Tricky Weekend Forecast

I admit my blogging has slowed down dramatically the past couple of weeks; that’s because the weather itself is quite slow and I don’t feel as inspired.  Sorry, that’s how it works.

But this weekend’s forecast has been interesting to watch.  We kept showers in Sunday’s forecast all this week based on the ECMWF model.  The ECMWF has been steadfastly sticking to a rainy Sunday with a system crashing the mild ridge much more quickly than the GFS.  Here is this morning’s forecast for Sunday at 11am:


Then in the past 24 hours the GFS has now pretty much come around to that idea…no big surprise that it’s playing catch-up to the ECMWF once again.    So here’s our latest forecast for the Shamrock Run early Sunday morning:


Now you’ll notice areas to the south and east of a Portland to Lincoln City line could stay dry for a good part of Sunday.  So the forecast is still not set in stone; a slight northward shift would mean a dry Sunday morning here in Portland…Stay Tuned!

There is one interesting tidbit that I first noticed on the ECMWF and now I see on the WRF-GFS.  On Sunday evening/night it looks like we may get a rare “Anafront”.  That’s when most of the precipitation occurs just behind the cold front as opposed to ahead of it.  There is a sharp wind shift and a dramatic drop in snow level.  The WRF-GFS shows the temperature in Portland dropping from 55 to 40 in just a few hours with the wind shift.  That would imply snow could stick down below 2,000 or 1,500′.  It also generates 8-12″ along the west slopes of the Cascades.  This may be the heaviest snowfall of the “winter” around 2,000′ other than what we saw during the 2nd arctic blast in February.  Something to watch the next day or so.

Other than that, real slow weather continues next week, the 3rd week of March.  Milder midweek with weak ridging, then a colder trough again near the end of next week.

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

62 Responses to Tricky Weekend Forecast

  1. Here are pics from the final night up in Alaska. I didn’t get any sleep, do you think it was worth it?? I do!

  2. Jason Hougak says:

    Pure goodness falling from the skies right now, it’s like manna from heaven! Woke up thinking that front blew right in and out without proper postage only to realize that it had switched to snow! The heavy rain on the roof could no longer be heard got me curios. So I rose from my slumber to investigate. I tore open the shutters and threw up the sash. On what to my wondering eyes should appear but a torrential March snowstorm. I went armed in my boxer and flashlight to make sure I wasn’t dreaming from this little delight. The warm cozy house with a little choked fire gave me comfort to brave the journey outside. I slipped out the door and confirmed it was snow as it Marched from the sky with swirls and bows. The temperature was nice and the air so quiet I might have watched a bit longer if it wasn’t for that cold breeze. My chest go cold and my underwear too thin I slunk back inside to write this whole thing! :) 

  3. schmit44 says:

    3/16/2014 Oregon (All) Temperature Summary

    High:74 at USCRN SITE AT JO(2213 ft) & DW5789 Eagle Poi(1463 ft) & Medford Viaduct(1360 ft) & CW6811 Grants Pa(947 ft)
    Low: 54 at UNION(2708 ft)

    High:34 at Mount Hood Meado(6601 ft)
    Low: 19 at DIMLKE (4726 ft )

    Largest Diurnal Change: 47 degrees
    Lorella (70/23 ) (4160 ft )
    CABIN LAKE (69/22) (4560 ft)

    Heaviest Rainfall:
    2.32″ at MEARES Cape Mear(1421ft)
    1.86″ at OCNSID Oceanside(22ft)
    1.79″ at PACCTY-2 Pacific(28ft)
    1.67″ at TILLAMOOK(11ft)

  4. GEO says: RoadCam%20-%20US%2026%20at%20ZigZag/Hoodland Snow level at least down to 1500′

  5. Benjamin (West Salem) says:

    Snow level is pretty low tonight. I love these anafronts.

  6. Eastman(Parkrose/NE Portland) says:

    Look at that radar! Wow. Were not missing any rain haha.
    May be some lightning involved?! Would be fun!

  7. Rustic Fare says:

    Nice temperature and a bit of wind this morning but still… I accomplished 3 mi. walk!

  8. Muxpux (Castle Rock 175') says:

    Crazy, 48 and raining here, 61 and dry in Portland.

  9. Sapo says:

    Looks like that ECMWF was wrong…Not looking like rain for at least a few more hours here in Tigard.

  10. WEATHERDAN says:

    60 and partly cloudy in Salem at 12:34 PM. The low this morning was a mild 50. Today is the 11th time this month with a maximum of at least 60. Winter is a distant memory now. I wonder how many of the people that are still getting Winter back East are thrilled with all that snow and cold. I was happy for the snow and cold during the Winter but I am very glad to see all this mild weather. If we get at least 70 days over 80 this summer in Salem that will be the third Summer in a row that that has happened. The last time that happened here was 1950-1952. That was followed by a stretch of 13 years (1953-1965) where most of the Summers were cool and wet and we had some very cold Winters. Also it has been very warm here at night so far this month. Let’s see if that transfers to a spell of warm Summer nights. I hope so. Peace.

  11. Jason Hougak says:

    Mark how’s that yard cleanup going after the ice? Looked like you’ll be busy for awhile.

  12. Jason Hougak says:

    Who else has trouble adjusting to this daylight savings time. Can we just leave it alone or split the difference. Move it a half our back and never touch it again!

    • Lurkyloo says:

      Daylight Savings Time is not my friend. Doesn’t bother me so much, but getting the kids up for school is a complete hassle. Arizona and Hawaii don’t seem to suffer from the lack of DST …

      I think your idea is great!

    • dothgrin says:

      Let’s end it period. I lived in Arizona for six years and did not miss it a bit. This has been particularly a tough run this spring!

    • Jason Hougak says:

      We use the term witching, I’ve never heard that term. You can actually find waterlines with two metal coat hangers but I’ll get to that one later if anyone is interested. Thanks. I’ve got late night snow fever!!!

  13. Jason Hougak says:

    Hey Mat how’s that new daughter?
    I took my kids on a hike yesterday and they of course found a small stream and got soaked. Water and kids, wait that’s what I do for a living, water wells and raising kids.

  14. schmit44 says:

    3/15/2014 Oregon (All) Temperature Summary

    High:77 at PROVOLT SEED ORC(1180 ft) & DW5789 Eagle Poi(1463 ft)
    Low: 50 at CW8242 Ashland(3451 ft)

    High:38 at HOWARD Mt Howard(8150 ft)
    Low: 14 at Horse Ridge (US (4160 ft )

    Largest Diurnal Change: 51 degrees
    Horse Ridge (US (65/14 ) (4160 ft )

    Heaviest Rainfall:
    0.17″ at Astoria Regional(10ft)
    0.15″ at HEBOWX Mt. Hebo(3160ft)
    0.12″ at Pendleton, Easte(1493ft)
    0.11″ at CEDAR(2220ft)
    0.11″ at MEARES Cape Mear(1421ft)

  15. paulbeugene says:

    Got to 74.6F here in Eugene. Definitely a nice day. -10F a distant memory

  16. Sapo says:

    18z GFS ensemble suggests pretty low snow levels Monday…Of course dry then as well.

  17. Jason Hougak says:

    Hey Mark just notice the time on blog hasn’t sprung forward yet!

  18. Jason Hougak says:

    The Cascades are finally going to get some fresh and by Monday snow will be down into the foothills and coast range.

  19. Jason Hougak says:

    Who’s throwing a fit over snow. I’ve been working in this awesome weather and enjoying it too. Hey I’m not complaining I just know from my years of being a true blooded Oregonian since birth that we need rain badly and mountain snowpack. I live at 1300 feet and know for a fact I can get snow into at least mid April, we had 4 inches in 2007. That was an awesome snowstorm. Snow saved many of my wifes flowers from freezing later that night. Guess I’m just plain crazy for snow, I’d never get sick of it.

  20. This is from Tuesday night into Wednesday night (March 11th-12) this last week. The clouds were quite prevalent, but added to the mood. The aurora were fairly weak all night. The temperature was around 30 (very warm) but the wind was blowing 25-30 mph. I saw more than a handful of cameras blow over, luckily not mine 🙂

  21. schmit44 says:

    3/14/2014 Oregon (All) Temperature Summary

    High:71 at CW5474 Grants Pa( 915 ft)
    Low: 50 at CW1075 Boardman(322 ft) & Fremont Bridge W(270 ft) & CW2710 Maupin(1040 ft) & EW3480 Ashland(2333 ft)

    High:31 at Timberline Lodge(7001 ft)
    Low: 20 at HOWARD Mt Howard (8150 ft )

    Largest Diurnal Change: 33 degrees
    Hayes Hill (US 1 (70/37 ) (1640 ft )
    ILLINOIS VALLEY (70/37) (1389 ft)
    AGENCY VALLEY DA (66/33) (3307 ft)

    Heaviest Rainfall:
    1.13″ at Mount Hood Meado(5249ft)
    1.09″ at LOG CREEK(2800ft)
    0.98″ at WANDERER’S PEAK(4350ft)

  22. Okay, it’s space weather at least!

    Here are pics from Sunday night into Monday morning from near Fairbanks. Temps started near -10 and ended near -30.

    The aurora was very weak for several hours, before a band grew and intensified. This too faded around 2 AM.

    Then, after we left the lodge, they really picked up about 2:20 AM and continued strong until nearly 3 AM.

  23. runrain says:

    Too funny!

  24. Jason Hougak says:

    It’s seems most of us remaining bloggers are snow lovers. The rest have dropped like flies. We continue to hold out hope for more winter!

    • Joshua used to be in Lake Oswego says:

      I’m a cold and snow lover, but I threw in the towel a while ago. Just give us some more soaking rain in the valley and snow in the mountains, and I will be happy. Valley floor snow wouldn’t stick around at this point, even if by some miracle we get some.

    • JERAT416 says:

      I do enjoy snow in town, and this winter was far better than I had hoped. Honestly, I just want 2 weeks of 8″ of total rain in Portland with a 1,500 ft snow level. I want there to be so much snow at Ski Bowl (and much more above) that they can’t even open the adventure park until Labor Day.

    • JERAT416 says:

      One thing I want to add, Jason if you have lived here a while you remember the 1989 cold snap. I’m 33 so we are close in age. I would love another one of those. I want to see creeks and ponds frozen over and people skating on them. I would say 5-10 degrees at night and 10-15 during the day for a couple weeks should accomplish that assuming we have some snow on the ground first. That would make any winter complete in my book!

    • Ben T says:

      Jason, I’m almost one of the snow lovers hanging on wanting one last storm. But on the other hand, not gonna throw a fit if we don’t get anymore.

    • W7ENK says:

      That’s pretty bold JERAT, considering the SkiBowl Adventure Park closes by Labor Day…


  25. Sapo says:

    Interesting, 18z GFS ensemble mean drops to around -7.5c on Monday night/Tuesday morning period. From what I can tell, ECMWF seems to be slightly warmer around -6c/-7c in that period. Looks like a pretty abrupt edge to end the precipitation, though. Does this mean potential snow around 1,000 feet, considering the precip would come in?
    Also, another note: The previous runs of the GFS were not as cold, now it’s looking pretty solidified. If it gets any colder a Portland rain/snow mix would not be completely out of the question…

  26. pappoose in scappoose says:

    I really like rare “Anafronts”. Hahaah!

  27. pappoose in scappoose says:

    High Desert Mat

    Congratulations on the new arrival, life is gonna change in a big way. But it’ll be a good way.
    Absolutely the best thing that ever happened to me.
    Wish I could hug her. Nothing more fun than that.

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

      Thanks pappoose. I’m really looking forward to it. I’m 37 and its my first. She stole my heart from the moment of birth. Its incredible.

    • Jason Hougak says:

      Congrats Mat
      I’m 34 and have a boy and girl. What they told me about how fast time goes by when you have kids is true. My son will be 3 in May and my daughter 6 in October. I spend every evening with them and it makes me feel like a kid again. Enjoy every moment and please keep on blogging buddy! 🙂

    • Lurkyloo says:

      Baby toes and milk-breath! Nothing better! Congratulations, Mat!

  28. Sapo says:

    Looks interesting…

  29. Pat Blackburn says:

    Noooooooo mooooore snoooooow Please!

  30. Jason Hougak says:

    Hey I’m game for more lower elevation snow. April 2007 I had 4 inches in the early to middle of the month. I know we can get snow up here well into April. In the meantime I’ve been busy cutting down garbage trees and planting doug fir and cedar. I’ve been taking advantage of the nice days. Been playing with the kids in the yard till dinner. Nice weather but we need more rain and would love more snow.

  31. BoringOregon says:

    Wow, This may be the heaviest snowfall of the “winter”!?!? What does that mean for us down here I’m around 1,000′.

    • W7ENK says:

      The heaviest snowfall of the winter at the 2,000 ft level. At the 1,000 ft level, it means rain. Very cold rain.


    • pappoose in scappoose says:


      Snow could stick down below 2,000 or 1,500′

      I live below 1500′!
      Bring it!

  32. karlbonner1982 says:


    What kind of pattern tends to cause anafronts? Would it be super-cold air diving southward towards us?

%d bloggers like this: