Happy New Year!

Just 24 hours away from New Year’s Eve now, and the weather will definitely slow down as we head into 2012.  Slippery spots on roads tonight, although models show some cloudiness developing late tonight, so that may keep widespread ice to a minimum.  That said, it’s mid-winter, we get cold nights, and there is some water here and there…something to be expected this time of the year.

Looking ahead, very little weather action the next 7+ days. Just about everything I mentioned 24 hours ago (in the previous post) still applies. 00z GFS continues to show a change to cooler and wetter about 9 days from now, give or take a day or two. The new 00z ECMWF shows ridging or warm wet systems through a week from Monday, that’s 10 days out. We’ll see how things look a few days from now.

We’ve got plenty of time, but IF we don’t see a change to colder and wetter in the 2nd half of January, I’ll consider the winter forecasts as real busts. You can’t go through December and most/all of January with ridging and warm systems, and call that a cool and wet winter. Even if February and March and cold and wet. I’m getting a little ahead of things, I know, but that just crossed my mind.

Have a safe and happy New Year! I’ll be working again Sunday/Monday.

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

80 Responses to Happy New Year!

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

    2012… Weather MUST be gett’n exciting sometime soon! Hahaha I wonder what Herald Camping is gonna say when all we get is SUN on Dec 21st.

  2. HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE! Mark I hope you had a great new years eve! Remember a few weeks ago you were sliding on the ice with your new snow tires studless…Were they Les S brand? Or Blizzacks?

    My call from over two weeks ago still stands for the date of Jan. 15th
    for artic blast for PNW Won’t know if moisture is coming with it or not till we get closer but a true Polar event!


  3. 12z puts the meat back on the menu!

    • Mark Nelsen says:

      I’d say more like a gardenburger…it only has one surge of cool and dry with high pressure around day 12, then only slightly cooler than average, with onshore flow, beyond that. But still better than the vegan option I suppose.

  4. Ryan (Walnut Grove) says:

    I’ll go ahead and say it… Winter Fail 2011/2012.

    • chris s says:

      We have feb still left for something to happen, but ya this winter so far and for what looks to be most all of january is epic fail. 😦

  5. o.c.paul says:

    Crown Point-ESE 42 G75

    • pappoose in scappoose says:

      National Weather Service Portland or
      913 am PST sun Jan 1 2012

      The moderate to strong offshore gradient persists tonight…and could even get a little stronger as a splitting weather system approaches the coast.

    • Mark nelsen says:

      Last time it gusted to 72 on the sensor it was 87 on the steps…it’s going to be the strongest of the season up there today. Maybe gusts 90-100.

    • wow…that would be FUN if you had a harness to attach to the railing 🙂

    • o.c.paul says:

      Easterley gradient for the gorge now -9.9mb

  6. December 2011 in BG
    Highest High: 55.4, 28th
    Lowest Low: 20.8, 10th
    Highest Wind: ESE/WNW 29, 27th, 30th
    Most Precip: 0.62″, 30th

    Total Precip: 2.79″

    Avg High: 44
    Avg Low: 30.6
    Mean: 37.3

    2011 PRECIP: 44.64″

  7. Tara says:

    New house for us in E. Washougal and trouble sleeping with the ripping wind tonight…any idea on these gusts over here???

    • pappoose in scappoose says:

      NWS suggests peak winds are yet to come:

      National Weather Service Portland or
      230 am PST sun Jan 1 2012

      The other developing story is the increasing offshore gradient. At 09z the kttd-kdls gradient was -6.3 mb…just about as forecast by last nights NAM. The offshore flow will continue to strengthen today…with the NAM indicating at least -8.0 mb by 00z Monday. At 0930z Corbett was gusting to 46 miles per hour…which falls in line with our local
      east wind study. The rule of thumb for east wind gusts at the west end of The Gorge…not counting Vista house…is about 8 miles per hour per mb of offshore gradient. If the NAM verifies…there could be gusts up
      to 65 miles per hour at Corbett or Rooster Rock by late afternoon.


      Body Bracing time, folks…HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

    • Garron Beaverton says:

      I think I saw gusts near 70 so far this morning up at the Vista House…

  8. bgb41 says:

    12/31/2011 Oregon (All) Temperature Summary

    High:52 at FLYNN PRAIRIE(1543 ft)
    Low: 40 at Brookings Airpor(459 ft) & OCNSID Oceanside(22 ft) & DW6842 Gold Beac(449 ft)

    High:20 at HARL BUTTE(6071 ft)
    Low: 4 at ANEROID LAKE #2 (7300 ft )

    Largest Diurnal Change: 33 degrees
    Horse Ridge (US (41/8 ) (4160 ft )

  9. Garron at work in Aloha says:

    HAPPY NEW YEAR 2012!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I’m at work doing inventory….CELEBRATE GOOD TIMES C’MON!!!!

  10. ¡ Feliz y Prosperous Año Nuevo!

  11. PaulB/Eugene says:

    In Central OR this weekend…crowded as ever at Bachelor….great day to ski.

    18z GFS was a bit of a stinker..then again it has a nice block over N G of AK which is a must for eventual big time cold here.

    Hopefully tonights runs show something decent…like a 508 dm upper low dropping S on 1/16…just in time for a 23/2 day in EUG 1/18.

  12. Punxsutawney aka HIOPHIL says:

    Record dry Hillsboro.

    As I don’t see this changing enough in the next 6 hours to change the ranks. 2011 will rank as the 3rd driest December since records began in 1930. It would probably be the 4th driest if there were records from 1877. Perhaps the Tualatin could weigh in?

    Rank YEAR Dec
    1 1976 1.54
    2 1962 2.24
    3 2011 2.33
    4 1985 2.37
    5 1944 2.40
    6 1978 2.51
    7 1988 2.65
    8 1956 2.75
    9 1990 2.91
    10 1989 2.94
    11 1960 2.98

  13. o.c.paull says:

    Gorge winds:
    Rooster Rock ENE 8 G24

    Crown Point WSW 22 G40

    Bridal Veil E 2

    Prindle, Wa ENE 4 G14

    What’s up with Crown Point? Did it get spun around 180 degrees?

  14. stevied (North Portland) says:

    Still nothing to get too excited about unfortunately. 06z was an ideal run with numerous days of snow and cold. 12z pushed it back a day or so with not as good of flow, and 18z is just about nothing good. So… looks like we wait another day or two to see if some sort of agreement starts lining up.

    • chris s says:

      Well, look at it this way, nobody was really at the edge of the cliff yet, I hope. But if 18z is beginning of the trend, then the body count at bottom of cliff for this winter is gonna be staggering . 🙂

    • Garron Beaverton says:

      I’ve been at the bottom since August!!! I got everything ready, and the fishing has gotten MUCH better since the rains. Might have been a better bet to hold the Model riding cliff up on Mt. St. Helens this year due to the strong inversion and temps warming with height…

      Seriously though, maybe Feb-March time frame will work out for us this year?

  15. David B says:

    I’d have to say that until the GFS and ECMWF models start agreeing with each other, I’m not going to get excited about anything either of them says. Particularly 10 or more days out.

  16. For snow lovers, 18z SUCKS

    Pushes things east.

  17. W7ENK says:

    Things are still looking good! I may have to jump off before this ride gets real crazy??! Poke my nose back in again on Wednesday, by then this aforementioned “interesting” weather should be approaching that 60 hour mark… or, it could go completely missing?? Either way, I don’t think I have the stomach for this again…

    Naah, I’ll probably ride along. 😉

    Happy New Year, folks! 😀

    • Drow says:

      Im pretty sure that this winter is not going to be a bust…my gut feeling is telling me that its taking its ohhh sweet time to get the ball rolling. Portland will get some winter weather, I have no doubt. Just let old man winter catch up, he’s gettin to be reeeeallly old these days haha.

    • chris s says:

      Things are eerily to similar to last year, I mean we are within a few days of when things were looking golden on the models last year, and then well…….. I have hope this year, but man is the body count gonna be enormous at the bottom of the cliff this year if the same thing happens. 🙂

  18. Paul D says:

    Happy New Year to you, Mark! Thanks for the best weather web site! I thoroughly enjoy reading your detailed blogs.

  19. Wasn’t it a couple years ago, that at least when it comes to the Ski Season, it was a bust until March, when they got 6 feet of snow in 10 days and everything changed from a drought scenario to above average? Can someone help me out here?

    • Last year January was extremely quite weather wise an the ski resorts were open, but waiting for some fresh snow. Then February-May happened and the mountains got dumped on.

    • Mark Nelsen says:

      2003 might be the year you are thinking of…I remember we called it the March Miracle.

    • Jory (Sandy) says:

      2003? That long ago already? God, I feel old. Seems like just a couple years ago.

    • Wendy-Silver Lake says:

      In 2007 we had a huge dump of snow during spring break.

      Last year in around the end of February/first part of March (can’t remember exactly when but it was later in the season) we had that big snowstorm that struck only Cowlitz County where we ended up with a foot in one day.

      Somewhere in between those two years we had signficant snow in end of March/first of April because we had taken our studs off and were stuck at home for about a week. It seems winter weather the last 7-8 years has not really gotten started until February and then lasts into April.

      2003-2004 was the big snow with the ice storm afterwards. I can’t remember what month that was. In 2007 or 2008 we had three feet of snow on the ground for Christmas and the kids were out of school for three weeks instead of two for Christmas break.

      I know the weather this direction is different than the weather in the Portland area though.

    • Garron Beaverton says:

      I believe that the year we had ‘THE SPRING BREAK QUAKE” was a good year for a late winter. A little foggy, but wasn’t that March of1992? I remember a really decent amount of snow in the first week of March, then we had the quake later that month???

    • W7ENK says:

      @Garron, the “Spring Break Quake” was on March 25, 1993.

      1993 went on to become one of the craziest pring/summers I’ve experienced so far, weather-wise! I don’t remember snow so much, but lots of thunderstorms, some of them severe, and even quite a few tornadoes! I remember the final episode of Cheers was interrupted by a Tornado Warning! I think that might have also been the year there was a funnel cloud hanging down behind the field at the Hillsboro Airport… during the Air Show!!! 😯

  20. Strange I have picked up a noticeable north-east breeze here. It’s not strong, under 10 mph so far and the humidity has yet to respond etc. But considering the gradient is still sub 2 mb, it’s interesting.

    33 here with 96% humidity. Looks like a couple other surrounding stations are also starting to see a NE wind.

  21. Finally cracked freezing here. I see the high clouds from the next system are already approaching.

    • pappoose in scappoose says:

      That’s what I thought when I read Mark’s post. The high clouds are already here. Real GOLU model action.

  22. So does that mean all the moisture on this infrared is going elsewhere??


    sure looks wet

  23. I see some -40s and -50s in Western Alaska this AM.

    • Marcus, loves snow! in La Center says:

      Hi everyone I am wondering when the new weather models come out like the GFS,EURO ect.

    • Jory (Sandy) says:

      Good afternoon Marcus. Times are as follows…

      *00z = 8:30 PM
      *06z = 2:30 AM
      *12z = 8:30 AM
      *18z = 2:30 PM
      GEFS (GFS Ensembles)
      *00z = 9:45 PM
      *12z = 9:45 AM
      *00z = 6:30 PM
      *12z = 6:30 AM
      *00z = 11:00 AM
      *12z = 11:00 PM
      Canadian GGEM (sooner if you go directly to their website)
      *00z = 11:00 PM
      *12z = 11:00 AM
      Canadian GGEM Ensembles
      *00z = 1:45 AM
      *12z = 1:45 PM
      ECMWF (sooner if you go directly to their sight)
      *00z = 00:20 AM
      *12z = 12:20 PM
      *00z = 11:00 AM
      *12z = 11:00 PM
      *00z = 2:15 AM
      *12z = 2:15 PM
      *00z = Between 10:00 PM & 1:00 AM
      *12z = Between 10:00 AM & 1:00 PM

    • Jory (Sandy) says:

      Having said all that, although this is a good general schedule, the reality is that the models come out at different times each run, due to…

      1. How long it takes the model to run at NCEP/whereever
      2. How long it takes them to make the files available to the public
      3. How long it takes your provider (including NCEP) to pick up the data and produce graphics from it.

    • Marcus, loves snow! in La Center says:

      Thanks Jory (Sandy), great info!

  24. Pretty icey on the walk to the park a hour ago…

    • george j/ portland says:

      Went out early this morning to get some stuff from store. Albertsons parking lot on Barnes was very icey and roads in west hills had ice. Saw a small SUV that had hit some ice on Cornell and was on side of road in a small ditch.

  25. PaulB/Eugene says:

    Could get a lot more icy in a couple weeks if 6Z GFS is right. ESRL PDS ensemble looks good


  26. Pressure gradient has now switched to offshore.


    Not sure why I’m up so early. I have to close tonight and open tomorrow…yuck.

  27. Scanner, “one vehicle on side, one vehicle off road in La Center.”

    “Let’s keep as many people off of the roads as possible”

  28. Scanner “it is profoundly icy everywhere this morning.”

    Wreck at 219th and 29th ave.

  29. 28.7 here and the roads are a sheet of ice! Be careful out there this morning!

  30. Josh (Gresham) says:

    ‎6z GFS may be the best run yet in terms of the overall pattern. From 1/10 through the end of the run, 6z shows a nearly ideal 500mb pattern setting up with very amplified blocking offshore (1032-1049mb) giving us a northerly flow with several low pressure systems dropping down throughout that time period after the initial shot of cold air. Now obviously this is still about 10 days out, but at the least the overall pattern is trending towards a colder solution, and there seems to be quite a bit of model consistency on GFS for something this far out. And while I’m still hesitent to really jump on anything yet, there is alot of consistency with the overall pattern features especially the formation of the offshore ridge and how it orients itself. In a word 6z is downright crazy… Now is it going to be the solution? I highly doubt it at this point, but who knows. Right now the trend is towards a colder solution, and this run is a step in the right direction for sure, because 00z was just as consistent with the amplifacation of the ridge (as with the past several runs), the overall pattern on 00z was just a bit less favorable, but still really solid.

  31. bgb41 says:

    12/30/2011 Oregon (All) Temperature Summary

    High:60 at LAKE OWHEE AND O(2400 ft)
    Low: 44 at Clatsop Spit(30 ft)

    High:32 at Timberline Lodge(7001 ft)
    Low: 10 at HOWARD Mt Howard (8150 ft )

    Largest Diurnal Change: 30 degrees
    SQUAW PEAK (55/25 ) (4964 ft )
    FISH FIN RIM (49/19) (4907 ft)

    Heaviest Rainfall:
    4.25″ at LOG CREEK(2800ft)
    3.80″ at Willamette Pass(5080ft)

  32. Karl Bonner says:

    I like Mark’s comment above about upper-level ridging and winter forecast busts. The reason is that December and January are more “core” winter months than February and March are. Kind of like this past summer: even if the early September omega ridge had reformed a couple extra times in late September and early October, bringing with it highs in the 80-95 degree range (depending on location and exact time of year), it still wouldn’t have turned our cool summer into a hot one, because we define summer as June 1- Aug 31 in the weather world.

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

    No Drinking and Blogging…with that I have nothing left to say..Haha Happy New Years everyone!!! Be safe.

  34. wwm says:

    nobody else around I guess.

    everybody have an excellent (and safe) new year!

    GO DUCKS!!!

  35. wwm says:

    wow was I really first? where do I pick up my prize? I’ll take a week or three of great looking model runs please, snow, cold and a nice touch of east wind. Please oh please deliver for once, no more dodging the stupid bullet.


    winter weather monster

  36. wwm says:

    the big “B” word huh Mark? It has been a very sad winter so far that is for sure. Here is to great things ahead and a great 2012!

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