Big Change In The Forecast: Gray and Cool Friday

Friday (and maybe Saturday) will be MUCH different from the past few days.  Expect a gray and cool day with high temps only in the 50s instead of sunshine and 70-75 degree temps.

Take a look at this great chart, created by Brian Schmit.  It shows what has been going on the past week or so:


  • Elevations above 1,000′ or so have been above all fog and low clouds, with the warmest temps in our area between 1,000′ and 3,000′.  Larch Mtn. Washington is around 1,100′ east of Battle Ground.
  • In the lowest elevations (where most of us live) in NW Oregon and SW Washington we’ve had just enough offshore flow, with its breezes and drier air, to keep the fog/low clouds to a minimum.
  • Farther north, in Puget Sound, there hasn’t been enough drier air mixing down to the surface to break up the fog and clouds.
  • As a result, it’s been a miserable gray and cold period up there, pretty nice here in our area, and similar to late summer in the foothills and mountains.

That setup is changing quickly this evening.

I have been expecting the offshore flow to weaken the next few days, and that has happened the past few hours;  the east wind blowing through the Gorge has disappeared.  It’s calm at Crown Point at 9pm.  But what I didn’t expect is the stratus/fog that’s been on the coastline the past few days is suddenly lifting a bit and coming up the Columbia River and over the Coast Range.  Tidewater RAWS at 2,000′ just SE of Astoria dropped from 68 to 50 degrees from 2-4pm.  So it’s safe to say that marine layer thickened rapidly at that location in the middle of the “peak heating” of the day.  This satellite loop shows the surge of moisture (clouds/fog) pretty well too after dark:

Models now show solid low clouds/fog west of the Cascades tomorrow morning, note our RPM model at 9am.  It’s visibility, but you get the idea:


In the last week of October, when you get low clouds/fog in the morning with warmer air above (an inversion) and no offshore flow, they sure aren’t going anywhere in the afternoon!  The screaming message is that we’re going to be like Puget Sound tomorrow.  I cringed this afternoon on the way to work when I heard a DJ on a local radio station say “SUNNY EVERY DAY THROUGH THE MIDDLE OF NEXT WEEK”.  Ughhh!  Now everyone that heard that will wonder how the forecasters “screwed up the forecast” so badly.  We all get lumped together in the public’s mind.

No other changes to yesterday’s thinking for the cold trough early next week.  It sure moves out of here quickly.  In fact both the ECMWF and GFS both have cloud cover moving in already next Wednesday.  As a result there may only be one real chilly night (Monday night) before high clouds keep us milder Tuesday night.  I raised the low temp forecast to 32 for PDX at that time as a result.  AND, for the average John Q. Citizen, the clouds and 50s for tomorrow is going to feel cooler than the sunny and 50s for Monday/Tuesday, so I took the COOLER wording off the 7 Day Forecast.

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen


63 Responses to Big Change In The Forecast: Gray and Cool Friday

  1. Susan says:

    Raking leaves in the rain, all day long, is not my idea of a fun day. I planned today based on the weather outlook. Just a day or 2 ago it was “mostly sunny” for Salem. I’m really bummed 😦 As a followup, omg the sun just came out. “Peeked” out is more like it. A tease I’m sure, and certainly not enough to dry the billions of leaves I need to move. Still bummed 😦

  2. Tyler Mode in Battle Ground says:

    I’ll see you all tomorrow with calendars in tow!

  3. schmit44 says:

    1) Fashionstart
    2) MarinerFan85
    3) Jesse
    4) ????

  4. High Desert Mat says:

    See you all tomorrow morning. Hope Petes forecast is right this time!!

  5. BoringOregon says:

    HEY W7ENK 1ST!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. WEATHERDAN says:

    This is from Pete Parsons November-January 2014 forecast.

    A stormy but relatively mild November and early December should
    give way to much colder weather in late December and/or January.
    n Precipitation should be well above average, with episodes of “extreme”
    weather likely (i.e. windstorms, floods, valley snow, Arctic air).

    Sounds like this Winter could be exciting if Pete is right. Peace.

  7. paulbeugene says:

    Will get reprieve from low clouds/fog after this weekend. Looks good for a cold Monday night/Tuesday morning, relatively speaking. Lows mid-upper 20s in Eugene, Corvallis, Salem, Hillsboro. PDX probably down to the low 30s, or at least coldest yet this season.
    Wednesay morning could be a repeat down in south valley locations, not sure if clouds will be an issue up north yet then.

    Long range looks cool over the NW 1/3 of continent.

    Seems reasonable to be skeptical of model solutions beyond days 5-7 given infusion of tropical energy/moisture into NW Pacific.

  8. archangelmichael2 says:

    Hi! Does any of the weather experts think it will be like last fall where it was cloudy most of the time with lows struggling to reach freezing making the fall colors rather dull?

    God I hope we don’t have a repeat of that.

    • Joshua in Lake Oswego says:

      The fall colors are past their prime already. Also, a hard freeze is bad for fall colors, not good. We have had a great fall color year with the endless sun, lack of rain, and relatively crispy nights.

  9. pappoose in scappoose says:

    Uh oh. The models are gonna get even more confused than usual.

    839 AM PDT FRI OCT 25 2013


  10. David B. says:

    Widespread drizzle up here. Stratus has really thickened.

  11. Scott says:

    Hey mark, do you think the Beavs could experience a “Fog bowl” in Corvallis for the 7:30 game tomorrow night?

    • When was that game. Was on TV and you couldn’t see what was going on!
      I went to Corvallis HS and we played some games there (at Gill) and it was pretty eerie when that fog settled in!

  12. Foggy and 46 here this morning. This is my first foggy start during this fantastic dry stretch.

  13. alohabb says:

    And it starts. Good bye 70 degree days. It was nice seeing you this year. I hope you come back REAL soon.

    • archangelmichael2 says:

      I just want a good freeze to boost the fall colors. Last year the first frost didn’t happen till late November and even then it was just a ground frost since air temps were above freezing.

  14. Longview - 400 ft says:

    We have had a light mist here where everything is damp now.

    I went outside just to check on things and felt this light stuff hitting my skin.

    Would that be measured as a “trace” of moisture, officially?

    • Tyler Mode in Battle Ground says:

      Yes! If it’s falling from the sky.

      The last few days I’ve had so much dew and frost that it registered as 0.01″, but I don’t call it precipitation because it’s simply not.

      However, it still goes toward my monthly total!

    • Longview 400 ft says:

      Thank you Tyler.

      I was a bit surprised how heavy the mist was last night and early this morning. As I traveled to work this morning only up on the hill everything was wet, in downtown Longview all was dry.

  15. melissa says:

    thank u mark

  16. schmit44 says:

    10/24/2013 Oregon (All) Temperature Summary

    High:80 at ILLINOIS VALLEY(1389 ft)
    Low: 57 at Mary’s Peak(4137 ft)

    High:48 at Brookings Airpor(459 ft)
    Low: 16 at Horse Ridge (US (4160 ft )

    Largest Diurnal Change: 55 degrees
    Beatty (73/18 ) (4320 ft )

  17. ocpaul says:

    Um, Erik, the waitress has decaf too.

  18. Greg Carstens says:

    Short and sweet tonight Mark.

    49 for a high and 38 for a low in Southeast Tacoma with low clouds all day and no sun. Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaawn…

  19. TygrrQueen says:

    “Miserable gray and cold” in Puget Sound?? Methinks I should give thought to heading up North for a spell. What a lot of people in the PDX area consider miserable is actually my idea of a sweet slice of Heaven. Bring on the COLD and GREY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ❤

  20. Rob - Southeast Portland says:


    00z GFS beyond day 8 looks a lot like the Euro Weeklies playing out. We might see the first cold pool developing over the Columbia Basin as well. 500mb pattern is very close to delivering modified arctic air east of the Cascades at the least if not the entire region. No sign of a major pattern change to wet weather.

  21. W7ENK says:

    Thanks for the update, Mark. Good call! Your “warm bias” really took over there with your previous forecast, I’m glad you finally came to your senses! Uncle Jessie has you trained well now. :mrgreen:

  22. paulbeugene says:

    GFS 00z run looks really toasty in the longer range. Looks like the continental cool/cold blast will be a fleeting phenomenon, followed another cool but moist trough around day 9 and then more later. Cool start to November it looks like.

  23. lilfoot123 says:

    2 nd
    Stuck in the frog in Cowlitz County almost all day! Then it returned this evening

  24. You should put “DRY AND WINDY” for next week’s glancing blow of Canadian air, since that’s what’s going to happen when the ‘arctic front’ comes down.

  25. BoringOregon says:


    • pappoose in scappoose says:

      You in!

    • BoringOregon says:

      In again, man I’m getting good at this..Maybe thanking about going to the water falls to enjoy the last of the warm weather. And do some hiking!

    • W7ENK says:

      Okay, good for you, congratulations, you “in”!

      Now, could you please stop with this whole “OMFG, I GET TO BE FIRST YAY!” thing? It’s really not that big of an accomplishment, and a number of people here find it extremely obnoxious.

      Try graduating High School, now there’s an accomplishment you can be proud of!

      In the mean time, please stop with this “FIRST!!!!!!!!!!!!!” garbage? We get it. Really, we do!

    • pappoose in scappoose says:

      Just kids having fun, W7.
      I thought you had a sense of humor?

    • Mark Nelsen says:

      Geez, get a load of W7! I might be wrong, but the 3 posters ahead of you are 40+. Have some respect for your elders Erik. I don’t mind it…it’s just a strange tradition that continues. Like that weird green jello stuff on Thanksgiving Day.

    • Rob - Southeast Portland says:

      You in!

    • pappoose in scappoose says:

      Ya, W7.
      Have some jello. It’s tradition!

    • W7ENK says:

      Sorry, I guess this is just what happens when I feel like I’ve been run over by the stupid truck for the 847th time. Tradition or not, I find it obnoxious and juvenile, like a bunch of 13 year olds on 4chan or imagur inappropriately crying out for attention. It’s ridiculous, and I know for a fact that there are others who feel this same way. Mark, you’ve even expressed a distaste for it in the past and asked that it be curtailed!

      Whatever. It’s too damm early and I feel like crap. 😦

    • pappoose in scappoose says:

      Get a sense of humor, W7.

    • W7ENK says:


      I give up.

      I’ll be back when it finally snows for real, likely Janaury 2015.


    • David B. says:

      It may be silly, but it’s basically harmless. I did it once myself a couple years ago, just to day I won the silly race. Haven’t been tempted to do it again, even though I’ve seen a post without any comments more than once since when I’ve checked this blog.

    • pappoose in scappoose says:

      Absolutely harmless, David.
      I quit commenting myself, unless someone is having fun with getting in the first post.
      I’m always in, when it comes to having a little fun!

    • High Desert Mat says:

      I’m in!!!!!!

    • High Desert Mat says:

      No harm in it at all. About as harmless as the whole dumb dome thing.

    • Lurkyloo says:

      Erik, quit eating the grouchy pie! Sure, the “1st!” is a little played out, but so what? It’s actually funny now. Gives everyone a *facepalm* or a head-shake-roll-eye smirk. Harmless shenanigans … Are you still mad about that whole Dome thing? On a lighter note — it’s FRIDAY! Happy Friday, W7!

    • David B. says:

      And I meant to say “… just to SAY I won the silly race….”

      Let’s see if it lets me post the correction now. It was rejecting my attempts earlier today.

    • Hey, the dome exists. I live in the vicinity and haven’t seen hardly the amount of snowfall that others have around PDX the last 3 years.

    • Jesse-Stevenson says:

      Erik needs to get —- (edited)

    • Mark Nelsen says:

      Uh-oh…too bad. A 4th person now on moderation just in the past few weeks.

    • schmit44 says:

      Who are the “FAB 4” right now?

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