“False Spring” Is Here! Two Sunny Weekends in February Likely

February 13, 2015

Yep, this weekend is sure looking nice and signs are pointing to another one NEXT weekend too.

First, we’ve got a very weak weather system moving overhead tonight that could give us a few sprinkles and lots of clouds.  Behind it I see drier northerly winds tomorrow to gradually clear us out.  The 2nd half of Saturday looks sunniest with just about our entire viewing area mainly clear by late afternoon.  Here’s your weekend forecast for both the Cascades and Coast:

MarkCoast_WeekendFcst2 MarkSkiWeekend_3Days

Then from Sunday through Tuesday a gusty and dry offshore (easterly) wind flow develops through the Gorge and over the Cascades.  That’s from high pressure settling in east of the Cascades.  As a result, fog should be non-existent in the metro area for a few days under clear skies at night and blue skies during the daytime.

Temperature forecasts are a bit tough since we’ll have gusty easterly wind.  Typically in winter that means cool temps, but we’re nearing the end of inversion season and very warm air above should mix down a bit.  This pattern in March would give us 65-70 degree temps.  I think we’ll most likely end up around 60 or so this time around though.

We have a very warm atmosphere overhead for at least the next week.  Take a look at the big upper-level ridge by Monday:

nam_mon16th

Cool air is flowing south to the east of the Rockies, but the West Coast is quite warm.  Then NEXT Saturday…looks the same doesn’t it?  Warm ridge in the West and cooler than normal to the east.

gfs_sat_21st

This means more “False Spring” weather.  That’s a period in February around here when we think winter is done and spring is here.  Often it’s followed by a return to cold and rainy weather soon after.  This year though it appears the warmer than normal weather and dry conditions will stick around for at least the next 10 days.  So enjoy the “early spring”.

By the way, The Oregon Cascades climate zone was the warmest part of the USA relative to normal in January. january  It was the warmest January on record up there and the warm weather is sticking around in February.  As of today snowpack is around 10% of normal up there, with no snow below about 5,000′.  Timberline, Meadows, and Bachelor are open, but with some lifts shut down and bare spots in the lower parts of the ski areas.  Skibowl has the tubing hill and restaurants open.  If you plan on skiing, best conditions and quite deep snow (5 feet or more) are up around the timberline and higher.  Otherwise, a great couple of weekends for hiking are on the way with all the lower Cascades snow-free.

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen