Bad Information

What a terrible story in the Oregonian today.  I’ve received emails from viewers asking about it like this one:

Hello there. I absolutely trust you and your team during weather episodes.

Is there any truth to the rumour that we will have an arctic blast this weekend with cold temps and the possibility of a valley-level snow/ice event? I’ve heard also that there will be high winds flooding through the Gorge with gusts up to 50 mph. I live in Fairview.

I’ve also heard that whatever happens will affect Thanksgiving travel. So, what’s up?

Thanks for getting back with me.

How about that?  50mph wind gusts blowing through the Gorge Friday???  It looks like light onshore flow that day.  Maybe they should stick with talking to local forecasters instead of dialing up a forecasting service from Pennsylvania?  There are no models predicting snow to the Valley floor Friday or Friday night (not too far off though on the GFS today).  This stuff drives me nuts when we are so far away and model runs change daily.  And how do we know that travel will be affected around Thanksgiving…10-13 days from now?  Ughh…let me add that I’m totally aware that television newscasts do this as well, but we USUALLY wait until things are more firmed up within the 5-7 day period.  The last two big cold events (December 2009 and December 2008) are good examples.  Models were in generally good agreement that very cold air was on the way (much colder than what we have seen on maps lately) 7-8 days before, and it was pretty much “settled on” by 5-7 days, depending on the year.  The reason is because people see a snowy picture, read a headline, and assume forecasters are going for snow.  Right now (and for the past 2 days) no broadcast media or NWS outlet has any snow in any forecast.

I’ll give my updated thoughts after the 00z runs come in again later; other than that it’s pretty quiet in the weather center.  The big crisis was the non-functional KPTV kitchen can opener.  That meant I almost didn’t get my lentil soup.  But luckily I eventually pried the can open without any blood loss.  That really could have set me off…

9:30pm Update:

I’ve calmed down now…the lentil soup was tasty and now I’ve stolen Wayne’s Peppermint Mocha creamer out of the company fridge for the Saturday evening coffee.   Life is much better.

I’ll keep it brief…my thoughts are pretty much the same as last night:  I don’t see any good chance for lowland snow or an arctic blast through at least the next 7 days.  It may get close Friday night, depending on which model and run you look at, but onshore flow with a low pressure system to our northwest and 850mb temps in the -2 to -4 range sure aren’t “snow-worthy”.  The GFS again tonight (00z run) doesn’t go for either a cold blast or snow through at least Sunday.  It is modified arctic air it shoves in here by Monday the 22nd (9 days away!), but then it’s dry anyway.

Let’s look at the big picture.  The weather pattern will be much more active later next week and beyond with our coldest weather so far this season.  The maps sure look “La-Nina-ish” to me!

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

336 Responses to Bad Information

  1. washington observer says:

    After an enjoyable, warm day today, we now have a “high wind watch” for tomorrow for the east slope of the Washington Cascades.

    High Wind Watch
    Statement as of 7:31 PM PST on November 14, 2010

    … High wind watch remains in effect from Monday evening through
    Tuesday morning…

    A high wind watch remains in effect from Monday evening through
    Tuesday morning.

    * Timing: strong winds are possible Monday night and Tuesday
    morning.

    * Winds: west to northwest winds between 30 to 40 mph with
    gusts over 55 mph.

    * Impacts: strong winds will cause loose objects to become
    airborne and will also cause difficulty driving.

    Precautionary/preparedness actions…

    A high wind watch is issued when sustained winds of 40 mph or
    greater and or gusts of 58 mph are possible. Persons in the watch
    area should keep abreast of the weather situation and be prepared
    to take action if a warning is issued. For additional weather
    information… check our web site at http://www.Weather.Gov/Pendleton.

  2. PaulB/Eugene says:

    GFS 00z has longer lasting ridging before giving way to flow from the NW….majority of cold air will go E of Rockies, but persistence of flow from the N will allow a longer period of time for cold air to seep across to E. Wash and Oregon. I suspect that the surface temps may be colder than the 850mb temps may suggest. In terms of snow, however, it looks like the moisture is essentially gone before the cold air bleeds down this far S and W. So…I think PDX is not going to get snow, but Bellingham likely will, and perhaps Everett or even Seattle.

    I think temps in the 18-25 range at night a possibility…colder if optimal radiational cooling.

    NOGAPS 00Z is good in terms of cold, is colder with trough than its previous run and is colder than GFS in terms of 500mb heights at 120h (528 vs 534 on GFS) at Astoria

    • Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

      Thanks for the input. Perhaps the trends I mentioned earlier coming to fruition. Let’s get a nice 00z EURO run under our belts tonight.

  3. We WILL have snow somewhere between the end of this week and Thanksgiving weekend…period. Now, to prepare myself to be stoned to death by a majority of the bloggers…

  4. AdamInAumsville says:

    Looking much colder out around the 7 and 8 day mark.

    • Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

      Yeah 00z is a bit colder. Nothing extraordinary.

    • Anthony Bertolo - Gresham 500' says:

      The fridge door never really opens up in this run, and there is starting to be a steady trend in GFS.

      I think we can expect some cold weather, low snow levels, but nothing too exciting. We get some south wind warming us up a bit before, and then a shot of some cold air.

      Like last night, the good news is at least we are verified to get some cold air built up. Just a matter of when it will be our turn.

    • Anthony Bertolo - Gresham 500' says:

      If we were to believe lala-land, it just destroys all the cold up north, giving us a clean slate.

    • PaulO says:

      Anthony, totally agree w/your assesment of long term but it just does not make good sense to me. I think we need a few more runs to pin this down.

      Plus we have 3+ more mos. … 🙂

    • Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

      Personally I just want the “colder” air to get here, see how strong high pressure builds into eastern Washington, see if we get some good Gorge outflow. Get the colder air in place(If it does) and then worry about snow, moisture, la-la land pattern.

    • PaulO says:

      yes

      yes

      and Yes

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

    FCST HR 144 – 1008mb low due west of Astoria. Cold air filtering into Washington/Columbia Basin. Strengthening Williams Lake to Bellingham/Omak N gradient. East winds beginning to develop. Arctic front nearing BC border.

  6. Anthony Bertolo - Gresham 500' says:

    144h, low heights (527) 850mb temps around -4C. Looks like a 1000′ snow level at the lowest.

    Low position nearly identical to the 18z.

    Looks like GFS is locking in to a solution and it’s going to be a cold rain for most of us. Maybe a high in the lower 40’s Sunday, dip down to 35 or so at night, maybe.

  7. Anthony Bertolo - Gresham 500' says:

    Saturday the low takes that dreaded turn north. 850mb temps overhead for us aren’t all that low.

    120h looks just like 18z, a tad warmer (0.2-0.5C)

    • PaulO says:

      do Not see that so much, see low meandering before it dives south Sunday (perhaps) ‘opening the door’.

  8. Ken says:

    Pesky Low on the models! Arrrggghhhhh!!!

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

    An image I made 2 years ago.

    I guess it could somewhat apply to now. 😆

    NO WHAMMIES!!!

  10. Yevpolo1990 says:

    Here we go!

    • Anthony Bertolo - Gresham 500' says:

      850mb temps trending a tad cooler this run, also pouring cold air a bit further west in the upper interior US

    • Yevpolo1990 says:

      Excellent sign already

    • Anthony Bertolo - Gresham 500' says:

      Out to 48h and it’s still slightly cooler than the 18z. The more important thing is the cold air is dumping much further south a tad more west. This low placement could cause us to get really cold with this run.

    • Anthony Bertolo - Gresham 500' says:

      66h, starting to look exactly like 18z. Roughly the same 850mb temps. Cold air dumbing a little further west in BC. Low developing a little more towards the coastline south BC, a tad stronger?

    • Yevpolo1990 says:

      Yep seeing that from my iphone

    • Anthony Bertolo - Gresham 500' says:

      96h we are a tad cooler still. Low is further south and east. Cold air is being dragged slightly more south into northern canada.

    • Anthony Bertolo - Gresham 500' says:

      102h, a tad warmer then previous run, low much closer to shore. The next frames are the money frames, let’s see.

  11. W7ENK says:

    NWS in Seattle is jumping on board… Good sign! 😀

    http://forecast.weather.gov/wwamap/wwatxtget.php?cwa=sew&wwa=special%20weather%20statement

    SPECIAL WEATHER STATEMENT
    NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE SEATTLE WA
    358 PM PST SUN NOV 14 2010

    …A CHANGE TO MUCH COLDER CONDITIONS IS POSSIBLE FRIDAY INTO NEXT WEEKEND…

    COLD AIR IS EXPECTED TO DEVELOP OVER WESTERN CANADA DURING THE UPCOMING WEEK. THERE ARE STRONG INDICATIONS THAT CHANGES IN THE WIND FLOW ALOFT TOWARD THE END OF THE WEEK WILL ALLOW SOME OF THIS COLDER AIR OVER WESTERN CANADA TO FILTER INTO WESTERN WASHINGTON FRIDAY OR SATURDAY.

    WEATHER GUIDANCE ALSO SUGGESTS THAT THERE IS A RISK OF SNOW…OR MIXED RAIN AND SNOW SHOWERS OVER PORTIONS OF THE AREA FRIDAY OR SATURDAY. THE HIGHEST RISK WILL BE WHERE THE AIR IS COLDER…OVER THE NORTH INTERIOR.

    WHILE WEATHER GUIDANCE HAS BEEN CONSISTENT IN SHOWING A CHANGE TO A COLDER WEATHER PATTERN…THEY HAVE BEEN UNEVEN IN SHOWING HOW COLD IT WILL GET AND HOW MUCH…IF ANY…SNOW WILL FALL.

    NOW WOULD BE A GOOD TIME TO THINK ABOUT HOW YOU COULD PREPARE FOR THE FIRST POSSIBILITY OF WINTER WEATHER CONDITIONS IN THE LOWLANDS. ARE YOUR TIRES READY FOR SNOW COVERED ROADWAYS? ARE YOUR OUTDOOR PIPES AND FAUCETS WINTERIZED?

    PLEASE MONITOR LATEST FORECASTS AND WEATHER STATEMENTS AS CONDITIONS EVOLVE THIS WEEK.

    $$

    ALBRECHT
    WEATHER.GOV/SEATTLE

    • pappoose in scappoose says:

      Glad to see they had the guts to put the possibility out there.

    • Anthony Bertolo - Gresham 500' says:

      It rally is their responsibility as public facing Mets to at least mention that it’s possible. Most public facing mets forget that part.

  12. alohabb says:

    Are we looking at highs not getting out of the 30’s by the end of the week?

    • Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

      We need more info from tonight’s 00z GFS/EUR0, tomorrow’s 12z GFS/EURO and Ensembles before we can remotely know. Right now I’d say unsure, but I think 00z GFS might be a game changer tonight. If I’m wrong, I’m Wrong. But if I am right wouldn’t that be fun.

    • Anthony Bertolo - Gresham 500' says:

      Coldest day will be Sunday, GFS 18z at face value shows a high of 40.

    • PaulO says:

      I am betting on Rob right 🙂

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

    FCST HR 84(Completed Run) Now weakening 1000mb low off Vancouver Island. Timing has sped up with low placement and position. Despite low well to the north from Bellingham to Portland thicknesses falling to or below 526dm, 850mb temps -3c to -5c. 110-130kt jet still aimed at Washington/Oregon, but beginning to weaken. YK/NWT/central BC/north Western AB bitterly cold air 850mb temps spread -18c to -27c quite a bit colder than any other run at FCST HR 84.

    If the trough digs south-southwest/weakening low drops south we may get mighty cold. 00z GFS might be mildly interesting.

  14. Boydo3 500' North Albany says:

    One of the Eugene weather guys just mentioned the S word for Sunday. The jinx?

    • Karl Bonner says:

      And it was KEZI. I bet they get teased a lot come Sunday and there’s no precip in sight, but plenty of sunbreaks!

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

    00z NAM

    FCST HR 48 – Trough sure looks looser/baggier, yeah?

    Also quite a bit closer to the coast. If the trough intensifies the circulation may tighten pulling the center further offshore though.

    • Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

      FCST HR 54 – 1008mb wave west of Forks. No closed surface low at this point.

    • Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

      FCST HR 60 – 110-130kt jet further south

    • Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

      FCST HR 72 – 988mb low over Vancouver Island. 110-130kt jet slips south now aimed at western Washington and Oregon. BC/AB/NWT beginning to get chilly -21c / -24c even coastal BC/AK down to -16c / -21c.

    • alohabb says:

      Rob, you are the man! All this data would be a nightmare for me to weed through! In layman’s terms, what are you thinking about the nex7 5-7 days?

  16. Tyler in Hazel Dell says:

    There was one large break in the clouds off to the west driving home, and now I see the moon…feels like this foggy blanket of crap is finally lifting. I don’t think I remember a time where it DRIZZLED or MISTED for two days in a row, rain yes, but not this annoying crap.

  17. Boydo3 500' N Albany says:

    Day 7, pretty much sums it up. If that low would drop south……..bingo!

    • Boydo3 500' N Albany says:

      Should’ve had this pretty pic,

    • Boydo3 500' N Albany says:

      But then again….

    • Garron near washington square says:

      Thanks Boydo,

      That does paint the picture, but I still have to watch the meteograms for future runs to be sure. That low is the all time wanderer of the Pacific! It will have the final say IMO. Even if it does pan out for a colder solution, it will be a short lived one, and it may be too dry for snow before the cold gets here anyhow.

    • Ilya says:

      That low pressure should just hurry up and die, lol.

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


    Encouraging

  19. cliff a gavic says:

    according to the NOAA discussionn page for central oregon, they’re expecting extremely windy conds for se washington/central oregon.

    mon eve through tues night.

    wed thru fri a cold front comes sweeping through to lower the snow level to 3000, and on the weekend, down to 1500.

    sweeni (?) i forgot what channel, forecasted cooler temps this upcoming weekend, but not sharply, due to the fact there is no frigid source (below 0) of artic air in alaska or the waters up there.

    so…..respective sources are saying that “cooler” temps will come this next weekend to portland area.

    central oregon is to get windy mon-tues…then snow 3000, wed-fri….1500 over weekend.

  20. Garron near washington square says:

    Seems like the cold air juuuust doesn’t quite make it all the way down here.

    http://www.nco.ncep.noaa.gov/pmb/nwprod/analysis/namer/gens/00/index_85t_m_loop.shtml

    • Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

      I think that is 00z last night, yeah, and that wasn’t a pretty run at all.

      Seems model consistency is improving without a doubt, still minor differences. Tonight’s 00z GFS/EURO will be Vital as in how cold it may be. 500mb pattern on 12z/18z was the largely the same as during the arctic blast 18z run yesterday, so with the 500mb remaining as such why wouldn’t 00z tonight have a chance to be colder…. I think tonight’s 00z GFS/EURO helps answer some questions and 12z GFS/EURO tomorrow should mirror those.

    • Garron near washington square says:

      Thanks Rob, it will be very interesting to see the runs tonight. If the low would settle down, so we can get a better picture of where the coolest air is going to pool, that would help a great deal. I still feel lucky at this point because of so many unknowns, where does the parent low track, and how long does it take for the low to track to our south.

  21. wendy-silverlake,WA says:

    LOWER COLUMBIA-WILLAPA HILLS-I-5 CORRIDOR IN COWLITZ COUNTY-
    INCLUDING THE CITIES OF…ST. HELENS…CLATSKANIE…CATHLAMET…
    WILLAPA…FRANCES…ELK MOUNTAIN…LONGVIEW…KELSO…CASTLE ROCK
    237 PM PST SUN NOV 14 2010

    .THURSDAY…RAIN LIKELY. SNOW LEVEL 2000 FEET. HIGHS AROUND 45.
    .THURSDAY NIGHT…MOSTLY CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF RAIN. BREEZY. SNOW LEVEL 2000 FEET. LOWS AROUND 40.
    .FRIDAY…MOSTLY CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF SHOWERS. SNOW LEVEL 2000 FEET. HIGHS AROUND 45.
    .FRIDAY NIGHT…MOSTLY CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF SHOWERS. SNOW LEVEL 1500 FEET. LOWS 35 TO 40.
    .SATURDAY…MOSTLY CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF SHOWERS. SNOW LEVEL 1000 FEET. HIGHS 40 TO 45.
    .SATURDAY NIGHT…MOSTLY CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF SHOWERS. SNOW LEVEL 1000 FEET. LOWS AROUND 35.
    .SUNDAY…MOSTLY CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF RAIN AND SNOW SHOWERS. SNOW LEVEL 500 FEET. HIGHS 40 TO 45.

    Doesn’t look like a lot of moisture, but the snow levels are sure low.

    • Garron near washington square says:

      …and the -8c line never gets any closer than the Dalles/Bellingham in hour 200+. But, that could be enough to get some mixing down low before the showers leave us.

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

    My thoughts are pretty much unchanged from earlier.

    00z runs tonight will be vital.

    • Benjamin (West Salem) says:

      I’m so excited! Great job keeping the blog interesting

    • k5mitch says:

      What is even more exciting is since I fixed the wind sensor I have had a peak gust of —> 8.2 <—
      8-I

    • stevied (North Portland) says:

      from NWS in Portland this afternoon.

      .LONG TERM…SEVERAL COLDER SYSTEMS WILL SWEEP ACROSS THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST THROUGH THIS WEEK…WITH THE COOLER TEMPERATURES EXPECTED LATER NEXT WEEKEND. THE FIRST OF THESE SYSTEMS ARRIVES TO THE REGION BY LATE WED…FLATTENING THE UPPER LEVEL RIDGE AND BRINGING MORE SEASONAL WEATHER TO THE CWA. HOWEVER…MODEL SOLUTIONS DIVERGE

      CONCERNING THE SUBSEQUENT SYSTEMS. BOTH THE GFS AND ECMWF SUGGEST THAT THIS FIRST UPPER LEVEL LOW WILL IMPACT THE AREA THROUGH MUCH OF THE WEEK…ONLY DIGGING SOUTH INTO NORTHERN CALIFORNIA SOMETIME FRIDAY. THIS WILL KEEP US WET AND COOL…UNTIL THE SECOND SYSTEM APPROACHES THE WATERS BY THE WEEKEND. THIS PARTICULAR SYSTEM WILL USHER IN COLDER TEMPERATURES FLIRTING IN THE UPPER 30S/LOWER 40S…AND SNOW LEVELS WELL BELOW PASS LEVEL. GIVEN MODEL DISAGREEMENT…WENT WITH A MODEL BLEND FOR THE REMAINDER OF THE EXTENDED PERIOD. LR

    • Randy says:

      Rob,

      I am a lurker. Just wanted to thank you for all of the info you put out there. I am a weather geek, just not enough time to cruise the models (weather models anyway). Your info is nice to have.

      Thanks!

  23. Jake-(Gresham) says:

    If I remember correctly there was a pretty good consensus that the big Arctic Blast of Dec. 2008 was going to happen 5/6 days before it did. It was one of the few times that the models agreed relatively unanimously that “something” was going to happen.

    I remember marching into the family room & telling my dad a week prior that we were going to get nailed with snow, he laughed at my announcement.:D

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