Weekend Update

Friday was a spectacular taste of “False Spring” with temps up to 61 here in Portland and as high as 63 in Hillsboro.  A perfect combination of a mild atmosphere overhead and dry easterly wind plus sunshine almost the entire day.

Totally different tomorrow with a cold front passing overhead around daybreak.  Not much moisture with this, and that’s the story for this weekend.

We’ll see a mix of sun and clouds with occasional light showers over the weekend, but it shouldn’t be a “gloomy weekend” by any means.  Did I say light showers?  Check out the 00z RPM:


Only a few hundredths of an inch through Monday afternoon, most of that tomorrow morning.

The big picture over the next week looks like this:


Upper ridging backs offshore a bit more, allowing colder systems to ride down the back side of the ridge along the West Coast.  As I first mentioned earlier this week, there is a pronounced split in these systems with most energy going to our south.  Remember that at one point it appeared we could see low elevation snow Tuesday morning?  That’s gone and we’ll be lucky to see much of ANY precipitation that day, plus models have warmed up a bit too.  A couple more splitty systems the 2nd half of the week and pretty soon the entire 7 day rainfall total looks like what you see on the graphic.

Now it will be chilly the next week or so…850mb temps are pretty much between -3 and -6 through the end of next week; that equates to a snow level between 1,500′ and 2,500′.

How about the 2nd period that models have been hinting we might see lower snow levels?  Right around the 24th-25th?

The ECMWF was still a little cooler around that period, but it’s warmed slightly the past day or two.  In fact look at how consistently cool it is through the entire 10-15 day period on the ensemble chart!


But no sign of really cold air to get snow to the lowest elevations.

Here is the brand new 00z GFS ensemble chart:


It is similar through about Monday the 25th, then a slight rise on the ensemble mean temps.  No sign of a snow pattern there.  The upper level flow basically just flattens out quite a bit between days 10-15.

So these are the highlights

  1. The next week or more will be very chilly, but not a stormy or very wet pattern.  Plenty of sunny periods mixed in with clouds and showers at times
  2. We aren’t going to see an arctic blast this winter, we have run out of time
  3. No sign of snow at the lowest elevations through at least the next week.

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

102 Responses to Weekend Update

  1. W7ENK says:

    #100th comment, I’ll make it a good one…

    Have any of you seen this??


  2. pappoose in scappoose says:

    I’m on watch for Stray Albino Donkeys, graupel and fleeting snow!
    Should be a period of more interesting weather for us!

    National Weather Service Portland or
    311 am PST Monday Feb 18 2013

    A cold upper low will bring a slight chance for thunderstorms near the coast tonight and inland Tuesday afternoon. Expect small hail with the heavier showers tonight and Tuesday…and possibly few snow flakes down at the lower levels. Any snow below 1500 feet should be fleeting

    • pappoose in scappoose says:

      Stay thirsty, my friends.

    • Jordan (Raleigh Hills, 420') says:

      12z GFS looked pretty decent for snow down to atleast 1000ft tonight. tries to push the 0c surface line slightly west of pdx before precip ends. Think more of a problem will be getting any good precipitation going outside of the coast/coastal range. low pressure dropping out looks very unimpressive…

      here’s a question for all of you familiar with wintertime storms around here… nws mentioned seeing hail tmrw in some heavier storms. In addition to snow…. which makes me wonder, is it hail or graupel?


      maybe this ought to be an official question for Mark Nelsen?

      If it is a storm/shower with a low snow level (like the nws is expecting for tmrw, mentioning heavier showers could bring down snow levels), then there must snowflakes AND super-cooled water aloft, so rime ice collects on flakes and forms graupel…

      but… that just makes me further question if graupel and hail can occur simultaneously. theoretically i don’t see why not, but realistically they are so alike it would be hard to differentiate between two similarly sized pieces….

      well apparently the WMO had a term for the in-between– “small hail”: snow pellets encapsulated by ice, a precipitation halfway between graupel and hail…….. not so cut and dry after all.

      In fact, NWS’s offical forecast for tmrw is for “small hail”. LOL. wonder if they actually mean tiny hail or if they mean halfway between graupel and hail…

  3. runrain says:

    30.6° here in Happy Valley. Some virga just to the west and if any of it makes it to the ground we could see a couple little snowflakes. Hey, it’s something!

  4. Tyler Mode in Battle Ground says:

    31 here with just a few breaks in the clouds.

  5. alohabb says:

    Been 32 here for a while. Snow tonight?

  6. germantownsummit1000' says:


  7. W7ENK says:

    400 AM PST MON FEB 18 2013


  8. bgb41 says:

    2/17/2013 Oregon (All) Temperature Summary

    High:59 at AGNESS2( 247 ft)
    Low: 41 at CW8449 Charlesto(322 ft) & NEWPRT Cape Foul(1024 ft)

    High:19 at HOWARD Mt Howard(8150 ft)
    Low: 3 at CRAZYMAN FLAT (6100 ft )

    Largest Diurnal Change: 37 degrees
    CRAZYMAN FLAT (40/3 ) (6100 ft )

    Heaviest Rainfall:
    0.29″ at BOULDER CREEK(3570ft)
    0.27″ at CEDAR(2220ft)

  9. lilfoot123 says:

    I too have two days where there are snowflakes on the ten day outlook for TWC app here in Longview! So we shall see! In April 2010 we got sun, rain & snow out of the same squall in one day up here! Remember the rodent said early spring! Spring has many faces! My tulips & daffies & coleus have green shoots! So excited! The lilac bush has buds too! I was raised in Spokane, Lilac City must have a lilac bush! Happy mid February all!

  10. W7ENK says:

    34 degrees, cloudy, and it smells like snow.

  11. Marcus says:

    I thought this was funny a cold wave starts tomorrow i guess -34 is not a cold wave yet lol!lolhttp://m.accuweather.com/en/us/deadhorse-ak/99734/weather-forecast/331774

  12. Marcus says:

    Hey mark do you know why this link is showing Illinois radar instead of pdx??http://weather.cod.edu/satrad/nexrad/

  13. vernonia1 says:

    well…at least they LOOK nice. Wunderground has snow flakes on my forecast tonite 🙂

  14. W7ENK says:

    Food for thought…

  15. vernonia1 says:

    not weather related .but since it is slow in here thought I would post this very short video showing what Mercury looks like from the camera of the NASA Messenger. The cameras are using filters…but still think it is interesting


  16. Sapo says:

    Is it just me or does Tuesday Night look pretty cold per GFS? Also, February 23rd seems pretty cold again, doesn’t it?

  17. bgb41 says:

    2/16/2013 Oregon (All) Temperature Summary

    High:67 at ILLINOIS VALLEY(1389 ft)
    Low: 45 at North Bend Munic(16 ft) & NERRS MET SITE A(10 ft)

    High:31 at Timberline Lodge(7001 ft)
    Low: 10 at CRANE PRAIRIE (5500 ft )

    Largest Diurnal Change: 42 degrees
    ILLINOIS VALLEY (67/25 ) (1389 ft )

    Heaviest Rainfall:
    0.52″ at CEDAR(2220ft)

  18. tantalizing thoughts
    iceman lurks beyond our reach
    we grasp winter straws

  19. WEATHERDAN says:

    Yes I did indeed state in December that winter was over. I said it again in January. And again in February. And guess what, we didn’t have much of a winter did we. And no I don’t use the computer models to predict the demise of winter. I have kept personal weather records since 1967. And have researcher weather records here in Salem back to 1892. Thats 121 years of weather records. What I do is look for other winters that have similar weather after the kind of summer we had last year. What I came up with was the winter of 1966-1967. It had a very mild winter. Wetter and cooler in March and April, then hotter and drier after that all the way through the summer. Based on that and other winters similar to this one I feel we will have an overall normal spring. However the early part will tend to be somewhat cooler than normal. Rainfall through March and April should be normal. After April the weather should be warmer and drier than normal. Will this be what happens? I think so, but I would be a fool to guarantee it. Oh by the way I look forward to a cold and snowy winter in 2018-2019. The reason I say that is that winters ending i a 9 have been cold and snow these last few decades. Example, 68-69 cold and snowy, 78-79 cold and snowy, 88-89 cold and snowy, 98 -99 cold and snowy. And most recently 08-09 cold an snowy. However winters ending in 7 have been a real bust of late, 66-67 mild, 76-77 mild, 86-87, mild 96-97 mild. And lastly 06-07 was mainly mild. A strange coincidence or a very real pattern I don’t know. But it has been going on for over half a century. As for next winter, those winters ending in 4 have a had at least one major Arctic outbreak since the winter of 1973-1974. Stay tuned.

    • High desert Mat says:

      This is Mat the Salmon Killer. Thought I’d change my name since I love in Redmond now and I haven’t caught a salmon in two years. But anyways, since your able to predict so well and are fairly confident about it, why aren’t you on tv making millions? I mean, anyone that can predict months in advance should be the weather channel 24/7.

    • Mark says:

      That was pretty cool data WEATHERDAN, thanks.

      I don’t hold stock in numbers make things happen (I don’t believe you were saying that), but patterns are certainly everywhere in the Universe.

      As for pop-weather-science, the latest GFS Spaghetti models are beginning to show some more hope!

    • Sapo says:

      Hope for spring or winter? I didn’t see much except for major disagreement.

