Cold Air Arriving Soon

Our coldest and windiest weather in a month is about to move in for the next few days.  Forget about any rain, it looks like modified arctic air is now spilling into Western and Eastern Washington from the north.  It’s most noticeable with the dewpoint and wind both in NW Washington and then surging down through the Columbia Basin of Eastern Washington.  East wind should start blowing through the Gorge this afternoon and will rage for at least 3-4 days.  It might even be as strong as it was during the ice storm event about 3 weeks ago.

Especially for those of you on the east side of the Metro area; get ready for some very cold and windy weather.  The bonus is that most of this week will be sunny and bright!

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

115 Responses to Cold Air Arriving Soon

  1. Mike near Clackamas Town Center says:

    The GFS 00z an outlier this time???

    • Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

      Hard to know. Would like to see 00Z EURO dig a bit further offshore by day 7-9.

  2. PaulB/Eugene says:

    00Z: not good. Only 20C warmer at day 12

  3. Boydo3 500' North Albany says:

    Nam is definitely strongest with the packing against the cascades. But I bet it’s right.

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

    00Z GFS NCEP operational – FCST HR 120 500 Mb

    Very promising.

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

    Another night of runs and the WRF/MM5 continue to be at odds. So odd to see this when you’re only 24 hours out on things. MM5 is way colder, stronger east wind and WRF is the same as it has been. It would be nice to see one model trend and agree towards the other, but no instead there is this unusual confusion.

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

    00Z GFS operational runs in 17 minutes. Hoping it brings back the arctic blast somewhere near the 10 day window. 18Z Ensembles were great, so it might.

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

    Holy pancakes

    MM5 indicates an even tighter gradient.

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

    Okay MM5-NAM out to FCST HR 18 and yep, it’s running as cold as it has been. Expect big east winds folks and small furry animals.

    So surprisingly I’d have to learn towards the MM5 and discard the WRF. When has that ever happened?

    • Derek Hodges says:

      I’d have to say that this is similar to November when the GFS struggles with energy coming from the north. For whatever reason the NAM does much better. Its been amazingly consistent. As a side note this airmass looks like the coldest in at least 3 years where I am in Utah. Tuesdy should have a high/low of about 16/-3 or so.

    • Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

      Well remember the NAM(MM5) I do believe was upgraded last year, right?

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

    00Z NAM is running… I wonder if the MM5 continues to be 5 times colder than any other run.

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

    18Z GFS operational backed off a tad, but the ensemble 500mb height anomaly did not. It looks fantastic.

    C’mon 00Z!

    Cautiously optimistic I remain. Not on board yet, way too early.

  11. Ryanintd says:

    wet snow just started flying at my house in The Dalles. i am at about 550′. it is big wet flakes, not much coming down.

    • pappoose in scappoose says:

      You lucky guy, start naming the flakes.

    • Karl Bonner says:

      Around 6:30 there was some slush mixed in with the rain in the downtown area. We will see if there are any showers later tonight that give a few flakes.

  12. So can somebody post the modal runs wanna see wat they are showing!!! is there any cold or snow in it…!

  13. pgiorgio says:

    TWC has called for potential 8 foot snow drifts in the heavy snow band for Tuesday night. I’m right in the middle.

  14. Joshua in Lake Oswego says:

    18z keeps the hope alive!

    • Ryan (Walnut Grove) says:


    • Joshua in Lake Oswego says:

      Really? It shows 3 or 4 days of snow at the end of the run.

    • Josh (Gresham) says:

      numerical guidence?

    • Joshua in Lake Oswego says:

      I don’t have the numerical guidance, but looking at the thickness and 850 temps, it’s pretty clear that any precipitation at the time would be snow.

    • Josh (Gresham) says:

      Starting when? And what kind of surface temps and precip are we looking at?

    • Ryan (Walnut Grove) says:

      Much warmer than the 12Z run and it doesn’t move the cold air any closer to the 10 forecast window. Keeps all the really cold air and snow potential out in the 300+ hour range.

      I won’t get too excited until we start to see the forecast inside the 10-day window at a minimum.

    • PaulO says:

      Good old 18zzzz

      The cold was too far beyond ten days last run to move inside ten this run wasn’t it?

      It does keep the general idea of the pattern changing in our favor very much alive I believe. 00z will be interesting to see.

  15. Mike (Orchards 255') says:

    First things first..The Fraser outflow is now beginning in earnest..

    50 degrees even…

  16. pappoose in scappoose says:

    Mark, you need to get the State Parks man back up to Crown Point…the sensor needs some more orientation.

  17. How about 100% chance of weather? Guaranteed to always be accurate!

    Since nothing this season has come to pass and it’s all just wishcasting, I will revert to basic Oregon preparedness.

    Keep coats, flip flops, shorts, raincoats, sunglasses, chains, etc. all in my car at the same time I guess.

    • pappoose in scappoose says:

      And keep tabs on the GOLU model runs.

    • Karl Bonner says:

      Unless, of course, there’s a wildcat strike by the Weathermen’s Local 29.9 And Falling. Then you’ll get to experience a rare day with no weather, or maybe a chance of scattered weather if a few folks cross the picket lines.

      (10,000 bonus points if you know where this one comes from!)

  18. Josh (Gresham) says:

    Check out the forecast for the 13th… not even possible lmao

  19. Jake-(Gresham) says:

    I’m not jumping onboard till we’re 3 days out and there’s NO hint that it will bust in our face again. It’s still too far out for me to hop on the bandwagon. The 4 degree high for Troutdale on 2/12 is a little too la la land for me as of current.

    • vinnybob says:

      I’m with you Jake, until it’s less than 5 days I won’t be onboard. I’ve been saying that for many many years now.

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

    Anyone want to make a wager that 18z continues the trend?

    If 18z and 00z today keep it going then I am fully onboard!!

  21. Ben Randall says:

    Rob ,

    I seemed to lost the link to the esamble members can you get the link for me

  22. yevpolo1990 says:

    Nam is super stubborn, has not changed anything.

  23. alohabb says:

    What about Bob?

  24. WEATHERDAN says:

    Hey model riders. Wanna hear a great joke. GFS has PDX at 504 on the 13th, and meteostar has SLE at -8 on the 13th. However accuweather has KSLE at 62 with sunshine on the the the 13th. Here’s the punchline. What do you get when you try to read model’s 14 days out. So it looks like somebody is going to be real happy come mid February. Or maybe the weather will compromise and it will be 53 degrees and drizzle. Really I would like it to be cold just once this winter for all you snow lovers out there. I just don’t believe that it will happen. I’m sure Mark has something to say on these models and I will take my forecast from what he has to say. So what is it Mark 62 or -8 ?

  25. PaulB/Eugene says:

    All models (ECMWF, GFS, UKMET, GEM, JMA, NOGAPS) trending toward retrogression beyond day 6.
    Looking at ensemble runs of GFS, GEM, it appears that no more than about a third of the members have pattern for arctic air west of Cascades, and 2/3 do not have arctic air here.
    Would not get too excited yet.

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

    Cautiously optimistic is the theme. I do like the signs and some pieces are coming together, but we’ve been burned 23505893905 times before, so I have learned.

  27. CorbettTez says:

    Oh well, knew it couldn’t last forever. Best couple of weeks in January I can remember in my 26 years in the area….calm, 53 degrees, sunny!!! YES PLEASE!!! Now we return to our regularly scheduled boring winter weather…wind, cold, UGH!

  28. bgb41 says:

    12Z GFS @ Troutdale

    Temps as low as -20C at 850mb. This is reminiscent of our last cold spell strength on models that never occurred. I am only guessing that this too will disappear or weaken vastly next few runs. Still, its fun to look at and wishcast about.

    • Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

      This pattern change is entirely different. Yes, it does ultimately depends on where the offshore block develops as the flow buckles, its orientation, and where it retrogresses to, but this go around we have a lot more going for us this time.

    • Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

      12Z Ensembles look good, primarily the 500mb height anomaly. Very consistent in retrogressing the high with rapid heights building over Alaska. I like it.

    • EA_TTD says:

      A LOT more. I’m almost 90% confident that we will actually experience below normal temperatures in the extended for all the reasons Rob/pgiorgio referred to. Not the -12 for TTD, mind you but something akin to highs in the 20’s/30’s.

    • Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

      Yeah I think highs in the low 20’s is quite attainable. Real shame we couldn’t have seen the pieces coming together back in January, but it is what it is. Hoping 00Z tonight remains bitter cold!

    • yevpolo1990 says:

      hey bgb41 what do you think about the current heights suggestions in the future? what do you think euro is saying about a possible upcoming arctic air?

    • bgb41 says:

      I like this frame here

    • bgb41 says:

      Seems like the EURO isn’t as high amplitude with the block we shall see.

    • yevpolo1990 says:

      my question was not whether you like the frame, my question was: “hat do you think about the current heights suggestions in the future?”

    • yevpolo1990 says:


    • Laura (West Gresham) says:

      i will not believe it til i see it

      those dag gummed computers dont know jack squat 😛

      bahhh humbug!!!!

    • bgb41 says:

      my question was not whether you like the frame, my question was: “What do you think about the current heights suggestions in the future?”

      I think the 500mb heights of 5070dm heights are overdone Yev.

  29. EmzinTigard says:

    maybe we’ll finally get a taste of the cold air that the eastern seaboard has become so accustomed to. 😀

  30. Ryan (Walnut Grove) says:

    I see the models have elected for the manic prediction pattern. Cold weather seems to be winning out. 🙂

  31. RobWaltemate says:

    Grrrrrr! Boring weather is killing me! No wind, no Sun, no rain… nothing intresting today. Wish we would get some giant wind storm or something!

    Maybe I should cut back on the coffee?

  32. PaulB/Eugene says:

    Akkuweather forecast for Feb 12, 13 in Eugene: 60/38, 61/44.

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

    It looks like on the 12Z GFS operational the 500mb pattern develop favorably around the 9th. Not only that but the raging east wind the next few days will progressively cool us, so if we transition into this initial cold air mass we might just head right into the arctic blast with no moderation ahead of time? Get what I mean?…

    • pgiorgio says:

      I said last night. This pattern change potential correlates with other changes happening in the atmosphere. Its not just the gfs spitting out long range cold this time. Heights should began to lower in 10 days for NW

    • EA_TTD says:

      The post above is pretty spot-on in my opinion and should be cited as an answer to the question of why this forecasted cold spell is different from the last one.

  34. yevpolo1990 says:

    nice north winds at moses lake have the DP dropping,%20Washington&wuSelect=WEATHER

    i think could be right now because 06gfs did not show the 0c line cross PDX until about noon today, meanwhile NAM had cross at about 6am.

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

    Mark, if you’re still lurking, what’s to make of the MM5-NAM being dramatically colder than any of the operational runs or WRF? It has been steadfast.

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

    Oh my lord…. 12Z GFS historic arctic outbreak….
    Seeing the 12Z advertise this holds a lot more weight if you ask me.

  37. EA_TTD says:


    Hour Valid
    Time Max
    Temp Min
    Temp Td 10m
    Wind mph 850mb
    Wind mph Total
    Precip(“) Conv.
    Precip(“) 500-1000
    THKNS 500mb
    Height 850mb
    Temp °C 500mb
    Temp °C MSLP
    mb Total
    Cloud Cover
    192 Mon 02/07 12Z 28 ° 26 ° 26 ° E 4 NNE 4 0.00 0.00 542 565 -2 ° -16 ° 1030 24 %
    204 Tue 02/08 00Z 44 ° 24 ° 36 ° WNW 4 NNW 7 0.00 0.00 547 568 -2 ° -15 ° 1025 25 %
    216 Tue 02/08 12Z 40 ° 25 ° 31 ° SW 4 NW 20 0.00 0.00 546 566 -1 ° -16 ° 1023 24 %
    228 Wed 02/09 00Z 41 ° 31 ° 37 ° WSW 7 WNW 18 0.06 0.00 539 556 -3 ° -19 ° 1019 85 %
    240 Wed 02/09 12Z 39 ° 29 ° 37 ° CALM NNW 11 0.04 0.00 530 550 -5 ° -27 ° 1024 87 %
    252 Thu 02/10 00Z 38 ° 25 ° 37 ° N 4 N 9 0.02 0.00 528 549 -6 ° -27 ° 1026 61 %
    264 Thu 02/10 12Z 37 ° 22 ° 35 ° ESE 2 NW 7 0.00 0.00 528 550 -6 ° -27 ° 1027 10 %
    276 Fri 02/11 00Z 37 ° 22 ° 35 ° W 4 WSW 11 0.00 0.00 527 541 -6 ° -28 ° 1016 49 %
    288 Fri 02/11 12Z 35 ° 29 ° 31 ° SW 7 W 22 0.24 0.00 523 527 -5 ° -34 ° 1004 95 %
    300 Sat 02/12 00Z 32 ° 26 ° 23 ° NE 2 CALM 0.29 0.13 517 516 -9 ° -36 ° 1001 92 %
    312 Sat 02/12 12Z 26 ° -2 ° 14 ° ENE 11 E 22 0.15 0.00 504 514 -20 ° -37 ° 1013 94 %
    324 Sun 02/13 00Z 4 ° -7 ° -6 ° ENE 11 E 22 0.00 0.00 509 525 -18 ° -34 ° 1022 57 %
    336 Sun 02/13 12Z 3 ° -12 ° -4 ° E 9 E 13 0.00 0.00 515 535 -14 ° -28 ° 1026 39 %
    348 Mon 02/14 00Z 16 ° -12 ° 11 ° ENE 2 CALM 0.00 0.00 522 538 -10 ° -28 ° 1020 14 %
    360 Mon 02/14 12Z 16 ° 4 ° 9 ° SE 2 SW 7 0.00 0.00 518 533 -12 ° -32 ° 1019 51 %
    372 Tue 02/15 00Z 25 ° 11 ° 18 ° E 4 SSW 9 0.19 0.00 521 529 -8 ° -33 ° 1009 94 %
    384 Tue 02/15 12Z 25 ° 9 ° 17 ° ESE 4 SW 9 0.07 0.00 516 522 -8 ° -35 ° 1006 83 %

  38. Jethro (Molalla ~320') says:

    12z la-la-land entertaining us again…

  39. alohabb says:

    I was just beginning to like the warmer temps! Washed the car, mowed the yard….Now were going to get cold, and maybe REALLY cold? Geesh, I love the cold, but i am ready for spring.

  40. PaulB/Eugene says:

    12Z GFS looks cold. Sorry honey, the flowers I got you for Valentines froze before I could give them to you

  41. Randy says:

    wow, 12z GFS is awesome, but only if you want cold and snow after day 10 through 16.

  42. EA_TTD says:

    Mark, your link site is down again. Is there a back-up site?

  43. k5mitch says:


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