Plenty of Water For Summer

The mountain snowpack has made a tremendous comeback the last 4 weeks.  You may remember that through January and the first half of February we saw warm rain or dry sunshine most of the time up in the Cascades.

How things have changed…

4 weeks of cold and wet storms (with occasional short breaks too of course) have brought all Oregon river basins up to or above average for this time of year.  The best is the southern half of the state with 120-130% of average “snow water equivalent” on the ground.  That means there is an above average “storage” of water up in the mountains.

Take a look at the graph above.  It’s from about the 3,000′ elevation just west of Santiam Pass.  The smooth-looking blue line is the 30 year average snow water equivalent at that site for each winter.  Note the snowpack (at that elevation) tends to peak in early March.  Higher areas like Timberline Lodge follow 3-4 weeks later (on average).  The green line is last winter…remember the really bad El Nino year?  That’s it right there in green.  Then the jaggy blue line is this past winter up until today.  We were doing just fine until about the 2nd week of January, then the warm rains and dry weather took a real toll on the snowpack.  By Valentine’s Day there was only a little over half the normal snowpack on the ground.  Now you see what happened in the last 4 weeks!  The total just keeps going up and up.

Looking at the maps for the next 7+ days, I see no dramatic change.  In fact it gets wetter Thursday through the upcoming weekend.  There is a hint that maybe we could see a brief break about 8 days away…just 8 days away!  Like those arctic blasts.

My garden/yard is showing signs of the late growing season start.  Lawn hasn’t even attempted to grow, buds on trees and bushes look more like late February, and even the daffodils haven’t started yet.

By the way, I’ll be taking a 10 day vacation starting Thursday and I’ll be “shutting down” the weather blog during that time.  So if there’s someone you REALLY have to communicate with, make sure you get their email address or Facebook name by Wednesday.  It’ll just be better to have the comments off when I’ll be away from the computer for awhile.

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

95 Responses to Plenty of Water For Summer

  1. bgb41 says:

    Mark is shutting down the blog tonight. There is an open facebook group that anyone can join during the next 10 days. There are currently 39 weather bloggers in the group at this time and everyone is invited.

    “Fox 12 Blog Discussions”

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

    So there is some talk of t-storms tomorrow through tomorrow evening.

    00Z WRF CAPE model indicate no instability for us. 850mb temps hover around +2c, 500mb temps -28c to -31c. 21z SREF LI is not favorable nor is SB/MU CAPE values. Thursday looks like a better bet if you’re going off the parameters. However this time of year day time heating can develop more instability than projected, so hope for lots of sun breaks.

    I also just read the AFD and seems like they are banking on a burst of jet energy/jet streak to help turn over the atmosphere. With a low off the OR/CA border that seems possible as energy and maybe a vort max may rotate northward.

    If this all comes to fruition this is exactly why the blog can’t be shut down! I vote ‘NO’ on doing so.

    • Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

      If we all can’t be civil on a freaking weather blog, then? …. *Shakes head*

    • Ben Randall says:

      Your right rob we can’t be good to each other what fun would be if everyone agreed with everyone 😦

  3. Sandi (Wilsonville) says:

    Enjoy your vacation, Mark! We’ll be here when you return. ;D

  4. pgiorgio says:

    The blog is going to hell for a week

  5. O.C.Paul says:

    Saw an inch of snow on the sides and slush on the road on Hwy. 26 to the coast this morning. Wild for late March. Tomatoes this year?

  6. MomOf2Kiddos says:

    Have a great vacation Mark! I hope you’re going somewhere fun 🙂

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

    East winds 🙂 ,but I would much rather us have some cold core fun!

  8. Kyle From Silverton says:

    Battle Ground Brian you might want to recalibrate the link to your facebook page because it like shows only the logo to facebook with a white background.

    • bgb41 says:

      Thats true Kyle. You need to click on that facebook logo and it will take you to the page.

      In order to see the page you must already have a facebook account. Then you just join the group. 11 people have joined today. Now 33 members.

  9. Maybe a t-storm tomorrow afternoon?….

    43° after a high of 50.

  10. Dave_in_Troutdale says:

    Why don’t we just shut down the “Oregonian” for a week as well? C’mon Mark, assign a substite monitor or something like that. One of your junior meteorologists could handle this task for ten days, right? A lot of people like to read this blog daily. And, what if Aumsville happens all over again? Does anyone agree with me?

    • I don’t see why other weather staff can’t post in the blog, if Mark gives them permission. It’s not like he can’t shut it down from a distance from a computer anywhere if it gets out of hand, keeping himself the administrator.

      If anything, I don’t see a need to make people unable to post, something could get interesting right? We can hope! Maybe 70 degrees? Maybe a big windstorm? Four feet of snow down to 1,500 ft?

    • Dave_in_Troutdale says:

      Maybe Stephanie as a surrogate censurer so to speak? That could possibly draw some interest to the blog all by itself?!?!

    • Longview - 400 ft says:

      I am somewhat embarrassed this even has to be a discussion. Mark is gone, because of stupid behavior of a few. Just like a few terrorists and we have to first have ID to get on a plane, now body searches, what is next?
      We are adults here, YES?

      Dave, excellent idea! Just had to vent a little.
      Dad is going to be gone. So we can not play outside while he is gone!!!

    • I said the same thing this morning (back a page or two). But its understandable.

  11. High 55.8F
    Low 32.1F

    A lot of sun breaks today.

    • Andrew Johnson says:

      It was a beautiful day here in Silverton. Partly sunny skies and a high of 58. Temp is dropping off quickly this evening, already down to 42.

  12. bgb41 says:

    Mark is shutting down the blog tonight. There is an open facebook group that anyone can join during the next 10 days. There are currently 30 bloggers in the group at this time and everyone is invited.

    “Fox 12 Blog Discussions”

  13. CorbettTez says:

    Great!! More East wind tomorrow to lend further credence to the “End of the East Winds” post a couple of weeks ago!! Yea!! 😦

    • Jesse-Orchards says:

      Haha, I know right?

      Mark’s always in such a big hurry to end winter. Luckily mother nature doesn’t care either way. 😉

    • Mike near Clackamas Town Center says:

      Mark is in such a hurry to end winter because he hates shoveling out his driveway 😆 I used to live in Yakima for 5 years and would be eager for spring to start so I wouldn’t have to keep shoveling out the driveway. It gets old really fast once February and March comes along.

  14. Currently 51.6° and partly to mostly cloudy. So far a very nice day with plenty of sun breaks. Dry!

  15. Kyle From Silverton says:

    I guess this is unusual?

  16. Tyler Mode in Battle Ground says:

    44 right now which is also my high so far. This is the average high for the coldest parts of December and January.

  17. Andrew Johnson says:

    Areas of rain to my west and north, but currently 55 with filtered sunshine here in Silverton :).

  18. TAGinGresham says:

    Can someone tell me when we will know whether this winter will be a la nina? When are you able to know, and how?

  19. Cherie in Vernonia says:

    Do not blame you Mark. You deserve a vacation without having to worry about the blog. Hope your vacation is a good one & that you get to RELAX!

  20. bgb41 says:

    If Mark does decide to shut down the blog, there is an open facebook group that anyone can join during that period. Everyone is invited.

    “Fox 12 Blog Discussions”

  21. Timmy_Supercell (Klamath Falls @ 4200') says:

    Well I don’t see any bickering, if you dont like it, dont read it!

    When a bad egg posts on the blog, do not, I repeat “DO NOT reply” to that bad egg. It only makes things worse.

    This blog does not need to be shut down. If everybody ignores the bad posts, those bad posts will not come back, because people who post these things only want attention and nothing more. Besides, when it comes to weather, nobody has the same opinion on any topic. Weather is all about combining info together and make the best out of a discussion.

    If one does not like anothers post, ignore it and live life as normally intended.

    • Timmy_Supercell (Klamath Falls @ 4200') says:

      I know I’ve been on this blog for only 2 years, but this is common sense!

  22. Understandable but regrettable that you have to lock the doors. Maybe you could con Andy into moderating? 🙂

  23. Andrew Johnson says:

    I see some sun!

  24. bgb41 says:

    06Z GFS @ Troutdale. Might as well be January now.

  25. Ben Randall says:

  26. Gidrons says:

    I normally don’t care about the online bickering and mostly ignore it.

    Now that its getting the blog shut down, I suddenly do mind the bickering.

    Oh well, I spend too much time reading this. 10 days should be enough to kick the habit altogether.

  27. Debbie - East Vancouver says:

    While I am completely *over* this current weather pattern, I am not looking forward to any upper 90s or 100s, so I do hope it is a mild summer – but please not as short as last summer!

    Have a great vacation Mark!

  28. clay says:

    I know i was one of the ones that was causing havoc on here.. but now i realize it was pointless…. Everyone needs to grow up and act like adults.. but some people whom i wont mention need to not be two faced and encourage the hazing and then want to change his mind doesnt work that way… Just be nice everyone its a blog and i can say for one ive done my apologizing to the peole that deserve it and for the others.. i sure am glad the blog will be shut down..

  29. Ben Randall says:

    for anyone that REALLY cares …….I hope to record another video from somewhere on the coast

  30. Karl Bonner says:

    Wow, Mark’s garden is experiencing REALLY bad phenological repression! A Wunderground station near 1000 ft. in the Corbett area recorded an average temp of 39.6F for the first 21 days of March. At 650 ft. in the middle of Corbett itself, the average is 43.4. If we assume that Mark’s temps are generally closer to those at the 1000ft. station than to those at the 650 ft. station, it’s no wonder his daffodils aren’t blooming yet.

    • Karl Bonner says:

      Then again, I forgot to note that the normal bloom dates up in the Corbett area are likely a bit later than the Metro are anyway. Combine the climate effect with the weather effect and you get a very un-springlike garden in late March.

    • Mark Nelsen says:

      That IS my weather station (1,000′). Cold…

  31. Ben Randall says:

    6.6 quake japan – A strong earthquake has occurred, but a tsunami IS NOT expected along the California, Oregon, Washington, British Columbia, or Alaska coast. NO tsunami warning, watch or advisory is in effect for these areas.

    Based on the earthquake magnitude, location and historic tsunami records, a damaging tsunami IS NOT expected along the California, Oregon, Washington, British Columbia, and Alaska coasts. At coastal locations which have experienced strong ground shaking, local tsunamis are possible due to underwater landslides.

    At 12:19 AM Pacific Daylight Time on March 22, an earthquake with preliminary magnitude 6.6 occurred off the east coast of Honshu, Japan . (Refer to the United States Geological Survey for official earthquake parameters.)

    Pacific coastal regions outside California, Oregon, Washington, British Columbia, and Alaska should refer to the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center messages for information on the event.

    This will be the only statement issued for this event by the West Coast/Alaska Tsunami Warning Center unless conditions warrant. See the WCATWC web site for basic tsunami information, safety rules, and a tsunami travel time map and table. (NOTE: Travel time maps and tables indicate forecasted times only, not that a wave was generated.)

    • Muxpux says:

      5 whole paragraphs to say, “the quake in japan is not expected to cause a tsunami here”. But I guess it’s easier to copy/paste rather than a one liner with a link? Actually. Why even post about it? It says NO TSUNAMI how many times? 2-3… So why even post it?

    • MasterNate says:

      Ben, thanks for posting. I get all of my up to date events tight here on the blog. Heard it first from you.

    • Mark Nelsen says:

      It generally takes a 7.5 or larger to get a large tsunami to travel across the Pacific…so I ignore anything smaller than that.

  32. bgb41 says:

    3/21/2011 Oregon (All) Temperature Summary

    High:58 at Blalock( 280 ft) & Castle(283 ft) & CW1075 Boardman(322 ft) & CW8927 Young Lif(1631 ft)
    Low: 44 at DW2682 Portland(213 ft) & W7KKE-3 Road’s E(89 ft) & DW6132 Portland(272 ft) & DW1265 Newport(164 ft)

    High:25 at Mount Hood Meado(6601 ft)
    Low: 15 at CRAZYMAN FLAT (6100 ft )

    Largest Diurnal Change: 25 degrees
    CABIN LAKE (46/21 ) (4560 ft )
    BEND WATERSHED (44/19) (5330 ft)

    Heaviest Rainfall:
    1.16″ at MASON DAM & PHIL(3900ft)
    1.10″ at ANEROID LAKE #2(7300ft)
    1.03″ at MORGAN MOUNTAIN(4200ft)

  33. Ben Randall says:

    I think mark is doing a great thing by “shutting down” the blog for awhile

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

    Mark, thanks for the update and wow! What a huge drastic difference from last year to now. Also you know I’m not sure you need to shut down the blog. We’ll need somewhere to share our excitement with our cold core t-storms in the near future.

    • Ryan (Walnut Grove) says:

      Mark’s vacation timing is just right for a little extra mojo to kick off some early spring T-Storms. 🙂

    • Mark Nelsen says:

      Oh I think you’ll find somewhere else to share the excitement??? Plus, I don’t want the mental headache of seeing emails about some issue happening on here. AND, weather is slow anyway.

    • Ben Randall says:

      Yep Mark Weather is Slow even the long range maps ….Well lets see what next winter brings

  35. yevpolo1990 says:

    i really like the last paragraph, great idea Mark.

  36. …It’s a sad commentary that dad has to lock the kids out of the house while he’s away…
    …going somewhere warm, Mark?

  37. Kyle From Silverton says:

    By the time we get into late August you all will be WISHING no BEGGING for this kind of *crappy* weather when we have week long stretchehs of 90s and multi day 100s making everyone lose $$$$.

    Hell Salem may push it to 110F this summer at the McNary airport. 🙂

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