April Ending Cold & Wet

There is a good chance we’ll set the all-time April rainfall record within the next 24 hours here in Portland.  As of 9pm we’ve received 5.04″ rainfall this month, the 3rd wettest of all time.  The record is 5.26″ set in April 1993.  Of course that means we need less than .25″ rain to break the record.  There is one more surge of showers coming through later tonight and tomorrow morning.  That needs to produce the needed rain since we really dry out tomorrow afternoon and showers on Saturday look very sparse.

Along with the rain moving through the area this afternoon/evening, it was a really cold airmass.  Widespread snow has been seen above about 1,000′ with sticking just above that elevation.  Had a report of 3/4″ east of Corbett at 1,800′.  That’s just totally inappropriate for April 28th…oh, and you can add in 10-12″ fresh powder at Timberline and Meadows in the past 24 hours.

The reason for the low elevation snow this afternoon was a nice shortwave curling inland, clearly seen in satellite and radar imagery.  The solid cloud shield and rain did keep the thunderstorms away though.  We really need the sunbreaks to get the big hail and thunder action this time of year.

It appears that this will probably be the final really cold airmass of the season (sticking snow down below 2,000′) since models show a significantly warmer patter beginning on…May1st (Sunday).  It may not be totally dry next week, especially on Monday, but we should see the longest period of 60+ temps so far this season and mainly dry weather.  We get upper level ridging Sunday, a weak system moving through the ridge Monday, then the ridge returns with higher upper-level heights and warmer 850mb temps Tuesday-Thursday.  We pushed the forecast highs Wednesday-Thursday into the mid 70s due to those 850mb temps around +10.  Record highs are around 90, but you’d need 850 mb temps up around +20 with east wind for that.

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

138 Responses to April Ending Cold & Wet

  1. chuck on Mt Scott says:

    Found this interesting. I enjoy weather risks, but this reminds me why I can sleep at night. I recall many sleepless nights, growing up in Florida.


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

    51.3 much warmer… probably only be 47-49 tonight.

  3. bgb41 says:

    5/1/2011 Oregon (All) Temperature Summary

    High:79 at AGNESS2( 247 ft) & ILLINOIS VALLEY(1389 ft)
    Low: 46 at RED MOUND(1753 ft) & DW6842 Gold Beac(449 ft)

    High:38 at HOWARD Mt Howard(8150 ft)
    Low: 13 at Horse Ridge (US (4160 ft )

    Largest Diurnal Change: 54 degrees
    Horse Ridge (US (67/13 ) (4160 ft )

    • bgb41 says:

      Interesting note on todays temperatures. Horse ridge which was 13 degrees this morning reached 67 this afternoon which was the same temperature at PDX.

  4. bgb41 says:

    ‎00Z GFS – Well, I have been concerned this past 3-4 days with the GFS and EURO not agreeing in the long term with NCEP. Now I know why because these last two runs have turned wet and cool again for most of the first half of May. This run in particular if quite frustrating after seeing several nicer runs. Spring 2011’s bad weather curse to continue.

    • snodaze says:


      About what? Did you not get the memo mark sent out banning model riding between March 15th and Nov. 15th.? GOLU or SILO models rule in these months.

  5. What was the official high at the Portland Airport today? With the powerful sun, it felt pretty warm as of about 5 today, but I don’t know what we got to.

  6. HIO Phil (Punxsutawney) elevation 189' says:

    Raining ducks and geese at the moment. Thank goodness not for real.


  7. Austin(Cornelius) says:


  8. W7ENK says:

    @Karl I was over in your neck of the woods this weekend…

    Here’s a picture I took today:

    It’s the 1st of May, and the fruit trees in Dufur have yet to bloom, have yet to even leaf out! They’re still BARE!!! O_O!

    • Aleta-West Gresham says:

      My apple JUST went into full bloom.

    • Aleta-West Gresham says:

      *apple tree that is! 🙂

    • Karl Bonner says:

      I wish you’d gotten a closer photo of them. Hard to tell but it looks a lot like the local cherries did about two weeks ago – not many flowers but the buds were getting so big that it definitely didn’t look like winter anymore. What elevation is this location?

      In a couple days I plan to take a drive to the top of Sevenmile Hill and see what things look like up at 1800 feet. Right here in town the native oaks are finally showing some obvious green – in fact, I could have sworn that they looked a bit leafier at 6pm than they did at noon!

      The cherry orchards are actually starting to fade out in spots. Others are getting obscured by leaves, which were slightly less delayed than the flowers.

    • W7ENK says:

      Well Karl, I was riding in a car down on Hwy 44. To get closer would have required trespassing on someone’s property, and out there, there’s a bit more risk of finding yourself staring at the business end of Mr. Mossberg – if you catch my drift… o_O

      Google Earth
      45° 26′ 27.00″ N
      121° 9′ 16.99″ W
      Elevation is about 1,500 feet.

      I have no idea what kind of trees these are.

  9. Roman~Snow-Zone says:

    “Nuclear hellstorm if Osama bin Laden is caught or killed: Al-Qaeda.” If this report is true that is very troubling.. Also interestingly it was published April 25 2011


    • W7ENK says:

      He was supposedly killed 5 days ago, according to ABC.

    • Andrew Johnson says:

      I feel like Al-Qaeda would have used a nuclear bomb if they had one. What good would it do them to sit on something like that. Wouldn’t they have detonated it during the financial meltdown or something like that?

    • Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

      Remember few years back they threatened us with some “Black wind of death”? I do… Never happened. Although those crazy idiots will do something, somewhere.

  10. WhiteEagle - Garden Home/SW Portland says:

    For whoever doesn’t have a TV or a computer, Osama Bin Laden is dead. We finally got him. Much respect to our Special Forces and CIA who did the job.

    I wouldn’t normally post non-weather stuff here, but I’m beaming with pride tonight. Just sayin’.

    I hear thunder outside, or are those firecrackers?!?

  11. O.C.Paul says:

    Mark, sorry to be a stickler for detail, but this was probably not the 3rd wettest April “EVER”. It was, perhaps, the 3rd wettest ‘on record’. The term ‘ever’ implies a period of about 4 billion years.
    This is a pet peeve of mine when it comes to weather stats. Anyway…..I work outside, and April, 2011 stunk up the place big time. (yeah, isn’t that a great, technical weather term?)

    • Kyle From Silverton says:

      Me too. I wish we had records going back thru the last mini ice age to see what springs were like.

    • Mark Nelsen says:

      It’s better than saying “in white-man’s memory” don’t you think? I sometimes add, verbally, how long records have been kept as well. Good point of course.

      Can you imagine what the Gorge east wind must have been like when an ice cap filled half of Eastern Washington? Think how much snow must have fallen each winter then!

    • Jesse-Orchards says:


  12. Garron near Wash. Sq. says:

    Tornadoes cause FOX to delay Family guy hurricane episode? Even tv isn’t safe from the storms…


  13. Jesse-Orchards says:

    Temps really underachieving today. Mark had 72, and we haven’t even hit 65 as of 4pm. 🙂

    This isn’t due to unexpected cloud cover or anything, just the atmosphere underperforming a bit. Maybe not as much of an offshore component as anticipated, coupled with the cold start.

    • Mike (Orchards 255') says:

      Agree. 64.3 here for the high.

    • Ya, we also had a pretty cool start. Normally people would really notice a 6-7 degree difference from the forecast high to the actual high, but it’s just been so cool lately, most are just happy to see it crack 60.

    • HIO Phil (Punxsutawney) elevation 189' says:


      Not even close at KHIO. Still haven’t seen 70 here. Unfortunately it looks like KAST hit 60, so that streak ends.

    • HIO Phil (Punxsutawney) elevation 189' says:

      Too much onshore flow here held temps down. The wind was offshore in the morning but varied, mostly onshore for most of the afternoon, and with the ground not that warm yet, despite the sunshine, it was enough to keep it cool.

      I got the feeling though that if we had had a 5-10 mph east wind this afternoon, we would have been pushing 80 in KHIO land.

    • Mark Nelsen says:

      I had 71, someone else must have gone for 72.

      Not enough offshore flow, just a light easterly breeze in Corbett in the morning and then that was it.

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

    Models are trending towards a return to crap.

    Nice day today… the ANTS seem to enjoy it. I’ve never had to kill so many before on the beams that go from under our patio cover to the attic. They were covered on 7 beams. Last few years I’d only have to spray 2-3. It’s going to be a very bad year for ants invading households I fear. I HATE Ants.

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