Lots of Cold Sunshine Ahead

This week should be mostly sunny, but much cooler then last week since we’ll see cold east wind picking up overnight and into tomorrow.  Other than the strong east wind and chilly temps, no other significant weather on the way the next 7 days, so the rest of this brief posting is for the weather geeks.

I didn’t have internet, phone, or Netflix Instant Viewing until about 9pm tonight; that’s what happens for 6 hours when you live out in the country.  We actually had to communicate around home…wow! (a joke…mostly).  So after seeing a few emails about dramatic model differences I wanted to chime in; once I could actually look at data/maps.  The only model run that is obscenely colder than others the next 48 hours is the MM5-NAM from the UW.  All models show a nice surface high developing now (already 3+ millibars through Gorge and gusts to around 40 mph at Crown Pt).  That strengthens and should be maxed out on Tuesday.  Definitely a good day to visit Vista House!

So the MM5-NAM model shows highs between 10-15 degrees at The Dalles Tuesday, while others show 25-30 or even a bit higher.  I have no idea why, but with upper level heights bottoming out around 560 dm. at 500 millibars, I can assure you we won’t see highs in the teens in the lower Columbia Basin!  In the past I’ve generally ignored the MM5-NAM on surface temps, often noticing that it’s “weird”.  That’s the best way I can describe it.  It’s done well on surface low placement earlier in the winter, but those temps are often strange.  I thought it might have the snow cover initialization showing snow over us, but that’s not the case, I checked.  Highs around 30-35 degrees at DLS the next few days usually mean 40-45 at PDX, which is what our 7 Day forecast shows.  Our WRF-RPM shows highs right around 40 both tomorrow and Tuesday at PDX.

One more thing…occasionally my service provider for my weather page somehow replaces the uploaded page with a blank image for several hours.  Then it takes care of itself.  Just add a “2” before the “.html” and that’s a static file that’s always there even when this happens.  Drives me nuts too, but the 2nd page helps ease the pain quite a bit.

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

225 Responses to Lots of Cold Sunshine Ahead

  1. blowmedown says:

    New post from Mark!

  2. yevpolo1990 says:

    Hm now GEM and Euro are on board, interesting!

    • Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

      No…. GEM gives us an arctic blast, EURO gives us cool/cold NW onshore flow.

  3. Azzurri says:


  4. bgb41 says:

    00Z GFS @ Troutdale

    Quite intriguing. We go from 60 degrees warmth day 9 + 10 and then snow and 32 days 13,14,15 + 16.

    This is similar to Feb 1995 scenario. Let’s hope this actually plays out. Still WAY too early.

  5. Andrew Johnson says:

    Skies clearing in the mid valley. Down to 37 in Salem, 36 here in Silverton.

  6. NR says:

    GEM drives a vigorous arctic front through the NW next Tuesday night.

    • Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

      NR, I hadn’t looked at 00Z GEM yet, similar to last night’s run it sounds like?

  7. B1900 Pilot says:

    Happy Groundfrog Day! Snohomish Slough says the next six weeks will bring…even more model riding!

  8. bgb41 says:

    Skies quickly cleared here last 2 hours or so

    33.2 now with calm wind.

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

    People, relax.. Nothing has changed. You’re looking for a pattern change well before it is going to occur. It’s going to be 8 days or so. 00Z was no different advertising the same type of retrogression and blast from the north. I’m sure 00Z Ensembles will be very similar to the previous runs too….

    • Mike near Clackamas Town Center says:

      All models are now trending towards retrogression after day 10…A lot better run than last night. 00z Euro is up next.

    • Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

      Until I see the ensembles remove the idea/trend of retrogression I’m not worried. We’re simply too far away from anything anyhow. We probably shouldn’t be confident we’ll get an arctic blast, nor negative that we won’t…. Just look at the models for what they are and speculate from there, but the pessimistic whining makes no sense to me. 🙂

    • TAGinGresham says:

      Thank you Rob for calming the masses, and being sensible! There is no need to freak out over one run. I’m beginning to think that some people might be better off coming back to the blog in the spring. Thanks for always saying it like you see it! Especially since I don’t have a clue, lol!

    • Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

      I have learned(I’d like to think) There’s nothing wrong with looking at each and every model run, just don’t let it go to your head is all. It could drive one crazy!

    • pappoose in scappoose says:

      I drove there a long time ago Rob. Hahaah!

  10. marinersfan85 says:

    In the 18Z, it shows a nice low sliding down off the coast of Canada. 16 days out, yes I know its la la land. But I have a feeling it will stay and come Feb. 16th, we’re looking at snow. Thats my forecast and I’m stickin to it.

    • Jethro says:

      It’s still there on the 00z, but it stays north of us the entire run. It’s going to have to tap into some *really* cold air to bring snow along with a south wind.

    • Andrew Johnson says:

      I’m seen snow with a south wind though. Had 1

    • Andrew Johnson says:

      1.5″ of snow with a moderate south wind on Feb. 26, 2009.

    • Jethro says:

      I know it’s possible, but just think the low-resolution la-la-land analysis can be a little wacky sometimes.

  11. Joshua in Lake Oswego says:

    How can we go with so little precipitation in January/February for this long? I didn’t know we lived in a desert.

  12. Andrew Johnson says:

    It seems as if we are dealing with a carrot on the stick scenario.

  13. PaulB/Eugene says:

    1000 foot snow levels at day 14…whoopdedooo!

  14. yevpolo1990 says:

    No pattern change until hour 288

    WOW, this SUCKS

  15. goducks09 says:

    Good lord. This might end up being the most boring winter EVAH! Continuous ridging thru hour 180…

  16. yevpolo1990 says:

    heights to hour 150 are just HORRIFIC if you want any snow…
    come on ridge move west already! At least east coast is slowly warming up hours 130-150, maybe a sign of something?

  17. O.C.Paul says:

    Talked to my cousin in Galena, IL. BLIZZARD WARNING.
    24″ of snow by Wednesday. Damn.

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

    TEMP 36.3, DP 19, gusty east winds increasing.

  19. Tyler in Battle Ground says:

    Down to 37.8 here, my low for the day with a light NE wind. The offshore flow kicked in around 6 PM here wind switched from WSW to E. Dewpoint has followed suit and is down to 28.1 and despite being 8:20 PM, the humidity has dropped to it’s lowest of the day, 68%.

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

    NCEP page slow for anyone besides me?

  21. Andrew Johnson says:

    The largest February snow I’ve had since 1995 was 1.5″ on Feb. 26, 2009… We need to beat that this year!

  22. Bob says:

    The 00Z will be really telling tonight. I have a sneaking suspicious that it’s going to bring the arctic air and deliver the goods!

  23. Jeremy says:

    La la land just got interesting. Looks like its time to get back in the saddle for another model ride.

  24. pgiorgio says:

    They were shooting Scream 4 today near one of my neighbors houses. Neve Campbell, Courtney Cox, David Arquette..

    They are doing a couple days only here for a certain part of the movie. Most of the movie shooting was done in the summer here. It was about 15F out today and there were some outdoor scenes..lol. I know they will be glad to fly back to Hollywood land.

    • Joshua in Lake Oswego says:

      Above average precipitation huh? It certainly won’t be for the 1st week. I think the last two weeks of February are going to be awesome!

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

    18Z Ensembles look really good. 500mb height anomaly best yet and 500mb mean is great. I don’t know why some of you are pessimistic looking at things being warmer when clearly every model/ensemble shows strong retrogression beyond day 10… it’s a trend and nearly locked in that there will be retrogression.

    • pgiorgio says:

      I would’nt choose to be pessimistic here even though it seems like the rest of the winter has failed everyone. The models are more unique here in general and would say optimism is perfectly fine even for pessimists.

      February is overdue and I would gamble on it being this one.

    • MasterNate says:

      Rob, I have been reading some other sites and believe the retrogression will happen and the second half of Feb will be significantly colder and wetter. Will we get snow or arctic, waits to be seen but I think the mountains will get hammered possibly to low elevations as the storms ride over that High pressure and come in from the Norhtwest. Something to look foreward too for sure.

    • Bob says:

      They look really good, especially member 8!!!! We are due a major snowstorm before this winter is over and I feel we got a great chance for one sometime in February.

    • Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

      00Z in 1 hour 24 minutes!

    • alohabb says:

      BBBBBOOOOOOOOBBBBBBBBB!U r back! Missed ya buddy.

  26. Overcast most of the day.
    High 48.6F
    Low 36.6F
    Very little wind.

    On a side note I am quite pleased the mobile version of WordPress finally has links for the older and newer comments. 🙂

  27. Andrew Johnson says:

    A pattern like the 18z shows would produce a ton of snow over 1500′.

  28. Bob says:

    This reminds me of the 90s where we got snow both in mid Feb of 93 and 95. Here are some videos I found on youtube explaining the events:

    Feb 19th 1993(7 inches of snow):http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TpV1qnlOhrg

    Feb 12th 1995(10 to 14 inches of snow):http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bsieNGLKTSY&NR=1

    The 1995 February snowstorm was particularly interesting because the previous week had close to record high temps then a huge snowstorm came. Also both came on odd year Februarys like this year …..

    • Andrew Johnson says:

      Feb 19th, 1993 was a massive snowstorm here in the mid-valley. 12 inches on the 19th and another 1.5″ with snow showers on the 20th and 21st.

      Feb 12th 1995 was pretty big too. I don’t think to many places got 14″ on the valley floor, but 5-10″ amounts were widespread Eugene to Portland.

    • pgiorgio says:

      I remember both storms. The 1995 storm I took 5 measurements in the yard and found a mean of 10.8″ in Gresham. I think the Feb 19th storm was 8 or 9″ inches on the east side.

      Easily the two biggest Feb snowstorms there in the 90’s and also nothing has come close to that in Feb. since. 2000’s have seen some dull February weather so far in Ptown.

    • Karl Bonner says:

      And then a week later the daffodils were blooming. I’d love to go from heavy snow to sunny 60s in only a week, and mid-February’s the only good opportunity we have to get it here.

    • Bob Bales says:

      I remember in 1974 (possibly 1975) looking out the window in Beaverton to see snow showers — no accumulation — on a Thursday in April. The next Saturday was 60 degrees. Unfortunately, the Beaverton area seems to get the least snow in the metro area. Once when tree limbs were breaking at a friend’s house in Multnomah due to the weight of snow and ice, there was about 6″ in downtown Portland, but the ground was bare west of the zoo.

  29. yevpolo1990 says:

    Hmm a southeast ridge huh? (sorry for moderation mark i mistyped my email)

  30. Bob says:

    I thought winter was over but the models are bringing back one more chance of arctic air before its all said and done. The latest 18z GFS looks good with LOTS of moisture. If it verifies, we see snow starting on the 12th with great snow amounts. A total of 3.03″ of total precip from the 12th to the 15th which is equal to a little over 3 FEET of snow and more snow probably after this time period as well. Still long ways away but the possibility exist.

  31. W7ENK says:

    Standing downtown waiting for the bus, it’s not very breezy, but it sure feels chilly!

    • W7ENK says:

      I love that I can do this from my phone, and I don’t have to wait until I get home… 🙂

    • Weatherdan says:


      DECEASED: 2010-2011 Winter

      DATE OF DEATH: Tuesday January 11 2011

      TIME OF DEATH: 8:00 PM

      PLACE OF DEATH: Pacific Northwest

      CAUSE OF DEATH: Persistent negative AO

      NEXT OF KIN: Northwest Weather Geeks


      • Mark Nelsen says:

        Too funny, probably true, BUT, I won’t sign off on that death certificate for about 10 more days. If the maps look the same on February 10th, I’ll go for it.

    • Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

      Very clever, Dan, however the NAO is positive and forecast to remain so. Appears a large scale pattern shift nationwide is very possible after the 7th. I do agree with Mark that if that does not occur and things remain the same that you can probably write this Winter off.

  32. bgb41 says:

    18Z GFS @ Troutdale

    Possibly becoming wet again later next week. Cold air still shown at very end of the run and not looking too impressive at this point. Hopefully 00Z will give us better model riding possibilities.

    • yevpolo1990 says:

      hm mm a SE ridge huh? me likey

    • Eternal Yamcha (SE Milwaukie) says:

      Actually, I wouldn’t mind having a cold rain with that kind of amounts. It’d be nice to have a, y’know, WET February.

      So now I’m hoping for the cold to verify, the rain to verify, or both.

  33. W7ENK says:

    I’ve been away from the blogosphere for the last couple days. I just got myself all caught up, quite an entertaining read! I could feel the model-ride vortex of perpetual despair trying to suck me in, but after last month’s go-’round, I know better.

    I’ll keep an eye on things with the rest of you, but the models turned sour and collapsed at 72 hours last time, so to avoid repeat heartache, I’m not going to buy into anything outside FCST HR 60.

    Have those strong winds in the West end of the Gorge materialized yet? It’s pretty calm Downtown this afternoon.

  34. Ben Randall says:

    WOw very dry air at KAST

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

    Well, well, well…… Would you just look at that.

    18Z GFS FCST HR 276 a southeastern US ridge develops. Bitterly cold air transports west/southwest into BC/AB. I like the 500 Mb pattern.

    • Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

      And I am sure you ALL do realize I am just speculating. It’s la-la land, you can’t do much else. I certainly am not model riding or making a forecast.

    • Aloha Rainshadow says:

      and look at hour 384, LMAO, that’s beautiful but too bad it’s not hour 96!

    • Aloha Rainshadow says:

      Sucks that you have to defend yourself from model riding heh? It’s so much fun and part of every weather enthusiasts life…just saying.

    • Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

      Yeah to a point, Ryan. I’m just viewing the models and giving my interpretation analysis. A southeastern US ridge is a good thing no matter where it shows on the run.

    • Josh "The Snowman" From Everett, WA says:

      Naw, he doesn’t have to defend anything. 18z keeps in with the general pattern change.

      I have a feeling progressive runs are going to speed this up and keep it around Feb 7th-9th as it has been!! Let’s see what 00z GFS and Euro can do tonight.

      The door is cracked, we just need the darn thing opened.

    • Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

      Could be, Josh, especially if we see the southeastern ridge build in sooner.

  36. Mike near Clackamas Town Center says:

    I’m going to watch the GFS 18z just for the fun of it. These models can spit out gold or they can spit out poo sandwiches..I find this more entertaining then watching TV programs.

%d bloggers like this: