No Sign of Dry Weather

March 8, 2011

Check out the recent runs of the GFS…I notice both the 18z and 00z have measurable precipitation forecast for EVERY SINGLE DAY of the 16 day run!  Ughh…if that doesn’t say “La Nina in March” I don’t know what does.  I’m sure some other break (at least 12 hours) will emerge at some point, but in general we will stay quite wet through the next 7-10 days at least.  At least skies are a bit brighter now compared to January/February, and today’s forecast screwup was a rare treat.

We hit 58 degrees at PDX today, the warmest since that rainy/mild stretch with the flooding back in mid January.  That was due to far more sunshine and very few showers.

We have a pretty active weather pattern the next few days…an upper-level trough well offshore spins developing lows towards the West Coast.  One moves by tonight and tomorrow morning, then a second low gets closer on Thursday.  Neither appear to be a big windstorm, but both have a nice surge of south wind on the Coast AND in the Valleys.  For Thursday the isobars are oriented perfectly east-west across the Valley, producing a wind that runs right across the gradient lines south to north across our region.  Combine the forecast 10-14 millibar gradient with good mid-March mixing during the day and gusts up around 40 mph are likely.  I’m headed down to Aumsville to give a school weather talk, including tornadoes.  Hope it doesn’t get too wild while I’m down there.

Check this out:

It’s the average February temp across the USA.  Interesting how after early February the USA made a complete switch with the West turning cold and the east turning warm.  Totally opposite of the first part of winter.  I’ll talk more about this at our AMS meeting next week during the winter review.  It sure doesn’t negate the extreme cold in the SE USA the first half of winter, but it’s always fascinating how things balance out (most of the time).

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen