The first weekend of March is here! Hard to believe, but meteorologically we’re heading into spring now. Of course this weekend will feel more like winter than spring, especially in the Gorge and east of the Cascades. Here are my latest thoughts on this weekend:
Basically I still think the WRF-GFS and NAM are far too cold. We’ll know by sunrise. The WRF-GFS says we’ll be about 36 at sunrise and down to 30 by noon! Anyone with experience around here knows that’s extremely unlikely on March 1st under our current weather pattern. The 12z ECMWF was a little cool for me to totally say NO SNOW here in the metro area, but I think that even these “warmer” models are a little too chilly. Notice this shows temps just barely above freezing late Saturday night and early Sunday morning, then southerly flow takes over and we warm up. All models agree on the rapid warmup from midday Sunday through Sunday night, so at least that part of the forecast is easy. By the way I really like the mild temps next week; it’s going to feel like (very) early spring.
As for that WRF-GFS; very strange. Note that this evening’s run still tries to drop up to 2″ across the “east wind zone” of the metro area by early Sunday morning:
But at the same time the sounding shows temps well above freezing during the night around 2,000!
What??? Another reason to ignore it this time around.
The National Weather Service does have a Winter Storm Watch out for the entire Columbia River Gorge (and the valleys around it) for late Saturday through Sunday. Seems like a good call assuming the moisture shows up. Not sure if we’ll actually see it cold enough for any big issues on I-84. It may just be during the night Saturday night through early Sunday. We’ll see. This all hinges on how much cold air actually makes it south into the Gorge. I see the WRF-GFS claims it’ll be 20-25 degrees all day tomorrow at Hood River and The Dalles. If models are off on the intensity of cold air by 10 degrees then we’ll be out of it in the Gorge by Sunday afternoon.
Stay warm this weekend!
Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen