ECMWF Weekly Maps

It’s Monday, and 4 fresh weekly maps just came in.  You know the routine; 1 map for each week of the ECMWF monthly run last night.  Each map shows the height anomaly (in color) at the 500 millibar level (around 18,000′).  They include the average height of all ensemble members as well.

Week 1:  We already know what’s coming, a very strong and warm upper-level ridge the end of this week and early next week.  Move along folks…nothing to see here.  Actually that’s not quite true.  Sunday or Monday could be spectacular anywhere above 1,500′ with warm temps in the 60s and maybe even some 70s.


Week 2:  Last week of January.  Ridge moves a little to our east, or actually develops over there.  We may see some rain at times, although it would still be mild rain.  This takes us to the 1st of February.  Looking at the daily maps on the control run, there would be some mountain snow later in the period here.


Week 3:  First week of February.  A bit different, the ridging flattens and heights go normal or a little below.  Looks much wetter to me.  Interesting upper-level high developing over Western Alaska may or may not play into to the forecast.  I haven’t seen the control run or even specific days of the ensembles to see what’s going on during this period.  Nothing too exciting can happen at this time since I’m on vacation for almost a week and “off-continent”.


Week 4:  Through mid-February and Valentine’s weekend.  Ridge wants to return to where it has been much of the winter, over Alaska and the west coast of North America.  Back to drier than normal.  The end of this period is about the time where the increasing sun angle and longer days can start seeing the inversions break a little.  A ridge over us on February 15th can easily give us 55 degree days without too much effort.  That said, the control run has the ridge slightly farther west a few days after Valentine’s Day (only 29 days away!) and a late season arctic blast on the 16th.  I’ll sneak one “illegal” pic showing that into here (shhh!):  eps_m_z500a_c_noram_59  Then ridging comes right back over us 17th-20th.  That would be very similar to what we saw in November and early December.


To wrap it up, maybe a wet period of some sort coming up around 8-14 days from now, then back to drier again.  No sign of a cold/snowy pattern for lowlands, or even foothills for that matter.

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

43 Responses to ECMWF Weekly Maps

  1. High Desert Mat says:

    Mark, where’s the new podcasts? It’s been awhile and I for one enjoy listening to them, especially some of the comes that’s thrown in for good measure.

  2. WEATHERDAN says:

    Born and raised in Salem. Lived here all of my 61 years. I still don’t like our cold and wet Winters. A little snow and 1 Arctic blast each year is okay. But what I truly detest is the endless parade of cloudy rainy foggy days in the forties and low fifties. When it reaches the mid fifties I feel a lot better. Now that our sunsets are after 5:00 PM and we are starting to see more and more days of at least 55 I am enjoying the weather. I hope we see an early and warm Spring and a hot Summer. If that is a warm bias so be it. I see that some poster show a cold bias but that’s fine with me. So if we see highs in the 60,s in the valley over the weekend I will be outside in my back yard grilling some meat and toasting the nice weather with a brewski. At 1:00 PM Salem is partly cloudy and 47 with a light North breeze. Peace.

    • High Desert Mat says:

      Dan, you do realize it is only mid January right? Good luck with the sun angle and your warm and sunny days sticking around for long.

    • I saw a honey bee that’s a good sign.

    • Brian Leroy says:

      Ill drink to that Dan here’s too a early spring starting this weekend.

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

      The worst is the cold fog. And knowing just a short distance away it’s warm and sunny at the coast or in the hills, makes it that much worse. Don’t like the cold fog. I just don’t like it.

  3. The sun is out now. 41 degrees. Really nice out there!

  4. It will be intresting to see if we get an arctic blast (i.e. snowstorm) around/near Valentine’s Day like 1990 or 1995.

  5. MasterNate says:

    The first sign Mark has thrown in the towel, No more blog snow. Hey, stop pushing! There’s room on this cliff for everyone!

  6. Brian Schmit says:

    1/19/2015 Oregon (All) Temperature Summary

    High:62 at BROOKINGS( 79 ft)
    Low: 47 at Port Orford(0 ft)

    High:24 at HOWARD Mt Howard(8150 ft)
    Low: 14 at CRAZYMAN FLAT (6100 ft )

    Largest Diurnal Change: 28 degrees
    CRAZYMAN FLAT (42/14 ) (6100 ft )

    Heaviest Rainfall:
    1.10″ at BLAZED ALDER(3650ft)

  7. Here’s to betting that the Thursday maps, which will give us a look into the 2nd half of February, will include some intense false-spring ridging on the last two maps.

  8. W7ENK says:

    FOG YOU!!!
    1050 PM PST MON JAN 19 2015

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

    Like the “illegal” pic. Digital winter. Too bad we can’t bring into the living-breathing reality.

  10. MasterNate says:

    Located the comet with binoculars. Looks like a fuzzy area in space. Much better pictures on Space Weather. Really calm and clear out tonight but I’m sure that will change by morning. Looking forward to a spring like weekend after our last weekend.

    • David B. says:

      Tried to find it yesterday evening, but too many high clouds up this way. The night before that would have been perfect, but my binoculars were packed away and inaccessible until yesterday.

    • Dave in SW PDX (235') says:

      I was able to spot it yesterday around 6PM using 10X42 binoculars, almost directly overhead in the SE sky. It looked like a greenish fuzzy blob about the size of the full moon. I was on the roof of my building in light-polluted downtown Tigard, so I can only imagine how much brighter it would be from a dark sky site. Hopefully there will be a few more viewing opportunities in the next week or two.

  11. 39 and no fog in BG…yet!

    Going to go hiking above all of the fog/low clouds tomorrow.

  12. Mark Nelsen says:

    Definitely not in the 70s in the lowlands. We’ve never had that until late February. Sun is too weak this time of year.

  13. BoringOregon says:

    I would not mind Some Warm Weather for a change!!

  14. Mark

    Nothing to outstanding in the models surely and even the last one I am not getting my hopes up for the Arctic solution to come to fruition. With that said, I have seen in the past here in Southeast Tacoma where January has been totally dreadful only to get surprised with a colder February and 3 inches of snow.

    The real question I guess that many are concerned about is if the spring is going to be wet. In recent years when the first couple of months of the year here have been dry then next few months are wet.

    Lets all celebrate the 4th of July on the 5th again this year. 🙂

  15. W7ENK says:

    Mark, we all know what happens when you leave town (or the continent?) on vacation…

    February 2014 redux, anyone? HAH!!

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