just a glitch in their weather stations but there where more than 4 or 5 of them that read the same thing plus a guy named storm king said that the power of this storm that happened in December 2nd 3rd and 4th equaled the power of a catagory 3 hurricane. I am not trying to complain but the news stations down played the severity of the storm we went through i went through it and ive never in my life ever seen anything like it and i have been in some big tropical storms in florida and none of those amounted to this . So now i wonder what holds in store for us this winter here?

    • Garron near washington square says:

      Very interesting, and so true.

      It always seems when a really big storm blows through, the weather instruments designed to measure just how bad the storm is fail when we need them most. I would not be surprised if those readings may have been accurate. I have often thought that the NW storms get under played because of the low population density involved, just like our “perfect storm” in October soooo many decades ago. If it had happened on the east coast, you’d bet that there would have been hollywood stars like Natalie Woods and James Dean playing lead roles. I digress, and hope that you don’t have to relive storms like that!!!

    • RobWaltemate says:

      I am in the USCG AUX now, so maybe I can get the wind speeds from the top of Cape D or North Head lighthouse. I was told that the very last wind storm we had here there was a 117 mph wind gust. That is a lot of wind hitting an 8 foot x 8 foot sliding door facing the ocean! Somewhere I have video of the 6 ft wide by 8 ft high sliding door facing south moving in and out about 1+ inches with just a 60 mph wind gusts. I have to knock on wood here, NO LEAKS in any of our beach front houses we have built other than one we built in the 80’s where the two vynil windows are glued to each other by the factory. I don’t think they even make windows like that for the coast anymore; just too big!

  9. PaulO says:

    PDX Forecast Discussion:


    Bring it on! 🙂 I might get some tomatoes out of this yet.

    • JakeintheValley says:

      Did I see that the forecaster for the discussion is Clinton Rockey??

      Is he back in PDX?

    • eugene in vancouver says:

      I hope so with the tomatoes. I have four plants and so far 12 ripe ones and about 80 bright green ones still on the plants; and I don’t care for fried green tomatoes.

  10. brian_in_bellingham says:

    I wouldn’t worry too much about what the average temperature for winter ends up being. The average is not important for us snow lovers. Yes, if it averages below normal, that is great, but I have seen winters where it averages below normal without much snowfall. Where I live, I think 2007-2008 averaged below normal, but it was almost always just a bit too warm for snow.

    But you can see two weeks of arctic temps and snow, then two weeks of above normal temps with pineapple express rains, and in the end, those four weeks will average “normal” for temps. Yet we will all think it was so cold because of those two weeks. Many forecasters I have read think we will have extremes like this, so the overall average temps might end up being average, but we could have big snows.

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

    Back on my feet again…. Good to be back.

    Okay I have read most of the posts and I agree the GFS is wanting to nearly cook us late weekend into early next week with the EURO closely following this solution. 12z EURO however looks to center the ridge a bit further east of us and does not look as amplified as the 12z GFS did.

    I for one hope this is a trend as I really don’t want the 80’s to return. I am done with the idea of having to run the A/C anymore this year. Maybe 75-77 would be okay, but not 85-87.

  12. WEATHERDAN says:

    I found this site online about our upcoming winter weather, thought you might find this interesting.


    • W7ENK says:

      I like the maps! Encouraging. 🙂

      Funny though, when was the last time we had Low pressure centers routinely track over the top of us from the NW???


    • W7ENK says:

      And apparently, no one proofreads these posts before they go up… YIKES! 😯

    • pgiorgio says:

      LOL @ $3 per month fee for long range forecasts.. heh. Hope its for charity. Oh, and ice storm forecast..all very encouraging

  13. Garron near washington square says:

    another winter article predicting cold for the western 1/2 of the nation…

    So far the Summer prediction is going well. This is leading me to believe we are still on the track of the method used to predict the 2010 Summer Season and it will be used to predict the United States Winter Season ahead from 2010 to 2011. A temporary ice age is coming for the Western United States this season.

    In August of 2009 I did predict an above average rainy season for the Southwestern USA while JPL’s Dr. Bill Patzert went ahead and predicted below normal rainfall. The Southwest ended up in above average rainfall, which was great for the long term credibility.

    I would like to predict above average rainfall in Southern California again but that just does not look likely. Usually La Nina conditions give the Southwestern United States bone dry conditions and while I would go with that, I will not be doing so this year in terms of bone dry. I firmly believe a below normal to near average season, closer to average though in Southern California. I do not believe in a bone dry season coming up though.

    For the rest of the USA, above average rainfall for the Pacific Northwest and through the Great Plains, Midwest, and Ohio River Valley areas, including Arkansas and many Gulf States, excluding Florida.

    The Eastern states of the original colonies will likely have normal precipitation in this type of pattern, however the Southeastern USA will remain below normal for the December to March forecast.

    Now temperatures I am forecasting it to be pretty interesting for the Winter season. I’d like to actually point out that the colder than normal temperatures of the Western USA like being experience in Summer 2010 will likely reflect through the entire Winter. The Eastern United States would have, in this pattern, above normal temperatures.

    The USA would split down the middle on the temperature contrast this Winter with the Western half being cold and the Eastern half being warmer.

    Some interesting events that are likely this year that were not present last year would be the extremely cold air masses into the Western part of the United States. This was not even familiar with last year, however, like in 1949 snow will be possible down into Los Angeles and Las Vegas once again. Very low snow levels will pound the Pacific Northwest, especially after the Winter officially starts, mainly into January.

    Near or even record cold temperatures will hit Montana’s farmlands this next season.

    The Santa Ana Winds of Southern California were not seen last season, however this year the area will see them mainly on November. November will be the transition from low pressure along the California coast to a dominating Northwest flow in the upper levels, which is going to be the dominating pattern in the Western USA all season, a reason for the colder than normal temperature forecast.

    A temporary ICE AGE is coming for the Western United States this season.

  14. W7ENK says:

    Solar activity is beginning to pick back up, albeit very slowly. This, according to the Solar Report in the ARRL Newsletter for this week:

    + Solar Update

    Tad “Spread their wild hues to the sultry Sun” Cook, K7RA, reports: The average daily sunspot numbers this week dropped nearly 23 points to 15.6, and geomagnetic indices were quiet. The average daily solar flux was 78.1, but the latest prediction from US Air Force and NOAA calls for rising solar flux values. The September 16-22 projection has solar flux values at 83, 85, 86, 86, 87, 88 and 88, which is well above last week’s average. Solar flux hasn’t been to 88 or higher since August 7 (90.5), and before that July 21 (89.1). The same forecast shows the planetary A index for the same period at 8, 8, 7, 5, 5, 15 and 15, indicating rising geomagnetic activity along with the increased solar activity. Geophysical Institute Prague predicts quiet to unsettled conditions September 17, quiet September 18-19, quiet to unsettled September 20 and unsettled conditions September 21-23.

    The autumnal equinox occurs Wednesday, September 22 at 11:09 PM EDT (0309 UTC on September 23). With the northern and southern hemispheres bathed in equal amounts of light, expect better worldwide HF propagation, although solar activity continues at a low level which does not support an MUF into the higher frequencies over most paths. Look for more information on the ARRL Web site on Friday, September 17. For more information concerning radio propagation, visit the ARRL Technical Information Service Propagation page.

    This week’s “Tad Cookism” is brought to you by John Clare’s June.

    • Garron near washington square says:

      I have seen a few articles about the current solar cycle, and that it may be the lowest solar maximum in a century leading to another unprecedented solar minimums not seen since the little ice age in the 17th century with few if any sun spots and lasting for 10 + years.

    • W7ENK says:

      Yeah, the sun has been doing some strange things as of late. Technically, the Solar Minimum was supposed to be late 2006/early 2007 – 4 years ago. We should be approaching Maximum by now, but the sun has been experiencing a bizarre series of false starts and cycle failures.

      We are, after all, orbiting around a variable star. Who knows what’s going to happen?

    • W7ENK says:

      Here’s a chart from over a year and a half ago that shows the false start pulses beginning just after the minimum in early 2007. This chart predicted the upswing to start in early/mid 2008, but instead you can see the sun went flatline………

      It stayed that way until just recently, when it began pulsing again. Very strange to say the least!

    • Garron near washington square says:

      Thanks W7ENK, very interesting if not a little scary.

    • W7ENK says:

      It just goes to show, we are but mere ants floating through space on an insignificant spherical speck, hanging in the balance in an envelope of order, surrounded by chaos, subject to the careless whims of an infinite and unrelenting universe.

    • Garron near washington square says:

      So true, I think Carl Sagan would’ve summed it up much the same way. It’s interesting I haven’t heard more on the news about the sun’s odd behavior, but I guess that kind of news doesn’t sell as well as Lindsay Lohan and other much more cosmic oddities and travesties.

    • W7ENK says:

      Carl Sagan is one of my favorite authors. I thought this sounded either Sagan-y, or maybe even Stephen Hawking-ish. ^_^

  15. Gidrons says:

    “Temperature is a tossup”?
    I like the opinion on the other forum better. Many there are convinced the stars have aligned to give the PNW a winter of extremes

    • Garron near washington square says:

      It sure will be interesting to see. I’ve heard of more winter time phenomena and anomalies expected to criss cross with each other than any other winter forecasts I’ve ever heard before. 1. lack of sun spots, 2. arctic volcanic activities, 3. the PDO shift back to cold regime, 4. late active hurricane season 5. the double year La Nina’s 6. The fact the solar minimum lasting longer than 16 months may trigger no sun spots at all in the near future triggering another little ice age…Just crazy to think of all the possibilities.

  16. Jethro (Canby ~187') says:

    Loving that 12z GFS… come on sunshine!

    • Garron near washington square says:

      agreed!!! My last batch of unripened tomatoes will love it, and one last round of strawberry margueritas and BBQ to send a farewell to the summer that kept us and the computer models guessing.

  17. Punxsutawney (aka HIOPHIL) at work by Sunset High elev ~280' says:

    At KTTD.


  18. Punxsutawney (aka HIOPHIL) at work by Sunset High elev ~280' says:

    12z GFS has upper 80’s on Saturday and Monday of next week and a good stretch of warm weather over the weekend into next week.

    All I can say is “Yuck!!!”

    I suppose it may help the vineyards if it isn’t allready too late.

    • Ryan (Walnut Grove) says:

      Given the time of year and weakening sun upper 80’s is near impossible even with warmer temps at 850mb. Maybe lower 80’s but not upper… Sun is getting to weak and the days too short.

  19. 06Z GFS at KTTD – 5 days in the 80’s coming?

    and 11 days in the 70’s..Very nice!!

  20. Tyler in Hazel Dell says:

    Beautiful snow in Banff.

  21. Ryan (Walnut Grove) says:

    Ugh… I have a feeling we are going to have an Indian Summer. No more 80’s dangit! No more 80’s!!!!

  22. A few sunny days wouldn’t be so bad. Especially knowing we should have a pretty intense rainy season ahead in this la Nina.

  23. PaulB/Eugene says:

    Enjoy the sun while we can get it. Could use some 70s and 80s. Last La Nina we escaped with modest utility bills in the winter. In case it gets REALLY cold late Dec-Jan, would not mind having both the AC and heat off to save $.

    • pappoose in scappoose says:

      If we can’t get a GRANDIOSE LOW I would prefer sun over foggy/drizzly/light rain junk.

  24. Josh "The Snowman" From Everett, WA says:

    Man, when that convergence zone sets up just right, it’s a beautiful thing!!

    Just amazing intense rain has been falling here all day with just a small 10-15 mile stripe concentrated right where I’m at with it enhanced because I’m at 600 feet.

    Had my brother up a few times to try and experience it in January and it never happened for him. I tell you what, the heaviest snow you will ever see west of the Mississippi, no joke.

  25. W7ENK says:

    [Milwaukie] 9/20/2010
    66.7°F High
    57.8°F Low
    WSW 15.0 mph at 2:38p

  26. W7ENK says:

    Is there such a thing??? 😆

  27. Tyler says:

    Still cant get a good look at next weekends forecasts for Mt Rainier…when/if the band of rain moves south.

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