Sunshine East Metro Tomorrow

The temperature has been between 35 and 37 degrees here in Portland since yesterday evening’s commute!  Is that strange or what?  For the vast majority of us, the weather tomorrow will be almost exactly the same as today.  Yes, another gloomy and cool day in the lower elevations and warm and sunny closer to 2,000′ and above.

Those of you east of I-205 and near/south of the Columbia River will probably have a sunny day tomorrow!  You can see the general area here:


So what’s changing tonight and tomorrow?  We are seeing an east wind develop through west end of the Columbia River Gorge.  Corbett just gusted to 31 mph in the past hour as a colder pool of air is developing east of the Cascades.  Here’s a good example:   In the eastern Gorge, Ausperger Mountain at 3,000′ east of Home Valley was 40 degrees with a west wind at this time last night.  Right now it’s 24 degrees with an east wind.  Yet at 3,000′ west of the Cascades it’s about 50 degrees.  So now an easterly pressure gradient is up to around 4 millibars.  5-6 millibars by tomorrow morning should be enough to clear out those areas above.  The sunshine and a little mixing should be enough to finally push PDX into the 40-45 degree range.

Models have been terrible with the lowest 2,000′ of the atmosphere in this pattern, continually getting rid of the low clouds.  Even the 1.3km WRF-GFS keeps clearing the entire Willamette Valley out; that sure isn’t going to happen.  But, it’s done a good job showing the increasing easterly flow.  Notice the 12z cross-section showing breezy east wind over Troutdale through tomorrow.  Note that time runs from right to left:


Speaking of chilly…the average temperature for PDX the first 15 days of January is the coldest January in 20 years!  And, it’s the coldest month in 3 years (Dec 2009 was colder).  The combination of cold and clear nights and now very cool days are doing the trick.  The 2nd half of the month sure doesn’t look above average, but maybe near or a little below since we’ll have weather systems starting to move through here again starting next Tuesday.

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen



89 Responses to Sunshine East Metro Tomorrow

  1. karlbonner1982 says:

    Okay….so we know that in mid-January, this kind of death ridge brings fake cold to the lowlands but extremely warm temps in the Cascade foothills and coast range.

    But suppose this exact same pattern with the exact same 850s were to set up in the 2nd half of February, with a much stronger sun angle. Would it be possible to hit 70 in the Willamette Valley, or would the really warm air overhead still have some difficulty mixing down? And if it did have trouble mixing, would we get ordinary fake cold, or some intermediate outcome (i.e. hazy sunshine with temps in the upper 40s or 50s) ?

  2. Marcus says:

    Yay completely clear and sunny here in La Center

  3. EA_TTD says:

    Inversion defined:

    Weather Conditions for:
    Elev: 1446 ft; Latitude: 46.52806; Longitude: -123.39917

    Current time: Thu, 17 Jan 3:38 pm (PST)
    Most Recent Observation: Thu, 17 Jan 2:30 pm PST (PST)
    Time Temp. Precip Precip Precip Quality
    Accumulated 6 hour 24 hour Control
    (PST) (f) (inches) (inches) (inches)
    17 Jan 2:30 pm PST 70 61.58 OK
    17 Jan 2:15 pm PST 68 61.58 OK

  4. Marcus says:

    Looks like a nice setup to me:)

  5. David B. says:

    3PM, and it’s still socked in and in the mid-30s in Seattle. Looks like Portland stole our sun for the day!

  6. paulbeugene says:

    Video from above the inversion at Spencer Butte earlier today

  7. W7ENK says:

    Hardly. 🙄

  8. gidrons says:

    The Euro in lala land looks interesting. Day 10 has low snow levels with the ridge rebuilding farther west.

  9. germantownsummit1000' says:

    Hey, W7,


  10. Sandi (Wilsonville) says:

    All sun and lovely blue skies! 🙂

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

    Sunny.. and partly boring.

    Need I say more 😛

  12. germantownsummit1000' says:

    100% insolation, last 2 hours…


  13. wwm says:

    lol Eric hahahahaha

    too funny

  14. dothgrin says:

    Sunny and bright in Aloha for the past three hours! Sweetness!

  15. germantownsummit1000' says:

    Hey, Sifton…

  16. Sifton says:

    C’mon baby, it’s trying! Break on through to the other side!!

    • W7ENK says:

      No no, we don’t want the low to “break on through to the other side”, that would detach the high and open the door for zonal flow into the PNW, and that would be bad. We want the low to scoot in directly below the high and stay there, so the two will lock in place!! ~OR~ If a second low appears on the lower right side of the ridge, instant Omega Block! Out there, that would spell catastrophic reload after catastrophic reload of bitterly cold arctic air into our region… maybe.

      Okay, okay — I’m getting ahead of my self here…

      This shows potential, and that’s about it. Lets see where it goes from here! 🙂

    • Sifton says:

      Yes!!! Glory, Glory, Hallelujah!!!

    • Sifton says:

      Sorry man, I live in the now, meaning I want some sun NOW!! Greedy selfishness?? Y yes………….

    • W7ENK says:

      Ohhhhhhhhh… Yeah, that too! 😆

    • Sifton says:

      & now it’s gone…………….what a tease!

    • Been sunny here all morning, pretty sweet!

    • Sunny all morning here! I hate this gravatar thing haha!

    • germantownsummit1000' says:

      So, W7, you think it shows “potential”, I’m guessing.

      I fear you’ll be let down, yet again.


  17. 12z ECMWF is really quite good….
    Ridge breaks down after day 6 now with a massive pattern change. OH, I almost forgot to mention the ridge building at 160-165 W too. Is that a Kona Low I see also

  18. Mat the Salmon Killer says:

    Mark, quick question. I think all the Mets in town should get into a ring and have a battle royal. Any thoughts on who’d be last man in and who would be thrown out first? Lol. Weather is boring right now

  19. Mat the Salmon Killer says:

    Davis B. you obviously haven’t been reading the blog that long. He lives in a dome and and is really jealous if anyone gets exciting weather but him. Which he never does cause he lives in the Milwaukie dome. Sorry Erik, just be happy for others when they get a flurry or something and are excited about it. Later

  20. SeDrools says:

    What is that big bright globe in the sky. I can’t see!

  21. David B. says:

    How, exactly, is W7 being a “twit” by citing the typical characteristics of a temperature inversion?

  22. Mat the Salmon Killer says:

    Kind of a little twit aren’t you Erik?

  23. paulbeugene says:

    Avg temp in Winnemucca, Nevada so far in January is 8F. The closest avg temp of any month all time ( back to late 1800s) is Jan 1949 at 9F. Even if temps are average for remainder of month will be coldest month in since Dec 1990.

    • David B. says:

      Yeah, there have been some super-long-lasting cold inversions in the Great Basin area this winter. I’ve been keeping tabs on how cold it’s been where I went to college (Logan, UT). Sometimes the highs have been staying below 10°F for days on end, with near-perpetual ice fog and horrible air quality.

      I remember inversions like that when I lived there, and am glad to have left them behind.

  24. Dave in SW PDX (235') says:

    Thankfully, blue skies & sunshine out here on the west side of the metro area, at least in my neighborhood. Currently 29.5°, DP 28°.

  25. Solid looking blanket of fog down below in seattle area. Temp bouncing around given the marked temp gradient with elevation

    • David B. says:

      It’s distinctly foggier down below today. Dense fog in Madrona, the CD, and most of Capitol Hill this morning, turning into low stratus as I crossed Broadway and headed down Pine St. to downtown. No sunshine downtown this morning.

      Given the thicker gunk, I predict the highs are not going to make it to the mid-40s like they did yesterday and the day before. Probably more like the 39 to 41 range would be my guess.

  26. W7ENK says:

    And it looks like that one is on Pagh Rd, just east of 442nd.

  27. W7ENK says:

    Firwood – Wildcat [KORSANDY7] (1598ft) = 35 degrees.

  28. W7ENK says:

    Or it could be in the upper 30s. Inversion.

  29. cgavic says:

    It was reported yesterday that you had to get above 1,500 to see sunshine.

    I live in sandy at 1,100 ft. I drove up Firwood road and eventually pagh road, which is well above 1,600 ft., and still in fog, and they still had 2 in. of snow up there (of course).

  30. bgb41 says:

    1/16/2013 Oregon (All) Temperature Summary

    High:76 at FLYNN PRAIRIE(1543 ft)
    Low: 61 at RED MOUND(1753 ft)

    High:9 at NYSSA(2172 ft)
    Low: -11 at HEREFORD (3599 ft )

    Largest Diurnal Change: 57 degrees
    Crescent (58/1 ) (4462 ft )

  31. Marcus says:

    Hey mark, is this a gap east wind?do you think la center will get out of the fog?

  32. Marcus says:

    00z ECMWF ridging around 160w looks like its moving east no good if it continues on an eastern track hopefully it moves north and west. Still no sign of arctic air:/

  33. runrain says:

    Stars! Stars! I can see stars (and the moon) in Happy Valley! Just the edge of some fog visible sitting on the western slope of Mt. Scott.

  34. Ben T says:

    Is everybody in?

  35. W7ENK says:

    High 37.1F, low 35.2F at my location today. 1.9 degree diurnal change, my smallest on record since October 2010.

  36. karlbonner1982 says:

    Dangit – why are Columbia Basin cold pools always so DEEP?!? I for one would LOVE to see Sevenmile or Stacker Butte be 20 degrees warmer than DLS for once!

  37. paulbeugene says:

    Average temp for entire month of Jan 1979 was colder than average minimum this month thus far

  38. Mat the Salmon Killer says:

    Great. Hope models continue to change and bump things up in right direction soon. Otherwise it’s time for it’s a few more beers.

  39. W7ENK says:

    I hope that includes Downtown?

%d bloggers like this: