Record Lows & A Look Ahead

April 23, 2013

11pm Tuesday…

The chilly and very dry air mass gave tons of weather stations east of the Cascades record lows on Tuesday morning.  Here’s a list from the Pendleton NWS:

STATION                  PREVIOUS        NEW        RECORDS
                          RECORD/YEAR     RECORD     BEGAN

 *JOHN DAY(CITY), OR      20 / 1960       19         1891
 *LA GRANDE(CITY), OR     25 / 1992       25 (TIED)  1887
 *LONG CREEK, OR          18 / 2008       18 (TIED)  1908
 MEACHAM, OR              21 / 2011       20         1929
 *MONUMENT 2, OR          24 / 1992       19         1915
 *MORO, OR                26 / 2011       25         1897
 PENDLETON(AIRPORT), OR   30 / 2011       26         1934
 *PENDLETON(CITY), OR     29 / 2011       26         1889
 *SISTERS, OR             17 / 2002       17 (TIED)  1958
 REDMOND, OR              20 / 1961       18         1941
 THE DALLES, OR           30 / 1972       28         1929
 *GOLDENDALE, WA          24 / 1920       22         1905

Burns was 13 degrees and Baker City was 12, both records for the date.  As you see below, Baker City hasn't seen a 12 degree temp in the 2nd half of April since the airport records began in the early 1940s!


Coming up…for those of you who think the 7 Day forecast never actually improves with time but most likely goes downhill?  Not this time; it appears Thursday and Friday we’ll see temps stay in the mid 70s.  The 00z WRF-GFS even tries to get us close to 80 on Friday…we’ll see.

So we may end up with 5 days of straight sunshine for this workweek!

Here’s the new 00z GFS ensemble chart:


You can still see the chilly showers for the weekend, but HUGE variety of solutions by the time we get to Tuesday.  Anywhere from -4 to +17 at 850mb!  There seems to be a “cold cluster” like the chilly/showery ECMWF, and a cluster showing upper level heights rising dramatically…Roll the dice…

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

Larch Mtn. Road Snow Update

April 23, 2013

3:30pm Tuesday…

The snow line has retreated in the past two weeks on the west slopes of the Cascades.  I rode my bike up there in the bright sunshine this morning; just perfect with temps in the 50s, 1 vehicle and 1 bicycle passing me in one hour and 30 minutes!

Three weeks ago I ran into solid snow right after the snow gate.  Today I made it almost all the way to the “big corner” (where the road suddenly swings hard to the right in a switchback with a guardrail) with just a few thin patches of snow.  But  there was a solid area of snow just in front of that corner; so basically the road is passable up to 3,000′.  This is where I stopped since I wasn’t in the mood for wet feet again, and this job thing gets in the way of personal afternoon recreation too.



It’s great cycling with no cars beyond the snow gate; sometimes I get really crazy and ride on the wrong side of the road.  I know…real wild.

A perfect day today and we have several more to go.  We just made the fresh 7 Day forecast and you’ll notice it’s a bit warmer Thursday-Friday.  It appears that lowering surface pressure to the north keeps us from getting a strong onshore push those two days, so minimal low clouds and a warm atmosphere continues overhead.  That snow patch in the pic above will definitely be getting smaller.

For tomorrow, the weak offshore flow returns.  Combine that with a little warmer air mass overhead and we should pop temps up 4-7 degrees over today’s highs.  So we stayed with a 75 degree forecast.

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen