Just 10 Days Away!

The title is a bit of an inside joke on the weather blog.  For a good chunk of the last 4 weeks we’ve seen maps show a possible change to much colder and/or snowy weather, maybe even in the lowlands.  But it’s always just beyond the range of our 7 Day forecast…usually out around the 240 hour forecast period (10 days).  So once again today, the chance for snow down below 2,000′ appears to be about 8-9 days out.  Even then there is not a good setup to get snow down to the Valley floor.    This is one of the big reasons we don’t forecast more than 7 days ahead of time.

Models do all show a major change in the western ridge, eastern trough pattern that’s been the theme for the past month.  A trough is going to set up near the West Coast, allowing quite a bit more rain and mountain snow into our lives.  Details are a bit up in the air, but in general it’s a cooler and wetter pattern.

So are we done with the chance for snow this season at the lowest elevations? 

No, but the chance of getting a significant snow or snow/ice storm is fading quickly, especially since models show nothing of the sort through at least February 16th.  And “real winter” in the Pacific Northwest lowlands west of the Cascades is mid-November to mid-February.  By “real winter”, I mean the chance for a big arctic air outbreak or prolonged snow/ice event.  Sure, we can get several inches of wet snowfall after that time, but a quick examination of record low maximum temperatures at PDX shows a quick change right after Valentines Day.  After that time is EXTREMELY rare to see a high temperature below 35 degrees.  In fact there are no sub-freezing high temps at PDX after February 16th, except for one day in early March 1965.

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

385 Responses to Just 10 Days Away!

  1. pappoose in scappoose says:

    New post.

  2. Karl Bonner says:

    The Dalles got to 51/52 this afternoon after a 26-degree morning. The first really contrasty day of 2011, and tomorrow’s supposed to be slightly warmer!

  3. Bob says:

    I was ready to call it a winter but the 18z GFS has decided to say GAME ON again! If the 18Z verifies, we would see snow levels down to the valley floor and sticking snow. Add to that lots of precip and we folks have the recipe for a major snowstorm(s) beginning around the middle of February. I’m loving the latest models right now.

    • pgiorgio says:

      Are you the Bob that lives on the bottom of the ocean in a pineapple? That I might believe.

    • Yevpolo1990 says:

      damn, i guess Bob is never giving up

    • Chris says:

      Not sure where you see a major snowstorm on the 18Z GFS. It’s questionable whether the valley would even see wet snow in the air…possibly the 17th or the 18th when SOME offshore flow is shown. However…the bulk of the action looks to be south into N california.

  4. alohabb says:

    SOOOOOOOOOO…what is the timeline for our next possible epic/fail snow event??

    • marinersfan85 says:

      Look at the models….

    • yetanotherguy says:

      Next snow event? Probably best potential will be December 2011. I believe the advertised event on the models will end up being a bit too warm and only bring rain and mountain snow. This is OK. We need mountain snow pretty badly.

    • alohabb says:

      Sorry, still new to this when it comes to reading the models….

    • Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

      IF anything occurs it won’t be likely until 6-8 days.

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

    18Z GFS is pretty good and shows LOTS of potential. 500mb pattern is shaping up real good.

    • SE WOddstockBob says:

      How many days out? and how many days until we can throw snow balls down on everyone who jumped! LOL

    • TAGinGresham says:

      Tell me more!!! The potential for Sn*w? I didn’t want to say it too loudly just in case, lol.

    • Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

      Yes, great potential exists for s_*@ …. I censored it heavily to confuse the weather gods.

    • Mike near Clackamas Town Center says:

      The models are starting to look more interesting every day. Lets hope the lows stay closer to the coastline allowing more cold canadian air to filter ito the PNW with less SW flow.

    • Azzurri says:


    • yevpolo1990 says:

      also the low is dragged eastwards, its 991 hitting forks

    • JohnD says:

      Yeah for the first time in weeks I am PUMPED!
      It would be SOOOO great if we can get some kind of late season event–inspiring us and reaffirming
      that we CAN have winter weather sometimes–EVEN
      in the lowlands! THEN we can finally put it to
      rest and enjoy the coming spring-summer and be
      ready to get JUST as excited when the new season
      looms again come October-November!

    • marinersfan85 says:

      That was a nice suprise to come home from work to. But, I’m a bit leary because of our last epic snow fail. Time will tell.

    • Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

      I would add that models as well as the ensemble mean has been extremely consistent on the 500mb pattern shown. This looks pretty likely. I can’t say “it’s a done deal” just yet though….

    • pappoose in scappoose says:

      Lets see, drained antifreeze, returned snow shovel, removed snow tires, what else…I’ll return the snow blade for the ATV!

    • SEWoodstockBob"WANTS SNOW"! says:

      Remember “ROB” already jumped! he could be in cahoots with the other jumpers!!! cause the models are!!!! Can you imagine the fun when the “S” word gets going around and no one will belive it and then we get a good one!

    • SEWoodstockBob"WANTS SNOW"! says:

      Dont worry I am going to mow my lawn and fire up the bbq! ake down my winter porch flag and put up the spring one that should do it! taking one for the team!

  6. Josh (Gresham) says:

    36.5 here still socked in after a low of 32.8 last night

  7. heading to cape kiwanda today hope to get some nice pictures

  8. WEATHERDAN says:

    Sunny and 37 in Salem at 11:00 AM. Next week looks nasty. Not cold enough for snow below 1,500 feet, but cold and wet anyway. So I will enjoy the next 3 days of sunshine. Flowers are blooming and shrubs are leafing out. And hey, today’s sunset is 5:30 PM. Yesterday I saw some people playing baseball, so I know Spring in near. I hope the Cascade’s get hammered next week. We really need it up there. If this upcoming weather pattern does take place at least the skiers will be happy this Winter. What a bust. We had almost no wind events to speak of, even at the coast. In fact I don’t ever remember such a calm Winter in the last 50 years. Virtually no snow below 2,000 feet. And really very little in the way of cold weather. The only La Nina like weather was the 20 inches of rain we received in the November to December time frame. What if this pattern persists into Summer. Will we see the Southwest death ridge by May. I don’t see another Juneuary on the horizon this year either. In fact we are really in uncharted territory here. Oh well hot days make for pleasant night games at Volcano stadium this Summer. Come on down. We still play minor league baseball here.

    • Jesse-Orchards says:

      This post is full of fail.

      Calmest winter in the past 50 years???

      And uncharted territory??? What do you even mean by that?

    • Azzurri says:

      uh oh…and the gloves are coming off!

    • Jesse-Orchards says:

      Lol, if people are going to be making posts like this, Mark needs to start a new sandbox thread.

    • Mike near Clackamas Town Center says:

      100% correct post by WeatherDan…..WeatherDan 1 Jesse 0…lol

    • Mountain Man says:

      No snow below 2,000 ft.? I’m at 1,150 ft. and I have had 27 inches, though nothing after early January. Still comparing to my last year’s 6” season total it is not the shabby. I do realize that my neighbors at 900 ft. have only had about 12 inches though. Been down to 7 degrees in Nov. and hit the teens several times after that. The only thing that does not at least make it all average out to a normal season is the lack of wind events. Winter is not quite over yet and this month long warm/dry spell will be forgotten soon enough IMO.

    • PDX Weather Nut says:

      27 inches? You must live someplace else besides Oregon. This “winter” has been incredibly mild.

    • Jesse-Orchards says:

      There was plenty of snow above 1,000-1,500 in November and December. I believe 27″.

    • pappoose in scappoose says:

      Right Jesse, it’s like this winter has been in two parts so far, seems like some folks have forgotten part one. Lets see if part three can throw us something exciting.

    • Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

      I just read the article. At first I had an open mind, wanted to see what was being said, but then… This….

      “Some climate researchers, monitoring the rapidly shifting magnetic field, are predicting superstorms in the future with winds as high as 300 to 400mph.”

      Laughable. Hilarious. Do they just make this stuff up for fun? Yes.

    • josiec says:

      A lot of it is really hard to believe.. but still interesting. Who knows i guess..

