Spring and May Stats: It was cold and wet

June 10, 2011

Not a huge surprise, but here are the numbers NCDC just released for the month of May:

Notice it just got colder and colder the closer you got to the Rockies and then the Pacific Northwest.    Some parts of the Eastern Oregon and SE Washington had their coldest May on record, including stations at Pendleton, Goldendale, and, well, somewhere else but now I forget where and don’t want to have to look it up again.

Here is the 3 month temp ranking for March-May:

Same pattern with a cold West and warmer than average East.  Note it was the 3rd & 5th coldest spring on record for Washington and Oregon.  You can also see why there have been such runoff problems in the Columbia, Snake, and Missouri River basins.  A long cold spring delayed the snowmelt and there has been regular rainfall in the dry areas of Montana, Wyoming, and the Dakotas due to the disturbances tracking northeast out of our west coast upper level trough.  It was another month of below average 500 mb heights centered on the Pacific Northwest coastline too: 

This is a pattern that has continued to sit overhead since mid February.  We’ll see how much longer it continues, however notice we’ve dried out significantly this month…it’s no June like last year! 

Looking ahead, I’m afraid that JUNEUARY word is going to start popping up next week.  Models show an upper level trough dropping in over us the 2nd half of next week.  ECMWF had the trough slightly farther east, but GFS brings it almost right over us, keeping the onshore flow and cooler than average temps going.

Enjoy the dry weekend!

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

Yuck…Gray and Wet This Morning

June 10, 2011

What a gloomy start…I HATE waking up to fog/low clouds and drizzle on a June day.  These are the types of days that make me want to retire to a sunnier spot (east of the Cascades).  The marine layer really thickened up more than expected overnight.  The 5am weather balloon sounding shows it’s up around 4,000′ thick.  That thick generally means a very late day breakup (if at all) in the Portland Metro Area.  Clearly our 70 degree forecast high is too warm; 65 is much safer.  If you want to get out of the muck, you can go up to Timberline, east to Hood River, or over the Cascade Passes and find plenty of sunshine.  Here’s the latest picture up at Timberline Lodge:


Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen