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. Ben Randall says:

    here is the link to the ECMWF model that people all looking for


    This is the old one – http://weather.cod.edu/loops/ecmwfNA.850temp.html

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

    I guess everyone is outside enjoying the fresh air! I should too

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

    Supposed to 65F today for a high, and thats a nice change! And it only gets better come Wed/Thu when temps pass the 70F mark.

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

    Kyle, I moved here last November due to my parents not being able to afford it. And after I graduate high school this June, I can move back with my brother. I never said anything about winter. I only mentioned that once I graduate, I’m able to take college back where I came from.

    • Timmy_Supercell (Klamath Falls @ 4200') says:

      I did mention in December that I was going to visit my brother in Tualatin during the vacation, but I was never able to take the trip because I dont have a personal ID yet.
      And I need to take care of that before I move back there for real.

    • Kyle From Silverton says:

      I remember when I got my first ID over at Stayton and it was a drag as they have *holier then thou* laws about paperwork and third time was the charm as they say.

      I wish you good luck!

  5. …29.1 last night here in the bottom of the hole…this afternoon is going to feel real good… 🙂

  6. Does anyone know why if today’s forecasted high is 72, and later in the week we expect another bout of low 70’s, besides the fact that it might not fit on the 7-day graphic, why doesn’t today have the word “Warm” on it, when it’s actually higher than the two days in the week later?

  7. Andrew Johnson says:

    Hit a low of 30.4 this morning.

  8. First day of May and first freeze underway…32.1.

  9. bgb41 says:

    I threw together this webpage summarizing April 2011 in a nutshell


  10. bgb41 says:

    4/30/2011 Oregon (All) Temperature Summary

    High:65 at Castle( 283 ft) & UMATILLA(270 ft) & Echo(680 ft)
    Low: 46 at Meno(98 ft) & DW1265 Newport(164 ft) & NERRS MET SITE A(10 ft)

    High:29 at HOWARD Mt Howard(8150 ft)
    Low: 3 at CRAZYMAN FLAT (6100 ft )

    Largest Diurnal Change: 45 degrees
    CRAZYMAN FLAT (48/3 ) (6100 ft )

    Heaviest Rainfall:
    0.43″ at WANDERER’S PEAK(4350ft)

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

    1.29″ of precipitation in Klamath Falls for April. Normal precip for this month is .75″

    Highest temperature was 70F which occurred on the 1st, but after that, very cool conditions became the primary factor. Lowest high was 37F which landed on the 7th. So even for Klamath most of April, below normal temps and above average precip.

    • Timmy_Supercell (Klamath Falls @ 4200') says:

      Also the wind was killing me, if I am to remember one thing about this place before I move… It would most likely be the wind. Even on days that were really decent and warm, the wind would somehow find a way to bother the living *beep* out of you!

    • Kyle From Silverton says:

      I told my parents that you were going to be here this winter for fun weather recordings since you said you moved here and NOW you are moving again!?

  12. Austin (cornelius) says:

    VITAMIN D!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 😀

  13. bgb41 says:

    April 2011 ended up being the 2nd coldest and 3rd wettest in 70 years at Portland Airport. See Photo summary here I created about this historical month

    • Karl Bonner says:

      I’d like to get some help compiling similar charts for DLS. Trouble is, I’ve been relying on Wunderground and they round everything off to the nearest degree. Where can I get more precise data for DLS?

    • Timmy_Supercell (Klamath Falls @ 4200') says:

      That’s quite a summary for April compared to the last 70 years. Despite boring cold weather, it IS one for the record books!

    • Jesse-Orchards says:

      Cold weather isn’t necessarily boring.

      Are you sure this was the second coldest April ever, Brian? I seem to remember that years like 1975, 1967, 1964, 1948 were also colder.

  14. Kyle From Silverton says:

    However the tornadoes first target will be a mobile home park unless you built with Palm Harbor homes of coursee! 😉

  15. Kyle From Silverton says:

    How about we take the tornadoes a bit to give the SE a recovery break.

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


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

    Lots of comments today 😉

  18. Kyle From Silverton says:

    Extreme spring frost or F2 tornados ‘roarin’ down the valley towards Portland? Take your pick.

  19. Garron near Wash. Sq. says:

    How appropriate! I just received a frost advisory for tonight from Weatherbug, time to cover the tomatoes one more time…Just areas around the Metro and down the valley expected to be in the 30-35 degree range.

    • Ben Randall says:

      Everyone has the frost advisory including the coast , coast range , upper hood river valley , while willamette valley

    • Garron near Wash. Sq. says:

      Amazing is all I can say! My tomato plants will recover nicely next week I am sure, and sure glad that we aren’t getting clobbered like the eastern 1/2 of the nation, could be MUCH worse…

  20. Ben Randall says:

    Everyone is under a frost advisory

  21. Andrew Johnson says:

    A little shower passing through now.

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

    Bright sunshine!


  23. Andrew Johnson says:

    43 with drizzle in Silverton.

  24. bgb41 says:

    4/29/2011 Oregon (All) Temperature Summary

    High:65 at Echo( 680 ft)
    Low: 45 at DW1265 Newport(164 ft)

    High:25 at Timberline Lodge(7001 ft)
    Low: 14 at ANEROID LAKE #2 (7300 ft ) & FISH CREEK (7900 ft )

    Largest Diurnal Change: 32 degrees
    BEND WATERSHED (51/19 ) (5330 ft )

    Heaviest Rainfall:
    1.05″ at YELLOWSTONE MTN.(3080ft)
    0.93″ at BOULDER CREEK(3570ft)
    0.83″ at GOODWIN PEAK(1800ft)
    0.77″ at HORSE CREEK(3402ft)
    0.74″ at CEDAR(2220ft)

  25. Ben Randall says:

    Thursday looks like the coast could reach 70 maybe push 80

  26. Jesse-Orchards says:

    Is it just me or do the models look a lot cooler/rainier than Mark’s 7-day?

    • Doesn’t look like we will beat the rainfall record, which is sure good news to me. I am tired of cold, rainy records!

      75 would seem ridiculously warm compared to what we have been seeing, but it’s far from record worthy, since most records are around 90.

    • Boydo3 N. Albany 500' says:

      It’s you. Come out from under the hood and go VFR. The electronics have got you fooled. Time to see the runway and land your tugboat.

    • Derek Hodges says:

      I’d say there is a touch of optimism in there but nothing too bad. Looks pretty dry to me for the most part.

  27. Austin (Cornelius) says:

    Aha!! Vitamin D!! 😀
    and a day off of school for me! That rhymed!

  28. Andrew Johnson says:

    I was doing some thinking while driving the other day and thought of a few things regarding how delayed the foliage is right now. Just some random things, but I thought perhaps Karl would find them interesting. I would say here in the mid-valley the foliage is running about 3 weeks behind now. Many of the cottonwoods and willows have leaves, but none of the oaks, maples, and ash trees do at all. It made me think of around April 25, 2008 when my baseball team in college had a road trip to Omaha and Lincoln. Back in Oklahoma spring was in full swing with all the trees completely leafed out. But only 250-300 miles north was like a completely different season. None of the trees in SE Nebraska had leaves on them and the grass was still in its dormancy. It was if by driving 5-6 hours we had turned back the clock about 1 1/2 months! It also brought welcome relief to my allergies. The rest of the trip was pretty forgettable, we played in winding conditions with snow flurries and temps in the 30s. I assume those conditions were brought on by the infamous cold trough that swung through the PNW on April 18-20th of that year, as it moved into the Central U.S.

    • Karl Bonner says:

      Oaks are starting to leaf in the East Gorge but it’s been very slow. About the only prominent trees that are still completely bare are the sunburst locusts, though some others (like the northern red oaks) are just barely getting started.

    • Jesse-Orchards says:

      Driving North to Seattle yesterday most trees are leafed out along the Columbia River between Vancouver and Kelso(besides oaks) but once you get a little elevation (the stretch of I-5 between Kelso and Chehalis)about half of the trees are bare.

      Up here in the Puget Sound region I would say about a quarter of the trees are bare. This is the first year I can remember when there were any bare trees at all going into May. Up here is about the same as back at home, in Orchards.

    • Punxsutawney (aka HIOPHIL) at work by Sunset High elev ~280' says:

      About half the oaks here by my work are only just starting to get green buds/leafs on them, the rest are stil bare, and the ones that are showing anything have only started in the last week. The ashes are still bare, and some of the sunset maples are still bare, the rest just starting to bud out.

    • …cottonwoods here are just starting to look like the green mass they become, got a ways to go yet…willows are the same way; lots of bee infested (and that’s GOOD to see!!)pear blooms…blackberries and japanese knotweed (a very controlled patch, without any ever daring my injectable herbicide execution if they get anything resembling close to the creek…) are racing for the sun, and one gets the feeling that a hitchcockian vegetation explosion is about to take place…

    • Karl Bonner says:

      Jesse brought up an interesting observation: leafless trees at the start of May. As for me, I like to think of it as a “let’s pretend we’re in Minnesota” phenomenon. Actually, given how cold MN is, Michigan or upstate New York or New England might be a better metaphor – cold but not borderline subarctic.

      Unfortunately, most of the later-leafing trees in The Dalles have decided to wake up just in time to spoil this scenario. Things are still significantly behind schedule, but looking like mid-April isn’t particularly exciting since in a normal year, there’s already quite a lot of green by then.

      However there is “hope.” Hood River is normally a bit cooler than The Dalles in April, and this year has been no exception. Over the past couple weeks, Hood River temps have been 2-4 degrees F cooler than us, and this should translate into things being a few days behind there as opposed to here.

      Last Saturday I went on a scenic afternoon drive on Highway 30 to Rowena Crest, then continued a couple more miles before turning around a couple miles short of Mosier. Native oaks were already beginning to bud out near The Dalles, but west of town they certainly looked slightly behind. I’m hoping to take a trip to Mosier on Monday or Tuesday, maybe even Hood River. If I don’t see any bare trees there, I’ll drive home via Sevenmile in order to get extra elevation. I bet there will be early May leafless trees there!

    • Mark Nelsen says:

      And if you keep driving Karl, by the time you get to Timberline Lodge you definitely won’t find anything leafed out.

    • MamaReen says:

      Drove to the Tri-Cities last weekend and was surprised that it was still looking like very early spring rather than late April. And as far as the foliage here in the Portland area, I am usually cutting lilacs for my birthday(today) but they are just budding out right now…

  29. WEATHERDAN says:

    Our weather in a word, bleeeeeeeep. What is left to say?

    • Andrew Johnson says:

      Not much really. I for one am ready for true spring. The foliage seems as if it is falling further behind. Looks more like April 10th then the 29th. However, it looks like spring begins on May 1st this year.

    • Jesse-Orchards says:

      For a few days, but if some of the new runs are right (12Z EURO is particular) it may go back to a cool pattern again after just a couple warm days sprinkled throughout the first five days of the month.

    • Mark Nelsen says:

      I agree, they all show a return to cool and wet by Friday.

  30. Twice this morning I had some very visible rain/snow mix here in Sweet Home at 575′. April 29th! Crazy!

  31. bgb41 says:

    Based on satellite trends, I don’t think PDx is going to get much showers activity today. Probably not enough to break the monthly record anyway.

  32. Carol says:

    April 29 in Seneca, Oregon, with a new 1 1/2 ” of white stuff:

  33. PaulBeaverton says:

    Snow over sunset summit on Hwy. 26 last night (4/28/11)


  34. Punxsutawney (aka HIOPHIL) at work by Sunset High elev ~280' says:

    The high of 49 yesterday at the Hillsboro airport is a new record for the coldest daily high for April 28th, beating the old record of 52 in 1964 by three degrees.

    Hillsboro’s current monthly rainfall of 3.42″ is nowhere near the record of 6.35″ set in April 2003 but is still well above the monthly average.

    Also of note, KHIO is running a whopping 6.1 degrees below the monthly average mean temp as of midnight last night! That is easily the largest monthly negative departure for any month that I can recall in the last ten years of monitoring.

    • Andrew Johnson says:

      Wow 6.1 below average is huge for any location, especially a location in the Willamette Valley where our departures tend to generally not be very significant.

  35. Looks like that last little disturbance missed us. So PDX may not make the precip record.


  36. W7ENK says:

    Adding 0.17″ to my total from yesterday, I’m at 5.27″ for April. I didn’t check to see what was added overnight.

    My goodness, with how cold and wet it’s been lately, I can’t even begin to imagine what those record highs in the 90s would feel like… pretty nice, I’m sure!

  37. Roman~Snow-Zone says:

    Man it feels like January. 40.3F and rainy as it can be.

  38. bgb41 says:

    4/28/2011 Oregon (All) Temperature Summary

    High:61 at Echo( 680 ft)
    Low: 45 at BANDON(79 ft) & CW2527 Florence(46 ft)

    High:23 at Mount Hood Meado(6601 ft)
    Low: 11 at ANEROID LAKE #2 (7300 ft )

    Largest Diurnal Change: 26 degrees
    BULLY CREEK RESE (60/34 ) (2500 ft )

    Heaviest Rainfall:
    0.93″ at Government Camp(3600ft)

  39. Karl Bonner says:

    Last week: 1 sunny day with seasonable temps and 1 sunny day with warm temps.

    This weekend/next week: 1 sunny day with seasonable temps, 1 sunny day with warm temps, 1 partly cloudy day with seasonable temps, 1 sunny day with seasonable temps, 2 sunny days with warm temps, 1 day with increasing clouds/PM showers and probably seasonable temps (Friday the 6th).

    Sounds like a major improvement to me! Not going to complain one bit…

  40. no joy in mudville
    mighty blazers have struck out
    feel like a cubs fan

  41. Jake-(Gresham) says:


    Aerial view of the destruction. Time 21 seconds shows a tornadoes path that’s as far as the eye can see through the city basically. Really sobering stuff, it looks like a war zone.

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


  43. Paul D says:

    I’d like more rain please. I’ve got some new sod and I’d rather not pay to keep it wet 🙂

  44. I think we are all ready for some dry weather! Even those that like the rain have probably gotten sick of it!

    Also, with the warm weather starting on May 1st, it will keep April solidly in the cold.

    • Karl Bonner says:

      I’m actually hoping that we get one last good batch of showers tonight / tomorrow morning in the East Gorge to push the April rainfall totals up over 1.50″. That would mean plenty of soil moisture going into May, keeping things fresh and green for quite a while unless the weather turns very hot and dry.

%d bloggers like this: