No More Winter This Month!

January 19, 2011

If you are looking for snow in the lowlands, or Cascades for that matter, you are out of luck the next 7 days or more.  A ridge of high pressure in the upper atmosphere develops this weekend, and lasts most (or all) of next week.  Take a look at the map above from the Climate Prediction Center.  It shows the 6-10 day forecast upper-level weather pattern.  It shows a ridge centered right on the West Coast of North America.  The highest deviation from normal is over Washington and Southern British Columbia. 

For those of you (or us, yes I was hoping for the same) looking for a snowy/cold rescue for the end of January; that’s not going to happen.  All models show some variation of this theme. 

What does this mean?

1.  January is probably going to end up a warmer than average month for most areas of the Pacific Northwest, even after the chilly first week.  The extremely warm 5 day period last week cancelled that out pretty quickly.

2. Probably no snow this month for most of us in the lowlands.

3.  Cascade snow pack has dropped below average now…it’ll go downhill further the nexdt 7-10 days.

4.  Those of us hoping for a big “snowy and cold winter” are likely not going to find it.  It is DEFINITELY possible to have a cold February with even a major snowstorm (who knows?).  We could still have an even colder arctic blast in February than we’ve seen so far this winter.  But even if that occurs, a cold/snowy winter is not defined by a warmer than average December and January with no snowfall.

5.  Is winter over?  Not by a long shot.  We could see a sudden change and have 5 weeks of unusually cold and wet weather starting January 30th and going through the first week or two of March.  That’s an example, not a forecast.

As for weather, looks real dead with just rain late tomorrow through Friday, then a a mix of clouds and fog through Sunday with mild temps continuing.  An easterly wind pattern begins Monday…better get that Vista House sensor working!

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen