Cool & Wet Weather Continues

So I come back into town after disappearing to a warmer place the last 10 days, and see that almost nothing has changed.  A cold upper-level trough is digging through the Bering Sea and will arrive overhead later Wednesday.  Ahead of that plenty of rain, then cold showers Wednesday afternoon (along with hail and thunder) with the chilly air.  Once again sticking snow is likely down around 1,500′ either Wednesday and/or Thursday mornings.  Yuck…it’s the first week of April.  I do remember getting 2″ of snow the first week of April at the 700′ elevation I think the spring of 1999 or 2000.  So it’s not unheard of, but unusually cool for sure.

You can see the 6-10 Day upper level outlook/deviation from normal in the map above.  There is no significant change in sight for at least the next 7-9 days as our cool/wet start to Spring rolls on.  One other thing I noticed at home this morning was the startling lack of green on trees and bushes compared to average conditions for early April.  The combination of very late freeze and cold weather in February, then a slightly cooler than average March is really keeping the growing season from kicking into gear.  That’s probably good because this weather pattern is good for late season frosts too.

This is all perfectly normal for a La Nina spring.  In general La Nina springs are cooler than average (more so in May than April).   I checked the last 5 La Nina Aprils and found lots of 70s in 3 out of 5 of those, but 2008 of course was very chilly.  Only 1996 was wet…most La Nina Aprils are a bit on the dry side.  Probably NOT going to be the case this year.

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

86 Responses to Cool & Wet Weather Continues

  1. Doug says:

    well i live up above colton its around 1200ft here and we have about 3in of snow when the sun comes up i’ll take a picture

  2. Jeremy says:

    These are the hourly obs from a couple of eastern Colorado towns a few days back as a cold front moved in. Impressive!

    La Junta CO

    20:53 N 15 G 21 Light Snow Fog/Mist 34
    19:53 N 31 G 43 Overcast and Windy 36
    18:53 N 39 G 45 Mostly Cloudy and Windy 41
    17:53 N 40 G 52 Fair and Windy 45
    16:53 N 44 G 52 Fair and Windy 51
    15:53 N 44 G 53 A Few Clouds and Windy 58
    14:53 W 44 G 55 Fair and Windy 80


    21:53 N 24 G 39 Light Snow and Breezy 37
    20:53 N 17 G 38 Overcast 37
    19:53 N 26 G 38 Overcast and Windy 38
    18:53 N 35 G 47 Fair with Haze 41
    17:53 N 40 G 48 A Few Clouds 47
    16:53 N 41 G 54 Mostly Cloudy 54
    14:53 W 41 G 54 Fair and Windy 85

  3. Wendy-Silverlake,WA says:

    It was snowing here a few minutes ago during a heavier downpour. As soon as it slowed down it turned back to rain.

  4. Hailing here in BG. Temp is 41.4.

  5. As EA posted – interesting AFD this morning – here’s the most notable excerpt:

    Another interesting wrinkle in the forecast is showing up on the 06z
    and 12z runs of the NAM…as well as the 12z run of the WRF-GFS. As
    the core of the upper trough/upper low moves into the Willamette
    Valley this evening…both models show a band of deformation
    precipitation developing over the valley. NAM quantitative precipitation forecast is quite impressive…upwards of 0.40-0.60 inch during this period between
    Wilsonville and Albany…including Salem. This due to strong
    frontogenesis between 850-600 mb as the upper low moves across
    western Oregon. Further analysis shows a strong area of lift right
    through the dendritic growth Sweet spot…around -15 degree c…which
    would result in the development of large snow aggregates. Latent heat
    of melting of these aggregates cause an isothermal 0 degree c layer to
    develop…all the way down to the valley floor near Salem in the NAM
    bufr soundings. If this all comes together this evening could be
    quite interesting…but will hold off to see 12z/18z runs before
    making any major changes to the forecast. For now…current
    advisories look good.

  6. timmy - scappoose says:

    does anyone know how reliable this is? 37 inches on the ground in April!

    no doubt they have more on the way.

  7. EA_TTD says:

    Snow in Salem tonight? Really??? Check the AFD.

  8. Runrain says:

    Quite a cell down there by Newport.

  9. 38.9 here. 1.79″ so far for the month. Normal for the entire month is 2.65″. Looking at the forecast, that doesn’t look too hard to achieve soon.

  10. Kyle From Silverton says:

    It’s raining hard now! Here is my storm!

    Now where is that 80F weather with SE flow thunderstorms?

  11. Kyle From Silverton says:

    Correction: My parent’s pastor:

  12. stevied (North Portland) says:

    whiteout conditions at Govt Camp. Happy “spring”.

  13. Kyle From Silverton says:

    No storm equals bust: Where is that 1,000 foot snow?

    Hell our pastor up about 1,000 foot around Scott’s Mills had big fat snow flakes yesterday morning and it was actually colder yesterday then today.

    Yesterday I had 37F for my low at 9:00am which means earlier it was likely colder.

  14. Runrain says:

    Would be interesting if we break the record for fewest 60 days for Jan-Apr. Anyone have that stat? So far 2 at PDX. That might end up being the total!

    Wind woke me up. Also, does Anyone have a take on the possible ANOMALOUSLY low possibility next week?

    • Jesse-Orchards says:

      The possible ANOMALOUSLY low possibility?

      What does that even mean?

    • Runrain says:

      That the possible anomolous possibility is anomolously possible!

    • Runrain says:

      Based on the high possibility of the low being highly possible in the opinion of those highly regarded forecasters living in the lowlands. Thats the lowdown anyway from those highbrows.

    • Jesse-Orchards says:

      Oh, you’re trying to be funny. I see. Took me a minute.

      Ha ha?

  15. laurie(sylvan) says:

    This weather can bite me.

  16. Thundersnow on Thursday? 1000ft? Could it be someone didn’t get the memo that winter is over?

  17. Mike near Clackamas Town Center says:

    Wow….The Facebook group is pretty rough. Looks pretty wet and chilly for a few days. 😦

  18. A beautiful sunny evening in Barrow:

    Currently about -10°F

    • Boydo3 500' North Albany says:

      I like George and I hope he is right, but so far things look like they’re locked into an extended cold period.

  19. Boydo3 500' North Albany says:

    Watch out for “AN ANOMALOUSLY STRONG OFFSHORE SYSTEM” developing next week….scary, scary!

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

    “Warm Spring Breeze Advisory now cancelled…..”

    “Cool Wintery Frostbite Watch re-issued by the NWS…..”

  21. RobWaltemate says:

    Wow it is raining! NE of Long Beach (14 ft elevation)
    Well, I did get some roof down today while it was raining off and on. Still only had .15″ here today, but I bet by midnight it will be a lot more.
    Temp 43.7 DP 39.8 Presure 1016.3
    Wind 3.4 ave, gust 21 mph, mostly West.

    Where is spring already, and the only plant I have that is putting on green is the butterfly bush, but on just a bit. All the Alder, willow, apple, etc… just have buds on the branches.

    Wow, I am ready for at least ONE nice day! LOL

  22. Kyle From Silverton says:

    Some days I feel like I can build my own weather blog that will be the best while some days I wish the internet never existed period.

  23. Kyle From Silverton says:

    Why do I have such extreme mood swings for no appearant reason? Am I the only one on this planet that has this happen

    I do not even live in an abusive enviroment for excuses but
    for no reason I go from feeling like I can someday build the Grand Canyon to wanting to go into a hole and die and it’s random.

    • RobWaltemate says:

      I would go see your Dr. and tell them about it. There are ways to treat wild mood swings, some without meds, some with. Either way, you don’t have to live with it; I don’t anymore… well mostly not.

      Also, the rain and no sun for this long will mess with just about anyone.

      Good luck, and remember it will get nice out again.

    • Cherie in Vernonia says:

      Hang in there Kyle. We are sending good thoughts your way. I feel down sometimes too. I hope tomorrow will be a better day for you 🙂 I am glad you are here on the blog…..!!!

    • pappoose in scappoose says:

      Happens to all of us Kyle, just have to carry on bravely.

    • cap - Hood River says:

      Kyle, your symptoms are very common. Depression is very common. See a doctor about getting some anti-depressants. They often work for people.

      Consider a new and interesting hobby. We live in one of the outdoor activity capitals of the world. Take advantage of it. 🙂

  24. …OK…time for an attitude adjustment, at least on my part…so, what are the silver linings of this kind of (relatively)cold very wet type of spring?…here’s two to start:
    Groundwater/aquifer replenishment…one would think this type of soaking wet, along with virtually no warm drying sun, would lead to water working it’s way down…
    Backcountry firewood supply…snow hanging in the foothills is limiting camping…(jeez, I haven’t even gone yet, the latest year opening trip date in a long time)…so, all that prime winter woodfall that’s easily accessible for the first couple of months is going to be sitting there longer…
    ..and a third…random use of hot springs (although running a fine line as far as river level goes)stays low in wet weather, so the garbage factor should be down.. 🙂

    • BrandonInNWSuburbia says:

      Less bugs!

    • More water in the rivers in the summer due to a slower snow melt (unless we get a pineapple express or long warm spell). Rafting should be awesome!

    • muxpux says:

      lots of fresh powder for the great deals going on right now for spring skiing in the mountains!

    • Karl Bonner says:

      Greener landscapes for the East Gorge that will extend further into late spring, and a wonderful opportunity to analyze the effects of La Niña and El Niño on Pacific Northwest springtime phenology!

      Obviously we each have slightly different recipes for how to make lemonade out of life’s lemons, though…

    • Kyle From Silverton says:

      No farm dust/haze in the sky making the sky look white! 🙂

    • Runrain says:

      I like to wish-believe that the more cold and wetwe are now, the nicer it will be this summer. Maybe??

    • cap - Hood River says:

      Less bugs. That’s a big one. It’s April.. let it be cold and stormy, and be ok with it. It’s much easier on the nerves that way.

      Hope for nice weather starting in May.

    • cap - Hood River says:

      Great skiing.

      And more interesting… we’ve got several months of very boring weather coming up.. just enjoy this climate for what it is.

  25. Wendy-Silverlake,WA says:

    I’m really hoping it’s a typo, but have a feeling that it isn’t. I’ve got 500 ft snow level coming up for tomorrow night. Ugh. My tropicals that I planted the other day are really going to be mad. My Hibiscus already lost its leaves a couple of days ago when it went below freezing and I didn’t realize it until the morning. Is there any WARM sunshine in the future???????

    • Jesse-Orchards says:

      What on earth are you doing trying to grow tropicals in Silver Lake, WA?

    • Karl Bonner says:

      Because some people are intrigued with the whole bit about growing tropical-looking plants in a cool midlatitude climate. And the Pacific Northwest is one of the best midlatitude climates for doing just that (though western Europe is probably a bit better still).

      I should clarify that just because a plant *looks* tropical doesn’t mean it *is* tropical. The windmill palms that are becoming quite commonplace in the PNW are native to the mountains of southern China and parts of the Himalayas, and the colder parts of its native habitat get snow somewhat frequently during winter.

      This is why I squawk whenever someone tries to tell me that they don’t belong in our kind of climate régime – they have every bit as much right to be grown here as tulips, magnolias, eastern oak species, or any other non-native hardy plant.

      I think the only reason they aren’t quite so popular here is that arbitrary national borders don’t give Oregon or Washington a “banana belt” reputation like they do in the coastal regions of southern British Columbia. If the US/Canadian border was at latitude 42N instead of 49N, we would have a very strong banana belt reputation, especially Oregon’s southwest interior which is very close to a “true” Mediterranean climate.

    • Mike near Clackamas Town Center says:

      When I lived in Yakima I figured out real quick that the growing season is a lot shorter. I started waiting until about the beginning of May to have any plants outside especially since I was living above 1,000ft at the time.

  26. Tyler in Battle Ground says:

    Today’s mostly cloudy skies and light showers seems like mid summer after yesterday’s crappy weather!!!!

    • Garron near Washington Square says:

      Totally agree, I spent most of the day out in that muck yesterday. Just makes your bones ache when it is that wet and cold. Today, FEELS better just because it is dryer out. If you have arthritis, you feel that rain x 10! Tomorrow should be another bad day for arthritis sufferers.

    • ..not to mention grandpas’ rheumatism, which this grandpa is feeling VERY acutely this alleged “spring”….

    • Karl Bonner says:

      Yesterday I went for a late afternoon jog in the slow steady rain and it felt more like late November than early April, given the chilly temperatures, steel gray skies, and almost no wind.

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

    I always grab radar data from NCDC, but I’ve thought about how much area this squall has covered yesterday, and that would mean I’d need imagery from like 30 different NEXRAD stations. Would any of you happen to know where I can download radar imagery of lets say the southeast US? lol

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

    875 damaging wind reports from yesterday on the SPC, including 82 hail and 20 tornado, making a total of 970 reports. Not to mention they are probably recieving more reports as we speak, because many are left delayed until a day or two after an event, usually.

    Pretty serious stuff, scary to experience but amazing in third person view.

  29. bgb41 says:

    4/4/2011 Oregon (All) Temperature Summary

    High:66 at WARM SPRINGS BAS(1563 ft)
    Low: 49 at Heppner Jct.(312 ft)

    High:31 at Timberline Lodge(7001 ft)
    Low: 21 at Timberline Lodge (7001 ft )

    Largest Diurnal Change: 33 degrees
    MCDERMITT 26N (61/28 ) (4464 ft )

    Heaviest Rainfall:
    1.50″ at DW3605 Corbett(1755ft)
    1.46″ at Tillamook Airpor(36ft)
    1.44″ at AA7OA Astoria(240ft)
    1.40″ at SADDLE MOUNTAIN(3250ft)
    1.39″ at Astoria Regional(10ft)

    • bgb41 says:

      Here are the top 5 rainfall totals in Washington

      Heaviest Rainfall:
      3.74″ at CW8060 Monroe(361ft)
      2.36″ at MARBLEMOUNT RANG(365ft)
      2.34″ at DW4453 Ariel(463ft)
      2.20″ at JUNE LAKE(3340ft)
      2.10″ at CALAMITY(2500ft)

    • bgb41 says:

      Here is a map of Clark County Rainfall from today April 4th.

      Amounts ranged from around 0.5″ near Vancouver, to 1-1.5″ in Central Clark Co. Further north around Ariel there was 2.31″ reported today.

  30. Karl Bonner says:

    This question is mainly for Mark.

    You commented on how much phenological repression (late start to spring plant growth) there is at your home this early April. If you had to guess, about how far behind average is most of the stuff?

    Here in The Dalles it’s hard to say for sure. Some things, like magnolias, were definitely badly repressed this year and are just now approaching peak bloom (normally their peak runs from the 3rd week of March through the first few days of April). However some of the other wild grasses (the ones about a foot high with little tufts atop them) look to be almost on time, me first noticing them about three or four days ago. The few wild bigleaf maples that grow in sheltered spots at the west end of town are just now revealing their yellowish ‘flowers.’ Daffodils arrived at peak about 10-15 days ago (during spring break) and are still going full blast, so they’ll probably look nice through at least the first half of April and maybe a bit longer. Early tulips began popping up about a week ago but most are still not blooming; I think it’s a safe bet that tulip season will stretch into early May this year.

    Flowering peach and plum began looking vibrant about 10-15 days ago but many specimens’ flowers are already getting crowded out by the little red leaves. The cherry orchards, at least as of two days ago, had absolutely zero blossoms – and given forecast temps the next few days I bet they won’t begin to look anywhere near peak until the 3rd week of April.

    Now that we’re on a repression roll, I almost wish it would stay ridiculously cold to see just how late the bloom dates end up getting.

    • wally says:

      I definitely noticed how late the plants are. For example, our camelia, which normally is in full bloom the last week in February or first week in March, did not fully bloom until this past weekend. No leaves on the trees. I’d say we are a good 3 weeks behind “normal” in our part of SW Portland.

    • Jesse-Orchards says:

      You may get your wish, Karl.

    • Karl Bonner says:

      Did another major East Gorge phenology photoshoot today. Soon I will make a slideshow “video” and post it on Youtube, making sure to put date captions next to every image.

      Magnolias now at peak flowering but I notice the flowers are a bit smaller than usual and the leaves are making the blooms look a little soft. Abnormally warm or cold weather can also affect the *sequencing* of phenology to some degree.

      Flowering plums still going strong for the most part, though a few are beginning to fade and a few others, while still in nearly full bloom, are experiencing “crowding out” by the leaves.

      Today I saw my very first orchard cherry blossom, on ONE branch of ONE tree near Sorosis Park. Everything else still waiting to emerge, but I bet another 3-5 days and we’ll start to see a hint of white appearing on the orchard hill slopes.

      The bigleaf maple specimens are just beginning to show a hint of flower, but the other green-yellow maples are also emerging. It’s interesting how The Dalles is literally right on the edge of Acer macrophyllum’s native growing range.

      We’re also seeing the very first signs of the “regular” tulips (not the trumpet-shaped ones) but most are still unopened, green flower stalks.

  31. bgb41 says:


    I have been at this location only 5 years. Here are the 5 wettest April days I have measured to date.

    April 04, 2011 – 1.22″
    April 01, 2009 – 0.72″
    April 27, 2010 – 0.66″
    April 28, 2009 – 0.60″
    April 22, 2008 – 0.59″

  32. Cherie in Vernonia says:

    Welcome back Mark. Wish you had packed some nice warm sunshine in your luggage & brought it Home! 🙂

  33. bgb41 says:

    18Z GFS @ KTTD – 51 max temp next 16 days. Amazing!!

    • I seriously doubt that. Not only does nobody like those type of records to be broken, but with the longer days, it’s difficult to get our highs to get that low, but of course I did end my workday (outdoors) with one more layer than I started…..

    • Jesse-Orchards says:

      So you doubt it because nobody likes those kinds of records being broken? Airtight logic.

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

    Impressive line of severe thunderstorms along the SE states….. One thing that grabs my eye is that almost every cell has at least some sort of a severe thunderstorm warning box covering them. And these storms stretch from New Orleans, LA to Knoxville, TN! This has been going on pretty much all day, and the squall is still just as strong.

    Currently 412 reports of damaging wind in that region. Even for that area I bet they don’t see this too often unless its a hurricane.

  35. FROPA!

    Wind just switched from SE to NW here and it is dumping. Pressure is on the rise. 0.78″ since midnight “it’s raining cats and dogs message just came up on the weather station.

  36. Boydo3 500' North Albany says:

    We had measurable snow on the 19th of April 2008. The latest recorded for this area I believe. I have a picture of my wife with a very angry look and a certain digit pointed toward the sky as the snow was falling.
    I will save you all the image by not posting it here!

  37. Mike near Clackamas Town Center says:

    Spring has been cancelled 😆

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