Some Weather Excitement…A Ways Away

November has been a little dull, except for a bit of Cascade snowfall, and it appears that much of the rest of this week will be dull as well.  Plenty of weather geek talk below; but the next few days (through Thursday or maybe Friday) look really nice for November.  That means little or no rain and comfortable temps.  Wednesday & Friday could even be mostly sunny.

But some interesting stuff is showing up on long range maps.   Two things to watch:

1.  Both the GFS and ECMWF (as of 00z runs Sunday evening) show a deep surface low pressure system tracking directly OVER Oregon and Washington from WNW to ESE at some point in the middle of the weekend.  When I say “deep low pressure” I mean they both show around 980 millibars.  The sudden deepening is caused by an upper level shortwave digging down over us after passing over a strengthening ridge to the west.  Of course a 980 mb low tracking from south to north along the coast or SW to NE over us is a perfect windstorm pattern.  This one isn’t a big south wind producer for us at all because of the unusual movement.  More likely a damaging northwest or northerly wind right behind it along the coast, or a damaging west wind through the Gorge and eastside.  It’s still 6 days away and only one model run has shown it, but when I see the same storm feature show up on two entirely different models, it peaks my interest.    Here is the WRF-GFS model from the UW, showing the low passing by just to our north:

2.  The ECMWF model in general has been quite cool with it’s 10 day forecast numbers the last couple of days, but now the 00z version raises the anticipation a bit more.  It brings snow levels very close to sea level at…you guessed it…the winner is…Day 10!  Yes…it’s only 240 hours away!  Sorry, had to say that since it happened lots of times last winter with the GFS.  Of course the GFS shows nothing of the sort during the same time period, so this is just pure model riding fun.  But at least it gives us something else to look at.  The first map is the ECMWF 500mb heights and deviation from normal (colored) at hour 240, the 2nd is the surface map for the same time.  Note the onshore flow, but 522 thickness over us.  Usually good for sticking snow down to at least around 1,000′.   So enjoy the model riding the next few days.  I fully expected tomorrow’s maps will be signficantly different; how so, I don’t know…Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

197 Responses to Some Weather Excitement…A Ways Away

  1. Kyle says:

    I am tired and depressed from the weather so good night.

  2. Kyle says:

    Has the weather really been so boring no comments since 8th?

  3. If we don’t get cold/snowy, can we AT LEAST get an actual legit pacific cold front or strong low pressure area? Even strong east winds would be okay..

  4. john says:

    here is another fun video of driving around seattle last november

  5. Hell of an exciting day. Low of 40.6 this morning and a high of 53. Peak wind of 5 mph and even the barometer has only moved from 30.26″ to 30.31″. Goodness I hope we don’t have a lot of days that are like this.

    • W7ENK says:


      Whoa! Sounds like you’ve had one helluva weather day up there in the bustling metropolis of Battle Ground! I wonder if BGB was affected by any of this weather craziness?

  6. 00z GFS runs in a little less than 1 hour…. Let’s just see how the ridge evolves offshore in the 5-8 day range. Using the NPAC 500mb model the main thing to look for is how strong the energy is that digs into the Northwestern periphery of the building offshore ridge. if it’s too strong it may break it down or slide it unfavorably to the east thus in turn messing up the entire 500mb configuration(As we saw with the 12z). However, if its weaker the ridge may be able to deflect it and then the upper flow may reorient itself more favorably(As we saw with the 6z and many other GFS/EURO runs the past few days) After the resolution changes further along in the run that is so far out there that any consistency(especially with the GFS) is hard to find anyhow. -Cautiously optimistic or just wishful thinking? 🙂

  7. Jake-(Gresham) says:

    Whoever is interested on the storm in Alaska here’s a link:

    Life-Threatening Superstorm to Slam West Alaska

  8. Not really weather related but here is a link to stream of the astroid going by. Very faint streaks

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

    Cool Article regarding the huge storm in the Bering sea and its potential impacts on the NW this Saturday.

  10. john says:

    watching snow vids on youtube and came across this one so cool watching the big fat snow flakes

  11. gidrons says:

    No arctic blast in the GFS 18z

  12. Probably a stupid question but when I come to the blog and use the scroll wheel on my mouse to scroll through the posts it goes really fast. Not the normal scrolling speed. I only run into the issue on this blog. It’s really annoying. Does anyone else have this problem? Does anyone know if I can fix this?

  13. Josh (Gresham) says:

    12z EURO… 850 mb Temps
    This doesn’t show any “arctic blast”, but it could still drive snow levels down at hour 168 starting on Tuesday, as an area of -6c 850mb temps drop south, then at 192 a bit colder air drops in, maybe -8c up in SEA so at least there’s still some cool air coming in around Tuesday and sticking around through maybe Thursday of next week, then as the cold air rotates out of BC and into central Canada we warm up dramatically late next week. EURO was pretty consistent with the timing of the Tuesday cold trough all along, looks like it will be pretty chilly next week with snow levels around 1500′-2000′. Although, this could end up a little bit colder, only time will tell..

    • W7ENK says:

      Excellent analysis, Josh! I was kinda thinking the same thing… 😀

      The only place I diverge would be in considering the “warmer” weather later in the week. This time of year, that doesn’t necessarily equate to “warm”, rather an inversion following the cold could sock us in with fog, keeping temperatures in the valley still rather cool However, in that kind of pattern the mountains would warm up, definitely above about 3,000 ft elev, that’s for sure. Not good for any snow they get between now and then, unfortunately.

      Of course, this could all change and end up going either way. Of course, I’m hoping for the colder, but my rational brain is keeping my excitement at bay. Reality has a habit of biting hard in those last few hours before hand, if last winter was any sort of a lesson to consider… 😕

    • Josh (Gresham) says:

      Thanks Erik, you really should join back in on Facebook, especially this, Pacific Northwest Weather group, 180 members from all over the northwest, great discussions!/groups/109882929060639/

    • W7ENK says:

      Thanks Josh, but I’m a little burned out on Facebook Groups right now. Feel free to add me, but I probably won’t participate much because I’m not really on there as often as I used to be.

      Same here… for the most part. o_O

    • gidrons says:

      -6c is almost always frozen precip at my house in the hills above scappoose. and I don’t know how you guys can stand facebook.

  14. PaulB/Eugene says:

    Overall trend remains the same…cooler, active weather pattern beginning Friday into the weekend…..with trough over Pac NW next week with relatively cold 850mb temps of -4 to -6C translating to low snow levels for this time of year….probably 1000-1500′ north in WA, 2000-2500′ south, in Oregon.

    Operational runs showing variability run to run and between models as to be expected when talking days 6-10 and beyond…however the ensemble means continue to support trend toward colder than normal weather…just not arctic..yet….even though the 12Z flip/flopped away from arctic blast of the 6Z GFS…the ensemble mean at 264h for 850mb temps was a bit lower on the 12Z than for 6Z….

    Cold weather in AK/NW Canada can only be a good thing…but we may have to wait a few weeks or more to get any arctic air here…or maybe not.

    ECMWF past 240 h (12Z) did show some -10C or lower 850mb temps sneaking into eastern WA…for whatever it is worth.

  15. dane says:

    when does the next model run come out

  16. Jake-(Gresham) says:

    Models will say what they may about the weather 2 weeks from now but the current weather isn’t really all that active. Actually, we seem drier than normal for November (temps about avg. imo). I’d really like to believe the weather will take a more exciting turn but I wouldn’t be surprised if the more extreme model runs will eventually mellow out onto the middle road result.

  17. I don’t really like having to click a link to see older comments. I was hoping that would have been changed but unfortunately it’s a part of the comment system Mark has installed.

    Anyway, The Euro and GFS both ended up hinting at some real cold weather in the lala-land period and then took it out in the 12z. But, let’s not forget what that usually means. If the GFS flips back, it generally means something along those lines will happen in the extended. I’ve noticed this while documenting the seemingly chaotic long-range forecast models. The GFS in particular seems to pick up well on a general direction in lala-land. Obviously you can’t pay any attention to the detail, just the direction. And I’ve found that once GFS flips back to an extreme solution, it means that a turn to that extreme is likely.

    Basically, my guess is we do see a turn to much colder weather just after Thanksgiving if we see the flip in either the 18z or 00z. And by much colder I mean -6C or colder 850mb temps with thickness below 525.

    I’m just waiting for a model to ride.

  18. vernonia1 says:

    The calendar I won at the pizza party arrived today.

    Thanks Tyler!

  19. PaulB/Eugene says:

    ECMWF 12Z singing roughly same tune through day 7…850 temps BLI -6 to -7C…thickness 520…snow levels 500-1000′ at end of period…YWL down to -9C 850mb temps…500mb heights in Anchorage rising to 540s…would like to see 570+ there if getting arctic air here

  20. Havent seen the 12z euro…. But regardless, with big time cold to develop over nw Canada, it is reasonable to conclude that there is great potential cold outbreak for the thanksgiving period, like an overhanging cornice of cold ready to release upon us. Tis true that this cold could head to our east, but with ridge in position west of us i would say get ready. Maybe 50/50 at this point, but I would say we are already at level S N in the SNOWSTORM homeland arctic outbreak security system.

  21. pappoose in scappoose says:


    Elliot Abrams

    Aid and Abet Punsters Day

    Today is aid and abet punsters day, so far be it from me to pass up an opportunity like this. Of course, my attempted puns are related to the weather, if you catch my drift. We help people weather the storms of life, and sometimes offer a bit of philosophy. That’s tough because people are so variable that they aren’t always clear. Some are sunny; others are real drips. Some put up a cyclone fence. There are hotheads with stormy tempers. Some like to give things away while others are cumulists. One person will give you a cold shoulder while others put up a warm front.

    I just try to be enlightening. My basic aim is to rein in the weather factors to help precipitate appropriate decisions. If the forecast is flaky or I try to snow everybody, it’s hard for people to crystallize their ideas about what to expect. If I cannot condense the details, people’s interest evaporates. Then troubles really accumulate. Or, if I give a boring weather report, you can see people’s ice glaze over and they’re ready to fall back to sleet. As for this morning, stratus status over the Great Lakes, but it’ll be mild and dry in the Northeast.

    Overall, nothing too cirrus today in the East. Today and tomorrow, we should be in a tranquil wind-wind situation. I guess now it’s time for me to clear out. It’s a good thing this isn’t a football game. I would get 15 yards for un-necessary punning or maybe I would be de-squallified.

  22. SnowedIn - North Plains says:

    No, this isn’t quite on topic, but check out this video:

    This is a site run by NASA, so I would think there wouldn’t be any “visual trickery” on a page run by them.

    • gidrons says:

      That was weird

    • EmzinTigard says:

      Wow, interesting.

    • SnowedIn - North Plains says:

      I know, it’s very strange.

    • This is very neat. It fascinates me much like blue jets and red sprites do all associated and due to lightning discharges. Thanks for posting it.

    • pappoose in scappoose says:

      I suspect alien activity.

    • W7ENK says:


      Okay, it took me about 10 seconds of watching this to theorize in my head what was going on (before I read the description). After reading the description, it pretty much falls in line with what I was thinking… still, pretty awesome – and spooky – to see such a phenomenon in practice!

      Very cool!

      I still say that “Sprites” and possibly even “Blue jets” are a product of massive lightning discharge interacting with the ionosphere, basically creating a momentary auroral display directly above the discharge. I’ve been theorizing this for about 15 or so years, but I have yet to hear any real scientists/ physicists/ astronomists/ astrologists/ pharmicists/ scientologists/ what have you actually offer any sort of an explanation like that. Most are still clueless.

%d bloggers like this: