Record High Pressure Today

It’s not one of the sexier meteorological parameters, but some people ARE into pressure.  Capture    If you have an old-style barometer, you may have noticed it’s very high today.  In fact it’s the highest we’ve ever seen in December here in Portland and it’s never been higher at Astoria.  Since the NWS put that image out on their FB/Twitter page, the pressure has risen to 30.80″ at PDX.  The meteorological world (and most of the rest of the regular world) uses millibars though.  At 10am it’s 1043.4 mb at PDX and still rising.  You can see the monthly/yearly records for PDX:  Capture

So why aren’t we seeing a damaging wind event?  Extreme high or low pressure doesn’t have a whole lot to do with wind speed.  That’s because wind is produced by the DIFFERENCE in pressure from one spot to another.  Air moves from high to low pressure so if all of the Pacific Northwest is seeing high pressure, the differences across the terrain aren’t as high as a strong high pressure to the east and low pressure to the west (to produce strong east wind for example).  This time around as the strong arctic high pressure moved south out of Canada, it pretty much descended right down over the Pacific Northwest instead of sliding down mainly east of the Cascades.  The pressure gradient from The Dalles to Portland is only around 6 millibars this morning…weaker than we would see in just an average east wind episode that no news media would be interested in.  In fact that gradient is probably typical for about 25% of the days from late November through February here.

High temps today will end up in the mid 30s, then with a calming wind (away from the Gorge) tonight we should see widespread teens in outlying areas and near 20 in the urban areas away from the wind.  Tonight and tomorrow MIGHT be our coldest nights of the winter…we’ll see.

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

114 Responses to Record High Pressure Today

  1. dharmabum says:

    Here in Salmon ID, go ducks! 23 below zero last night, hasn’t been above 0 since I arrived Tuesday. Sis has a ice guest house, beats camping by the frozen frozen Locksa river.

  2. Tyler Mode in Battle Ground says:

    More pics from my hike the other day to Hamilton Mountain in the gorge 🙂

  3. WEATHERDAN says:

    Great weather for a New Years walk today 40 and sunny. How often does that happen. A day like this in January is truly to be appreciated. so maybe this will be a warmer and drier Winter than normal. Okay so be it. Next month baseball Spring training starts. And by the end of the month of January our sunset is just past 5:30 PM. And just 66 days from today Daylight Savings Time starts. Australia is having a record hot Spring so maybe we have another hot Summer in 2015. Do I have a warm bias. Oh yeah. I live for Summer and don’t ski. So as long as we have enough water for our needs I really don’t care if we have a great ski season. Sorry but I am just being honest. I do love a snowstorm however and if we get one in the valley great. But if we have a warm Winter with no valley snow that’s okay too. As for today I will enjoy the sunshine. Happy New Year one and all, peace.

  4. longbeachrob says:

    Reblogged this on rwaltemate and commented:
    One other thing to note today is the high pressure! Check this out

  5. MasterNate says:

    I know that no one wants to hear this but…. When I stepped outside into the cool crisp morning air, it sure smelled like spring!

  6. Jason Hougak says:

    January and look at the long stench of warm 850mb temps. 16 days with no sub freezing and as high as 10C or 50F…

  7. Tyler Mode in Battle Ground says:

    19.5 for a low here in Battle Ground.

  8. Jason Hougak says:

    BEA-utiful morning, cold with snow still on the ground. Happy new year 🎉! Inversion developed at Timberline last night. Went from 30F at 9pm to 38F at 10pm, up to 40F at midnight. Hmmm, taking daughter up skiing again. Monday was brutal with 18F when we first showed up with sustained winds and high gusts with blowing snow. Dropped to 14F when we left. Made her first run to the bottom of Pucci chair. Today will be great and spring like, if only we had a 150″ + base now. Weather pattern could once again eat that mtn snowpack down to nail biting amounts again. Maybe February will rebound like last winter.

  9. Oh no! All the pollution from my fireworks are going to intensify global warming!

  10. Happy New Year yall!

  11. schmit44 says:

    12/31/2014 Oregon (All) Temperature Summary

    High:61 at RED MOUND(1753 ft)
    Low: 41 at BROOKINGS(79 ft)

    High:9 at KB7DZR Joseph(3984 ft) & EW3547 Seneca(4810 ft) & CW9027 Ukiah(3415 ft)
    Low: -25 at Horse Ridge (US (4160 ft )

    Largest Diurnal Change: 49 degrees
    Sand Creek (US 9 (39/-10 ) (4525 ft )

  12. I think this duck game is going to be closer than expected. We all thought the acc teams were not that good but in bowl games they are doing way better than anticipated. For example: Georgia Tech womped on Mississipi State today.

  13. Marc (East Vancouver) says:

    Snowing in Scottsdale, AZ. A dusting on the ground.

  14. runrain says:

    The following is absolutely true: I’m in Phoenix, Arizona ….. and it’s snowing. This is right on the valley floor. Not sticking but the wet flakes are definitely coming down. Only got to 43 deg today and currently 36 …. and snowing.

  15. IceCold says:

    GO DUCKS!!!! Predictions below…….

