Mild 1st Half of January

We are in for a very mild, and drier than normal first half of January.  If you live below 4,000′ in or west of the Cascades snow is not going to happen the next 10-15 days.  Upper-level ridging wants to hang on, just like last winter.  Actually this entire winter has seen the warmer/ridging pattern, minus a week or so around Christmas Break.  Check out the ECMWF 850mb ensemble chart.  Time goes from left to right, the zero line means 32 degree temps around 4-5,000′.  Note most of the time it’s above freezing up at Government Camp’s elevation through mid-month.  The middle of this week it’ll get up around 50 up there.  Luckily snow doesn’t melt much with the short days and weak sunshine in January even with the warm temps.  It’s the warm rain that does it.  Also note not a single ensemble member says snow levels will get even close to the valley.  Note to Weather Geeks:  Nothing interesting is happening this first half of the month, continue with your non-weather lives.  We’ve sure had some boring Januarys the past few years.

tseries_850t_000-360_Portland

geez, the 12z GFS chart is even a bit worse for the same period:

tseries_850t_000-384_Portland

It implies some mountain snow in time for MLK weekend…ski areas will definitely need it by then!  Of course that’s almost 2 weeks away so that could change for better, or worse.

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

23 Responses to Mild 1st Half of January

  1. paulbeugene says:

    With new supercomputers coming online at NOAA this fall, will hopefully see improvement in model performance.

  2. Is anybody seeing Mt. Hood right now? It is beautiful with dark clouds in the backround while it is glowing white. Would be a great postecard picture!

  3. …I’m hedging my bet on a repeat of last year…

  4. WEATHERDAN says:

    I have cousins that live in Waukegan IL. Here is their 7 day forecas from the NWS.

    Detailed Forecast

    This Afternoon Mostly cloudy and cold, with a high near 7. Wind chill values as low as -9. Southwest wind around 10 mph.
    Tonight Snow, mainly before 3am. Steady temperature around 7. Wind chill values as low as -7. Southwest wind 5 to 10 mph becoming west northwest after midnight. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New snow accumulation of 1 to 3 inches possible.
    Tuesday Cloudy, then gradually becoming mostly sunny, with a high near 14. Wind chill values as low as -11. West northwest wind 5 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 30 mph.
    Tuesday Night Areas of blowing snow. Mostly cloudy, with a low around -4. Wind chill values as low as -24. Blustery, with a northwest wind 15 to 20 mph, with gusts as high as 30 mph.
    Wednesday Areas of blowing snow. Mostly sunny and cold, with a high near 4. Blustery, with a northwest wind 15 to 20 mph, with gusts as high as 35 mph.
    Wednesday Night Mostly clear, with a low around -10.
    Thursday A 20 percent chance of snow. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 13. Breezy.
    Thursday Night Mostly cloudy, with a low around 4.
    Friday Mostly sunny and cold, with a high near 10.
    Friday Night Partly cloudy, with a low around -1.
    Saturday A slight chance of snow showers. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 16.
    Saturday Night A slight chance of snow showers. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 9.
    Sunday Partly sunny, with a high near 24.
    

    Now we know where all the cold weather is. So if you want to see some cold and snow several airlines fly from PDX to ORD. Peace.

    • is anyone else seeing this running off the right side of the screen?..it’s happened before…perhaps it’s something about wordpress settings somewhere?…or not..

    • David B. says:

      The sort of thing I moved to the West Coast to escape.

      While I do enjoy our occasional arctic blasts and big snow events, I’m just as glad they’re not routine. And we gripe about highs in the 20s being cold; note in that forecast it won’t be until the weekend until it WARMS UP to the point where highs reach the 20s.

    • Mark Nelsen says:

      In fact not only off the right side of the page, but all the way over to the green wall!

  5. WEATHERDAN says:

    the last three years have all had warmer than normal Springs, Summers, and Autumns. The last cool Springs were 2010 and 2011. So why would a warm Winter lead to a cool Spring? Let’s face it if we don’t have any cold weather forecasted by February 1st we are very unlikely to have any this Winter. Right now going all the way out to January 21 it looks warm and dry. In fact it may turn out to be another record warm month if the forecast verifies. As for the Earth cooling that is not the case. Planet Earth just had it’s warmest year on record. Australia is having another record hot Spring. Snowy winters are occurring on average here once every five years or so now. Yet every Winters quite a few posters post about how this might be another epic Winter like last Winter was. The chances of the Beavers playing for the national football championship are greater than that happening. Even in the 1960,s cold winter usually were 2 or 3 years apart. As for last Winter it was a great one in the central and Southern valley. Min temps as low as minus 10. Some Max temperatures in the teens and 18-24 inches of snow for the Winter. So the odds were that with an El Nino forming this would be a warmer and drier than normal Winter. And guess what, it is. Now I like a cold Winter now and then but not every Winter. Maybe every other Winter would be nice. Hey I know Arctic blasts and snowstorms are fun to talk about. And as Mark will tell you they are great for ratings. But with no cold weather in sight I will hope for an early and warm Spring that is kind to the wallet. Besides a cold and snowy Winter just like a winning Beavers football season is bound to happen again sometime. Go Ducks. Peace.

    • Brian Leroy says:

      Today enso update shows el nino is weakening but I guess it doesn’t matter at this point since we’re in the middle of winter and the effects of el nino takes weeks or months to dissipate anyways.

  6. W7ENK says:

    All I want is 3 inches of snow before the door closes completely. Why is that so much to ask for?!?

  7. MasterNate says:

    I cant even remember an exciting January. It is suppose to be the pinnacle of our winter weather season and for years its been a dud. Seems like Winter wants to take a break during this time. I’m with Carl. Take about 10 days off and come back. See you when Old Man Winter has a heartbeat again or wakes up from his coma.

    • Joshua says:

      Yea, it would be so awesome to have a warm spring after a warm spring, summer, fall, and winter. It would be horrible to build our snow pack with a cool, wet spring. Maybe instead of being the Christmas tree capital of the US, we can be the palm tree capital.

  8. MasterNate says:

    I hope this isn’t a precursor to a long cold wet spring.

    • Mark Nelsen says:

      At least last year’s spring was nice…after March

    • MasterNate says:

      It was indeed. Made for great honey bee pollination on the farm.

    • Joshua says:

      Yea, it would be so awesome to have a warm spring after a warm spring, summer, fall, and winter. It would be horrible to build our snow pack with a cool, wet spring. Maybe instead of being the Christmas tree capital of the US, we can be the palm tree capital.

    • MasterNate says:

      Im not saying a warm spring. Just not a record cold like we had a few years ago. I am all in for a good snowpack. I realize how important that is to everyone here. Don’t let your winter frustrations take over your mind.

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