Active Weekend In Eastern Oregon

Saturday will be the first day this “warm” season that we see strong thunderstorms develop east of the Cascades.  A perfect mix of a very warm atmosphere, moist SE flow aloft, and low-level cool air moving in from the west Saturday afternoon and evening could lead to quite a thunderstorm outbreak there.  West of the Cascades the low-level air mass will be much more stable, so I think it’s unlikely we’ll see thunderstorms.  More likely lots of cloud cover and just a chance of a shower.  This is the reason we haven’t had thunderstorms on our 7 Day forecast all week.  Southeasterly upper-level flow ahead of a cold trough approaching is often a good setup for storms west of the Cascades, but not always.  You may remember 2 years ago we were in similar pattern for a week or so in mid-June and saw almost nothing.

Meanwhile, we had a nice day today, if a bit chilly for the first half.  Portland missed its record low for the date by only 1 degree! (38).  Some isolated spots in the metro area even had frost.  That’s totally inappropriate (in my mind) for mid-May.  In fact with all that sunshine we were still 3 degrees short of reaching our AVERAGE high.

Lots of high clouds for tomorrow, so I have panicked and dropped the forecast high back to 68.  Hopefully that won’t be a mistake, but we’ve been over-forecasting several “warm” days this season.  When forecasting high and low temperatures, I do it a bit differently than I did the first 10-15 years of my career.  With the report card each Monday, I need to be within 3 degrees to get the forecast correct.  So while in the past I might have gone 70 or 71 for tomorrow.  In the case of tonight, I figure it’s very unlikely it’ll go above 71 tomorrow, more likely somewhere between 65-70, so I end up with 68.

I looked at the long-range maps today and almost cried, or at least went to our vending area and bought some cookies for comfort food.  Yuck…troughing or westerly flow for the 3rd week of May!  No sign of significantly warmer weather through at least the end of next week…Now that was until the 00z GFS.  It looks significantly better, at least very typical (and mild) May weather after next Wednesday.

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

48 Responses to Active Weekend In Eastern Oregon

  1. bgb41 says:

    00Z GFS – calling for a 10-day dry spell

  2. Austin (Cornelius) says:

    This is unacceptable mark! >:0
    your saying strong storms to the east…why not the west?!?!?!?!
    It makes me wanna run away to eastern Oregon! Talk about you crying! This is like a teaser!!!! Nooo!!!!!

    • Emily Waldman says:

      My mom called/bragged about their t-storm set up Sat nite in E. WA! She said potential for 1″ hail & a tornado says the Krem 2 channel in Spokane? Yeah where’s ours?

  3. Today was a bonus day for sure. 75 degrees here and the first day I have seen leafing buds on my new green vase zelkova tree.

  4. bgb41 says:

    5:00pm Temperature map with Satellite pic.

    It’s plain to see that PDX lucked out with the window of clearing between 2-6pm. Areas north and south of us quite a bit cooler this afternoon.

  5. bgb41 says:

    18Z GFS – Oh my GOD!! There is 93 degree temp on this run day #15 followed by a 55 the next 16th day. That 16th day is of course the beginning of memorial day weekend.

  6. Doppler Dave (NE Portland) says:

    Some more trivia…high today of 73 for PDX, compared to 74 same date last year. Recored high for this date is 92 degrees.

  7. Doppler Dave (NE Portland_ says:

    Glad to see that PDX made it to 73 today. Warmest day of the year so far, LOL!!!

  8. Jesse-Orchards says:

    Looks like PDX is holding at 72 as of 4pm. First 75+ day probably not in the cards.

    Experiencing mine here though, currently 75.1 after a low of 38 this morning. Very nice diurnal temp range. 🙂

    If PDX doesn’t hit 75+ by May 23rd it will be yet another, “latest first” benchmark, last set in 1964. Ten days to go!

  9. bgb41 says:

    Looking at the 4km VIS loop, it looks like the upper low offshore wobbled slightly to the west this afternoon. The high cloud band just offshore was modeled to be right over us during the time of maximum diurnal heating. Instead its over the ocean and we are left with much more sunshine than expected for once.

  10. bgb41 says:

    Bang!! soon as clouds cleared KTTD..its 72 there at 2pm up 7 degrees in one hour. Going to hit mid 70s around pdx today. Warmest day of the year 🙂

    • Jesse-Orchards says:

      Yep, we’re WAY overdue, obviously.

      Shame this looks like the last real warm day for a week or more perhaps. Lots more rain and 50s on the way.

    • Garron near Wash. Sq. says:

      I guess Mark’s report card is in jeopardy today. That’s ok, nobody minds if the forecast is (cooler) than forecast. Back to the BBQ…

    • Garron near Wash. Sq. says:

      insert—-Warmer, for cooler than forecast…

  11. bgb41 says:

    East wind very strong in Clark Co foothills right now. 38 mph at Larch Mtn

    The thick band of middle/high clouds is moving through rapidly and around 2pm. When the sun comes out, temperatures are going to easily reach low 70’s today at PDX which will be the warmest day of 2011.

  12. Wendy-Silverlake, Wa says:

    60 degrees already and it’s only 11:30. Could we possibly reach 70 today??????? I think it’ll be close!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

  13. WEATHERDAN says:

    Weather pattern reminds me of 1991. Very cool and wet through June. Then July through October was very warm. 72 days over 80 in Salem that Summer. My big concern however is all that snow in the mountains. Very deep for this late in the season. A sudden pattern change to warm weather would melt a lot of that snow in a hurry. Still some temps in the 80,s would be nice right now.

    • Jesse-Orchards says:

      Remember how you were saying with such certainty that Spring 2011 would have a ton of warmth with our first days in the upper 60s starting in February? This forecast was based on nothing except for the fact that that’s what you WANTED to happen.

      This outlook is the same. You obviously like warmth and you WANT it to turn warmer the last half of the year, so you’re trying to fit a square peg into a round hole (this year has been nothing like 1991) to rationalize why it might happen.

    • W7ENK says:

      Your comment is awaiting moderation.
      May 13, 2011 at 1:32 pm
      Heh heh heh… ^_^

    • Jesse-Orchards says:

      And you think this comment shouldn’t show up, why?

      Simply an argument against weatherdan’s rationale. No profanity (something that cannot be said for many of your posts) and certainly no whining, hand-wringing, or “chicken little-ing”. 😉

      Since when did it become a crime to disagree with someone on this forum?

    • Mike near Clackamas Town Center says:

      You’re stuck on this cool bias aren’t you Jesse. Eventually the sunny, warmer weather will be coming and not even your cool bias can stop it. 😆

    • Jesse-Orchards says:


    • Mike near Clackamas Town Center says:

      Sooner or later we will have a week long stretch of beautful 75F weather. This is what everyone is craving right now from mother nature.

    • bgb41 says:

      Speaking of 75..Its now 75 at 2:45 in Downtown Gresham.

    • W7ENK says:

      It’s what you can’t see that makes me laugh, Jesse. I’m about 99.99995% sure it won’t make it through, at least not in it’s full glory, but you never know! 😉

      Your lack of respect is something I don’t expect will ever change.

    • W7ENK says:

      Indeed Mark, it did! 😉

    • Jesse-Orchards says:

      Oh whine7, you so silly.

  14. W7ENK says:

    44 degrees this morning, and with all these mid- and high-level clouds, I doubt we make 70 today.

    Also, all the flags I see around the Downtown area are pointing toward the South-ish… Another not good sign if you want warmth.

  15. For those wish casting Thunderstorms this weekend I’m afraid you need to pick a different weekend. Someone, might be me, has to walk down the aisle on Saturday and would prefer it stayed dry especially since it’s an outside wedding. Mark, pressure is on too-the wedding is in Corbett.

  16. bgb41 says:

    5/12/2011 Oregon (All) Temperature Summary

    High:77 at Ontario Municipa(2188 ft)
    Low: 54 at BULLY CREEK RESE(2500 ft)

    High:37 at Timberline Lodge(7001 ft)
    Low: 21 at Timberline Lodge (7001 ft ) & Timberline Lodge (6001 ft )

    Largest Diurnal Change: 34 degrees
    FOSTER FLAT (65/31 ) (5000 ft )

    Heaviest Rainfall:
    0.34″ at North Bend Munic(16ft)

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

    Would be nice if that upper low were to drop further south before moving inland thus perhaps cutting off the low-level onshore flow. Grasping at straws for weather action.

    • pappoose in scappoose says:

      Keep grasping Rob, maybe you can find a Stray Albino Donkey wandering about. Lets all wish/grasp together, reeeaaaady….GO!!!!!!

  18. bgb41 says:

    Here is that more optimistic 00Z GFS Mark was eluding to. As far as KTTD is concerned this is the warmest run so far this year with a 64.4 degree average for next 16 days. Now lets see if 06Z yanks away those lovely 80s at the end of the run.

  19. bgb41 says:

    Yeah Mark, those 12 and 18Z runs were depressing. 00Z gives us hope. I am sure the model roller coaster will continue this week as we struggle to get out of this pattern.

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

      It did, 06z not as bad as yesterday’s 12z, but back to cool and generally wet, with the exception of today and then a day or two at the end of the month.

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

    1st! Thanks for the update, Mark.

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