A Colder 7 Day Forecast

You’ve probably noticed our 7 Day forecast is much colder than 48 hours ago.  That’s because a cold airmass will gradually work south out of Canada Monday through Wednesday of next week.  There is no “storm” or “system” coming.  It’s just an increased flow of cold and dry arctic air.  For that matter it’s not a polar vortex either; in case you were wondering.

If you are looking for the highlights of the next week, here you go:

1. Mainly dry this weekend, a sprinkle is possible on Sunday

2. A few showers of either rain or snow are possible between Sunday night and Monday night.  At this point it appears there may not be much of anything, so most of us will likely stay dry.  I don’t see a good setup for a decent snowfall in the lowlands west of the Cascades.

3. Cold east wind starts blowing late Monday and reaches a peak Thursday or so.  This will be the coldest and strongest east wind (the two together) we’ve seen all winter.

4. We’re talking high temps around 30 or even colder in Portland, and 20-25 in the Gorge!  Not quite as cold as December’s arctic blast, but close.

5. Mostly or all sunny skies Tuesday through Friday next week


Take a look at the 500mb chart for next Tuesday from the morning European model (ECMWF):



Not all that exciting, but there is a cold upper-level trough swinging south over us on Tuesday.  In early February there is plenty of cold air to the north, so that will flow south at the surface and be over us the rest of the week.  Look at the 00z WRF-GFS surface pressure pattern for Wednesday morning next week:


That is a strong and very cold east wind.  And with the cold air that deep it’ll flow right over the Cascades too, windy for the entire metro area Tuesday and beyond.  During the December cold spell we didn’t have the strong east wind.and the 850mb temperatures at the same time:


Note the -12 or so over Portland, and -20 over The Dalles!  Those are similar numbers to the December cold spell.  Of course that’s a model forecast, not what has actually occurred yet.  But we’re seeing some good consistency in the models; they are all calling for a good cold spell.  It’s just a matter of “how cold?”.  That’s why we dropped the 7 day forecast numbers down so far.    By the way, -20 would equal a high temperature around ZERO at 5,000′ in the Cascades around Mt. Hood.  Yes, this could be one of those times where we get single digits and strong gusty wind up on the mountain!

One other measure of confidence in a colder forecast is the 12z ECMWF ensemble chart:


It shows the operational run was a little on the cold side, but even the average was around a -11 or so by Thursday morning.

Models also show the wettest set of weather systems we’ve seen in 3 weeks arriving beginning NEXT weekend.  Of course that means there maybe be some sort of “transition event” at that time, but that’s still 8+ days away.

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen


158 Responses to A Colder 7 Day Forecast

  1. Snow mixed in with the rain out here. Temp 37.

  2. WEATHERDAN says:

    I have noticed the last few nights that the national news on tv have been paying more attention to the western drought. This is a slow motion disaster of immense proportions. We here in Oregon aren’t quite as bad off yet as California but it seems to be headed in that direction. Let’s hope for a wet February. Although I don’t think we will see one. In the meantime I hope we see a spectacular snowstorm this Saturday. What a perfect way to end our Winter.

    • Lurkyloo says:

      I agree, Dan. The drought is no joke. I hope we get some epic Spring rain. California is hating it — Lake Shasta looks pathetic. All the farmers and ranchers are going to struggle, yet again. That main aquifer (Ogalala?) that feeds the Plains is getting sucked dry and not getting replenished. Not good at all.

      On a happy note, yay Seahawks!

      Not looking forward to cold and wind since I’m such a baby (Pyro) that I’ve already burned through two cords of wood this season and now my stockpile is empty. 😦 If the power goes out I’m up a creek.

  3. Model Rider says:

    Snowing with about an inch on ground in Redmond. 27.7 at the moment. Not sure where the snow came from today. Especially here in the rain shadow.

  4. runrain says:

    35.6 here in Happy Valley but something definitely frozen is falling.

  5. GTS1K' says:

    Pretty quick cooldown – 36.3 now…

    …no precip at the moment.

  6. Eastman(Parkrose/NE Portland) says:

    National weather service. Special weather statement- looking good! Snow..sleet..freezing rain saturday.

  7. Andrew (Beaverton, OR) says:

    Heavy rain/snow mix over sylvan. Car temp was 38, easily 60-70% snow at the time. Light rain here in Beaverton.

  8. GTS1K' says:

    Light rain here since about 7 or so – 37.4…

  9. Brandon says:

    Anyone seeing any precip falling?

  10. Marcustheweathernut says:

    Paul B… I think Percy May be the MVP… Good call:)

  11. Seahawks Fan - NE Vancouver says:

    How bout them Broncos huh!?! Go Hawks!

  12. Rob - Southeast Portland says:

    Erik, you really just blew it. You speak up and talk about how things were inappropriate, which they definitely were, but wow you just one upped everyone there. That’s called being a hypocrite I think. Anyhow jeez you guys this is stupid.

  13. Rob - Southeast Portland says:

    All 12z runs look very cold. WRF shows 850mb temp -18c almost into PDX. GEM and EURO similar. We know the cold is coming, but will it be -15c, -17c? It kind of won’t make a huge difference. The real question of course will be moisture. Any snow tonight through Tuesday? Moisture is developing as we speak over northwest Washington. Maybe spotty showers or flurries? Maybe. I do also wonder if maybe some light snow is squeezed out of the arctic front, but with the air mass progressively drying I bet that isn’t very likely.

    The main event. Overrunning precip begins somewhere around Friday night – Saturday. When does it arrive, will we still have negative 850/925mb values? Will the Gorge outflow still be going next weekend. I would say frozen precip potential for PDX is probable until Sunday night. That could change. These finer details won’t be ironed out until Tuesday or Wednesday 00z I bet.

    Oh ya, chance of an east wind storm Tuesday night – Thursday AM and another Saturday. Could be the strongest yet east of I-205 with 50+mph gusts very possible. Wind Advisories to me look like a done deal. If the gradient increases any further I’d have to wonder about the slight possibility of a High Wind Watch issued too. We’ve see them, but they are rare.

    Alright. Post, but do it with respect, or do not say anything.

    • Rob - Southeast Portland says:

      There is also of course the chance that we moderate transitioning quickly too. It just depends on where the low tracks offshore, pressure gradients, southerlies in the valley, etc. We would want moisture pushing in basically as soon as possible Friday night – Saturday AM and not being held back into Sunday. Alrighty then

    • jim e says:

      and new 7 day looking even better!

    • BoringOregon says:

      Rod hill was saying 8”+ And yes GO SEAHAWKS!!

    • Jason Hougak says:

      Boy I’d love for the low to come ashore just south of Tillamook!!! That’s what happened in Feb. 93 or 94, I was in grade school. It actually started as freezing rain but the low tracked south further which changed everything to snow. All said and done we had 18″ plus in Boring, Oregon. My all time favorite snowstorm and that started Feb. 19th just after my birthday. Snow lasted over a week, quite fun memories.

    • BoringOregon says:

      Maybe mark should do a Weather blog update about the Chance of a epic storm?

    • Oregon Foto says:

      Let’s hope so, fingers crossed

  14. Model Rider says:

    Enough talking about it everyone please. Weather this week will be awesome!!

  15. Sifton says:

    WOW indeed! That just trumped ALL of “The Snowclown” posts!! W7 FTW!!

  16. runrain says:

    This blog will probably be pretty quiet, here, in the next 30 minutes or so. Beautiful run along the Willamette this morning. Lots of people out working off their pre-Super Bowl calories. Lots of homeless still camped out along the river, and I’m concerned about how they will fare during this upcoming cold snap. One guy has his boat anchored in the Willamette just north of the Hawthorne Bridge. He was out beating on some bongos this morning, and feeding the ducks. So many geese around the river, too. It’s funny how they just love to cross busy roads for some reason. On my way home, I stopped to let a group cross, and some lady just sped right around me. Just missed the geese.

  17. David B. says:

    Give it a rest, Snowman. This is a weather blog, not a sports blog.

  18. Drow says:

    All of you whiners and immature babies need to get a grip on yourselves. Who gives a flying f*** who wins the Super Bowl. It’s a game and for entertainment! Plus this is a f***ing weather blog!

  19. Marcustheweathernut says:

    A breezy NW wind has just started here in La Center??!! Anyone know what might be causing it… I thought we were in an offshore flow!!

  20. vinnybob says:

    Why all the Seahawk fans. Were suppose to root for them because they play 180 miles from Portland. That’s like rooting for Washington Huskies. Shehawks hopefully lose. GO DENVER!!!

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

    Now its gett’n serious! lol

    I’m just gonna go get the popcorn popp’n in the microwave and watch the fun 🙂

  22. Such drama on this blog, as always. Is it any wonder I prefer to lurk rather than comment? Anyway, I thought this was a PORTLAND weather blog. What do the Seahawks have to do with anything? I’m glad we have readers from up north. They are free to support their team, but they shouldn’t bash others who happen to live in the PNW and – gasp! – like the Broncos! I’ve been a rabid Denver fan since 1983, long before I ever lived here. Nobody can take that away from me. But I prefer to let Peyton and company do the talking on the field. Regardless of who you like, the best team will win. Now…let’s talk transitional events, people!

  23. W7ENK says:

    Mat, I don’t give a flying fvck and a half if you two are Mark’s 18th cousins 47 times removed, or if you guys tag team coc.kshine him in his sleep when his wife’s not looking. You guys have no special rights here, so get over yourself.

    Oh, and as for inappropriate comments: suck my bawls you pansy@$$ little b!+ch. Move in with your brother and go sell more weed in a state where it’s legal now.

    C’mon Mark, play fair, no favorites.

  24. JJ78259 says:

    Got my Raider Jersy on cracked my first Super Bowl beer got the official NFL leather football out for the center piece of the food table. Made my decision broncos behind the whole game then a classic 2 min drill from Manning throwing for the winning score! Hope the Go Daddy commercial is hot! Should be fun!

  25. Boomer in Vancouver says:

    I will be glad when this game is over so we can get back to weather discussion.

  26. Snow89 says:

    12z ECMWF snowfall map shows 2 to 3 inches for PDX and up to 6 inches in the Gorge by Sunday 4am. By Sunday evening, it still shows 10m winds flowing out of the Gorge so this is excellent news. Models always are too fast to warm things up but if they even continue to show east winds, that is tremendous. I do not see how PDX makes it above freezing over the weekend with snow cover and still cold gorge east winds by Sunday night even with the models, it just makes common.

    Look at the strong gorge outflow Sunday evening. Notice the strong east winds at the west end of the gorge and eastern Portland. It’s going to take a while for this to get scoured out. This is January 2004 all over again.

    12z ECMWF Winds Sunday 4pm: http://oi62.tinypic.com/1z2jfkj.jpg

    12z GFS Winds Monday 4am: http://oi61.tinypic.com/15g9hy1.jpg

  27. …how sad is it that a weather blog is used as a forum for regional discriminatory declarations based on sports team fan fanaticism….

  28. Model Rider says:

    Still snowing in Redmond. Temp up to 28.4. Euro 12z still showing very cold this week and looks like a nice pattern evolution for more cold air towards the end of the run. Pretty nice run.

  29. Sifton says:

    Have another brew Harvey!! GO BRONCOS!!!

  30. JohnD says:

    Is there a concensus (yet) on the likely scenario for Sat.? We all know that it is all about how Pacific storms track during “transitional” events. E.g. “IF” they go south of the metro, the cold east winds sustain and we can stay in frozen precipitation for some duration–even days–which has happened many times in our weather history. Seemingly, however, more often than not, storms track more unfavorably to our north, southerlies kick in–and it is all over quickly. If the currently imminent arctic pattern does develop as advertised, the depth and intensity of this one seems like it will be conducive to at least “something” of interest!

  31. Model Rider says:

    Light snow in Redmond at the moment.

  32. GTS1K' says:

    I’m shocked, I tell you, shocked!

  33. Tomas W. says:

    NWP above average Precipitation = snow ?


  34. Tomas W. says:

    Cold weather envelopes Contiguous United States
    with the exclusion of Georgia/Florida.

    Climate prediction center 6 to 10 Day Outlooks


  35. Jason Hougak says:

    Looks like by next week the Cascades will be in major snowfall recovery mode!
    Friday was awesome… best snow of the year at Timberline as things are starting to get better coverage. These arctic blasts in my opinion are useless if they don’t bring any snow. I enjoy watching the thermometer but not nearly as much as watching the snow fall!

  36. JJ78259 says:

    Being a Raider Fan from the late 60’s I have not cared much for either Team this Super Bowl, go commercials! Then again it’s been over 30 years since the Raiders won one! Having all the nieghbors over it’s a party the only problem here it’s not on till 5:30 tonight, tomorrow morning will be one hell of hangover when I fly out.

  37. alohabb says:

    Dang it Phil, i really would like Spring sooner not more winter! Ah well, just makes the spring break trip to Maui just that much sweeter.

  38. ….ahhh…think i’ll have a nice cup of coffee and peruse the blog this morning to see what the cold/snow upcoming scene is….and then….a bunch of juvenile, vitriolic, hate filled comments by people who think they have the right to say anything to anyone no matter how disgusting or off topic it might be….call me old-fashioned, but i wish there was a virtual bar of soap some peoples mothers could use to wash the venom filled mouths of some particularly classless individuals here…

  39. Model Rider says:

    Way closer to Mark than you will ever be. Get a life and don’t take internet so seriously that your panties need changed. Go dome??? Haha

  40. Model Rider says:

    Keep it going Erik. Better keep talking about it. Ur the most negative person on this blog by far. No matter what someone says about cold or snow its poor poor me and how it’ll never be cold. Get a grip bro and rub some dirt on it already. People that throw stones eh……. O and go hawks!!

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

    And somehow we are still the bad guys. Surprising how that turns out 😉

  42. schmit44 says:

    2/1/2014 Oregon (All) Temperature Summary

    High:55 at DUNES( 120 ft) & W7KKE-3 Road’s E(89 ft)
    Low: 41 at LINCON Lincoln C(187 ft) & CW8449 Charlesto(322 ft)

    High:21 at ANEROID LAKE #2(7300 ft)
    Low: 1 at CRANE PRAIRIE (5500 ft )

    Largest Diurnal Change: 37 degrees
    Horse Ridge (US (41/4 ) (4160 ft )

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

  43. paulbeugene says:

    Euro 00z with 850mb temps down to -16 or -17C over PDX, one degree C “warmer” than on prior run. Minimum 1000-500 thickness over PDX about 506dm.

    A nice solid freeze to set the weeds back by a few weeks would be nice.

    • Rob - Southeast Portland says:

      Ya, very minimal changes… looks good. Quite a bit colder than December’s blast around -13c

    • paulbeugene says:

      Canadian: 850mb @ PDX down to -18C
      GFS: 850mb @ PDX down to -14C
      NAVGEM: 850mb @ PDX down to -15C
      GFS ENS: -15C

      overall a quick hitting arctic blast. Lowest high temps probably in the Portland area, probably in the mid 20s. Should be closer to 30F in Eugene. Lows 12-16 in Eugene, 16-20 in PDX look good to me.

      Some snow at end of week, perhaps an inch or two, may be the transition to maritime mild airmass.

  44. Rob - Southeast Portland says:

    00z WRF
    MAJOR east wind coming by Wednesday
    4km Time-Height. 45-50kt wind barbs showing up below 950mb Wednesday. I can’t imagine what it will be Saturday with a PDX-DLS of at least 11mb! wow.

    • Marcustheweathernut says:

      I wish I new how to read these charts…. Lol

    • dothgrin says:

      Rob, how much cold air could filter in with this kind of wind event? Also, how much cold is built up back to the east? This has the makings of a stunning set of winter events, even for my neophyte musings.

    • Lurkyloo says:

      You and me both, Marcus! That’s why we’re lucky to have Rob. (Although I must admit that I have no idea what he just said, except for the wind thing … 🙂

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