Spring and May Stats: It was cold and wet

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

106 Responses to Spring and May Stats: It was cold and wet

  1. TAGinGresham says:

    Hi everyone! I haven’t been on the blog for awhile, but I thought I’d check-in and see what the latest is.

    I do have a question for those of you that understand weather better than me. At what point do we know what the upcoming winter is going to be as far as La Nina’s, El Nino’s, etc.? And I have already forgotten what last winter was, lol.

    It’s been nice to see a bit more sunshine lately, and hopefully it only increases, although I don’t want the 90’s! I hope everyone is doing well! Thanks for any answers!


    • Mark Nelsen says:

      La Nina is dead…at least for now. We’re in ENSO neutral conditions and are expected to stay that way for a few months. Seems like CPC’s models are tilting toward a neutral or weak La Nina winter coming up.

  2. pappoose in scappoose says:

    Rod Hill’s 7 day forecast.


  3. Jory (Sandy & Downtown Portland) says:

    Lets do the time warp! Very cool and interesting.

    Clocks in Sicily Mysteriously Jump Ahead

    For over a week, the digital clocks in Catania have been perplexing owners by skipping ahead 15 to 20 minutes every day.

    The inexplicable time changes caught the attention of two computer technicians in Sicily, who turned to Facebook to confirm the phenomenon.

    Posing a question to ask if their friends and colleagues had noticed anything amiss with their clocks and radios established a definite pattern of electronic misbehavior.

    Experts in the University of Catania’s electronic engineering department have been unable to give a singular answer to explain the irregularity. The digital misfires could have to do with the network of power generators based in Sicily, or even with an underwater electric cable that is currently under construction.

    Sicilian digital clock owners will have to go back to old-fashioned timepieces, or they are destined to be 20 minutes early for all their appointments until the electrical variations can be accounted for.

  4. Kyle From Silverton says:

    Perhaps we will have the record least 90 degree days this summer.

  5. Kyle From Silverton says:

    We must be the only place having off and on sun at random intervals.

    There is a patch of blue sky to my north that’s been holding t it’s ground for the last 20 mins or so.

  6. pappoose in scappoose says:

    More of the same on global warming.


    • Austin (Cornelius) says:

      aw darn! I forget what the phrase was!!!

    • Austin (Cornelius) says:

      It’s not global warming it’s ______.
      I know that much.

    • Boydo3 N. Albany 500' says:

      That’s really a good analysis of the research. And I like his unbiased approach to the emotionally loaded arguements on both sides of the topic.

    • Timmy_Supercell (Klamath Falls @ 4200') says:

      Global Warning:

      I call BS… (cough, cough)


    • Timmy_Supercell (Klamath Falls @ 4200') says:

      Nice, we now have some arguments against this stupid politically incorrect topic. Al Gore, need we say more???

    • Timmy_Supercell (Klamath Falls @ 4200') says:

      Funny, that wasn’t even meant to rhime 😉

    • Mike near Clackamas Town Center says:

      Global warming isn’t a political issue or a joke, and hearing opinions from various people of doing nothing to improve how we use earth’s resources is the real joke to me. I’ve come to the realization that once they find the undisputable proof it won’t really matter by then anyway 😦

    • pappoose in scappoose says:

      Right Mike, trouble is by the time they find the indisputable proof, no one will believe it after all the crying wolf that goes on.

  7. bgb41 says:

    Picked up 0.09″ of drizzle overnight. Just a trace at PDX. As usual, the local terrain in my area squeezes out QPF.

  8. Juneuary. There, it’s been said.
    Now, onto brighter days.

  9. Longview - 400 ft says:


    • Longview - 400 ft says:

      I have been absent for a while and see all these options to communicate, so I tested the options here, interesting.
      Test one complete and final.


    Ladies and Gentleman if I can have your attention please I would like to proudly present tonight’s 00z ECMWF.
    Do we see a pattern shift on the horizon? 588Dm heights pushing into Oregon and what looks like a decent core of heat finally spreading west-northwest into the Great Basin region. Hmmmmm.

    • Jesse-Orchards says:

      Eh, I wouldn’t put too much stock in it. The pattern you’re referencing is way out at day 10, and that’s not even a true four corners high setup, just a lobe of the East pacific ridge nudging inland with what looks to be another pacific trough waiting offshore at it’s heels. I would put a pretty penny on that kind of thing being gone by the 12Z run anyway.

  11. This entire cruddy Spring I really haven’t complained much or anything, but 00z GFS SUCKS it’s pure #$(@*#(@* and _______, even some #(%***(#*(@.. Wednesday is just flat out ridiculously disgusting looking.

  12. bgb41 says:

    6/12/2011 Oregon (All) Temperature Summary

    High:81 at CW2551 Medford(1491 ft) & CW8927 Young Lif(1631 ft)
    Low: 58 at Echo(680 ft) & Blalock(280 ft)

    High:42 at Mount Hood Meado(6601 ft)
    Low: 26 at DESCHUTES PORTAB (5100 ft )

    Largest Diurnal Change: 42 degrees
    DESCHUTES PORTAB (68/26 ) (5100 ft )

    Heaviest Rainfall:
    0.51″ at DW5719 Junction City(325ft)
    0.50″ at SEVENMILE MARSH(6200ft)
    0.46″ at CW9669 Springfield(462ft)

  13. WEATHERDAN says:

    I think it’s just hilarious this talk of next winter. How about we enjoy the summer that hasn’t even arrived yet. After a couple of warmer and drier months it might be time to talk of next winter. But until Labor day is past us I just want to think about warm sunny days. Besides all we have to do is look for what these so called experts call for next winter, then expect just the opposite to happen. It has lately so why not next winter too?

  14. bgb41 says:

    00Z GFS @ KTTD – No surprises here. All 16 days are cooler than normal.

    2nd half of the run is even cooler. This run so far is the coolest run over all out of the last several.

  15. Kyle From Silverton says:

    The sun appeared around 8 and then there were high clouds but the sun was still visible until 1pm or so and now it’s steady rain.

    🙂 😀

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

    Nice solid cluster of showers to NW of me, and including the Willamette Valley too. Honestly, the radar reminds me of the average December afternoon. Pineapple express is another way of putting it.

    • O.C.Paul says:

      Steady rain in Oregon City since 5:00. 61.5 degrees with day light at 7 pm, so I know it’s summer. Checked the calendar to make sure it didn’t say ‘2010’. Is this ‘Ground Hog’s Day’?

  17. pappoose in scappoose says:

    The rain is here…ahead of schedule.

  18. bgb41 says:

    Once again based on satellite and radar trends, rain amounts might be heavier south of Portland again. This has been the case the last 3-4 weeks or so it seems.

    • bgb41 says:

      Nearly half an inch fell around Eugene but just a Trace in clark county. Interesting how all the systems have been passing south of PDX the last 3 weeks or so.

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

    Usually a jet stream like that overhead would result in occasional cold cored funnel cloud activity. Happens every June, like last year for example. Well, looks like there is some fun to look forward to afterall!

  20. bgb41 says:

    Huge changes in the short term forecast this morning:


    Hence unexpected soaking rains start this evening in the Willamette Valley. Spring 2011 curse continues.

  21. Runrain says:

    Looks like the high yesterday will be 68 and last nights low will be 53. Thx KPTV weather staffers. Paid to do NOTHING! Time to get some new weatherpeople, Mark!

    • runrain says:

      Well, if anyone else is as anul as I and wishes an up to date 7 day forecast, one only has to go to KGW weather. They update theirs!

    • Jesse-Orchards says:

      +1 runrain. Fox 12 weekend people are just good hair and pearly smiles. Not a lot of passion for the weather.

      You can tell when the 7-day isn’t made by Mark because it’s basically a copy/paste of the NWS forecast. When they even bother to update it that is.

    • runrain says:

      Ha! Even I could forecast yesterdays weather. And I have thining hair and less than pearly teeth!! (TMI?)

    • pappoose in scappoose says:

      I hate weatherpeople that do nothing. Why even bother with a person, just post the forecast.

  22. Garron near Washington Square says:

    O U T S T A N D I N G S U N R I S E A L E R T !!!

    An outstanding sunrise alert has been issued across the Portland metro area due to unusual sky conditions being reported. In the event that this mornings skies may inspire shock and awe, and higher than normal BBQ useage, a return to m,ore seasonal cooler and cloudy conditions will return to the PNW. Please stay tuned to your local NOAA office for further information on what to do in the event of sunny weather….

    • jbpdx says:

      that didn’t last long. got up for a bit at 8 it was all sunny. got back up at 9, clouds everywhere. now it’s completely overcast… isn’t that just the opposite of what it was supposed to be?

    • Garron near Washington Square says:

      The one thing that I love most about working the graveyard shift is enjoying the sunrises’. There are so many days just like these that if you didn’t get up before the sun rose and the low clouds formed or an approaching system obscures the blue skies, you would miss the only part of the day that was nice….sigh, back to “Juneary”

  23. Derek hodges says:

    Today turned out to be really nice though, hope we see more of the same. Of course it can warm up some and I am fine with that too.

  24. bgb41 says:

    6/11/2011 Oregon (All) Temperature Summary

    High:80 at CW8927 Young Life Ranch(1631 ft)
    Low: 57 at Rufus(185 ft)

    High 44 at CRATER LAKE RIM(7050 ft) & HOWARD Mt Howard(8150 ft)
    Low: 28 at CRANE PRAIRIE (5500 ft )

    Largest Diurnal Change: 37 degrees
    CW8927 Young Lif (80/43 ) (1631 ft )
    COLGATE (70/33) (3293 ft)

    Heaviest Rainfall:
    0.44″ at J RIDGE(5180ft)
    0.42″ at FLAGSTAFF HILL(3945ft)

  25. Mike near Clackamas Town Center says:

    The GFS briefly brings snow to the elevation of Timberline Lodge a day or two next week 😆 ……I’m beginning to wonder if the snow that fell up there this season will completely melt at all before next fall comes along.

    • sds says:

      Be assured–it will melt and all be gone by August at the Lodge. There will still be last years snow remaining on Palmer snow field and in the sheltered gullies.

  26. EA_TTD says:

    00z GFS is ridiculous for June…low’s in the 30’s Tuesday-Saturday next week with a 31 (!) on Friday morning , highs struggling to make or barely break 60. Egads!

  27. From my hike around Coldwater Lake near Mt. St. Helens.

    12.2 miles, 1,600′ elevation gain. It was great but the late season snow made for an interesting hike for two reasons:

    1. Crossing a steep snowbank

    2. Soaking wet feet from crossing a “stream”

  28. What a fantastic early evening on tap! Rather than focus on the coming gloom let’s enjoy this while we can.

    • In my opinion, today ended up pretty decent. I’ve been throughout the west side (aloha, beaverton, hillsboro, etc), and it cleared up pretty well. Not a cold,. rainy, bundle up rose parade day, but not a shorts and t-shirt one either. Could be (and has been!) way worse. I just hope once “summer” gets here and hopefully stays, the rivers calm down and get nice and slow and mellow so it works for good floating!

  29. Mike near Clackamas Town Center says:

    It seems that most people are very annoyed by the constant cloudy and cool weather 😦

    • Jesse-Orchards says:

      Did you take a poll? 😉

    • Mike near Clackamas Town Center says:

      There are a ton of people on facebook that might agree with my statement Jesse. I bet if you checked out any of the weather pages on facebook by Portland area mets you might notice posts are filled with comments like where’s the sun, when is summer going to arrive, when is Portland going to hit 80 deg again, or I’m tired of the gloom. So Jesse I don’t need to take a poll to notice how people are annoyed with the gloom.

    • Jesse-Orchards says:

      Look outside! Tonight isn’t very gloomy.

    • Mike near Clackamas Town Center says:

      Don’t worry tomorrow will be back to reality 😆

    • Jesse-Orchards says:

      That’s the spirit! When life gives you lemonade make lemons, right? 😉

    • Mike near Clackamas Town Center says:

      I guess in a climate like this low clouds are just a way of life….either deal with it or move somewhere else right??

    • Jesse-Orchards says:

      Now you’re getting it. We’re making progress!

  30. Kyle From Silverton says:

    Ashely you’re spot on! 🙂 When the winter time blues come I go to Disney World……….virtually on YouTube as I can avoid long lines that way.

  31. ashley watson says:

    My goal is not to be pessimistic but just to alert people to the reality of our climate. so many on this blog get so worked up come winter and the vast majority of the time we get let down and disappointed. To me it seems pointless to get all excited about something that is so elusive around here.

    • Jesse-Orchards says:

      You’re just being a weenie. There is no justification for it. You aren’t doing anybody any favors with your alarmist posts that are based on your emotions I would guess, not facts.

  32. ashley watson says:

    i can not say for certainty anything because we don’t know 100% what is going to happen but in my non-expert opinion it seems the below normal temps we have expirenced this spring does not bode well for this upcoming winter. another mild winter is what i see. the majority of the years that have have been mentioned on this blog where we had well below normal springs and a record low number of 70 or 80 degress days through june the next winter wasn’t anything to write home about. I think the yucky cycle will continue this winter. Record cold and snow east and 40 degree 1,000 foot just a few degrees away for snow portland oregon. I emphasize that this is not for certain but if i was a betting man my stakes would be on warmer and more depressing than normal

    • Kyle From Silverton says:

      If I had to bet my money I would go for a cooler but snow less winter as in less then 1 inch within 24 hours.

      If we get our January cold it will more then likely be dry with the bloggers going nuts over the GFS showing 2 solid weeks of snow and nothing happens except black ice.

    • Jesse-Orchards says:

      Ashley, I cannot stress this enough. Don’t post unless you have the correct facts. You say that a cold spring is a bad sign for the upcoming winter. That is completely false. The only three colder sprongs than this one at PDX were 1967, 1964 and 1955. Notice all of these years are from our last -PDO cold phase, a time in which, I’m sure you realize, our winters were consistently colder and snowier. Now let’s look at the winters following those three aforementioned years specifically. 2 out of three of them had some sort of historic cold wave between November and February. December 1964 holds the honor for PDX’s all-time December record low, and of course November 1955 had an intense early season arctic outbreak. Not to mention other cold waves both those years had, as well as numerous snow events. You claim to be informing people here but you are in fact grossly misinforming them. LOOK STUFF UP BEFORE YOU POST. Honestly it’s not that hard to do.

    • Mark Nelsen says:

      I’ve got to go with Jesse on this one (really!). An argument should be based on facts when you’re talking about facts to start with (a cold/wet spring).

  33. Just returned from a Mt. Rainier climb, where I could appreciate the significant effects of our historically cool wet spring. There is still a 200″ snowpack at Paradise. Despite all the snow and cold, glaciers are showing extensive crevasses, which typically reflects increase in motion; major climbing route which one would have thought lasted late into the season because of all the snow is now essentially shut down because of the opening up of crevasses. I read that for the first time since being measured glaciers on rainier are showing positive mass balance; I would expect significant glacial advance will be seen as a consequence. BTW, it was beautiful and sunny all week up there at 10000′ , could see all the June gloom below, with the exception of a 4″ snowfall one night/morning.

  34. Getting some partial clearing, now 61.1°F.

  35. Had a high/low of 64/48 yesterday. Currently cloudy and 55. Only 0.36″ of rain so far this month here.

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

    So far I’m not seeing any “June Gloom” this year….

  37. 00z EURO to me shows slight, subtle hints at a pattern change although I see more of the same more than anything, just small indications!

  38. bgb41 says:

    6/10/2011 Oregon (All) Temperature Summary

    High:82 at DW0462 Umatilla(1273 ft) & Mission(1235 ft)
    Low: 62 at Blalock(280 ft)

    High:44 at MT. HOWARD(7910 ft)
    Low: 31 at Diamond Lake (Or (5260 ft ) & MOSS SPRINGS (5850 ft ) & ANEROID LAKE #2 (7300 ft )

    Largest Diurnal Change: 36 degrees
    Mission (82/46 ) (1235 ft )

    Heaviest Rainfall:
    0.78″ at FORT ROCK(4413ft)
    0.74″ at BROWNS WELL(4560ft)
    0.71″ at BRER RABBIT(5780ft)

  39. bgb41 says:

    Time for me to start looking at what the record least 70+ and 80+ degree days are by June 30th each year. We might be rivaling those numbers.

    So Far:

    80 days : 1
    70 days: 10

    • bgb41 says:

      Just took a quick look at last 62 year of records. The least number of 70 degree days in any year by June 30th is 18 days set in 1991. Right now we have 10 days and only 4 are predicted on the latest GFS which runs through the 26th. So it is possible that we tie or break that record. We would need 9 more days above 70 the rest of the month for this to NOT be a record.

    • bgb41 says:

      The least number of 80 degree days in any year by June 30th is 2 days set in 1964 and 1980. Currently we sit at 1 day in 2011.

  40. Mike near Clackamas Town Center says:

    Hopefully the GFS ends up wrong about the possible trough coming next week..Oregonians are dying for more 80 deg temps sometime this year 🙂

    • Hopefully 00z EURO comes out tonight and has other ideas and we see a sudden change in 5-7 days. I WISH…. It’s nice that we are done with the wet season, but at the same time c’mon it’s a little too cool and a little too gray out there.

  41. Thanks for the update, Mark. It was cold and wet! Understatement. I’m thinking this may be a typical Summer where it turns warm-to-hot after July 4th-7th.

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