ECMWF Monthly Maps

For hardcore geeks only!  The squeamish probably don’t want to keep reading…

I have access to the ECMWF weekly maps; they come out twice a week.  The ECMWF is run out to 30 days.  The most recent run is 00z last night; so here is some eye candy for you.  Make sure you click on each pic for a much clearer view.

Here is Week 1 500mb height anomaly and then the surface temp anomaly:

Week 2 anomaly…wow!  A huge upper level ridge just inland over the Rockies.  Areas not under inversions could be extremely warm.

The Week 3 anomaly…a change, ridge disappears and is replaced by weak troughing…precipitation returns, but still very mild in the central USA.

The Week 4 anomaly…still slightly below average heights over us, looks close to normal.

If the ECMWF is right, we have about two weeks of very mild weather with little rain, then back to normal after mid-month. Note the eastern USA’s mild winter will continue if these maps verify too.

58 Responses to ECMWF Monthly Maps

  1. For Erik who isn’t a big fan of palm trees in Oregon. A pic of my next door neighbor’s tree a couple years ago….. 🙂

  2. PaulB/Eugene says:

    Looks rather placid weather-wise, indeed. At least for next 10 days. Amazing how much more effective I am at work when weather action in doldrums.

  3. Runrain says:

    Girlfriend is working SoCal to SEA to Anchorage to Fairbanks next couple days. Thats mid 70’s to 30 below zero in just a few hours. Lucky!

  4. robwaltemate says:

    I kind of new at this weather geek thing, but aren’t La Nina winters ones with “book ends” with mild wet with lots of snow pack in the Cascades in the middle part?

    This year and last year the drift that came onto the beach here near Long Beach has been different if you ask me; maybe a strong upwelling of cold water is screwing with the currents and weather. If so look for a good salmon run this year.

    Last year the end of Feb was colder with 20.1ºF on the 26th (coldest temp I had in Feb 2011), than the start 52.1ºF on the 13th (highest temp I had in Feb 2011). We had snow here on the 24th of Feb. I took pictures of some very large waves in Mar 2011.

    Don’t worry about winter being over just yet. I would bet we get at least another wind storm by March! LOL

    • robwaltemate says:

      Here are two things to look at and compare. Sea Surface Temp Anomaly for the end of Jan 2012 and the end of Jan 2011.

      Looks like the water is colder in the Gulf of Alaska this time, where last year it was colder near the Baha Peninsula.

      I guess wher the ice is on the ocean has no data and is white, but if that is the case then the sea ice is further south this time when compared to last year.

      I put each in a tab in Internet explorer so I could switch back and forth to see the changes.

  5. W7ENK says:

    My video of the flooding around the Portland area last weekend.

    Mark, feel free to add this to your stock footage if you’d like.

  6. o.c.paull says:

    Other strange climate news: The USDA has changed it’s cold hardiness rating for Portland from 8b to 9a to reflect a warmer minimum temps. This makes it absolutely certain we will have several record cold arctic outbreaks in a row.

    • o.c.paul says:


    • W7ENK says:

      Well then, I guess that means that Karl’s palms that a certain someone hates so much can rest a little easier now that they’re “officially” in a more suitable climate. I have mixed feelings. Honestly, I’m not a big fan of palm trees in Oregon, myself. IMO, they only serve to further the Californication of my beautiful Coniferous bioregion. I wish they (people and palms) would stay South of the 42nd Parallel. Maybe after Mexico finally takes their land back, they’ll build a giant fence at the Oregon border to keep everything and everyone in?


    • robwaltemate says:

      Maybe I will plant a Scotts’ Pine then. Neat looking tree on the Big Island of Hawaii, but it doesn’t like to freeze. I’m about a mile from the ocean to keep me warm, but I think for now the tree will stay indoors.

    • W7ENK says:

      For the record, my 10′ tall Avocado tree has fared pretty well outdoors all winter long. A couple nights were scary, down to 26-28F, and the top foot or so looks a little burned, but the bulk of the tree is fat ‘n happy… in fact, there’s some new growth about to burst out at the tips! Any warm sunshine should coax that out soon. 🙂

    • W7ENK says:

      Wait, hold on for just a second…

      How can the USDA make this determination after 2 green tomato summers in a row?? Someone’s not paying attention! ❓

    • robwaltemate says:

      Every summer is a green tomato here at the beach.

    • W7ENK says:

      Yes well, as a gardener, I can’t help but feel just a little ripped off… especially after this news! I mean, really?!?

  7. o.c.paull says:

    Wow, This news really stinks! I hope it morphs into a jinx that brings record cold and snow.

  8. Triforce says:

    Seriously though. God’s judgement aside I found this thread at Western Weather that mentiones the ocean indexes and where they are out and we have a better chance after Mid Feb for one more cold air blast at our current set up.

    The AO during our last cold shot was tanking then bottomed out after the cold air went away but the AO is forecasted to tank some more and the NAO is pretty neutral right now though slightly positive on the east coast.

