Warm Weekend Rain Still On The Way

11pm Thursday…

Models are still wet this evening, although not quite as extreme as 24 hours ago.  Our RPM shows 1-2″ rain Saturday/Sunday in the lowlands and 5-9″ in the Cascades


The valley numbers sure wouldn’t give us any sort of widespread flooding, but I can see mudslides/landslides in the mountains east and west of us with those much higher numbers up there.  I checked the Willamette flood control reservoirs (Detroit Lake, Green Peter, Hills Creek etc…) and they are all at their winter low levels.  That means plenty of room for storing the rain; we won’t be seeing any flooding on the Willamette or Columbia.  More likely rivers like the Wilson, Nehalem, Sandy, & Clackamas will see at least some sort of flooding.  The NWS will probably issue a flood watch tomorrow.

Bad new for the Cascades of course.  Really depressing is the tree lighting on Saturday evening in Gov’t Camp.  This will be the 2nd consecutive year in which it’ll be pouring rain for this event instead of dumping piles of snow.  MarkSnow_MtHoodFcst_2013

There will likely be some snow next Wednesday, but the big picture shows no chance of any widespread ski area openings through at least Friday the 26th.  Some models produce some snow the weekend after Christmas, so maybe that will help.

By the way, there are two places in Oregon to ski with at least several lifts open…Mt. Bachelor and Anthony Lakes (near Baker City).

31 Responses to Warm Weekend Rain Still On The Way

  1. 12:27 PM Objective Analysis

    After reviewing 12z runs today along with the past day or so of Models/Ensembles here is my objective analysis on the situation. I’m not going to sugarcoat anything or be unrealistic. Did 12z runs today show better agreement? Yes and No. Yes through day 4-6, but then solutions diverge after day 7. It appears all models are moving away from the idea of the Alaskan Block(with or without a Kona Low) becoming established in the short term. If you remember previous runs the past few days had the block in place pretty much the entire run changing configuration/placement at times, but it remained west of 140 W. One could argue that Models are trending towards the camp of Ensemble members which keep the ridge fairly flat with no real amplification, then slide it east over the west Coast. Today’s 12z ECMWF shows exactly that, but 12z GFS and GEM did not and showed surprisingly excellent agreement completely in-step mirroring each other after day 7-8 of the Ridge asserting itself, then retrograding slightly as the flow bends around sharply from the northeast pulling in much colder air. High potential for arctic blast and possible reloads if this scenario played out.

    I have to admit, I was surprised to see them show that. The question is, do we have a clear trend emerging? I don’t think we can positively say Yes or No either way just yet. Remember, Models are trying to initialize features thousands of miles across the Pacific Ocean such as the Kamchatka low that hasn’t even developed yet. They have a rough idea of where it should develop and track due to the placement of the trough coming off Asia. In my opinion with such a deep low forecast near the Aleutians we need a few more days of Model and Ensemble input before we can unequivocally rule out an Alaskan Block building sooner than what is modeled now, then we’ll see if there is any further momentum towards the GFS/GEM solution of amplification after Christmas and cold/snow chances. If we see the 00z suite of runs tonight and consecutive runs all move towards the ECMWF solution, then it’s likely it just isn’t meant to be this time. We’ll see. Not real confident, but I am cautiously optimistic.

    Onto 00z…. Cross your fingers and toes!

  2. High Desert Mat says:

    I still cant get out of my head that after an AR event or even a windstorm, we almost always go into these colder spells. I agree with Rob.

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

    You forgot Mt. Ashland, which opened today. A strange paradox.

  4. paulbeugene says:

    With several inches of rain falling below 7000 feet, even Bachelor may be unable to remain open. The Euro 00z run looked promising for pass elevation snow next week but models have been flaky (in a non-snow way) lately. Ensemble means show 500mb negative anomaly over Midwest/Great Lakes in 6-14 day period. That is not good.

    • Dave in South Salem (500') says:

      Maybe, maybe not. Its on the east side of the range so will not get as much rain due to orographics and probably will switch over to rain later than the Mt. Hood and Hoodoo areas will. Looks like Sunday is a washout and otherwise will be fine. Summit lift will be all snow and lots of it.

  5. David B. says:

    The latest model runs are why it’s not a good idea to get excited unless it’s within a week and the vast preponderance of all model runs are trending the same way.

    • chris s says:

      You mean the 12z gfs that just came out that looks tons better than yesterdays run just after christmas??? Guess not sure what your looking at, but models seem to be getting a handle on this, and last nights euro was fairly decent, and if its good today, It seems to me the models are trending towards us being chilly, but not historic cold. And they are again just models, we need look no further than Jan 12′ to see the debacle of how things fell completely apart in the couple days before. I think more often then not we get surprised around these parts, good or bad, but i have witnessed more surprise snow events down here in Salem that were not forecasted or modeled right to know not to worry yet. 🙂

    • 12Z GFS Operational looked better and more realistic than our drunk uncle the 18Z GFS Op. Of course it was also considerably drier.

      Does anyone have a link to the ensemble spaghetti plots that isn’t paywalled? I just realized I don’t have any good links for the ensemble members just the operational.

    • Runtmc says:

      Then again, I didn’t really notice anyone on the blog getting excited. Virtually every comment was the same: “This is sure fun to look at, but there’s very little chance of it coming to fruition.”

    • Brandan - Damascus 675ft says:


      but the webpage is responding at the moment…

  6. Mark says:

    ECMWF and GFS ensembles seem to be leaning towards a cool brush for the PacNW, nothing dramatically cold. But that is a 9 out of 10 scenario around here, so makes sense. Let’s see what the latest runs show us later today…

  7. dharmabum says:

    The “snow whiners” are at it again, boo hoo. Just as boring I suppose as the pro global warmers and climate change deniers.

    • Mr Bum…
      you’ve become
      a bit of sniper to some.
      What karma beats
      upon your drum?

    • W7ENK says:


    • GTS1K' says:

      What’s a “pro global warmer”, eh, precious…..?

      Would that be folks like you, or folks that WANT global warming – or do I repeat myself?

      Now “climate change deniers” is a new one. I believe you must be referring to AGW deniers. AND, glad to see you’ve employed the “deniers” meme, as I suggested.

    • PurpleHaze says:

      I hear you’re cry. Just don’t waste any energy on that type of forum. They will only not hear you but even ban you if you cross wires.

  8. Tyler Mode in Battle Ground says:

    If it wasn’t for the first two days this month, my low would be just 31. Pretty sad.

    • W7ENK says:

      Yeah, if this keeps up much longer, December may close out warmer than November in my records. Going back to 2009, that would be a first.

  9. alohabb says:

    Geesh,that graphic just shows a wet weekend and not the real flooding rains like was forecasted.

  10. Jason Hougak says:

    Would the 9.12″ of rain at Timberline be the equivalent of 90″ snow?
    NWS has the snow level at 4500′ on Sat., 7500′ Sat. Night, and 7K Sunday and Sun. night, 7500′ Monday, 8K Monday night and 5K Tuesday.
    Want snow head up to Mt. Baker, they’re gonna get hammered. Meadows and Baker are teamed up, pass holders can ride there 5 free days.

  11. schmit44 says:

    12/18/2014 Oregon (All) Temperature Summary

    High:61 at North Bend Munic( 16 ft)
    Low: 50 at BROOKINGS(79 ft)

    High:28 at HOWARD Mt Howard(8150 ft) & CROW FLAT(5172 ft)
    Low: 20 at CROW FLAT (5172 ft )

    Largest Diurnal Change: 23 degrees
    EAST BIRCH CREEK (54/31 ) (1617 ft )
    WA7V Pendleton (52/29) (1411 ft)
    Madras Municipal (50/27) (2427 ft)

    Heaviest Rainfall:
    1.57″ at EW4856 Brookings(1365ft)
    1.35″ at RED MOUND(1753ft)
    1.26″ at USCRN SITE NEAR(39ft)
    1.18″ at YACHTS Yachats(82ft)
    1.13″ at FLYNN PRAIRIE(1543ft)
    1.12″ at TIDEWATER(2035ft)

  12. I think we just have way too much variability and volatility in play, no model agreement after day 5 with handling of 500mb pattern. 00z ECMWF tonight proved that handling both the Kamchatka and Kona low entirely differently than its previous runs or the GFS for that matter. Dynamic and complex features going into this pattern change and it seems to be models are struggling with how to handle that. I’d expect by Sunday 00z, Monday 12z we’ll really know whether or not we just see some chilly weather, ridge moving overhead/ inversion/ fake cold, or arctic blast/snow chances.

    ….Onto 6z, 12z…

    • Sapo says:

      Yup! 00z GFS wasn’t bad, but still room for improvement and the 6z GFS was pretty bad. What’s interesting is that the 00z and 6z GFS both show the cold air arriving on the 24th-25th, then warming up here for about 12 hours before another blast of cold air comes in, so at least cold for awhile. If we can get it a bit colder then things are looking good.

    • Jason Hougak says:

      That’s why there is no point to even model ride. They have no idea and even then things can rapidly change. Fun to dream and hope a major winter storm will evolve though!

    • W7ENK says:

      Haha! You say this like it’s something new… 😆

  13. IceCold says:


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