    • WEATHERDAN says:

      No Mark I am not saying numbers make weather happen. I am just noting a rarther curious weather pattern that seems to be repeating itself. Perhaps it is part of an unknown weather cycle. Perhaps it is mere coincidence. I only mention it for consideration. And as for High Desert Mat, how sad for you. Either you are being very sarcastic which is being very juvenile. Or you fail to grasp that not everbody does something to make money off of. Sometimes things are done for the mere sake of enjoying them.

  20. Time to start thinking cherry blossoms and spring chinook. Forget this ugly winter like a pair of bad fitting shoes. Move on, move on , move on.

    • Sapo says:

      Exactly. Winter, please end and give us some good warm spring weather.

    • snodaze says:

      I agree, it’s so pathetic… I melted a couple months ago.

      If the gutterment would just stop their “weather warfare”… we’d get back to normal…

      sorry Mark, you are not allowed to share my name and email address with anyone. lol.

    • snodaze says:

      Uhh.. Sapo…

      I think you’re in the wrong freggin STATE!…

      Please move to Mexico.

    • Mark says:

      I know what Sapo wants – Sapo wants some good warm spring football weather – right Sapo?

    • Sapo says:

      Yeah I do. As of now, not being able to get an arctic blast and very low chances of a very significant “snowstorm”, all we would get is a rain/snow mix or snow in the air, and by then I’d just want to move on for next winter.

  21. cgavic says:

    Cliff from 1,100 ft, sandy. As of 3:45 had thunderstorm and 42 degs. Hail and rain

    • JJ97222 says:

      I new it winter will start in March as usual softball and baseball will be practiced in gyms or cold muddy fields as always. Why oh why can we not have a nice March April May………yesterday was so nice but it was a 1 hit wonder!

    • MasterNate says:

      Another S#ITTY Spring!!

  22. Marcus says:

    Yuck hard to believe it was 62 and clear just 24 hr ago! My Daughter has softball try outs today I wish it would have been yesterday:)

  23. pappoose in scappoose says:

    The Seattle Winter Excitement Index (SWEI)


  24. Marcus says:

    Hr 240 12zeuro looks colder?????

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

    Yup, that’s right. This is a pitchfork in winter. It’s done.

    • JJ97222 says:

      Winter will come back towards spring break with rain and low snow levels we will get a dusting of snow in March also now that hit 60+ in Febuary very high likelyhood of a cold wet spring. Hey wait didn’t a fury little critter named Phil say the same thing!

    • Sapo says:

      Maybe, maybe.

  26. W7ENK says:

    I guess we’ll try again next year… again.

  27. Ben T says:

    I must say, where is Seth Meyers?

  28. Jordan (Raleigh Hills, 420') says:

    00z and 12z GFS hasn’t been terrible for low elevation snow in the next week, but not exactly great either. much better than the 4 previous runs and I think at least one of these upcoming systems will make an attempt at bringing snow levels down to at least 1000ft…. I noticed the Tuesday system is noticeably wetter on these new runs too, with more precip (snow/rain) getting into the valley and pdx area. Another system comes in Thursday that may try to drop snow levels low (1000ft) Thursday night. And yet another system for the weekend. Now it’s all just a waiting game… waiting for rain, most likely.

    • Mark Nelsen says:

      I agree, the Monday night/Tuesday AM period is looking a bit more interesting isn’t it?

    • Jordan (Raleigh Hills, 420') says:

      yeahhh. maybe not all is lost for the mon pm/ tues am system. Although it may not be worth much, but NAM has been trending wetter too. How about the euro, anyone? I don’t have a good link for it here…

      I like how the thurs pm system looks nearly identical to the mon pm system, on the 12z GFS run. Repeat later this week maybe?

      I see my friends and family back in my home state of South Carolina are getting snow today. Can you believe that? Expected all the way the northern beaches (Myrtle beach, maybe even Charleston). In all my years there, it only snowed a handful of times, and never more than 6 inches. It’s a rare sight.

    • Alan says:

      Snowed a handful of times? Never more than 6 inches (ok, 99 percent of the time)? A rare sight? Are you sure you’re not talking about HERE???

  29. Sapo says:

    Stick a fork in it. I’m saying we don’t get another March event, and it doesn’t look like February will be very fruitful either.

  30. bgb41 says:

    2/15/2013 Oregon (All) Temperature Summary

    High:72 at AGNESS2( 247 ft)
    Low: 49 at FLYNN PRAIRIE(1543 ft)

    High:39 at MT. HOWARD(7910 ft) & CW7477 Lostine(7002 ft) & WOLF CREEK(5700 ft)
    Low: 15 at Sand Creek (US 9 (4525 ft ) & CRANE PRAIRIE (5500 ft )

    Largest Diurnal Change: 44 degrees
    ILLINOIS VALLEY (71/27 ) (1389 ft )

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

    I do admit we still have a good 37 days of Winter left to go…. anything can still go on. Although its already late enough you guys may only end up with a quick 0.50″ wet snow in mid March then its time for Spring. Oh well… Nature tried.

    • Josh in Sherwood says:

      Ha! Nature didn’t even attempt at a try here. Nature looked over and said eh, the NE needs something. They don’t get nearly enough action… Oh wait, nature has alzheimers.

    • EY (Oak Grove) says:

      deja vu: The sensation that you’ve done something you’ve done before.

      deja vu: The sensation that you’ve done something you’ve done before.

      deja vu: The sensation that you’ve done something you’ve done before.

      deja vu: The sensation that you’ve…

  32. EY (Oak Grove) says:

    Winter isn’t over… As in we’ll probably see another Marchuary this year… Plenty of days with highs in the mid-40s, gloomy and rainy. I’m guessing we have a less than 5% chance of snow anywhere in the Portland area the rest of Winter.

  33. orwxguy says:

    Let’s see… I think it was last year.. Corvallis… late March… 5+ inches of snow… the coast had snow in late March, also… I even have pictures from April with snow on the ground… nothing more than a dusting, but still snow…

    • orwxguy says:

      by “April” I meant April a few years ago…

    • Timmy_Supercell (Klamath Falls @ 4200') says:

      Events like that are pretty uncommon. This year there’s not much window left for even a little wet snow. But by now I bet you all would love snow in any shape or form!

    • David B. says:

      Even if it happens, a cold storm in spring is (to extend W7’s favorite metaphor) like uncorking a bottle of Dom Perignon and pouring half of it down the toilet. You get a “here today, gone tomorrow” snow instead of one that sticks around for at least a few days for you to savor it.

      Oh, well. Better luck next winter. I shouldn’t complain that much — seeing as I’m in Seattle these days, at least I did get to experience a good snow/ice storm last winter.

  34. Greg Carstens says:

    There is decent agreement in these ensemble charts Mark, With that jet trajectory you show offshore headed for Southern California it will be a lock I believe pretty much for it to be mostly dry but on the surely cool side as well. If this pattern for the most part maintains itself for at least the next two weeks will likely not see another 60 degree reading in any part of Washington or Oregon until maybe sometime in March, Low snow levels surely is a good thought as well but since moisture will be on the limited side I believe places such as Mineral Lake here in Washington will receive probably less than 2 inches of snowfall any one day if and when it happens and then it will probably be in shower form in the Cascade Foothills and that usually does not amount to much at all. Yes the snow chances on the valley floors from the Willamette to the Puyallup Valleys looks pretty dim with 850 millibar temperatures reaching perhaps only -5 C.

    • Greg Carstens says:

      PS….I like to see -8 C here in Southeast Tacoma (with moisture) or lower temps than that to have a good chance at a lock for snow happening here at 465 feet. -7 C is about the borderline here though. 🙂

  35. karlbonner1982 says:

    No arctic air this winter? Well the palms will sure be happy to hear that!

    • Greg Carstens says:

      See my post below Karl. I am not closing the door on things here but you know I like to also go by the calendar. 😉

  36. Tyler Mode in Battle Ground says:

    Fork it!!!

  37. orwxguy says:

    Hmm… I guess I’m first? Anyway, here in Corvallis the fog has returned… I’d say a quarter mile visibility, give or take… fog formed soon after sunset. Temps, though, are in the upper 40s right now… very damp.

    • Sifton says:

      Not so fast there, we need a ruling from papoose!

    • Greg Carstens says:

      It’s not over until it’s over a great baseball catcher once said. March 22nd is the end of winter and the official beginning of Spring. I have seen 6 inches of snow fall here in Southeast Tacoma in mid March and just a slight bit further south I have seen at least snow flakes falling in April in the Spanaway area of Tacoma. Does that mean it is going to happen at all? I wont say it is likely and I am an observer and not a forecaster like Mark is so I just take the weather as it is delivered to me here, no matter what it is.

      If we honestly don’t get anymore snow (I got a whole 2.7 inches back in mid December) then lets hope for a REALLY dynamite convective season in the Spring into the Summer perhaps. 😀

    • Greg Carstens says:

      I think I made it to all of 53 here for a high today in Southeast Tacoma and this morning before noon I had less than 1/4th of a mile in an obscured skies with fog. It cleared out nicely by around noon sometime. It is still pretty clear here tonight though at 10:50 PM because the moisture supply in the lower and upper levels I think is running out. Only 0.26 inches of rain so far this month which is pretty pathetic for my location in February.

    • Mark Nelsen says:

      It’s slightly cooler up there then down here. Portland has seen a 2″ or greater snowfall only ONCE after March 8th in almost 100 years (since the 1920s). And there’s no reason it couldn’t snow again here, I’m just saying it’s looking very unlikely we’ll see arctic air now; it’s too late and nothing is showing up on the maps; unlike the past two years.

    • pappoose in scappoose says:

      You in!

%d bloggers like this: