Are You A Skier? Tuesday is the one good day this week!

It’s been a depressing ski season.  The majority of Oregon’s resorts were only open briefly around Christmas and the New Year.  Only 3 in the Cascades are still open, the snowpack has dwindled in the past month, and we see nothing but warm weather in the next two weeks.  MarkSnowpack_Oregon_PlusFacts

But tomorrow looks a bit better with a few inches of fresh snow in the morning.  Tomorrow is your day!FCST_Cascades_PM It might even get cold enough for a dusting at the passes.  After that it’s all warm storms beginning with a weak warm front early Wednesday and then the rain stampedes into Oregon Thursday-Sunday.

Models are also in agreement in a strong (and warm) upper-level ridge popping up over the West Coast once the rain ends early next week.   It’s slightly early for “False Spring” weather, but it might have that feel in the days leading up to Valentine’s Weekend.  That is also the 3 day President’s Day Weekend too so an important ski weekend.

The new ECMWF monthly run from last night didn’t have any big surprises.  Week 1 and 2, which I pretty much just covered in the last paragraph:



Now weeks 3 and 4 are slightly different.



Sure, there is still a strong ridge, but it’s shifted farther west and north.  More like where we saw it for parts of November.  This is a setup that could allow cold air through the backdoor from the north or northeast.  The operational run during this period has several cool and slightly wet upper-level troughs coming down from the northwest over the top of the ridge.  This COULD mean some decent snow in the Cascades the last week or two of the month.  It would also mean a cooler 2nd half of the month.  OR, it’s possible the ECMWF is pushing the ridge too far west and it’ll remain in its preferred position so far this winter.  Regardless, the pattern still means no long period of wet westerly flow.

The “Ridiculously Resilient Ridge” (RRR) doesn’t want to move far does it?

By the way, the latest GFS meteogram is sure wet…this is over Aurora, the PDX one gets too much precip from the Cascades in it.  You get the idea though, a solid 2″ rain in the 5 days Thursday-Monday


Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

58 Responses to Are You A Skier? Tuesday is the one good day this week!

  1. paulbeugene says:

    I’m sticking my pitchfork right into the abdomen of Old Man Winter. Problem is he already died a month ago. There was nothing but rotting flesh inside, maggots and all. You should have seen his intestines…yuk.
    No memorial service planned.

  2. WEATHERDAN says:

    This is my thought on Daylight Saving Time. Why not have it all year round? Most of us don’t get up till at least 6:00 AM. So having the sunrise at 4:25 AM in June would be more of an annoyance than a benefit.On the other hand having a November-January sunset of 5:30 PM would benefit millions of us. If DST was year round there would be no more Spring forward Fall back jive. True our Winter Sunrises would be later but I have not heard of any wholesale slaughter of children in Juneau Alaska or London England because of the later Sunrises and they have a sunrise of 9:00 AM in the Winter. We can call the Sunsets or Sunrises any time we want. We weren’t created with clocks we created those. DST is now 32 days away. Peace.

    • W7ENK says:

      I agree… mostly… though it’s hard enough to get motivated in the mornings when our winter sun rises at 7:51am (PDX), I can only imagine how hard it would be if we pushed it out to 8:51am.

      Lighter later is definitely a plus. I’m not willing to give that up during those long, warm summer evenings.

    • gidrons says:

      I’m in

    • Catalin Stoica says:

      I couldn’t agree more. Let’s make a petition and put in the ballot this year. I am sure that a lot of Oregonians will agree with us.

    • …i’m not into time, man… 🙂

    • Now that we’re talking about changing our DST policy, can we also have a discussion about changing the official dates of the seasons? My preference would be to ignore temperature lag altogether and go purely by insolation, with the solstices and equinoxes as seasonal midpoints rather than beginnings. Then we can still have the “meteorological” seasons as they are, in order to approximate seasonal lag.

      It’s better than the current system which arbitrarily gives us 1 1/2 months of seasonal lag, regardless of what climatology says. If we’re going to use astronomy to define seasons, then stick to astronomy and don’t try to fold climatology in at the same time. Just sayin’….

    • GTS1K' says:

      First Cheech and Chong reference I’ve see here….


  3. David B. says:

    Pressure dropped 10 mbar overnight. Now at 1003. Something big is coming….

    • W7ENK says:

      If you’re on the coast…

      Well, you guys always seem to get all the wind action up there in Puget Sound too, so… yeah, probably for you. Definitely not expecting anything “big” down this way.

  4. schmit44 says:

    2/4/2015 Oregon (All) Temperature Summary

    High:65 at DW6803 Ashland(1890 ft) & EMIGRANT LAKE AT(2042 ft)
    Low: 54 at Gold Beach(16 ft) & BROOKINGS(79 ft)

    High:34 at WOLF CREEK(5700 ft) & HARL BUTTE(6071 ft)
    Low: 23 at CROW FLAT (5172 ft )

    Largest Diurnal Change: 25 degrees
    Worden (57/32 ) (4080 ft )
    KLAMATH BASIN NW (56/31) (4200 ft)

    Heaviest Rainfall:
    0.73″ at HEBOWX Mt. Hebo(3160ft)
    0.67″ at Roseburg Regiona(525ft)
    0.64″ at Sexton Summit(3842ft)
    0.45″ at RED MOUND(1753ft)

  5. schmit44 says:


    Deadline to enter is 9am tomorrow morning

  6. runrain says:

    I know the snow level will be above 7000 feet with these warm storms coming in. But maybe the dumping will be so humongous as to create monumental amounts of snow on the higher levels of the mountains that will then avalanche down to the lower levels. I’m joking, but at least there will be some frozen precipitation accumulating at the very highest levels of the mountains. Better than none at all.

  7. W7ENK says:

    3+ inches of rain in the valleys tonight through Monday?!

    Ughhh! It’s either feast of famine for us this winter, and the mountains are still getting screwed out of snowfall!! 😦


    • All this rain means very green hillsides in the eastern Gorge as the false spring gets underway. A certain figure in Stevenson will be very happy to know that 😉

    • David B. says:

      What’s a “snowfall”? I’ve heard they used to happen once.

    • Brian Leroy says:

      18z looks interesting at the end of the run maybe it’s latching on to the euro weeklies for week 3, I know im gonna get it for saying that but whatever I don’t care.

    • Chris s says:

      2 things I am noticing with the ensembles is that the period between the 9th and the 11th is looking cooler, so maybe the snow level is at 4500-5000ft during that stretch.. And also the past 6 gfs operational runs have all been outliers compared to the ensemble mean past about the 14th of the month, which makes me think we have a chance at some sort of decent pattern change happening shortly after then. My .02 cents anyway. 🙂

  8. Tyler Mode in Battle Ground says:

    One year ago, my high was 37 with a low of 24. Drier air started moving in during the evening with a dewpoint of 19 by 8 PM. The day was dry and cloudy.

    • Longview 400 ft says:

      Thanks for the reminder of the good ol’ days when we winter made an appearance. Please continue these daily rememberances from last year it brings such fond memories.

  9. schmit44 says:

    2/3/2015 Oregon (All) Temperature Summary

    High:60 at Grants Pass – Pa( 910 ft)
    Low: 55 at Port Orford(0 ft) & BROOKINGS(79 ft)

    High:29 at CW7477 Lostine(7002 ft) & HOWARD Mt Howard(8150 ft)
    Low: 20 at CROW FLAT (5172 ft )

    Largest Diurnal Change: 21 degrees
    Worden (56/35 ) (4080 ft )
    CHRISTMAS VALLEY (56/35) (4360 ft)
    ELK CREEK (53/32) (6576 ft)

    Heaviest Rainfall:
    3.71″ at EW4856 Brookings(1365ft)
    3.28″ at QUAIL PRAIRIE LO(3183ft)
    3.13″ at RED MOUND(1753ft)
    2.35″ at TOKETEE(3360ft)

  10. I hope this means that next year will be really nice right?

  11. WEATHERDAN says:

    These are the years with sticking snow in Salem after February 20 in the last 60 years. 1971 Big snowstorm with a few highs in the 30,s and a low of 12 on March 1st. 2006 2 inches of snow and a high of 38 about the 10th of March. 2012 6 inches of snow and a high of 36 about the 20th. This is the latest sticking snow in Salem. This is about once every 20 years. While it is possible for snow to stick most likely if it snowed it would be just a wet mix. In reality we are more likely to see the very mild conditions continue the rest of the month. Peace.

    • Sapo says:

      Yup! I would really like to see some mountain snow, but some sort of really warm and dry weather would be nice too…I’ve given up on Portland snow

    • Brian Leroy says:

      We all know things will turn around in March don’t give up so easily they don’t call it March madness for nothing, nine times out of ten March is really wet/cold with heavy Mt snow.

    • David B. says:

      @Brian – That’s not forecasting, that’s wishcasting. (Though I and many others would be pleased if it happens.)

    • Sapo says:

      @Brian we’ll see…Can’t predict that far out haha! I would like some mountain snow in march but we’ll see if that pans out or not. Still a month away, so there’s hope.

  12. Russ in Tigard says:

    Mark, can you discuss/explain the extremely high pressure anomalies over the north pole in the Week 1 ECMWF run? Those numbers look crazy.

  13. WEATHERDAN says:

    16 day GFS meteogram has PDX dry and mild from Feb 11th to the 19th. It shows highs from 64-72. Even if it is overdone by 5 degrees we are still looking at dry and warm with local highs from about 59-67. Very warm for mid February. Now Mark says maybe colder during this time frame. Either way it looks to be more interesting then it has been of late. 60 in SLE yesterday. Peace.

  14. Hi Mark: If I understand this correctly, our next possible chance for snow will be at the end of the month, or early March? Maybe like March 1, 1991: We had about 6 inches of snow here after several warm sunny days in late February.

    • David B. says:

      It’s a real outside chance, but maybe. If it materializes where I live, it would make it a winter that saw snow fall in November and March but not December, January, or February.

  15. Tyler Mode in Battle Ground says:

    Lucky for the Columbia River, BC and NE Washington hasn’t been nearly as dry/warm as we have down here.

  16. Tyler Mode in Battle Ground says:

    One year ago today, the high was 41 and the low 28. We had a few rain and snow showers. It was just leading into a pretty snowy period for us 🙂

    • David B. says:

      All of which missed me except for the last storm which was also forecast to miss but moved north and hit. Surprise snow is always fun.

  17. schmit44 says:

    2/2/2015 Oregon (All) Temperature Summary

    High:63 at Eugene – Willame( 460 ft)
    Low: 54 at Gold Beach(16 ft) & Port Orford(0 ft)

    High:31 at ALAKES Haines(7979 ft)
    Low: 19 at MT. HOWARD (7910 ft )

    Largest Diurnal Change: 33 degrees
    WARM SPRINGS BAS (61/28 ) (1563 ft )

    Heaviest Rainfall:
    2.26″ at RED MOUND(1753ft)
    2.18″ at EW4856 Brookings(1365ft)
    2.12″ at BROOKINGS(79ft)
    2.08″ at QUAIL PRAIRIE LO(3183ft)

    • Eugene Dave says:

      Yay, Eugene! Was nice today after the morning showers were over.

      If there ever was an early winter to put a fork in it, it’s 2014-2015. There is absolutely no optimism for winter to return, even for the mountains, in the long range forecasts. Blech!

      On the other hand, New England is having one of the most epic winters ever. I’m a bit jelly.

  18. schmit44 says:

    00z GFS very spring-like

  19. Mary says:

    It’s the Pacific Northwest, expect nothing, look forward to tomorrow.

  20. W7ENK says:

    Mt. St. Helens on Saturday, above the Timberline on the South face, Climbers Bivouac.

    Photo compliments of the MSH Institute.

  21. Is there really anything below 6,000 to melt?

  22. No i’m a snowboarder.

  23. runrain says:

    Hey, um…first??

    • runrain says:

      Well, no. The day sure turned out nicer than I expected. Hope the dams can collect some of this rain behind them, ’cause it doesn’t look like they can count on much snowmelt.

  24. Longview 400 ft says:

    Yikes!!!! YUK!!!

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