OMSI Winter Weather Meeting Review

Let’s wrap-up the big 2011 Winter Weather Meeting on Saturday.  I’m a little late to the party since I had yesterday off and I’m trying to build a greenhouse before the weather really goes downhill.  I was able to meet a few more of you this time around since I was manning the raffle table, so that was fun.  Plus I only see some people once a year at this meeting; a weather geek reunion.  

Here are the highlights:

1.  What a great meeting!  It was the most well-attended meeting the Oregon AMS Chapter has ever hosted.  We had 350+ attendees at the morning session, and around 100 stuck around for the afternoon (non-winter weather) session.  I remember as recently as 10 years ago we just met in the Portland NWS conference room with maybe 15-25 people present.

2.  Presentations are on the AMS Website , including all graphics from all of those presentations.  Pretty much the entire meeting is at that link.

3.  After a fantastic wrap up of last winter by Mark Nelsen (2 official snowfalls in Portland!), Pete Parsons hopped on the stage.  He has a bunch of analog years, and his top one was 2008.  Yes, that was the December of the arctic air and huge snowstorm.  Plus the strongest east wind we had seen in 10+ years in January.  Actually the other parts of winter were not so exciting.  Pete expects above average temps the early part of winter, but the cooler periods have a better chance of snowfall than what we saw last winter.  He expects above average snowfall in the western lowlands and a better than average chance for freezing rain.

4.  John Elson from the National Weather Service did a great job spicing up the generally bland CPC forecasts with some extra P-Town snow history.  Not surprisingly, CPC says probably below average temps and above average precipitation.

5.  Kyle Dittmer gave his forecast for about average temps and above average precipitation, plus 9 inches of snow.  Kyle forecast six (yes, six) snow events for this past winter, and claimed we had five.  Apparently he counts if there are snowflakes in the air.  Although he specifically claimed the year before that those would be “six snow events with 2-5”.  I feel this part of his presentation was disingenuous.  I think we need to have better verification.

6.  Jim Little presented for the first time in at least 5 years and didn’t disappoint!  Jim LOVES programming and automating tasks (we used to work together at KOIN).  He’s put together a method of using different indices (PDO, ONI, AO etc…) and analog years, then outputting the data for each day of the winter from those years!  Some interesting stats showed up; such as increased likelihood (in those years) of a warm spell right after the New Year, or best chance of an “arctic event” in late December and late January.  Good stuff; check out his presentation at the link above.  And again, like Pete, Jim came up with 2008 as a strong analog year.

7. George Taylor was last.  He sang us a nice brand new La Nina song; sung to the tune of “My Girl”.  As in “everybody talkin’ ’bout La Nina…”  As for weather, George is forecasting a benign early season, as Pete mentioned, then lots of action later December through February.  George ALSO sees 2008 as a good analog year.  Interesting eh?  Below average temps and above average precipitation.

I should point out that all speakers expected above average snowfall; no surprise with a moderate-strong La Nina winter approaching.

The afternoon session was excellent as well.  4 different speakers covering the new polarimetric radar, weather forecasters in combat areas, global warming (or cooling), and the diminished frequency of windstorms since 1977.

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

38 Responses to OMSI Winter Weather Meeting Review

  1. Mike near Clackamas Town Center says:

    Had my 1st freeze this morning….Made it to 32F 🙂

  2. Muxpux (Longview) says:

    Shallow fog layer this AM. Blue sky above me, foggy up and down the street, lol.

    Also, beautiful sunrise from the camp muir webcam, on my phone so if someone else can link it

  3. SnowedIn - North Plains says:

    Currently 23.6F after a low of 23.0F here in North Plains! That’s one of the coldest spots around the Metro, right? Let me know if you have below 23.0 for a low.

  4. 44.2F here, dewpoint 26.7F. Low 40.2F. Pretty dry cool airmass. Fog below (see webcam)

  5. W7ENK says:

    Nice to wake up to! 😀

  6. 26.2 here now. Coldest of the fall season so far.

  7. Joshua in Lake Oswego says:

    29.1 here. I think my thermometer is a tad optimistic (or pessimistic, depending in how you look at it). Either way, it is certainly the coldest morning in a long time.

  8. pappoose in scappoose says:

    Breezy to gusty at Vista House.
    28.9F presently in the land of gravelly plains.

  9. Mike near Clackamas Town Center says:

    Looks like PaulB was correct earlier tonight…..No arctic for at least the next 10 days 😦

    • Ryan (Walnut Grove) says:

      Nothing to fear here… Most La Nina seasons see a mild and relatively boring start. The bulls eye is usually on late December in February.

      I’m not expecting much excitement until close to Christmas. The early cold air this month is nice though.

  10. bgb41 says:

    11/1/2011 Oregon (All) Temperature Summary

    High:69 at BROOKINGS( 79 ft) & KF7MWX Gold Beac(52 ft)
    Low: 51 at BROOKINGS(79 ft)

    High:23 at MT. HOWARD(7910 ft)
    Low: 3 at CABIN LAKE (4560 ft )

    Largest Diurnal Change: 46 degrees
    CABIN LAKE (49/3 ) (4560 ft )

  11. NR says:

    The latest GFS would pull a sub 984 low into south Vancouver Island next Wednesday.

  12. Ken ( S. Salem 500ft) says:

    39.2F Headed for 20’s with dense fog. Yeah buddy. Freezing fog tonight. Waiting for NWS to post an alert. They probably will about 4 hours to late. Just sayin..

  13. Triforce says:

    I know this is crazy but due to certain ocean conditions I have been noticing I predict that most of the storms this month will head to Northern California and Tahoe ski resorts most of them will get a rare pre-Thanksgiving opening.

    If you want you can make fun of me flame/troll me AFTER this November is over and Portland and Salem have no more then an inch above normal and/or Tahoe doesn’t have ONE ski lift operating at full capacity once before Thanksgiving day.

  14. W7ENK says:

    I have HD video of the WHOLE thing, both halves, and both Q&A sessions. Editing is 100% complete, and I’m rendering segments as I type this. Iwill upload them as they come out (smoothly, of course) for the benefit of all here who were unable to attend.

    I’ll warn you now, it’s darn near 4 1/2 hours of video!

    I will update here as I go.

    Look here for the videos as they go online:

  15. October 2011 in BG

    Highest High: 74.2, 18th
    Lowest Low: 29.7, 26th
    Highest Wind: SW 27, 11th
    Most Precip: 0.56″, 10th

    Total Precip: 3.10″

    Avg High: 59.8
    Avg Low: 45.7
    Mean: 52.8

  16. Colleen says:

    OK I can’t find anywhere else to ask this so…tonight nov 1 around 7:40PM I looked out the door and also thru the kit window and saw a golden outline along the length, to the right of the crescent, inside the glow around it…did anyone else see it? what might that be?

  17. royalpain83 says:

    …I mean, I was interested in the “diminished frequency in windstorms” part of your summery. Can anyone point me in a good direction for researching this? Thanks!

  18. Ken ( S. Salem 500ft) says:

    SNOW! wishing

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