A Beautiful Saturday; Likely Sunny For The Hedgehog

I have tomorrow off and am really looking forward to getting outside; you should be too.  Although it won’t be spring, it’ll be the closest we get to it in early February.  Just about totally sunny in the metro area (some morning fog away from the Gorge), a breezy east wind to dry out the ground a bit, and mild temps into the low-mid 50s.  Maybe even a few notches higher than today.  By the way, the zoo’s hedgehog, Jabari, will be making his annual prediction at 10:30am tomorrow at the entry plaza.

East wind is just getting going in the Gorge this afternoon, a weak 2.2 millibar pressure difference is giving us gusts 25-30 mph at Corbett and Vista House.  That gradient should be up in the 6-8 millibar range by midday Saturday, so it’s too bad that you folks out there will get sunshine, but it won’t exactly be enjoyable with gusts up around 50-60 mph.  By the way, Vista House access is now open, I saw the road closure was gone today on the way to work.  Probably gusts around 70 mph out on “the steps”.   Nothing too crazy, but fun for the tourists too.  As far as I’m aware, the plan is for it to be open too.  So you could go experience the wind and also get a warm drink.

The wind dies off and probably goes just about calm Sunday, and there are hints of weak onshore flow Sunday too.  Neither our RPM or the WRF-GFS show low clouds developing.  We’ll see.  Either way Sunday will be dry inland, but low clouds might bring drizzle/fog to the coastline.

Beyond Sunday…pretty quiet Monday through Wednesday as ridging weakens and a trough approaches.

Thursday and Friday next week should be quite chilly with snow levels at least down to 2,000′, but not real  cold and not a whole lot of moisture either.  In fact drier than average appears to be the theme for the first 10 days of February.  Looking at 10-15 day maps for the GFS, ECMWF, & GEM they all show ridging of one sort or another wanting to stay close to the western USA coastline through the period.  Some ensemble members of the GFS and ECMWF keep trying to push the ridge slightly farther offshore which would allow cooler troughs to drop over us.  Here is the 18z GFS ensemble map, showing what I just mentioned:


That model shows less than 1/2″ rainfall in the next two weeks!

…and the 12z ECMWF chart:


So for now, it appears that the first 10 days of February will be quite slow weatherwise.

As I had mentioned two nights ago, I don’t want other issues elsewhere to bleed onto this blog.  SO many of you get annoyed by drama here, and luckily there has been very little over the past 6-9 months.  But it blew up again last night and 4 commenters got into it.  I really don’t appreciate it occurring exactly two minutes after I walked out of here (11:32pm).  I better follow through or I’ll look “spineless” right?  So those 4 can take a break (no posting) for two weeks.  You’ll know you are on the naughty list if your comment says it’s “held for moderation”. 

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, since I love you all, you’re welcome back.  Next time it’ll be a month if you can’t play nice.

10pm Update:  Here’s the 00z GFS ensemble chart this evening.  Apparently the very mild 00z operational run is a bit of an outlier; quite a few ensemble memberse are cooler.  Notice the one member with a mid-late February arctic blast like 2011?


Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

210 Responses to A Beautiful Saturday; Likely Sunny For The Hedgehog

  1. Terry says:

    No downpours today HUH

  2. David B. says:

    Q: How do you keep a wishcaster in suspense?

    A: I’ll tell you in ten days!

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

    18Z GFS operational: “Nothing to see here, move along”

  4. *BoringOregon* says:

    Still on for that end of the month epic snow storm it will happen trust me I can feel it !!!

  5. lilfoot123 says:

    The rodents are crazy! One(Phil in PA) said early spring & ours(Jabari hedgehog) said six more weeks of winter! TWC says we will be colder than normal so we will see what we get!

    • Lurkyloo says:

      Phil is in the East. Poor little Jabari is on the Left Coast and is likely as confused as we are trying to decide what “Winter” is this year.

  6. Marcus says:

    Sorry I jumped the gun a bit after further review the euro is not cold enough for valley snow……. Yet:)

  7. Marcus says:

    12z euro looking good for low or valley snow:)

    • ErinK says:

      When and how much possibly? I am SO excited!!!! I hope it actually happens this time!

    • Marcus says:

      Still a ways out, so moisture and timing still up in the air. But GFS has been hinting at colder weather for a while now and now the euro is picking up on it as well:) lets see if we can put together consecutive run with the euro!!!

    • Marcus says:

      Sorry I jumped the gun a bit after further review the euro is not cold enough for valley snow……. Yet:)

    • W7ENK says:

      It’s only a small handful of the ensemble members, and it’s still out at day 10. It was out at day 10 yesterday, too. I’ll bet it’ll still be there tomorrow, out at day 10 again. We all know how this game is played…

      Just wait 10 days!!

      And yes, quite too warm for snow at the valley floor.

    • PDX Weather Nut says:

      Looks like our usual cold rain. HOPEFULLY it will be snow, sure would brighten things up.

  8. gidrons says:

    Don’t jump yet. The Euro, which I consider much superior to the GFS, is showing potential mid to late next week.

  9. runrain says:

    Tomorrow is National Weatherperson’s Day according to the NWS. Props to you, Mark, in that regard for all you do blogwise, forecasting, babysitting, etc.

    • runrain says:

      From Wikipedia:

      February 5
      National Weatherperson’s Day, also known as National Weatherman’s Day, is a holiday observed on February 5[1] primarily in the United States. It recognizes individuals in the fields of meteorology, weather forecasting and broadcast meteorology, as well as volunteer storm spotters and observers. It is observed on the birthday of John Jeffries, one of the United States’ first weather observers who took daily measurements from 1774 to 1816.[2]

  10. bgb41 says:

    2/3/2013 Oregon (All) Temperature Summary

    High:62 at BALD KNOB(3630 ft)
    Low: 47 at DW7930 Seaside(7 ft) & PACCTY-2 Pacific(28 ft) & DW8735 Yachats(92 ft) & & DW1265 Newport(164 ft) & NEWPRT Cape Foul(1024 ft) & KB7QWZ Garibaldi(10 ft)

    High:29 at HARL BUTTE(6071 ft)
    Low: 6 at CRANE PRAIRIE (5500 ft )

    Largest Diurnal Change: 45 degrees
    CRANE PRAIRIE (51/6 ) (5500 ft )

    Heaviest Rainfall:
    0.13″ at FALL MOUNTAIN(5949ft)

    • geo says:

      Nice eye candy!

    • Ron says:

      yep, very much an outlier. Very little chance of that happening. Can’t believe the people still riding the 10-12 day models. Huge waste of time until inside maybe day 7/8 then I start getting somewhat interested. It’s that one in a million chance they hang on to and then say, “so, there IS a chance.” People that keep riding the la la train . . . how has that worked out for ya? Sure, once in a thousand model runs it does work out in some degree or another,It’s not in our climatology DNA for the PNW.

    • Mark says:

      That’s what the blog is for. To discuss ideas, possibilities, probabilities, and weather in general. I check into the blog to see what’s trending with the models, and commentary on them, regardless of how far they are out. It’s always interesting to watch them develop over time – and of course – a blast when they flow all the way to present-time with some good winter fun.

  11. Marcus says:

    La la la la la la la……………………land!!!!! http://wxweb.meteostar.com/sample/sample.shtml?text=Kpdx

  12. Benjamin (West Salem) says:

    00z GFS looks pretty sweet starting day 12. Yes, I know it’s la la land, but it has been hinting at something arctic around that time frame for a while. I would be curious to see the ensembles when they come out at 10pm to see how much of an outlier this run is or if it’s part of a colder trend.

    • By now you should know to not EVEN look beyond day 7 😉
      The next run will be completely opposite in the distant future. Guaranteed.

    • Punxsutawney aka HIOPHIL in Hillsboro says:

      But pretty dry, 850mb temps aren’t bad for mid February.

      Is the operational an outlier? Need to see the ensemble mean too. MJO wave that killed us in January is very slowly dying.

      Don/t know if it was the cart or the horse though. Symptom or the disease that killed winter in January.

    • Chris s says:

      Bone dry Benjamin, so can’t really say it looks too sweet. Looks like maybe a repeat of feb 2011, only no moisture at all this time, as opposed to a few traces of snow flurries.😊

    • Benjamin (West Salem) says:

      Yeah I’m certainly not putting my money on any arctic action taking place here, but I’ve noticed that the GFS will pick up on trends early on.

      The colder weather that we experienced around January 11th to 14th was shown on several runs of the GFS some 12 to 14 days earlier. So it seems like it does sometimes pick up on trends and every great once in a while it is actually correct. My opinion of course.

    • Benjamin (West Salem) says:

      Yeah I know that the moisture and the temps may not both happen, but it’s a start and it’s nice seeing it on day 12 and not on day 15 or 16. Deal with details later if or when this actually gets in the believable 2 to 4 day range. Moisture amounts can change dramatically within the 4 day range, just look at the trough for this week. The GFS has been all over with moisture amounts varying run to run, but the cooler temps have been more or less stable.

    • Punxsutawney aka HIOPHIL in Hillsboro says:

      Agreed Benjamin. Wait and see…

    • Benjamin (West Salem) says:

      and yes, even if we get cold temps, I don’t need to look back into the records to remember that we got only half an inch of snow during that cold episode in 2011. Not enough to sled or build a snowman.

    • Benjamin (West Salem) says:

      Thanks Marcus! Looks like there are about 7 cold members on this run, not a lot, but I also like how there are very few members that have the real warm solution during that time frame. Time will tell.

  13. Ben T says:

    Ravens win!!!!! Yeah!!!!!

  14. W7ENK says:

    Hey everybody, what’s going on? 🙂

  15. bgb41 says:


    Entries close tonight at midnight. Click on the below form and submit your guesses for this months weather. I will post results on March 1st.


  16. Marcus says:

    Sure looks like its going to cool down a bit good bye spring not that I thought it was going to stick around!:) http://wxweb.meteostar.com/sample/sample.shtml?text=Kpdx

  17. bgb41 says:

    2/2/2013 Oregon (All) Temperature Summary

    High:66 at Tillamook( 63 ft)
    Low: 48 at NEWPRT Cape Foul(1024 ft)

    High:30 at ONTARIO(2260 ft) & NPOWDR(3212 ft) & CW0732 Seneca(4665 ft)
    Low: 2 at CRANE PRAIRIE (5500 ft )

    Largest Diurnal Change: 41 degrees
    CRANE PRAIRIE (43/2 ) (5500 ft )

  18. SalkeizTeach says:

    Hey I have been lurking for awhile…I’m an elementary school teacher who loves science, especially weather! I don’t always understand everything you talk about, but I am learning. The one thing that has me so curious that I finally am posting is the “in” thing. Please explain! 🙂

  19. Marcus says:

    I think the 00zGFS ensembles are on drugs!!!! -17c that’s cold!!! They are all over the place we could have an arctic outbreak or it could be a late season inversion?????

    • Jordan (Raleigh Hills, 420') says:

      Imbolc! Happy spring is coming but not really because we live in oregon! haha.

  20. Mule-Estacada says:

    Seattle pretty much fogged in for most of the day down on the waterfront.

  21. Marcus says:

    Got some good tree trimming in today nice weather!!!! Got up to 59f wow on feb 2!

  22. germantownsummit1000' says:

    Garlic is up – with the frogs!

    I’ll have to check that correlation next year.

    • Lurkyloo says:

      I love how you keep mentioning the frogs! I don’t have any around here, must be nice to hear them. They hibernate in mud, right?

      I saw moths the other night, and one lone ant managed to appear in my kitchen today just to say hello and remind me that he’ll be bringing his little army around before too long.

    • lilfoot123 says:

      Do not crush the ant! He will produce a pheromone telling his buddies that you killed him!

    • Lurkyloo says:

      Don’t worry Lilfoot! I just said, “Hey, the party doesn’t start until Springtime!” He scurried along on his happy little way (to tell his buddies what a chump I must be).

    • Nate in NE Portland says:

      I remember in 1996 living on 132nd and se holgate. After we had a good snowstorm it flooded about this same time of year. A week or two into the flood it got pretty warm and then came the frogs.. Absolutely Defening. Pacific tree frogs.

      Pat Doris (channel 8 news) came to our house and interviewed us about it. We bought a remote control boat.

  23. Marc (East Vancouver) says:

    Beautiful day for a few games of tennis. It’s nice to see the sun at a higher angle in the sky as well.

  24. ocpaul says:

    My Superbowl call:

    I’m HOPING that the ‘Arctic Blasters’ trounce the ‘Springtime Wishers’!!

    • Sifton says:


    • How about a little bit of both? A string of sunny 55-60 degree days in mid-February, then late Feb. or early March a cold trough comes through and snow levels come down pretty much to sea level…Has there EVER been a season where Portland’s only measurable snow comes in March? That would be an impressive feat to pull off!

  25. paulbeugene says:

    Just a little higher sun angle really helps..broke out fog this morning…51F outside here in Eugene.

    Looks to me that there will be a seasonably cool trough later this week…snow down to 2000′ looks right to me

    After that another ridge builds in and has sort of a rex block appearance..should be a bit of offshore flow with that along with mild 850mb temps (nothing like two weeks ago)…should be some sunny days first half of week 2…highs up in the mid 50s I think.

    If we are going to get another shot of cold weather in our region…with snow, etc…..the period of Feb 14-20 looks like one to watch.

    March snow again?….no thanks…

    • David B. says:

      Harrumph. Never got out of the low 40s in Seattle. Fog and stratus all day.

    • It never ceases to amaze me how an extra 5-7 degrees’ worth of sun angle makes a pretty significant difference as we move into February. Just wait ’til we get into the 2nd half of the month! (If the ridgy pattern holds, that is….)

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