Wednesday: Warmest Day So Far Ahead

Today was a wonderful early spring day with temperatures up around 60 degrees in the metro area and sunshine most of the day.  Sure, a real chill in the air this morning but a comfortable afternoon.  We hit 59 in Portland.

Now all signs point to a very warm day Wednesday.

1. The atmosphere overhead warms quite a bit

2. Weak low-level flow turns easterly for the first half of the day; it will be a breezy morning in the western Gorge and eastern edge of the metro area

3. That easterly flow will mix drier air down into the lower elevations and also warm the lowest elevations.

My chart I use for the month of March shows a high temp at PDX between 65-69 degrees tomorrow afternoon.  Our RPM model goes with a high of 70 tomorrow, the WRF-GFS around 66-68.  My 10pm forecast will be 66.  We’ll see how that turns out.  We might have a decent variation around town with warmest temps near the mouth of the Gorge.  I think Troutdale could touch 70, or Hillsboro could be close…we’ll see.  So enjoy Wednesday!

It sure won’t be like 2005 though; remember that year?  We had a long stretch of record warm & dry weather from late February into mid March.



The first 11 days of the month are running above average; a bit of a change from a chilly February and chilly winter overall.  Signs point to the above-average temperatures continuing for at least another 5-7 days.  What happens beyond that is a little uncertain.  Although it appears to me we are probably headed for cooler than average temps as we head toward Oregon’s spring break.  That’s the last week of the month.

Last night at 10pm I mentioned the disparity in snowfall totals vs. elevation this winter.  In fact two rainstorms and mild weather in between have only made that more noticeable.  Take a look at two locations.  The first is just below Timberline Lodge.  The other is west of Kingsley Reservoir near Mt. Defiance (west of Hood River).  The bars represent February 10th and March 10th % of average snowpack.  Notice higher elevations improved a little, in fact above 5,000′ snowpack is only slightly below average on Mt. Hood. Yet it is abysmal below; down to 35% of average at 3,000′.  Basically there is very little snow below the 4,000′  elevation.  This highlights what I mentioned in my winter wrapup; that we’ve seen very little 1,000-3,000′ snowfall this winter.  And the warm temps the last 3 weeks (above the cold Gorge influence) has actually started the normal melt a little early.  March could have been the big “make up” month, but it isn’t this year.  Even SkiBowl at 4,000′ only has 2.5′ on the ground, and in a normal year the snowpack starts to decrease just a couple of weeks from now.


Here is the snow depth the past few winters at 3,000′ just a few miles SE of Larch Mountain (OR):


No better than the El Nino winter of 2009-2010 at that location, at least for mid-March.

As I mentioned, it does appear we’ll have cooler weather coming up in 7-10 days, but not sure it’ll be a decent snow-producing pattern.

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

40 Responses to Wednesday: Warmest Day So Far Ahead

  1. schmit44 says:

    3/13/2014 Oregon (All) Temperature Summary

    High:72 at CW5474 Grants Pa( 915 ft) & ILLINOIS VALLEY(1389 ft) & MERLIN SEED ORCH(1144 ft) & NORTH FORK MALHE(3270 ft)
    Low: 49 at RED MOUND(1753 ft)

    High:38 at CW7477 Lostine(7002 ft) & HOWARD Mt Howard(8150 ft)
    Low: 12 at DIMLKE (4726 ft )

    Largest Diurnal Change: 46 degrees
    NORTH FORK MALHE (72/26 ) (3270 ft )

  2. Jason Hougak says:

    So… any weather news?
    I just started blogging this past fall and was wondering what happens when the weather gets boring… Lol. I clearly got my answer, you learn about town where the beer flows like wine and the women instinctively flock like the salmon of Capistrano, I’m talking about a place called “Kalamity Flats!”
    If this keeps up I’ll never leave my house again! Then I’ll be the one going crazy like those poor souls Erik is talking about.

    • High Desert Mat (Model Rider) Redmond Or says:

      It gets really slow on here Jason until a chance for t-storms, a heat wave, or we start ending summer and there’s thoughts of the upcoming winter. I mean, who wants to talk about marine layers and partly cloudy days around 70-75 degrees? Boring. Hence why I moved, well partly.

      Just wanted to tell people on here, I had a baby girl on Saturday that weighed 6lb. 5oz. She’s beautiful.

    • boydo3 N Albany says:

      Congrats Mat! Your life has just made a big change. I have two sons about your age. Tomorrow we go fishing together.
      Life will be good and a bit more challenging for you for sure!

    • Dave in SW PDX (235') says:

      Congratulations, Mat – time to hand out the cigars!

  3. Jason Hougak says:

    Boy Erik I think your onto a onto a novel about the ugly in Kfalls… Aka Kalamity Flats.

    • snodaze says:

      He’ll keep writing that bilge if you ask, you know. He knows we all care. — and this is the place to catch up on his daily life story?

    • W7ENK says:

      Nope, just a thorough warning about one of the worst places on this planet. People don’t call it “the armpit of Oregon” for no reason.


  4. BoringOregon says:

    Nother earthquake 5.2 off the coast!!

  5. Jason Hougak says:

    Here are the type of winters we should be having!

  6. schmit44 says:

    3/12/2014 Oregon (All) Temperature Summary

    High:73 at DW6983 Winston( 600 ft) & CW5474 Grants Pa(915 ft) & MERLIN SEED ORCH(1144 ft)
    Low: 52 at RED MOUND(1753 ft)

    High:40 at HARL BUTTE(6071 ft) & SUMMIT LAKE(5600 ft) & IRISH TAYLOR(5500 ft)
    Low: 10 at CRAZYMAN FLAT (6100 ft )

    Largest Diurnal Change: 48 degrees
    COLGATE (65/17 ) (3231 ft )

  7. Jason Hougak says:

    Erik, I’d gladly relocate to Kalamity Flats if the wife would go. Some like sun and warm, I like cold and snow!

    • W7ENK says:

      I lived there for over three and a half years (September 2002 — July 2005) and I saw snow in September, October, November, December, January, February, March, April, and June.

      The 2003-2004 snowpack in my yard lasted from mid-December through a week after Spring Break, so into April.

      The lake froze over two of the three winters I was down there, and both times it didn’t break up until late March.

      One day had a low of –19 and a high of +2.

      October 2003, I water skiied on the lake one 80 degree evening until sunset, only to wake up to an inch and a half of fat, wet, dumping snow the next morning.

      It’s the only place I’ve experienced thundersnow. Thunder and lightning for 90 minutes and we ended with almost 3 inches of snow on the ground. That was April 14, 2004.

      It’s also the only place I’ve seen it rain at 28 degrees without any ice.

      It’s also the only place I’ve seen it snow at 44 degrees and stick everywhere but on pavement.

      Klamabama is weird. What finally drove me away was when I watched a pair of ~8 year old boys, both smoking cigarettes and drinking something from a paper sack, walking along a fairly busy road just down the street from my place with their skateboards at 11 am on a Tuesday — a day I knew they were supposed to be in school — and a cop simply waved at them as he drove by………………

      That place is disgusting.

      More meth labs per capita than any other city in ‘Murrikuh.
      I guess that’s something to be proud of. 😕

    • Aleta says:

      Yea, the police force isn’t the greatest down there! The sheriff outside of town are stretched VERY thin from what I hear.

    • Jason Hougak says:

      I looked Kalamity Flats up and found out it was Kfalls. I had no idea things were so bad down there… sad story.

    • W7ENK says:

      Yes, it really is that bad. I read through many of the comments on this site, and indeed the negative things people have to say are all entirely true, without any embellishment. I have stories that will make you cringe, a handful that I wouldn’t be comfortable sharing on this forum because of their content.

      The hospital is crap. Everyone called it ‘Murder West’, and it made Kaiser look like a Godsend.

      The downtown area is crap. Half the shops were empty and boarded up, or sat empty with the front windows smashed out. The 3 story brick building next door to the nice brand new courthouse was gutted by fire and partially collapsed out into the main street, they just fenced around it and left the whole mess… for several years. The main department store “mall” had half its roof collapse back in 1995 or so under 10 feet of accumulated snowfall. Rather than fix it, they just roped off that end of the mall with yellow caution tape and left it, debris on the floor and open to the sky. It was still exactly that way when I was living there 6-10 years later.

      The South end of town is exceptionally crap. None of the side streets down there have street lighting, so kids roam freely all hours of the night doing God knows what.

      The air is crap in winter. The town sits in a bowl that fills with smoke from the fireplaces and wood stoves that nearly every house has running 24/7.

      The weather is crap. It’s either 100 degrees or snowing, very little middle ground.

      The lake is crap. It’s filled with blue-green algae, and spawns massive clouds of midgies that will literally turn your car green in July-August. Oh, and there are no fish in there, at least I never found any.

      The majority of generational residents are mentally deficient, or at least behave that way. I met quite a few through friends at OIT, and I would say that many of the older ones lean more toward the former on this one. So much so, that I actually question the drinking water.

      The water is crap. Highly alkaline, it tastes like bottom feeder fish skin and leaves you more thirsty than before you drank it, so I didn’t.

    • W7ENK says:

      The rest of my comment disappeared… 😦

    • W7ENK says:

      Wal-Mart is indeed the center of night life in that town. Sadly, it’s the most entertaining place to be on a Friday night. At least people watching, you’re not out there drinking yourself stupid or tipping cows, which in all seriousness were the only two other things to do for fun after dark.

    • W7ENK says:

      Don’t even think about visiting the only strip club in town. For the love of God, trust me on this and spare yourself, just don’t go!

    • W7ENK says:

      Most bars are dangerous, some if you’re not Hispanic, most if you’re not wearing blue jeans, boots with spurs and a hat, or all if you’re female, effeminate, socially awkward or even the slightest bit left-leaning. Those people can smell a Dem from miles away, and if you don’t constantly spew misogynist, [hom(o)phobic], anti-semetic, anti-black, anti-“Mexican”, anti-Muslim or anything other than White Anglo-Saxon Protestant hate speak between chugs of beer, you may not leave that bar on your own two feet.

    • W7ENK says:

      Many of the Native American/First Nations people down there are incredibly pissed off and hostile toward anyone not of their blood. I’ve got a story here, but that falls into the “too graphic” category.

      The KKK is still alive and well down there. I was approached by some “recruiter” guy on the OIT campus (parking lot) one afternoon. I assume he approached me because of my light hair and fair Norwegian complexion? Once I caught on to his game, I told him to piss up a rope and thought I was going to get shanked. I’m glad my car’s license plate was still registered up here!

    • W7ENK says:

      Crime is rampant. Even living on the far North end of town, over the hill from everything and in what was considered a “nice” neighborhood, I had my place broken into, the lock on my passenger side car door punched in and stuff regularly walked out of my carport. The cops didn’t give a crap about any of it – wouldn’t even respond to any of those three incidents, and there were many, many times I felt compelled to call. So instead, I bought guns.

      I even sat before a Klamath County Grand Jury and gave my eyewitness testimony of an attempted murder; I watched a woman run over her husband in the Thunderbird Market parking lot. Twice. Interesting (but long and sad, somewhat graphic) story.

      Highest murder rate in Oregon.

      I could keep going… and I only lived there for 3-1/2 years, AND I spent MOST of my time sitting in class!

      Don’t move to Klamath Falls. EVAR!

      Tim, I have no idea how your family manages. I highly recommend you get out of there, ASAP!!

    • Dave in SW PDX (235') says:

      So tell us how you really feel about Klamath Falls, W7! 😉

    • W7ENK says:


      I love the countryside; I absolutely despise that town!

  8. Jason Hougak says:

    Yes, it was a B E A utifil day! Thanks Mark for the snowpack 411. Looking at the Cascades you can clearly see lack of the snow. Many clearcuts and open areas that are normally snow covered are not. Glad I’ve got a water well. As I said in January, the Bull Run Watershed is going to have a lack of water this summer. The city of Portland will need to use their backup wells. One of these winters in the future will make up for this winter. Can we just get cold and precip from late October to mid April. The Great Lakes are getting hammered by yet another winter storm. Snowpack in the Midwest and East Coast is more than in our mountains, if it wasn’t for February this would have been a bust for winter!

  9. Sapo says:

    A beautiful day here in Tigard. Not a cloud in sight, we topped out at 68 today, felt really warm! Hoping for more weather like this in the future, though it appears a chilly, showery period is ahead…:(

  10. High Desert Mat (Model Rider) Redmond Or says:

    67 here at my house here today. Beautiful day.

    • High Desert Mat (Model Rider) Redmond Or says:

      Cant wait for the cold at end of the month for more snow. From the stories people tell me here it can snow til end of May. Lame

    • W7ENK says:

      May 26, 2012. (I think?)

      In the valley to the East of Glass Butte, North side of Little Glass Butte, elevation ~4,700 feet.

      Went to sleep around midnight under crystal clear skies, cold wind blowing from the N-NW, gusting toward the higher side of 30 mph. Woke up at sunrise to find the inside of the truck canopy windows had frosted over, and a dusting of graupel had fallen overnight. Estimated temperature at sunrise about 25 degrees.

      Be glad you don’t live down in Kalamity Flats. The joke is, August is the only month without an average monthly snowfall. The truth is, that’s not really much of a joke.

    • David B. says:

      May 2, 1977. Northern New Mexico. A chilly morning at the bus stop. Overcast, and a low edge of clouds is moving in from the west. The new kid in town sneers and calls me an idiot for saying it looks like snow, because “it can’t snow in May, stupid”.

      Five minutes later, as the bus is coming, a few wet flakes are drifting down. The new kid is gawking at them, shocked. Five more minutes and it’s snowing furiously. Everything is turning white. The new kid is muttering “the second of May… the second of May…” over and over. I smile smugly.

      First class after lunch break and the plows are having trouble keeping up with it. Trees (already leaved out) are breaking and causing power failures. School is dismissed early. Eight to ten inches of very wet soggy snow fall before it stops.

      The next day is sunny with a high in the 60s. It all melts.

    • Sifton says:

      Taos, Raton??

  11. pappoose in scappoose says:

    When you become sure it’ll be a decent snow-producing pattern, please notify me!

  12. schmit44 says:

    3/11/2014 Oregon (All) Temperature Summary

    High:69 at BROOKINGS( 79 ft)
    Low: 45 at BROOKINGS(79 ft) & EW3480 Ashland(2333 ft)

    High:29 at MT. HOWARD(7910 ft)
    Low: 7 at CRAZYMAN FLAT (6100 ft ) & FOURMILE LAKE NE (5810 ft )

    Largest Diurnal Change: 37 degrees
    DW5789 Eagle Poi (66/29 ) (1463 ft )
    PROVOLT SEED ORC (66/29) (1180 ft)
    DW7631 Redmond (61/24) (3025 ft)

    Heaviest Rainfall:
    0.82″ at WANDERER’S PEAK(4350ft)
    0.57″ at MT. WILSON(4002ft)
    0.53″ at BOULDER CREEK(3570ft)

  13. Jack in Corbett says:

    Mark, any insights regarding the replacement of the anemometer at Crown Point (Vista House)?

  14. vinnybob says:


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