Back From Vacation: A Warm Week Ahead

Back at work and all rested up now from that exhausting winter weather…wait, I think winter ended back in late January.  I don’t think I missed anything in the past two weeks either.  Here are the highlights today:

  • Warmest weather of the early spring (or late winter if you prefer) for MOST of Oregon this week, but not much sun over Portland, just mild.
  • Wet week up in Western Washington, but more dry than wet south of Portland/Tillamook
  • There will be no repeat of last March’s cold and occasionally snowy weather, my studs are coming off this week even though I live at 1,000′.

The main story this week is mild, mild, mild, and only a little rain.  Temperatures have been a little below average so far this month but this week will more than make up for that.  A very weak ridge is over us most of the week with a late season “atmospheric river” of rain aimed just to our north.  You can see it on Wednesday morning’s water vapor forecast; quite a plume of moisture from near Hawaii up into Cascadia-Land:


Take a look at the 48 hour rainfall forecast (through Wed. AM) from the  WRF-GFS:


Almost dry across Oregon, but 1-4″ rain across the northern half of Washington.  We will be right on the southern edge of the rain band most of the next 3 days; always a real pain for forecasting.  This is also the dividing line between cooler air to the north and very warm subtropical air to the south.  We are out of the inversion season now in March, so areas to the south that see the rain stop will make it into the 60s.  Areas farther south, maybe Florence to Eugene to Pendleton, could see highs close to or up to 70 either Wednesday or Thursday.  What a change from last year eh?

Beyond Friday, unusually low confidence with an interesting ECMWF ensemble chart:


Notice two clusters of ensemble members in the Saturday-Monday timeframe.  It’s because some runs have a chilly trough moving through, but others just shove it to the north and leave us mild.  That was the ECMWF, the GFS 6z version was colder:


Although I see the brand new 12z GFS is milder Saturday, still a cool trough Sunday and Monday.  No model produces a ton of rain in the next week, in fact it appears to be lighter than average again.  This is a continuing pattern we have seen since the beginning of the year.  Look at the 2 month rainfall anomaly across the West. 


Below average for most areas, many parts of Eastern Oregon and into California have only seen 50-70% of “normal” rainfall.  We’ve seen lots of split flow and ridging nearby (usually just offshore).  That’s going to continue.

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

51 Responses to Back From Vacation: A Warm Week Ahead

  1. JERAT416 says:

    Dullsville here at the bottom of the cliff. I really hope the mountains start loading up more snow soon. Last Saturday was very warm and sunny there, with much less than a couple weeks before, and they could use more before their spring hits too!

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

    High of 63 degrees today at Klamath Falls with sunny skies. Some local stations read 65-66 but KLMT official reads 63. Nice day!

  3. runrain says:

    Seeing lots of cherry blossoms popping around town now. Woohoo! That grove between the Burnside and Steel Bridge is amazing in full bloom, and you can pretend you’re in a blizzard when the wind finally blows them all off!

  4. ashley watson says:

    I may be moving to sandy. Does anybody have snowfall and climate data or know where to find it. How much snow do they get there?

    • runrain says:

      Find a place up above Shorty’s Corner in the Dover District off Hwy 26. Elevations get to 1,500′ or so and they get even more snow than Sandy.

    • *BoringOregon* says:

      Believe it or not but even right before sandy where I live some times we get more snow here then sandy does because of the Moisture!

    • Timmy_Supercell (Klamath Falls @ 4200') says:

      Well lets just say Sandy is not too different in terms of snow. I had an uncle who used to live there and there’s not a whole lot of winter weather there either. But that area does get a decent share of summer t’storms, good ones too.

    • WX Ninja says:

      Want me to sell you a house? 😉

  5. pappoose in scappoose says:

    You’ll still be able to spot some comets in Seattle, if you look in the right spot! Hahaah!

  6. vernonia1 says:

    Welcome back Mark. Weren’t we well behaved while you were gone? No drama…sweeet 🙂

  7. bgb41 says:

    3/11/2013 Oregon (All) Temperature Summary

    High:73 at AGNESS2( 247 ft)
    Low: 50 at SWAIN(366 ft)

    High:28 at HOWARD Mt Howard(8150 ft)
    Low: 18 at CRAZYMAN FLAT (6100 ft )

    Largest Diurnal Change: 42 degrees
    ILLINOIS VALLEY (70/28 ) (1389 ft )

    Heaviest Rainfall:
    0.44″ at LOG CREEK(2800ft)

  8. karlbonner1982 says:

    Hope your vacation was relaxing, Mark. I’ve got a dear friend in Kahului, Maui that I plan to visit, if not next February then definitely late winter 2015.

    A few days ago I was reading posts from early March 2009…and you mentioned that the March 1951 snowstorm had 850mb temps of around -10 to -11c at the coldest point. Trouble is, I have no idea where to look for historical 850mb data, or if it’s even available to the public without paying a fee. But if you know where I can find old, old atmospheric temperature data, please let me know!

  9. Really too bad we have this thick cloud cover. The comet Pan-Starrs is putting on a show for the next few evenings….

  10. pappoose in scappoose says:

    Happy Day!
    The Great and Powerful Mark Nelsen is back!

  11. *BoringOregon* says:

    Man I wan’t to become a meteorologist, and make up to $45,000 a yr and take 2 weeks off every month of the yr must be nice !

    • WX Ninja says:

      Mark makes $145k a year…and that’s before his endorsement deals.

    • Timmy_Supercell (Klamath Falls @ 4200') says:

      I’m kinda thinking 45k is a starting point, anyone in the field as long as Mark gets a way higher wage ^_^

      Don’t some of the 20+ year mets make like 250k?

    • runrain says:

      Keeeep going higher…. $300k-$500k annually for some personalities in TV and radio. I know this for a fact…

      Still only 53 deg out there. 60+ is going to feel balmy the next few days!

    • runrain says:

      I should add that these are regular local news and on air talk show personalities, not necessarily meteorologists.

    • Mark Nelsen says:

      Haha…nice try Ninja. What, am I selling MN shoes on the side?

    • snodaze says:

      what freggin waffle pattern did you install on those MN shoes?

      My guess is they’re slick. — lol.

    • Ted Berry says:

      I bet the meteorologists have an increasing amount of “close” relatives!!!” Anyway the spring like weather is welcome in these parts.

    • WX Ninja says:

      I’m actually selling them for you Mark. Aren’t you getting your royalty checks in the mail???

  12. oldwxwatcher says:

    Cliff Mass says that since the Weather Channel apparently doesn’t think western storms are worth naming, he will. He says that Atmospheric River Poseidon will soon hit western Washington. Stay tuned!

    • runrain says:

      Hey, naming storms was MY idea!! Oh well. Mr. Mass is much more authoritative (and smarter) than I!

    • ocpaul says:

      “The Weather Channel-The place where TV weather
      and pop-culture intersect'”

    • Ben T says:

      East Coast is not the only coast stupid tv people! Hahaha. Yankees and Red Sox are not the only two teams in MLB.

  13. Greg Carstens says:

    Welcome back Mark.

    Ark building up here in Southeast Tacoma has commenced but no rain has began falling yet so I am taking many breaks while I build the ark. 😉

    I did check the IR satellite imagery here a while ago around mid morning and I am not to impressed at this time but I what I see. It appears to me that the moisture band is weakening as it crashes into the high pressure centered over the Southern portion of the West Coast.

    I am not so sure we will get as much rain as possibly thought and you know that I really can’t stand how the GFS usually overplays things in comparison to my favorite model the EURO.

    I’ll let everyone know for sure if it does pour up here though.

  14. GTS1K says:

    Hey Mark – glad you’re back!

    Didja bring us any sun?

  15. bgb41 says:

    So glad the law of averages have swung us away from horribly cool and wet March weather. The past 5 years have all seen a below normal number of days in the 60s. Normal is 9.7 days.

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

    Nice to have you back! And it looks like you came back with a basket of pineapples!! Yummy!

  17. Ron says:

    Mark you mentioned Pendleton, does that mean the Gorge (Hood River area) could see temps in the 70’s?

    • karlbonner1982 says:

      If any place in the Gorge gets to 70 it would be The Dalles. This time of year Hood River’s often 3-5 degrees cooler due to its geographical location amid the mountains.

  18. W7ENK says:

    Welcome home, Mark! 🙂

  19. Sandi (Wilsonville) says:

    Thank you, Mark… and welcome back!

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