Stormy Weather Update

It’ll be brief this evening because I ran out of time, and, I’m cranky that no significant windstorm is in the works now for later in the week.  Plus I screwed up the 10pm weathercast (about 30% of it).

The most important thing I learned today is this:  When your PC pops up a text box that says “AN UPDATE HAS BEEN INSTALLED, DO YOU WANT TO RESTART NOW OR RESTART LATER?”, do it before you go on live television with the computer.  Our main weather graphics computer showed me that message a time or two this evening and I thought “nah…I’ll get to it later..”. 

Well, the box apparently popped up again right during my 10pm weathercast.  When that happens, as you know, everything has to stop until you click on the little box!  If you are 15 feet away and looking a different direction, you just mumble and complain about none of the buttons working correctly and look like one of those aging tv weathermen that can’t handle the new-fangled technology.

Anyway, lots of rain and wind the next 4 days.  The big change from last night’s post is slightly different positioning of upper level features (more energy with a wave on Thursday and less on Friday) means no deep low for Friday, but a stronger front with warm rain on Thursday.  This is going to be a real pain for the ski resorts…it implies rain at pass elevations from tomorrow midday until sometime Thursday night!  That’s not good for skiers…definitely avoid Wednesday and now maybe Thursday too.  Great for travellers though.

Mild and occasionally wet is the big story in the long-range too.  00z GFS has some sort of ridging right along the West Coast through the next 16 days; including a couple more warm mountain rain events.    The new 00z ECMWF is no better through 10 days, here’s the 500mb forecast just out for a week from Wednesday, January 4th: 

Now can SOMEONE please tell me why we couldn’t get an upper-level ridge with 500mb heights around 579dm. ANYTIME between March and June this year, but now we see it in the deep of winter???

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

96 Responses to Stormy Weather Update

  1. December 27th stats

    0.49″ of rain and a max gust of 33mph at my place –

    0.25″ of rain and a max gust of 33.7mph at my parents –

  2. W7ENK says:

    With 0.32″ of rain since midnight, I just hit the half-inch mark for December!

  3. PaulB/Eugene says:

    Take a look at days 1-5 GFS ensemble mean precip…NW OR looks wet…a definite end to a prolonged wet spell

  4. Forest Grove Rainfall – 1.10 inches

    Wow, it just kept raining all day. I kind of feel normal now that the rain is back, weird.

    John Rinier
    in the “Grove” (Forest Grove)
    Weather Spotter – WN-37
    Website –
    MesoWest Site (AS436)N7NKE –

    • Weather Conditions for:
      Elev: 655 ft; Latitude: 45.5925; Longitude: -123.5222

      Current time: Tue, 27 Dec 10:12 pm (PST)
      Most Recent Observation: Tue, 27 Dec 10:00 pm PST (PST)
      Time Precip Precip Precip 27 Dec 10:00 pm PST 5.30 inches

  5. Jeremy KF7NGT says:

    One factor is different this winter. Solar activity. Could this be the fly in the La Niña ointment?

  6. Jethro says:

    I know most of you are dying for a December ’08 redo right now, but I just have to say, I’m loving this pattern change!

  7. PaulB/Eugene says:

    That was just a half serious rant…..I saw an apparition rise in living room..of Jack Capell…with yoda ears…..don’t trust the models…don’t trust Bastardi…..I lived through 1976-77 but not quite 1876-77….this will not be another 76-77.

    Well anyway…things look to change mid month…the constellation of Canadian ensembles beyond about day 12 is about the best I have seen since last winter. I do feel sorry for the ski areas…but they know they must live with the ups and downs of PacNW winters…..just like farmers.

  8. W7ENK says:

    Did I hear thunder???

  9. PaulB/Eugene says:

    I’d like Joe B@stardi, right here, tonight. I want him brought from his happy holiday slumber over there on Melody Lane with all the other spoiled east coasters, and I want him brought right here on this blog, with a big ribbon on his head. And, I want to look him straight in the eye and tell him: what a cheap, lyiny, no good, rotten, four-flushing, low-life, snake-licking, dirt-eating, inbred, overstuffed, ignorant, bloodsucking, dog-kissing, brainless, d!ckless, hopeless, heartless, fat-@ssed, bug-eyed, stiff-legged, spotty-lipped, worm-headed sack of monkey ship he is! Hallelujah! Holy ship! Where’s the Tylenol?”

  10. 00Z GFS. Say hello to mega ridge II.

  11. Wendy-Silver Lake says:

    Rain gauge says “Raining cats and dogs”. It’s not all that windy though, around 16 mph or so.

    • Emily Waldman says:

      Raining Cats, dogs, squirrels too! The cat got a rain & wind facial earlier! The rainhas been hard waiting for a thunder boom! The Three Rivers mall entrance driveway close to flooding off Allen St! Get the ark ready we might need it!

  12. Peak wind of 29 mph less than an hour ago. 0.30″ so far today. Very warm 49.5 degrees right now.

  13. pappoose in scappoose says:

    Winds are cranking.
    Cannon Beach, gust of 58.
    Rockaway Beach, 58.
    Lincoln City, 64.
    Mary’s Peak, 88

  14. 50 even degrees…0.27″ rain…SSE wind gusts to 25…..

  15. W7ENK says:

    O_O It’s gett’n windy!

  16. Joshua in Lake Oswego says:

    So the wind has definitely arrived, but where is the rain? It has been very light up until now.

  17. pappoose in scappoose says:

    Will be fun having some actual weather to watch this eve!

  18. Runrain says:

    Pushing 75 in Phoenix this week. Wish I could bottle it and bring it home.

  19. PDX Weather Nut says:

    Sure wish it would snow! It’s been a number of years since we have had any sort of decent snowfall here.

  20. gidrons says:

    The European model brings snow levels way down by Saturday, then melts it all with record warm temps and a jet right up from the California coast. I can’t recall ever seeing a run like that in Dec-Jan.

  21. PaulB/Eugene says:

    13:15 Tues

    Wet mild next 2-3 days, followed by transient cool maritime trough to drop snow levels back to passes. Best ski days 12/31 and 1/1. Should get several inches of new snow on old concrete to ski on. Not looking good for lower elevation ski areas such as Ski Bowl and Hoodoo, or even Willamette Pass.

    Looks like cool/cold trough over the east coast first week of Jan while ridging (only temporary) over West coast.

    Ensembles hinting at pattern change once again around days 12-16. ESRL PSD ensembles (supposedly reliable) bailed out on us, with ridging for first week of Jan. CFS (not the most reliable) suddenly jumped from going cold for Jan to torching…only thing that could do that is blowing up another 50 megaton Tsar bomba over the Russian arctic…so who knows.

    I still think mid-late Jan may have some arctic excitement, although for that is entirely lacking in model land. Until then, I guess we need to enjoy what else going on in our lives that is good, not measured in C, F, dm, mb, likewise hope for the best in the coming new year.

    Of note, I think we have already had ? 18 32F or less lows in PDX this cool season…only six less than we had the entire season 2010-2011.

  22. Unknown says:

    I just want it to snowww!!!!!!!!!

  23. W7ENK says:

    I just got back from wandering around Downtown over lunch… it’s almost too warm for my wool peacoat… If it weren’t for the breeze, it would be!

    It feels warm and muggy out there today!
    Sticky icky… :blech:

  24. o.c.paul says:

    I can’t believe this winter could suck as much as last winter.
    And “Mark” my words (all pun intended), by late March everyone will say, “if only this weather had hit us in January”. Oh well…

    • Mark Reschke says:

      Exactly… Last year we ended up getting Winter in March – June, it was horrible. We’ll probably pay for it again AFTER winter.

      Like Oregon, but can’t stand Portland was set up in – well – Portland! Should have been set-up in the Bend area for us weather/snow lovers. ; )

  25. PDX Weather Nut says:

    Ugh … not good news and it’s been a bad ski season so far

  26. pappoose in scappoose says:

    Breezy to gusty this eve:

    National Weather Service Portland or
    852 am PST Tuesday Dec 27 2011

    The next system will arrive tonight and will likely be the wettest
    and windiest system this week.
    Latest high resolution guidance depicts warning level winds along the coast tonight with gusty winds also expected across the interior. This is covered by a High Wind Warning along the coast. Do not expect winds to reach Wind Advisory criteria in the valley tonight but would not be surprised to see plenty of 40 miles per hour gusts with an isolated
    higher gust where warmer air can mix down to the surface.

  27. pdxgeologist says:

    I’m starting to feel like some sort of clairvoyant genius for NOT buying a season ski pass this year (first time in many years). I know if I had that pass hanging from the coat hook I’d be much more “weather angry” than I already am. Hopefully things will pick up in time for a spring pass to make sense.

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

    Too bad your channel doesn’t extent all the way down to Southern Oregon, I always miss these things!

    And its always good to have someone on your computer for backup when this happens so your weathercast doesn’t end up being a comedy act for 20 seconds! lol

    • pappoose in scappoose says:

      I tuned in to watch Mark’s spot, and discovered the newscast was on a holiday shortened schedule or something. Missed a rolling on the floor laughing comedy act!!! (Sorry Mark, it’s the youngster in me)

  29. W7ENK says:

    Hahaha! 😆 I went to bed early last night, but your segment sounds like it might have been quite comical… sorry I missed it! No worries, Mark.

    As for the strong ridging in winter, you know that’s the new trend, right? Winters that suck, summers that suck… that’s all we get from now on, not that it’s really much different from how it’s always been, it’s just that Mother Nature has replaced our rare little slivers of fun with more suckiness, rounded out the patterns and finished us off, so to speak.

    Is it still too early to write off the rest of winter? Realistically, we only have about 6 weeks left, meteorologically speaking, and the models all show continued suckiness out through at least half of that, with no indications of any favorable change in the long range…


    • Mark Nelsen says:

      Can’t write it off until early February (if the maps still look the same). We could have our best arctic outbreak of the last 30 years still ahead!

      OR, this could end up being that occasional La Nina that ends up real quiet weatherwise and you’re right.

    • Hey wait a second, didn’t, wasn’t…I could have swore I saw a different reply to Erik…hmmm…the ghost of Christmas past I guess.

    • W7ENK says:

      Mark’s working his behind-the-scenes blog magic again… 😆

      Oh well.

    • Mark Nelsen says:

      Not bad enough to ban, but annoying enough to send to the trash.

    • W7ENK says:

      Well, I didn’t think it was all that bad… fairly typical, actually.

      Funny though, after hiding in the shadows for so long, his first post was a direct jab at another’s post… and here, I thought he was smarter than that?! Guess not. 😕

    • W7ENK says:

      But, I thank you just the same, Mark! 🙂

    • pappoose in scappoose says:

      Mark brings out the big guns…noble attempt at peacekeeping.

    • In my opinion the real “weather weenies” are those individuals who refuse to be realistic about our current, past, and future (as currently forecasted) weather patterns.

    • Jesse-Orchards says:

      Well I see this place hasn’t changed at all. 😆

      Back to the shadows…

      Later plebs!

    • W7ENK says:

      Awww… I fink we huwt his wittow feeeewers. 😥

    • Jesse-Orchards says:

      Nah, just forgot that the “intellectual” discourse has dropped to a third grade level. Pretty sad. I posted here six years ago when the blog first started, it was a much smarter place back then.

    • Jesse-Orchards says:

      And your writing Winter off post was completely ridiculous. I hope you can admit that.

    • W7ENK says:


      Silly boy, you make me laugh. 😆

    • pappoose in scappoose says:

      Very true, Jesse.
      But therein lies the reason, why it’s so much fun here!
      Anyone can join in…meteorology degree not required.

    • W7ENK says:

      Ya know, it’s sad Jess. I don’t think I can count the number of posts where you try so diligently to lambaste others for their opinions, as compared to the number of posts where you actually contribute something of value to this forum without taking off my little toddler shoes and staring at my toes… There’s a severe imbalance in your ratio of derogatory:contributory comments, Jess. I think everyone here recognizes this — despite their “third grade” level of intellectual discourse. I’m willing to bet that’s been the case for 6 years now?

      What’s even more sad is, it seems every time I post something negative and whiny, “Oh, winter’s over, wah wah waaahh!”, you’re right there to jump on me. I love it! You fall every time, like clockwork… it’s like you just can’t help yourself! Quite hilarious, actually. Gullible isn’t a powerful enough adjective, it just doesn’t carry enough weight…

      JUMP! 😆

      Back in the shadows with you, sweetie. I’ll make another whiny post about the third week of January… just for you! 😉

      Freakin’ hilarity, man!!! 😆 😆 😆

    • Jesse-Orchards says:

      Well reading that was a complete waste of time. 😆

    • W7ENK says:

      Of course it was… nothing for you to nit pick. 😀

      Get over yourself, Jess. You won’t garner any sympathy here.

      Buck up, kiddo.

    • Jesse-Orchards says:

      Not looking for sympathy, just some semblance of intellect.

      I mean, c’mon, you don’t come off like a really dumb guy. Why make “winter cancel” posts this early in the season? Is it just to get a reaction (that basically seems to be what you implied). If so, how is that at all constructive?

      Your critique of my posting style rings a little hollow. You personally have done quite a bit to lower the level of discourse here, whether or not you will admit it. And before you question my perception, remember, this place was here long around before you ever showed up, and I’ve been here since the beginning.

    • boringlarry says:

      …I’ve been here since the beginning also, and this constant bickering is a complete and total waste of time and energy…I would have sent my kids to their respective rooms before anything like this drug on for hours, or days….give it a break guys…let me have the last word!….

    • pappoose in scappoose says:

      No…let me have the last word…Hahaah!

    • boringlarry says:


    • W7ENK says:

      Oooh, a sense of entitlement! I didn’t see that one coming… 🙄

      Jesse, with the way this winter’s gone, and with the outlook (until just a few hours ago) there’s been nothing better to do than to b!tch about how mundane it’s been up to this point. Of course projecting that into the future is ridiculous, but it’s what’s kept this blog limping along for the last few weeks. This winter has been so incredibly lame here in the PNW, even the best of the best on here are beginning to crack — which is kinda funny, but at the same time, it’s really frustrating! Do I really think we should write off this winter completely and start planting our tomatoes? No… but things really aren’t looking too great in the long range yet, not with any consistency, anyway.

      Then you have “professionals” like Joe B@stardi making wildly outlandish claims that January is going to be epic, the likes of which we havent seen in – what was it – 70-some years? Based on what?? Analogs??? Butterfly farts in Troutdale???? We all saw where that 2008 analog took us… gimme a break. :facepalm: Was I wrong about that one or what?!? Sheesh!! 😳

      Yes, there’s still plenty of time for this winter to turn itself around, absolutely. Do I think it will? I haven’t a freakin’ clue, but I sure as hell hope so!

      All 6 years, huh? So I’ve been here just shy of 2… Aaaand??? One would think that in all this time, with the number of times I’ve seen Mark slap your hand, you might have learned your lesson by now? Sadly, this doesn’t appear to be the case, which speaks volumes about your “semblance of intellect”.

      As for the level of discourse – I don’t make liberal use of profanity and throw personal insults around like some people have a bad habit of doing. Sure, I’ll fully admit that I’ve allowed myself to get dragged into stupid, meaningless fights before, but not once have I actually gone out of my way to directly attack someone on here, despite what you might hear from the Nut House. I’ve been accused of being overly sensitive, by those who work themselves into a self-perpetuating frenzy with post after post after post after post upon their own replies, with absolutely no interjection from elsewhere, then gets so out of control, it makes this place completely intolerable at times, even for the owner/moderator of this blog! Have you ever watched a rabid dog chase it’s own tail? :blink-blink: *shakes head*

      I hate to imagine what’s driven you to become such a dark, bitter person, Jesse. If you could comment this blog without constantly poking people in the eye, you might actually enjoy yourself here. Have fun, get along, stop criticizing every last thing you don’t agree with… you might be a happier person inside for it! 🙂

    • W7ENK says:

      Y’all snuck some in under me boys…

      Peace, I’m done. 🙂

  30. Kyle says:

    If our infrastructure goes down I am going to be screwed because of Seasonal Affection Disorder which is making me feel grouchyer by the day since we lost our summer.

    • Timmy_Supercell (Klamath Falls @ 4200') says:

      Just look at thousands of supercell pictures on Google: Images. It helps me alot when I’m meteorologically bored or depressed ^_^

  31. Kyle says:

    Actually thank goodness we are not having any artic air though I wish it were a tad bit sunnier instead of this 35F fog crap that’s spewing! 😛

    The more I think about it with the threat of a total infrastructure collapse at anytime due to certain global events happening I won’t get into on here I am more glad our winter is not that cold this year but knowing our luck things will likely change in Feb/March in which we will wonder if Spring will come being stuck with 500 foot snow levels and ice-storms. :p

    We will likely get our above average rain in the spring all at once though I hope it’s a warm and wet pattern so we can survive the war if this is the year the country goes to pot.

  32. bgb41 says:

    12/26/2011 Oregon (All) Temperature Summary

    High:50 at Valley Falls (US(4324 ft) & ROCK CREEK(5650 ft)
    Low: 42 at OCNSID Oceanside(22 ft) & DW6842 Gold Beac(449 ft)

    High:26 at Timberline Lodge(6001 ft) & Timberline Lodge(7001 ft)
    Low: 6 at HEREFORD (3599 ft )

    Largest Diurnal Change: 35 degrees
    DANNER (45/10 ) (4225 ft )
    CABIN LAKE (45/10) (4560 ft)
    CHRISTMAS VALLEY (44/9) (4360 ft)
    FOSTER FLAT (42/7) (5000 ft)

    Heaviest Rainfall:
    0.29″ at W7DJH Prineville(3586ft)
    0.22″ at DW0237 Lees Camp(699ft)

  33. phil in Beaverton says:

    Great winter so far with lots of sun in December and now some warmer temps on the way with the rain. And sunny again for New Years!

    Who needs windstorms? (or snowstorms, either for that matter)

  34. pappoose in scappoose says:

    It’s always that way Mark. Come summer, we’ll be saying, why couldn’t we have had this pattern during winter?

  35. bgb41 says:

    Our clean ridge of December is becoming dirty for January.

  36. ashley watson says:

    what a nightmare of a winter so far

  37. Clearly, now that the last bull has capitulated (mark), this spells the bottom of this atmospheric bear market. Weather from here on out can only get more interesting. Hang in there mark

  38. Momto4 says:

    Heading to Bend for a ski vacation Thursday. Sounds like drive should be easy & skiing should be bad. Booooo 😦

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