    This post can explain it better then I can as I do not know all the technical wording and there are pictures after pictures showing the results.

  9. Triforce says:

    This drought is God’s judgement upon the wicked hearts of mankind! Repent now!

  10. Triforce says:

    When the temps are above 60 we use the AC a few hours at night since we have a VERY stuffy house like a hotel room.

    In the day time we open up but at night it’s not enough to sleep unless the temps are below 60F

  11. Triforce says:

    I confess. In 2006 my parents bought AC for our house because of the increasing hot summers and now the summers have been getting cooler and cloudier.

    It seems when you even discuss buying snow tires then the cold winters go away and when you talk about summer then the cold winters play a surprise.

  12. It’s only up to 31 here as of 12:45. So far my coldest day of the month, and it’s fake cold. Still foggy here.

  13. john says:

    if winter does not show in the next 2 weeks its time for spring

  14. WEATHERDAN says:

    Below you will find some thoughts from Pete Parson on the the February through April Time frame. February – April 2012
    Issued: January 24, 2012
    Discussion/Forecast: La Niña (cooler-than-normal tropical Pacific Ocean sea-surface temperatures
    “SSTs”) is continuing for the second consecutive winter and should persist at least through this
    spring. The winter began with a blocking ridge of high pressure bringing much drier than normal
    weather. However, La Niña was true-to-form by mid-January, with a return of heavy mountain
    snow, western valley/coastal snow, and snow/ice in the Columbia Gorge. Heavy rains, high winds,
    and flooding also hit much of western Oregon.
    Look for the second half of winter and the first half of spring to be cooler than normal with
    mountain snowpacks likely recovering to around normal. The chances for periods of “extreme”
    weather will continue to be elevated, due to a dominant polar jet stream. Mountain snowpacks
    should peak slightly later than normal and melt at a slower pace than usual.
    The Following predictions were based on historical weather data from the February – April
    periods in 1972, 1975, and 2009.
    • A dominant polar jet stream should bring a mix of stormy and placid periods with generally
    below normal temperatures. The precipitation forecast is trickier but favors near to slightly
    above normal.
    • Mountain snowpacks should recover to near normal or greater and last well into the spring.
    • Increased chance of “extreme” weather (i.e. record cold/mild, heavy rain, wind, etc.).
    Purpose: To provide Oregon farmers, growers, and forest management personnel advanced notice
    of potential significant weather events and climate trends, during the upcoming season, in an effort
    to enhance environmental, economic, and community stability.
    Basis of Forecast: Changes in sea-surface temperatures (SST) in the tropical Pacific Ocean have
    been closely linked with subsequent changes in world-wide weather patterns. By comparing the
    current tropical SST structure (including its recent evolution) with patterns from former years, best
    matches (subsequently referred to as “analog years”) can be identified. Historical weather data,
    from these analog years, is closely analyzed to help develop this climate forecast.
    Limitations of Forecast: Pacific Northwest climate trends are more pronounced during the “cold
    season,” especially during El Niño (warm) and La Niña (cold) events. The resultant weather pattern
    “types” are more identifiable and affect the local climate in consistent ways. Long-range climate
    forecasts are fundamentally different from short-term weather forecasts (the latter are derived from
    dynamic computer models). This forecast is not a climate model, nor does it use climate models.
    An assumption is made that “no climate change” has occurred between the analog years and
    the current year. Since our climate is constantly changing, that assumption adds a degree of
    error to the forecast.
    Pete Parsons – Meteorologist – Oregon Department of Forestry
    (503) 945-7448,

  15. Cliff Gavic 1,100 ft says:

    30 degs sunshine

  16. 23.3 for a low and now it’s foggy.

  17. Karl Bonner says:

    My ultimate fantasy weather pattern would be to have cold and active weather the first half of February, with minor to moderate snow accumulation in the Metro (1-4″ perhaps?) and fairly heavy snow in the Gorge (i.e. 4-8″ in The Dalles and 6-12″ in Hood River), ideally during the second week of the month rather than the first. Then an abrupt flip to sunny, mild and ridgy right after Valentine’s, with The Dalles’ highs settling in at 55-60 and the lows about 25-30.

    With our bodily thermostats still used to cold weather, the night and early morning chill would be very tolerable – and as soon as the sun began to warm things up in the morning, we’d be taking off our coats. And then around 11am, we’d all start dressing down to short sleeves and a single layer. Those of us off from work would likely spend the afternoon playing frisbee golf or jogging or firing up the grill for an impromptu false spring BBQ – and I bet we’d even see a few sunburns by the time the day was through.

    Speaking of which, if we get into the 2nd week of February and it is mild and sunny, I might even make an ambitious attempt at getting a winter sunburn (winter = DJF). If my first attempt fails I can wait for another opportunity perhaps 5-10 days down the line, and try again on another skin surface that is still pale, perhaps this time increasing the exposure time a bit and centering it closer to solar noon.