    • ThunderCloud - North Plains says:

      I found this info about the poles from the Nasa website:

      “Reversals take a few thousand years to complete, and during that time–contrary to popular belief–the magnetic field does not vanish. “It just gets more complicated,” says Glatzmaier. Magnetic lines of force near Earth’s surface become twisted and tangled, and magnetic poles pop up in unaccustomed places. A south magnetic pole might emerge over Africa, for instance, or a north pole over Tahiti. Weird. But it’s still a planetary magnetic field, and it still protects us from space radiation and solar storms.”

      So it seems it’s not as big of a deal as people think… But who really knows right?

    • pdxgeologist says:

      Glacial periods within the current (yes we are in one) “Ice Age” recur on intervals of 41,000 to 100,000 years. The current interglacial period (relatively warm – less continental ice) began about 11,000 years ago, so, even at the short end of the recurrence scale, we still have 30,000 years to go. Don’t invest in Skidoo stock just yet.

    • Gidrons says:

      Sounds like BS. Lots of claims, no theories or facts to back it up.
      The magnetic field will not completely disappear. As long as the earth has a molten core and rotates, it will have a magnetic field.

  9. Longview - 400 ft says:

    Currently: Sunny – 38.5
    Low this morning – 27.1

  10. Cgavic sandy Oregon 1,100 ft says:

    Skies cleared up o/night with a Lo of 26.

    Sunshine this morning in sandy.
    The fog line starts at kelso Oregon and u s 26 interchange

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

    12Z EURO = “Hmmmmmmmmmm……”

  12. pgiorgio says:

    So how is everyone in this climate enjoying what global warming has done to your area. Snow levels are 500-1000ft higher than they were in the 1940’s.

    At least the 00Z gfs will show snow 16 days out in the year 2020 even if it is a NO snow climate. But, I’m sure people won’t be posting it then. OH WAIT, there still might be a dusting if that arctic air sets up just prrrfect lol.

    • Jesse-Orchards says:

      Seriously pgiorg? Global warming wouldn’t work that way. It’s effects (if it is indeed happening) wouldn’t be nearly that linear.

      This is just a bad post, man.

    • pgiorgio says:

      I knew you would reply if you read it. Global warming posts always piss you off. Guess maybe you have a bias ?huh? .

      You don’t even know its happening so how the hell can you say how it works??? lmfao, that is the dumbest post i’ve read all year.

    • Jesse-Orchards says:

      Agreed, dumbest post I’ve read all year too.

    • Josh (Gresham) says:

      Global warming is about way more than just warmer “temps”

    • O.C.Paul says:

      Remember ‘Hide the Decline’ the video? Great, funny take on Climategate. Yes, ‘Hide the Decline’ says it all.


    • pappoose in scappoose says:

      Hahaah! Thanks for the laugh Paul.

    • pgiorgio says:

      Love the video, but how does that disprove global warming?

    • pgiorgio says:

      I was talking about your reply btw Jesse, which is also a post. Seems like you were trying to be clever

    • O.C.Paul says:

      The Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change, 2009 report.

      It is disturbing that something as fundamentally complex as climate and weather can be “Settled”.
      This winter, in the PNW, is proof of the variability of weather and weather forecasting.
      And this was short term. Alright, I’m hopping down off the soapbox to start up the grill.
      Ciao for chow.

  13. bgb41 says:

    12Z GFS @ Troutdale

    Yuk!!, showing 10 days in a row in the 30’s for high’s yet not quite cold enough for measurable snowfall.
    This should yield maybe 4+ feet of snow in the cascades though which they need up there.

    • Jesse-Orchards says:

      I would think if we actually had 10 straight days with highs in the 30s (not gonna happen) the nights would be cold enough for snow.

      Anyway, it would be a lot easier to believe you didn’t take the raw output at face value if you didn’t make comments sounding like you’re taking it at face value almost every time you post it. And no, this isn’t a trolling remark, just my true thoughts and beliefs, which I have every right to state. 🙂

    • bgb41 says:

      No offense taken Jesse.. I realize this output is wrong 95% of the time.

    • Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:


    • pgiorgio says:

      100% , seriously

  14. bgb41 says:

    Dense fog out here.

  15. Bright sunny morning, low of 26.5F.

  16. Andrew Johnson says:

    Oh yeah some places in NE Oklahoma/ NW Arkansas got over 20″ of snow last night. Extremely heavy snow band with snowfall rates of 2-3″ an hour or more was stationary for several hours. My former residence of Bartlesville, OK got 13-16″. They now have had 30-40″ across most of that region. Most of the seasonal snowfall records are between 20-30″ so those have been smashed. Most of the snow has fallen this month so all monthly records for February or for any month have been obliterated. This comes after last winter which was the 2nd snowiest on record. They have a big warm up on the way however. Not sure anyone will complain about that.

    • bgb41 says:

      I am sure when they are 75 and sunny in a week or two that it will be 45 and raining here.

    • Andrew Johnson says:

      Yep, looking at the GFS they should be in the 50s by Sunday and once the snow melts should easily be in the 60s for the foreseeable future.

  17. Josh (Gresham) says:

    Looking for comedy? Apparently seeing freezing rain in Beaverton, just ask accuweather! LMAO http://www.accuweather.com/us/or/beaverton/97008/city-weather-forecast.asp

  18. Gidrons says:

    They finally posted the January numbers —
    The sun’s emissions continue to be well below predicted values.

  19. Andrew Johnson says:

    Very chilly down here in the mid-valley this morning. 25 currently after a low of 24.

  20. Roman~Snow-Zone says:

    24.6F outside. Clear skies and very heavy frost.. It looks awesome!

  21. RobWaltemate says:

    NE of Long Beach

    Clear and cold.
    Temp 28.0
    Wind Calm, but from the North
    No fog or cloud cover

    Going to have fun today by placing some concrete for a slab. LOL

  22. Karl Bonner says:

    How ’bout this for a forecast?

    Thu-Sat: clouds gradually increasing over these 3 days. Highs 52-58 both Portland and The Dalles.

    Sun-Tue: chilly and damp; highs in the mid 40s and lows in the mid 30s. Snow level 1500-2500′. Roughly 18-24″ of fresh powder on the slopes.

    Wed-Fri: spotty cold showers and sunbreaks. Highs low to mid 40s and lows in the upper 20s/low 30s. Snow level 500-1500′. Another 6-9″ of mountain snow.

    Sat-Sun: rapidly decreasing clouds and warming 850mb heights. Highs ranging from upper 40s to upper 50s in Portland/Eugene with some AM fog. The Dalles highs in the mid 40s to low 50s.

    Mon-Thu: epic sunny February heat wave. Highs mid 60s for Portland/Eugene, low 60s for The Dalles but mid 60s by Wed/Thu.

    Fri-Sun: moist and cool, but not cold. About 1″ of rain in Portland, 1/2″ in The Dalles, and 8-12″ snow above 4000 feet. Lowland highs in the low 50s and lows in the upper 30s.

    Mon-Wed (Wed = March 2). Back to sunny 60s for three days.

    Thu Mar 3 – rapid transition day with much colder storm moving in.

    Fri Mar 4 – Mon Mar 7 – Cold and snowy to zero elevation! About 3-5″ snow in Portland, 5-7″ on hills, and 2-4″ in The Dalles. Highs in the upper 30s and lows upper 20s to low 30s.

    Tue Mar 8 – Sun Mar 13 – rapidly warming back up to low 70s by the weekend for both sides of the mountains.

  23. bgb41 says:

    2/8/2011 Oregon (All) Temperature Summary

    High:57 at WX7EM Tillamook( 26 ft)
    Low: 42 at Brookings Airpor( 459 ft)

    High:18 at CW7477 Lostine(7002 ft)
    Low: 9 at CROW FLAT (5130 ft )

    Largest Diurnal Change: 25 degrees
    DW6481 Hillsboro ( 56/31 ) ( 207 ft )
    CROW FLAT ( 34/9 ) (5130 ft )

    Heaviest Rainfall:
    0.37″ at HEBOWX Mt. Hebo(3160ft)

  24. Mike (Orchards 255') says:

    At last, a “typical” winter pattern coming up this weekend and beyond….Highs in the low 40’s and lows in the upper 30’s……With lots of rain…How ’bout that!


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


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