Cold and Mostly Gray Day Today

Morning satellite imagery shows that the fog layer is deeper and more extensive than Monday morning.  And the easterly flow has just switched to westerly in the Gorge.  Those two factors along with the pathetically weak December sun make me think we won’t break out of the muck today.  Of course that’s mainly below 1,500′.  If you live near or above that elevation you are “in the clear” today.  I have bright sunshine here at home at 1,000′, but the fog keeps trying to poke up into my little valley here on the eastside of town. 

So for most of us the fog will just lift into low clouds that will stick around through tomorrow.   There will be SOME clearing in spots, but iff you want warmer you need to go up high.  Timberline Lodge is in the upper 40s at 10am.

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

211 Responses to Cold and Mostly Gray Day Today

  1. Well I was ready to throw the towel in for this month but I see Mark is on vacation the week of the 17th so I think our chances increase dramatically for some kind of weather “event” that week…. 🙂

    37 degrees with a light east wind….good visibility for a change tonight.

  2. 32.0 and socked in the low clouds and fog here near Silver Falls State Park. A 10-15mph N breeze makes it feel extremely cold and raw out there tonight.

  3. So do you think tonight will get below 29 and we have every thing
    frosted up in the morning?
    I leave at 6:15 am and have to drive w of Salem.

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

    Through hour 204 00z looks like epic poop. the rest doesnt matter.

  5. Josh (Gresham) says:

    0z GFS…. Shows so much, then just falls apart…

  6. Rapidly clearing here. NE 8 G 13 T 35 D 34
    Moon is out.

  7. bmh - battle ground says:

    Remember, Rob says the 00z is going to be epic!!!!

  8. PaulB/Eugene says:

    La Nina 1950 = Wilt Chamberlain
    La Nina 2011= Greg Oden

    • PaulB/Eugene says:

      Greg Oden will return in late January…so will his namesake La Nina

    • chris s says:

      So your saying this years La Nina is going to be a complete bust. !! Greg Oden just might be the most over hyped, worst draft pick in quite a while for the Blazers. Lets hope when this La Nina finally hits, it is more like Wilt, who seemed to score quite often, both on and off the court. 🙂

    • I sure wish I could get paid $8.8 million for just sitting around.

    • Josh (Gresham) says:

      Oden and La Nina will return just as strong… Mark my words.
      I got faith in the guy

    • Just bring up that bad taste in the mouth, the Blazers picked Sam Bowie over Micheal Jordan, so they have a history of sorts.

    • Josh (Gresham) says:

      That’s completely different, but don’t get me started….

    • Oden is never going to be healthy. Sure, he might get cleared by Doctor’s eventually this season, but he will get injured again. It is unfortunate and I don’t want to see his knee blown out again. You can just tell by looking at him, or how he runs that something is inherently wrong with his bone structure/density, or something of that nature.

    • wwm says:

      shoot isn’t that what most TV weather people make anyway and thats pretty much all they do too, lol.

      HAHA just kidding Mark.. please don’t ban me

    • pappoose in scappoose says:

      Hahaah! The only time Mark sits, is when he’s on his bike with the cool outfit on!

  9. 36.5!

    That’s down from 36.6 at 4:15…

    Good lord is it really December in a La Nina?

  10. pdxgeologist says:

    Just looked at SP’s post about the lack of 60s+ days. Interesting graph showing an ~ 50 year cycle on the 10 year trendline (red line on graph). I did notice that both the peaks and valleys are trending slightly upward (climate change?), but it’s only 150 years worth of data. If the trend holds, we should start the slow climb up to the next 50 year peak any time now.

    • bmh - battle ground says:

      “I did notice that both the peaks and valleys are trending slightly upward (climate change?)”

      Instead of a phony hockey stick? Just sayin….

  11. I just heard from a very unreliable source that tonight’s suite of 00z models particularly GFS/ECMWF are going to be pretty nice, although this person is a bit of a mystery and someone I would discredit. Not sure if I believe any of it though.

  12. Nice at the beach along Washington and Oregon. Just run your mouse over the different coastal cities for the pic to change. A quick way to look at several hundred miles of coastline.
    http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/pqr/marine/bars_mover.php

  13. *East Wind Outlook*

    Since the models are very uncertain right now I’ll go ahead and focus on what is and that is one of my favorite things during the Winter, east winds. Overall pressure gradients over the past 8 hours have slowly been transitioning from onshore towards offshore and nearly have completed this reversal.

    As of 4:00 PM
    Gorge
    PDX-DLS: +1.2mb | 0.9mb Decrease
    TTD-DLS: +0.8mb | 0.5mb Decrease
    Cross Cascade
    OTH-GEG: +0.2mb | No Change

  14. W7ENK says:

    I see SP hasn’t posted this yet, so I will!

    Just for fun I ran the program again with Portland winter snowfall totals listed, along with the PDO phase for the nearest years on both sides of 2011’s low number of 60 degree days. It returned some interesting results. Warm PDO years with a low number of 60 degree days did poorly on snowfall, on average. However, cold PDO years with a low number of 60 degree days did quite well on Portland snowfall, on average. Also notable was that every one of these “low number of 60″ years saw at least some snow in Portland. In fact, about 13″ on average, which is nearly double the long term average in Portland of about 6”. Will the trend continue this year?

    Year | Number of 60 Degree+ Days | PDX Snowfall | PDO Phase
    1893 | 145 | 16.5 | Cold
    1880 | 147 | 21.8 | Cold
    1899 | 151 | 1.4 | Cold
    1903 | 159 | 2.4 | Warm
    1901 | 160 | 7.2 | Warm
    1909 | 160 | 14.5 | Warm
    1886 | 164 | 19.2 | Cold
    2011 | 169 | ___ | Cold
    1894 | 170 | 23 | Cold
    1902 | 170 | 4.9 | Warm
    1920 | 171 | 3.2 | Cold
    1898 | 172 | 23.8 | Cold
    1905 | 172 | 4.1 | Warm
    1950 | 172 | 13.1 | Cold
    1955 | 172 | 22.4 | Cold


    Cold PDO Ave = 19.7″
    Warm PDO Ave = 6.6″
    All Years Listed Ave = 12.7″

    Sorry Steve, this got me so excited I just couldn’t help myself!
    I apologize for stealing your thunder… 😀

  15. 37 for a high today and a peak wind of 4 mph…

  16. NR says:

    18z gfs is interesting; doesn’t rebuild the ridge after the weekend wave passes and then brings a strong low into the southern Oregon coast at 168 hr, with offshore winds in Portland.

  17. chiefWright says:

    Finally, something new from the NWS
    .LONG TERM…LONGER RANGE MODELS CONTINUE TO ADVERTISE A VERY QUIET WEATHER PATTERN THROUGH THE WEEKEND AND INTO NEXT WEEK.
    SINCE GFS APPEARS TO BE NEXT TO USELESS THIS WINTER, AND IN KEEPING WITH NATIONAL INITIATIVES TO SAVE ENERGY FUTURE RUNS WILL EXECUTE ONCE PER WEEK ON THE OOD’S LAPTOP. ENSEMBLE RUNS WILL BE SUSPENDED SINCE NOBODY UNDERSTANDS THEM ANYWAY.
    XO, NWS

  18. A nice webcam shot from Barrow today:

  19. stevied (North Portland) says:

    EURO was pretty good this morning for chillier temps. Progressive pattern, but puts snow level quite low at least a couple times

  20. Garron Beaverton says:

    I love the PDX AFD, especially the part about the messy models!!!

    THE INVERSION WILL STRENGTHEN THURSDAY AND FRIDAY AS HIGH PRESSURE
    MOVES OVERHEAD. THIS WILL LIKELY RESULT IN FOG AND LOW CLOUDS
    THROUGHOUT THE DAY IN THE VALLEYS WITH TEMPERATURES STUCK IN THE 30S.
    THE HIGHER TERRAIN AND PERHAPS THE COAST WILL SEE SUNNY AND
    RELATIVELY MILD TEMPERATURES.

    .LONG TERM…NO CHANGES. PREVIOUS DISCUSSION FOLLOWS…
    LONGER RANGE MODELS DIVERGE BEGINNING THE WEEKEND. THE ENSEMBLE GFS
    IS A MESS AFTER THE WEEKEND.

  21. Brad says:

    WRF-GFS 180hr. Me likey:

  22. pappoose in scappoose says:

    Hahaah! Most of you know I can’t resist funny weather terminology. Here’s some funny chatter about snizzle from a blog far far away. (I suspect we’ll be chatting about snizzle again) I have no clue how accurate this guy is:

    There is only one more explanation for this event…supercooled water droplets falling through the sky. This one will take some time to explain.

    Water is such a unique element. It’s liquid phase is denser than it’s solid phase. Water can also exist in a liquid phase BELOW 32 degrees. This happens in clouds all the time. Liquid cloud droplets, which are extremely small, can indeed be as cold as 10 to 20 degrees.

    Have you ever heard of ice collecting on the wings of planes before? This happens because the surface of the plane is coming in contact with supercooled liquid water droplets. These droplets will stick to ANYTHING, even the tiniest of dust particles. Once the supercooled droplets stick to something, they instantly freeze. That’s why we don’t see freezing rain every winter day…the atmosphere would have to be almost 100% particle free, which it isn’t.

    However, what happens if the cloud forms near the ground, say like fog, or low level moisture? This my friends, is exactly what I think happened this morning. We had plenty of low level moisture, and I think this almost acted like a cloud near the ground. The supercooled droplets were insanely small, and stuck to any and all the surfaces. Not only that, but the few particles it did hit on the way down caused some of it to change back over to snow. A rare event indeed.

    Fingers…cramping…

    Snizzle isn’t a word you hear to much around here but it was today. I couldn’t belive when I woke up this morning and turned on the weather channel and it said we were under a freezing rain advisory. I had just woken up an hour before and looked at the therometer and it was 7 degrees. So freezing rain was the last thing on my mind at that point. There was a coating on the car but most of it fell as snow from that time on. All that snizzle today added up and I got just over an inch from it.

    • muxpux says:

      that actually makes a lot of sense. especially with all the pollutants in the air trapped down low right now. fog particles grabbing onto dust or whatever and becoming small snowflakes/ice pellets and falling. i know we can get thick fog that produces drizzle or mist, as we had up here in Castle Rock last night. so it doesnt seem too out of the question. it just doesnt seem very common to have fog and be *too* far below freezing. those water drops gotta freeze sometime.

  23. It’s going to snow the week of Dec 17th.. Almost sure. Since I’m leaving for a week cruising the Caribbean it’ll snow and I hope it’s a big one because when I get back….more inversion for the remainder of the season.

  24. stevied (North Portland) says:

    WRF-GFS this morning says POSSIBLE snowflakes in PDX Tuesday morning next week: http://www.atmos.washington.edu/mm5rt/data/2011120712/images_d2/or_snow3.150.0000.gif

  25. Randy says:

    Wow, 12z in lala land shows a huge arctic blast with snow for about 3 days. Nice.

  26. Josh (Gresham) says:

    12z GFS is now showing the cold trough dropping over the PNW within 180 hours. It shows the ridge sliding offshore early next week, opening the door for the trough to slide down over our area around hour 150.
    -At hour 150, 850mb temps drop to -4c with thickness at 537 thickness.

    -By hour 162, temps drop to -7c with 525 thickness
    -168-171 temps bottom out at -8c, which is impressive due to the relative lack of cold air to our north.

    -At 180 temps are still at -6c to -7c.

    So after last night’s 00z EURO, GFS has now put cold air in the much more believable range, FWIW the last 3 runs of the 12z GFS that have shown this, and 2 out of the last 3 00z runs have. It’s not a trend by any means, but they keep hinting at this, and now that the same solution has been brought into the believable, it makes it a bit more interesting.

  27. Check out the snow cover in the Midwest. A very distinct line!

    Also note the snow in Texas and Arkansas (and some melting in Texas as well)

    http://www.atmos.washington.edu/~ovens/loops/wxloop.cgi?vis1km_east_full+6

  28. 33.6 here, I’m not sure what I’d rather have, the fog, or the low clouds?

  29. ashley watson says:

    i am sorry to steve pierce. i did not mean any disrespect to you personally. the way i came across in my last post was not kind. all i am saying is that while that 60 degree record may sound impressive it doesn’t seemed like it helped our case for snow and bitter cold in the valley this year. maybe it will come in the future. we can only hope. once again i am sorry

  30. ashley watson says:

    the record for fewest 60 degree days has not meant jack squat for the valley. let’s see 2 inches of snow last season. wow! that’s a lot of snow! come on! what a useless record to even mention

    • EA_TTD says:

      The village just called…they’re missing someone.

    • Mark Nelsen says:

      I think the barometric pressure “record” was far more useless.

    • Garron Beaverton says:

      Going into a cold phase is just like the temperature lag in seasons. You have to wait for the temps to catch up to the new “cold phase” PDO we are entering into before the results come into focus. The graph on the bottom of that page might help to show you we are entering a colder enviroment if the last two summers didn’t already do that for you.

  31. Steve Pierce says:

    [b]All-Time Weather Record To Be Set[/b]

    Looks like a long standing record will be falling very soon. Does this mean anything for the Pacific Northwest? You be the judge —

    http://www.columbian.com/weblogs/weather/2011/dec/07/all-time-weather-record-to-be-broken/

    Steve Pierce
    President, Oregon AMS
    stevejpierce@comcast.net

    • W7ENK says:

      Nice work, Steve!

    • Garron Beaverton says:

      Thank you Professor! That is interesting that we are “returning to what was typical in the 1950-70’s” time period. I have a new outlook on our winters’ ahead!!!! That graph was all telling of how the PDO is returning to the cold shift.

  32. Finally cracked freezing again. 32.6 here.

  33. To my untrained but ever hopeful eye, looks like the change will begin this weekend. By Tuesday we could be looking at real rain with snow in the mountains!

    • Josh in Puyallup says:

      i don’t think I’ve seen it so bare in quite a while. This slow weather is really bad. Fortunately its not even winter yet. I have a feeling we’ll be paying for this calm weather soon. Be it heavy rains or cold and snow. I consider this “the caaaaaaaaaaaaaalmmmm before the storm”.

      Get it, the “calm” is elongated.

    • pappoose in scappoose says:

      I’d rather elongate the STOOOOOOOOOORM!!

    • What a great link Mike! Love it!

    • Dave in SW PDX (235') says:

      Bookmarked! Thanks for sharing this link, Mike.

  34. pappoose in scappoose says:

    Glad to see some colder temps building in the Great White North again. I’m sure these folks were ordering summer garb, not that long ago.

    http://mesowest.utah.edu/cgi-bin/droman/meso_base.cgi?stn=CIKA2&unit=0&timetype=LOCAL

  35. chiefWright says:

    I’m getting REEEELY tired of reading this:

    .LONG TERM…NO CHANGES. PREVIOUS DISCUSSION FOLLOWS…

    Sigh.

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