Quick Friday Evening Post: Back to Dry For Awhile

Not much rain out of last night’s system.  Here are the rain totals since midnight; but you have to add .05 to .11″ to these to get the “big storm total

PLOT_Rain_Metro_Autoplot

High pressure settles in east of the Cascades for our first strong east wind we’ve seen in many weeks.  WRF-GFS and our RPM show 3-5 millibars easterly gradient Saturday, then a big ramp up Saturday night through Monday morning with 8-10 mb gradient.  What does that mean?  The larger the pressure difference between The Dalles and Troutdale or Portland (east of Cascades to west side), the stronger the wind blows through the exit region of the Columbia River Gorge.  That’s the western half of the Gorge.  This means Sunday is the day if you are starved for weather action and want to get blown around out at Vista House.  I also replace the anemometer out at Corbett a couple of weeks ago too so now it’ll be working.

The east wind dies off quickly later Monday and Tuesday as we get into a split-flow pattern most of next week.  That means weather systems will be coming at us from the west, but they will be weak and not contain all that much moisture for valley rain or mountain snow.  That said, it’ll still be the wettest pattern we’ve seen in a solid 3-4 weeks…it’s been dry!  I could see a total of 8-12″ in the Cascades above 4,000′ one week from today.  That’ll help out the higher resorts and higher parts of the lower resorts, but at best we’ll see 8-12″ on the ground at Government Camp next Friday evening.  We’ll take whatever we can get this winter!

Beyond that, models all push strong upper-level ridging back up over us about 10 days from now.  The sequence of a brief wet period and then strong ridging coming back the first half of January has been well forecast for several days in the long-range models.  Most striking is the 15 day ensemble forecast from the GEM, GFS, and ECMWF valid Saturday the 18th.  They all look almost the same for the same date!  All were initialized at 12z today.

ecm_360hr_Sat18
can_360hr_Sat18
gfs_360hr_Sat18

This all says to me that we’ll see some much-needed snow in the Cascades over the next week, but for the next two weeks (or beyond) we don’t see a sudden change to a snowy and rainy pattern.  No hint that we’ll be seeing things going back to normal in the next two weeks.  But like I said…we’ll take whatever we can get this winter…baby steps…

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

96 Responses to Quick Friday Evening Post: Back to Dry For Awhile

  1. WEATHERDAN says:

    Since November 20 Salem has had about 1 inch of rain. Normal would be about 10 inches. Very unlikely to make that up this Winter. Half of of normal rainfall occurs November through January. Next two weeks we may see 1-2 inches if we are lucky. Then what. We are in real trouble if our current weather pattern continues. Higher electricity prices, higher food prices, no watering of lawns or washing of cars, curtailed recreational activities. All of these are very real possibilities if we don’t get some serious mountain snow and real soon. These storms coming in this week won’t bring us a lot of snow and they aren’t all that cold either. This will be the big weather headline for us this Summer I think. Think lots of mountain snow. Peace.

    • WEATHERDAN says:

      CPC has PNW warmer and drier than normal from January 12th-January 20th. Sounds like the return of the death ridge. Peace. Oh by the way MLB spring training starts next month, oh yeah.

    • Dave in South Salem (500') says:

      Thanks to resevoirs (Detroit in Salem’s case) we can make up for it with rain if the snowpack doesn’t materialize. We just need moisture period.

    • WEATHERDAN says:

      Detroit Reservoir is drained every fall to make way for our Winter rainfall. We haven’t got much in the way of runoff into the lake yet. And with no snowpack to speak of there won’t be much runoff this Spring. The reason they drain the lake is because if they didn’t then when a flood came it would be too late and you would have to release so much water you would have a major flood. So after the Summer recreation season is over Detroit lake is drawn down every October. Go up there and check it out. It is extremely low. The Santiam River gets water from the lake. Salem gets it’s water from the Santiam River., That is why we need lots of Valley rain and Mountain snow now. Peace

    • Model Rider says:

      Grab the kids and women, end of the world is near!!

    • chris s says:

      Its not a doomsday scenario, its a likely occurrence should this dry stretch continue. I believe the numbers for Salem showed it to be the driest year ever on the records, So we are in a bit of unchartered territory. Sure, things can and may turn around in the spring or even the end of this month, but if it doesn’t that all the things that Weatherdan said will come to fruition.

    • David B. says:

      I’m starting to worry about drought, too. Drought Monitor has us in D0 (abnormally dry, not drought yet) conditions right now. On the other hand, we’ve had “March miracle” springs more than once. So as of right now drought is far from certain.

  2. gidrons says:

    In other news, there’s a giant sunspot lining up with earth. NOAA estimates a 30% chance of an X flare.
    From spaceweather.com “One of the largest sunspots in years, AR1944, is turning toward Earth. The active region contains dozens of dark cores, the largest of which is big enough to swallow three planet Earths. It’s so big, sky watchers are noticing it as a blemish on the solar disk at sunset”

  3. Dave in South Salem (500') says:

    The Mt. Shasta area is totally bare of snow except for the glaciers. Absolutely no snow below 8,000 ft there in the shade, no snow at any elevation in the sun exposed areas. Our southern mountains have patches of a few inches of snow below 5,000 ft. It is surreal in January… Coming over the pass at 50 degrees and sunshine then hitting some frozen fog in a valley near 1,000 ft. so thick it looked like it was snowing added to the weirdness. I hope this pattern goes away soon.

  4. schmit44 says:

    1/5/2014 Oregon (All) Temperature Summary

    Warmest:
    High:73 at Port Orford (US( 90 ft)
    Low: 53 at FLYNN PRAIRIE(1543 ft)

    Coldest:
    High:21 at NPOWDR(3212 ft)
    Low: -6 at NPOWDR (3212 ft )

    Largest Diurnal Change: 48 degrees
    Lorella (50/2 ) (4160 ft )

  5. Very localized temps/wind tonight on the drive home.

    34 at work in Kelso.

    37 just a few miles south.

    39 in Kalama

    39 at the Lewis River Bridge

    48 at the truck stop (just 2 miles south)

    48 at the exit to Battle Ground

    43 in Battle ground

    48 just one mile north of BG at my house

  6. boydo3 N Albany says:

    Snowflakes gone from the blog.

    • Garron near Washington Square says:

      Is that Mark’s way of pulling the plug on winter? I think he just said fork the ‘ol man, and head for the cliff! lol At least the beer will be plenty chilly, just got to get them steaks on the Q….

    • Model Rider says:

      Read what Mark says. He said he wont fork winter unless models look like this at end of January. He’s a realist. You folks are not.

    • boydo3 N Albany says:

      The cliff looms ever closer..

    • JohnD says:

      Yeah, I am going to have to agree that I have pretty much pulled the plug too. I mean how could you not when 2/3 of the nation is under–in many cases–ALL time historical records while here we sit in the PNW with NOTHING! I mean come on, this is simply sad. Come on early spring! Weather frustration will be over before we know it. At least we can only hope.

    • MasterNate says:

      If this were Feb 5th and the extended maps looked like they do now, then yes, put a fork in it. One more month of model riding.

    • Mark Nelsen says:

      The flakes come on automatically around December 1st and go off January 4th…it’s a WordPress thing. So no hidden message.

    • Dave in South Salem (500') says:

      Its a conspiracy man!

    • Sifton says:

      You have PLENTY of riders (wish riders imo) on this blog that’s for sure!! So do tell me, what’s the weather really gonna be like in 240hrs?? Yeah, sure thing buddy……..

    • WEATHERDAN says:

      Mark puts them there for the holidays. Christmas and New Years are over. So are the snowflakes.

    • MasterNate says:

      If I knew what the weather will be like in 240 hrs, I would be Marks boss.

  7. alohabb says:

    Wind Advisory??? Maybe for far East side and not us in the far Westside.

  8. Jason Hougak says:

    Pattern looking much better this week for much needed mountain snowpack between 3-5K feet. I’d imagine that the Bull Run watershed is in major trouble if this pattern continues. Water will need to be drawn from the backup wells which use electricity. This extra energy will raise consumers rates. Nice to have your own private water well!

    • Dave in South Salem (500') says:

      If you think its bad here, try driving to Northern California. Mt. Shasta is completely bare except for the glaciers. Looks like September there! They are in real trouble down south…

  9. pappoose in scappoose says:

    We must be relentlessly on watch!

    NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE PORTLAND OR
    307 AM PST SUN JAN 5 2014

    THE WET BULB TEMPS NEAR FREEZING IN THE LOW LEVELS MONDAY EVENING AS THE PRECIPITATION ATTEMPTS TO MOVE ONSHORE…EVEN FOR THE PDX METRO AREA. IT APPEARS THE PRECIPITATION WILL LIKELY BE TOO LIGHT FOR THE LOWER LEVEL AIR COLUMN TO BECOME ISOTHERMAL NEAR THE WET BULB 0 DEG C DUE TO LATENT HEAT OF MELTING. USUALLY PRECIPITATION NEEDS TO BE SOMEWHAT MORE ROBUST FOR THAT TO OCCUR. STILL THIS IS A VERY INTERESTING SITUATION AND WILL NEED TO BE MONITORED CAREFULLY AS HOW TEMPERATURES…DEW POINTS AND THE LOWER LEVEL AIR COLUMN PROGRESS DURING THE DAY MONDAY AS THIS WILL HAVE AN IMPACT ON HOW LIKELY ANY SNOW IS. THE SYSTEM MOVING IN IS ON THE WEAK SIDE WITH NOT A LOT OF CIRCULATION OR WINDS WITH IT OTHER THAN THE EAST WINDS THAT WILL PRECEDE ITS ARRIVAL. BUT IT DOES APPEAR TO SPREAD IN SOME WARMER AIR IN THE MID LEVELS WHICH MAY HELP PUSH THE PRECIPITATION OVER TO RAIN EVENTUALLY. OVERALL THE BEST CHANCE FOR SOME SNOW MAY END UP BEING IN THE GORGE AND THE CASCADES…BUT WILL NEED TO WATCH THE INLAND VALLEYS AS WELL.

  10. pappoose in scappoose says:

    We gotta 56mph gust on the rock, can I see a 66!

    http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/mesowest/getobext.php?wfo=pqr&sid=D6193&num=60&raw=0&banner=off

  11. maryinsellwood says:

    28 degrees in Portland – farthest south end of Sellwood just before Milwaukee and blocks from the river. Beautiful sparkling frost covering everything.

  12. Jason Hougak says:

    Well if it’s going to do one thing this winter… let it frost… let it frost… let it frost 🙂

  13. JJ78259 says:

    73 degrees yesterday and beautiful, another arctic blast coming in only 54 degrees for today and low of 25 Monday night then back up to possibly 80 by Friday. Boy that 73 felt great great working in the yard, spring is not to far off in San Antonio

  14. Heatblizzard says:

    Has anybody noticed since last year Word Press has been asking for passwords? You used to be able to post a comment just fine even without a word press account.

    Also how come some blogs allow guest posts and others do not? Most blogs that don’t usually only have 1 or two comments at best which does not justify the hours of work and money into setting up a professional blog account.

    I can understand it if it’s someones throw away account.

  15. Heatblizzard says:

    26F with hard frost. Can’t wait for daylight to approach. Man it’s gonna be pretty. Was this below freezing stuff even forecast?

  16. I am holding out for hope still! Don’t crush my dreams! I am polishing up my sled!

  17. schmit44 says:

    1/4/2014 Oregon (All) Temperature Summary

    Warmest:
    High:72 at BROOKINGS( 79 ft)
    Low: 48 at BROOKINGS(79 ft)

    Coldest:
    High:15 at HOWARD Mt Howard(8150 ft)
    Low: 0 at NPOWDR (3212 ft )

    Largest Diurnal Change: 45 degrees
    CRAZYMAN FLAT (47/2 ) (6100 ft )

  18. Rob - Southeast Portland says:

    00z WRF Extended Loop shows something we haven’t seen in a long time. After the strong east wind Sunday beginning next week we see a barrage of storms off the Pacific with lots of S-SW flow at the surface and several fairly deep lows swinging inland into southern British Columbia. Kind of nice to see, but I don’t know how great this pattern will be for appreciable mountain snow.
    http://www.atmos.washington.edu/~ovens/wxloop.cgi?mm5d2_x_slp+%2F%2F%2F3

    4 different storms/cold fronts from Wednesday through Saturday night. A much more progression pattern.

  19. Not to be a pessimist…but in one month, the end of our winter will be within sight on the models.

    Not to say we can’t get snow after that, but nothing too prolonged.

    The good news is, I’m already anxious to get out in the garden!

  20. Rob - Southeast Portland says:

    00z GFS ….

    Not much to discuss. No real wholesale changes overall. We may as well root for fake cold/overrunning chances because arctic air and appreciable blocking offshore where we want it is unlikely to occur the remainder of Winter. I said it. Went out on a limb, but I’m saying it. I’m close to shutting that door completely. The fact that we don’t often see true Wintry weather here is another reason why we want to believe so much that just maybe thing could turn in our favor.

    00z GFS Ensembles are awful through days 11-15. Sorry, did you want me to sugarcoat things and be unrealistic? Not how I roll. Maybe the models in 7-10 days will advertise a change towards the end of January, but we get to that point and it’s the same routine, we’ll be pushing things further and further out towards February.

    I have real tiny optimism for the models to suddenly change.

  21. W7ENK says:

    Today was an incredibly beautiful day up in the Western Cascades, but the complete lack of snow at 4,200 feet is a bit disheartening. One shouldn’t be able to drive all the way to the summit of Goat Mountain right now, but you can, and we did. Nevertheless, it was a 6 mountain day from up there — simply spectacular!!

  22. ocpaul says:

    According to ABC News, “The coldest weather in decades is gripping a large part of the U.S.. Since this series of storms began, 35,000 flights have been delayed or cancelled.” Fargo is expected to hit -17 on Sunday. Michael Mann and Al Gore could not be reached for comment.

  23. Jason Hougak says:

    We need a cold wet spring if we have any hope to avoid a major wildfire season. I went riding at Tline yesterday, dirt patches in runs Thursday were lightly covered by the 2″ of snow. Their base is cascade concrete… a snowboard got a concussion. Stay on the groom, it’s way choppy and tons of limbs and sticks which should be covered by eight feet plus:(

  24. Sapo says:

    18z GFS still showing snow for the 13th.

  25. Longview - 400 ft says:

    Snow flakes are mentioned on the NWS forecast here for Monday and Tuesday.

    Interesting, but will see how much moisture, timing, and temp, in how it all comes together or does not.

    I have had frost the last two mornings.

    Go HAWKS!!!!

  26. Sapo says:

    12z GFS continues with it’s thinking of giving us snow on the 13th…I’m surprised it’s stayed with this pattern for a few days, considering the ECMWF is too warm for any snow in Portland. Thankfully more and more GFS ensemble members are turning colder for the 13th. I still can’t trust the GFS this far out, but in the next few days I’d like to see if it continues in this trend.

  27. Jeff Raetz says:

    http://classic.wunderground.com/weatherstation/WXDailyHistory.asp?ID=KORMILWA11

    Averages\Extremes for the month of December 2013

    Average temperature = 35.4°F (Lowest Average temp for December on record)
    Average humidity = 89%
    Average dewpoint = 32.3°F
    Average barometer = 30.278 in.
    Average windspeed = 0.4 mph
    Average gustspeed = 1.2 mph
    Average direction = 106° (ESE)
    Rainfall for month = 1.890 in.
    Rainfall for year = 30.941 in.
    Maximum rain per minute = 0.180 in on day 01 at time 20:35 (Driest December on Record) (Average is 5.07”)
    Maximum temperature = 55.0°F on day 01 at time 14:20
    Minimum temperature = 11.1°F on day 08 at time 06:16 (Lowest December temp on Record)
    Maximum humidity = 100% on day 31 at time 00:00
    Minimum humidity = 39% on day 07 at time 14:25
    Maximum dewpoint = 53.0°F on day 01 at time 14:21
    Minimum dewpoint = 5.0°F on day 07 at time 8:08
    Maximum pressure = 30.61 in. on day 09 at time 09:39
    Minimum pressure = 29.87 in. on day 20 at time 18:11
    Maximum windspeed = 9.2 mph from 068°(ENE) on day 03 at time 12:29
    Maximum gust speed = 19.6 mph from 068°(ENE) on day 06 at time 20:20
    Maximum heat index = 55.0°F on day 01 at time 14:20

    Avg daily max temp :40.8°F
    Avg daily min temp :30.5°F
    Total windrun = 315.5miles

    Frost days= 16
    Ice days= 4
    Very cold days= 2
    Trace of snow days= 2

    Record low wind chill temperature = 7.7 on day 07 at time 07:36
    Record daily rain = 1.04” on day 1
    Record rain in 1 hour = 0.32” on day 01 at time 21:00
    Warmest day (6am to 6pm) = 53.4 on day 01
    Coldest night (6pm to 6am) = 15.8 on day 08
    Coldest day (6am to 6pm) = 21.0 on day 08
    Warmest night (6pm to 6am) = 49.1 on day 02

    Daily rain totals

    01.04 in. on day 1
    00.11 in. on day 2
    00.01 in. on day 3
    00.08 in. on day 12
    00.02 in. on day 13
    00.01 in. on day 14
    00.01 in. on day 17
    00.07 in. on day 18
    00.01 in. on day 19
    00.07 in. on day 20
    00.19 in. on day 21
    00.03 in. on day 22
    00.15 in. on day 23
    00.01 in. on day 24
    00.01 in. on day 27
    00.02 in. on day 30
    00.04 in. on day 31

    Records since October 2008

  28. Seahawks Fan - NE Vancouver says:

    I somehow knew we would be foggy this weekend even after the front passed.

  29. Jeff Raetz says:

    http://classic.wunderground.com/weatherstation/WXDailyHistory.asp?ID=KORMILWA11

    Averages/extremes to date for the year 2013

    Average temperature 52.9°F
    Average humidity 78%
    Average dewpoint 45.1°F
    Average barometer 30.091 in.
    Average windspeed 1.1 mph
    Average gustspeed 2.5 mph
    Average direction 121° (ESE)
    Rainfall for year = 30.941 in (Driest Yearly Rainfall on record) (Average is 40.81”)
    Maximum rain per minute 0.200 in on day 18 at time 16:25 month 11
    Maximum temperature 98.3°F on day 11 at time 16:24 month 9
    Minimum temperature 11.1°F on day 08 at time 06:16 month 12
    Maximum humidity = 100% on day 31 at time 23:59 month 12
    Minimum humidity = 16% on day 31 at time 23:59 month 12
    Maximum dewpoint = 69.0°F on day 01 at time 18:38 month 7
    Minimum dewpoint = 5.0°F on day 07 at time 8:08 month 12
    Maximum pressure = 30.654 in. on day 04 at time 09:36 month 1
    Minimum pressure = 29.374 in. on day 02 at time 21:42 month 9
    Maximum windspeed 16.1 mph from 068°(ENE) on day 03 at time 07:14 month 1
    Maximum gust speed 33.4 mph from 045°( NE) on day 02 at time 10:36 month 1
    Maximum heat index 102.9°F on day 30 at time 17:48 month 6

    Record low wind chill temperature = 7.7 on day 07 at time 07:36 month 12
    Record daily rain = 1.72” on September 29th
    Record rain in 1 hour = 0.46” at 20:32 on June 23rd
    Warmest day (6am to 6pm) = 97 on June 30th
    Coldest night (6pm to 6am) = 15.8 on December 8th
    Coldest day (6am to 6pm) = 21.0 on December 8th
    Warmest night (6pm to 6am) = 78.3 on July 1st

    Total Growing T-Sum= 7971.3°F
    Growing degrees days :1002.6 GDD
    Corn growing degrees days :5940.4 GDD
    Total windrun = 10035.6miles

    Records since October 2008

  30. vernonia1 says:

    I see the NWS has snowflakes on my Mon/Tues forecast….

  31. schmit44 says:

    1/3/2014 Oregon (All) Temperature Summary

    Warmest:
    High:62 at RED MOUND(1753 ft)
    Low: 49 at RED MOUND(1753 ft)

    Coldest:
    High:25 at NYSSA(2172 ft)
    Low: 6 at ANEROID LAKE #2 (7300 ft )

    Largest Diurnal Change: 42 degrees
    Lorella (55/13 ) (4160 ft )

    Heaviest Rainfall:
    0.44″ at WANDERER’S PEAK(4350ft)
    0.43″ at DW6048 Lebanon(575ft)
    0.42″ at DW5586 Beavercre(1407ft)

  32. Sifton says:

    I got my fork cocked back & ready to stab ol’ man winter!!

  33. Jason Hougak says:

    The Pacific infared satellite is quite interesting as it shows two storms in Pacific moving in a south to north direction. This sure seems strange, it’s like the earth tilted and is spinning differently.

  34. boydo3 N Albany says:

    Interesting that the last really cold winter for the Great Lakes states correlates well with our very dry and warm winter of 76-77. Doesn’t bode well for a turn around to wet and cold for us later. But if it follows, we will go into a damp cool summer and El Nino.
    http://www.wzzm13.com/news/regional/277421/5/More-ice-on-Lake-Michigan-than-seen-in-decades

    • Model Rider says:

      Weird thing is, when it snows over here in Redmond, the snow still disappears even when the temp doesn’t get above freezing or at least the ground. But like 3 1/2 weeks ago, the temp didn’t get above freezing for well over a week and the snow still evaporated a little each day. I think it all depends on the relative humidity whether its ice or liquid.

    • WEATHERDAN says:

      From mid July to mid August 1977 Salem averaged more than 95 for a high. Overall the summer was just about average but pretty much ended in late August. The Spring was a little cooler than normal but not very wet. And April of 1977 was quite warm.

  35. BoringOregon says:

    Would this be any big East wind, at the Vista House!?!?

  36. ocpaul says:

    I love NE weather. I hate NW weather.

  37. No worries. 1. Some mtn snow better than no mtn snow. 2. Permaridge pattern is over, per euro, with PV moving out of E Canada, much more progressive pattern over pacific.

  38. Jason Hougak says:

    Thanks for the “baby steps,” Dr. Leo Marvin

  39. Wooly Bully says:

    GFS 18z is suggesting catastrophic collapse for our wonderful doomsday death ridge in the oort cloud hour ranges. I wonder if my astrologer agrees…

    • Wooly Bully says:

      Meanwhile, if you want to see some winter weather, watch the Ice Bowl II on Sunday at Lambeau Field. Game-time temps expected to be -8F.

    • Lurkyloo says:

      I’ll be watching! That should be an interesting game. Candlestick has always been chilly — even in the summer — but minus 8 at Lambeau? Wow! Change of pace for the Cali boys …

  40. Taylor says:

    No thank you 60 degrees belongs in March. I really hope we return to a rainy pattern or better yet a cold/snowy one but I doubt that since it seems like NWS is right about us only getting usually one arctic blast in any winter. I would just like to have rain though as we need it and it concerns me about the possibility of a drought later on. Also the mountain needs snow too.

  41. Slavic S. says:

    Paying attention to all these weather patterns over the last 20 years in ptown, i say february and possibly even march will bring more winter weather.

    • Mark Nelsen says:

      Although last year March was drier and warmer than normal; we’ll see if we return to the cooler and wetter stuff this year.

    • Jason Hougak says:

      Like I’ve been saying, I’m feeling February, we haven’t had any snow in years! 17 come on 17

    • FOUR of the past six Marches were way on the chilly side, and March 2013 was only slightly warmer than normal. Could this be the year we see a repeat of 1992 or 2004 or 2005, instead?

  42. schmit44 says:

    JANUARY 2014 WEATHER CONTEST ENTRY FORM
    Entries close tonight. Enter you guesses below

    http://www.directpaintsaleswa.com/JAN2014/add.php

  43. schmit44 says:

    Just think we are probably just a month away from seeing that first 60 degree days of the year. I can’t wait for that.

  44. BoringOregon says:

    First!!

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