  18. Garron Beaverton says:

    After looking at a data chart that BGB has posted on the FB FOX 12 blog, I have an analysis, that anyone that has anything to add is welcome to, but I think that the “weird weather patterns” we’ve been experiencing the last 2 + seasons are directly related to the climate shift into cold PDO. It’s almost like mother nature is a bit under the weather herself, and that’s why we’ve been experiencing the cooler summers’ and springs, but the winters’ have been a bit blah?

    I’ve heard from a few people that have been around awhile and weather enthusiasts like us, that the winters’ leading into cold pdo are not as impressive (cold/snow wise) as the ones’ in the middle/last half are here. According to spreadsheet I looked at, it kinda looks like the pattern is finally changing, but due to mother nature’s “seasonal lag” into a colder PDO, the real heart of winter’s like the 1880’s and the 1950-60’s cold pattern may not be hear for (approx) 5 or more years.Any winter can be colder/warmer that normal during any phase of the PDO, but “likelihood” or probability goes up 5-10 years after the the change to colder PDO occurs that we will get longer cold snaps and big winter snows.

    Just a late night weather thought as my brain won’t turn off tonight. Someone got shot and killed right in front of my store tonight just as I was getting ready to start my shift, so long day….

    • gidrons says:

      You’re right, the last 2 winters haven’t matched up well against any analog years using other comparison methods.

      I hate to see it, but I’ll be rooting for a cold wet spring so hopefully a West Coast drought can be avoided.

  19. bgb41 says:

    1/26/2012 Oregon (All) Temperature Summary

    High:60 at ILLINOIS VALLEY(1389 ft) & CW3485 Port Orfo(400 ft)
    Low: 47 at BROOKINGS(79 ft)

    High:26 at ALAKES Haines(7979 ft)
    Low: 5 at ANEROID LAKE #2 (7300 ft )

    Largest Diurnal Change: 31 degrees
    Sand Creek (US 9 (45/14 ) (4525 ft )

    Heaviest Rainfall:
    1.24″ at SELDOM CREEK(4875ft)

  20. Sifton says:

    C’mon give Daddy a 60 in Feb!!!

  21. If we’re not gonna get any cold or snow than I’m ready for Spring…Other than the brief bout of snow a few days ago this Winter has been quite boring overall.

  22. GeekyMominCamas says:

    Guess I’m getting close to the edge of the cliff too… pulled out my hiking shoes and maps today and got a refill on the propane tank.

  23. What’s that rising up from yonder ravine? [sniff] Why that smells like hickory smoke… think I’ll wander over to the edge of that there cliff and see who’s down there barbecuing…

  24. Karl Bonner says:

    I’m placing my hope on that 2nd week. It’s still a bit early in the season, but maybe we’ll luck out and avoid an inversion east of the Cascades. Or at least have a cool pool shallow enough so that the temps are warm, say, at the top of Stacker Butte just across the river (the summit is about 3200′).

    What would be better, of course, would be to find a way to delay the Week 2 ridge by about 4-7 days so that some of it gets into the 3rd week of February! Maybe a slightly more active Week 1 track would delay the ridge by a few days?

  25. W7ENK says:

    All that hype for close to Zero payoff??? Mark, I thought you were going to tell us something epic was on its way… 🙄

  26. All I see for the next couple weeks from those maps in my area is FOG! VALLEY FOG 😦

  27. I guess the good news is, after the last two springs, they can’t get much worse.

    I hope mother nature doesn’t prove me wrong.

  28. I used to cheer on warm weather in February (at least at times) but all it seems to be now is a tease. Then we drop into the doldrums of a cold spring until July.

    Down to 33.7 here and it looks like tonight will be the first freeze in over a week.

    This would end my longest streak of non-freezing temperatures so far this winter!

  29. stormblown says:

    Thats depressing, not eye candy. Your best quality was relating to every weather geeks love of snow and cold. Has the business made you jaded?

    • Mark Nelsen says:

      Maybe turning old and cranky…I’ll regain the love of snow and ice when I’m out of the business someday.

    • Jethro (Molalla ~320') says:

      It’s all eye candy to me… no worries of trying to get product delivered in the middle of a city paralyzed by 2″ of snow. The occassional morning of freezing fog we can deal with…

    • Chuck on Mt Scott says:

      I just ask for more quality snow on Hood at least through April. Then I don’t care. Right now, skiing is a bust and the slopes are solid ice.

    • pappoose in scappoose says:

      I agree stormblown. Eye candy? Must….resist…

    • pdxgeologist says:

      Walking home through snow and ice in a suit at 2 AM can jade even the stoutest meteorologist.

    • Mark Nelsen says:

      Wait, that was the fun part! So maybe I haven’t lost it after all.

    • Timmy_Supercell (Klamath Falls @ 4200') says:

      Now you guys are talk’n!!!! 42F with rain during the day… I can ‘deal’ with ^_^ just fine

      Snow is for the sheep and goats, they are meant for that stuff

  30. Kn says:

    Time to start thinking about spring. 😦

  31. Aleta- West Gresham says:

    Looks like I might get that window to plant the garlic I never got around to planting last fall!

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