  16. Sapo says:

    Models aren’t looking very good long-term, and they predicted too cold the cold temps of the cold air mass that we now are in. I don’t see anything snowy/icy in the next 3-4 weeks. The only chance we would have is if precipitation arrived Friday night/Saturday morning and surface/850mb temps were cold enough to produce snow since we’d probably be too warm for freezing rain. I’m not excited at all about this since there’s probably less than a 10% chance of anything frozen this week, but I’m saying that the biggest chance for snow in the next month will probably be Friday night/Saturday, and that is a less than 10% chance, so this upcoming month is looking poor for wintry weather in the lowlands.

  17. Muxpux (Castle Rock 175') says:

    What an odd night. Down to 21 around 130, up to 27, than back down to 21 around 8am.

  18. Tyler Mode in Battle Ground says:

    Even though the high clouds killed my low temp a bit (19), they sure livened up the last sunrise of 2014!

  19. W7ENK says:

    The last gasp of a dying year.

  20. runrain says:

    Cloudy, cool 47 deg here in Phoenix. Had a bit of rain early this morning and now just cool for a couple days with highs around 50. Warm weather returns AFTER I leave! Enjoyed some sunny mid-60’s yesterday in Yuma. Sat outside an In-n-Out there for a good hour.

  21. chiefWright (Marquam) says:

    Bottomed out at 18 at 0400, now up to 22 degF. A bit of cloud cover apparently choked off radiational cooling.

  22. PurpleHaze says:

    Was 21F here in Aumsville but it has gone up to 23F a few minutes ago.

    Modified Artic Blast Fail! 🙂 Funny how a few days ago models were showing this to be a modified Artic blast with widespread highs around 32F even though I knew there was no support for it.

    The interior Columbian Basin needs to be super cold for those kinds of temps to filter in over here when there is east winds.

  23. schmit44 says:

    12/30/2014 Oregon (All) Temperature Summary

    High:52 at Gold Beach (US 1( 60 ft)
    Low: 39 at Brookings Airpor(459 ft)

    High:4 at CROW FLAT(5172 ft)
    Low: -24 at Horse Ridge (US (4160 ft )

    Largest Diurnal Change: 37 degrees
    CRAZYMAN FLAT (25/-12 ) (6100 ft )

  24. jimbo says:

    What am I seeing on satalite coming down into wa state?

  25. Longview 400 ft says:

    Currently 21 degrees

  26. Mark made me feel old when he said “old style barometer.”

  27. Jake-(Gresham) says:

    Currently 28F here. I’m probably going to have trouble getting my car started tomorrow. It’s about right now that I wish I hadn’t skipped out on not putting gas…. >_<

  28. Tyler Mode in Battle Ground says:

    Pressure does it for some folks I suppose…oh Mark haha

  29. Jason Hougak says:

    Last night was borderline for snow making 28 til 11pm so I turned it off. Tonight much better 19F and snow is nice powdery variety not frozen ice pellets. Interesting ALL the ingredients that must come together so the water can turn into snow. Have it set up on my kids play structure and cannot wait til they see it tomorrow! Happy new year!

  30. Tyler Mode in Battle Ground says:

    A great day for a hike! It was windy (not extreme) but very cold. I don’t remember being so cold on a hike. I even had long johns on.

  31. chiefWright (Marquam) says:

    That explains– I knew the dry air mass was affecting my sinuses, couple that with high barometric pressure, and it feels like my head is going to implode. I’d never make it as a deep-sea diver.

  32. Already down to 25°f here if it keeps dropping it might drop into the teens!

    • David B. says:

      Here, too, but there’s too much water around me for it to get much colder. Typical temperature curve on cold clear nights where I am is for it to drop quickly at sundown then very slowly the rest of the night. Probably will bottom out around 23.

      Late November’s cold snap was colder up this way (20). The light dusting of snow probably helped in that department. I don’t think I’ll see the teens this winter. Probably just as well, given how badly the madrones got blasted by the cold last winter. They need a break.

    • Its down to 23°f now the cooling has slowed a bit though.

  33. Boydo3 N. Albany elev. just under 500' says:

    Seems that elevation temps are pretty true to an “arctic” air mass.

  34. Marco says:

    And it is interesting…

  35. jakeinthevalley says:

    1049.6mb (30.98″) in The Dalles. Falling now.

  36. 30.75 here it was 30.76 at its max but still very high nonetheless.

  37. W7ENK says:

    I’m curious how strong the winds would be through the Gorge if the center of this record high pressure had set up over -say- Pendleton, and we had a low sweep up the coast past Astoria?

    One can only dream…

  38. FarmerSteve says:

    30.83 @ my weather station in NW Hillsboro

  39. steve says:

    Under pressure lol 8 inches of snow here in bend

  40. paulbeugene says:

    Might want to check on Karl….his chest wall may be crushed by the high pressure there and may need assistance with breathing

  41. paulbeugene says:

    Actually, looking at the weather roundups, the Dalles has highest surface pressure (SLP) of any station in OR, WA, ID, MT (There’s got to be one higher in MT but have not seen one)

  42. paulbeugene says:

    Interesting to note that The Dalles has higher pressure reading than surrounding sites in Oregon/Washington, probably the damming of cold air against the Cascades

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