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

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:


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.


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

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

  1. WEATHERDAN says:

    66 in Salem at 3:00 PM. Record is 67 so we may break it. NWS which recently been underestimating high temperatures several days out has Salem in the mid 50,s over the weekend and into early next week with mostly sunny skies. so 55-61 seems about right. Not as warm as now but still may touch 60. No mention of any snow in central Oregon either. Sun angle much higher than in December and January. Easier to break out of cloud deck now. We are getting close to the point at which East winds warm us up instead of cooling us off. Some places in Western Oregon may touch 70 today. The all time record for February in Salem was set on February 28th 1968 when it hit 72. That was the last of 3 straight days of at least 70. In April of 1968 we hit 84 then we had one of the coldest wettest Summers ever followed by the brutal Winter of 1968-1969. Could this Summer be a repeat. Sure anythings possible but I wouldn’t count on it. Anybody wonder what will happen to all that snow in the Northeast when it melts. Might be a big flood. That’s all they need. Two weeks from now puts us in early March. DST is now just 20 days away. Peace.

    • High Desert Mat says:

      With 850’s progged at what they are currently showing on gfs, 60’s WILL NOT happen this weekend in the valley. We all are starting to take your posts with a grain of salt Dan. They are repetitve and redundant. Warm biases get old. It can’t and wont hold this pattern forever. Let me guess, next winter in your eyes wont see a high get below 50 right? Peace

    • Chris s says:

      Dan, have you looked at both the euro and latest gfs runs, 850 temps overhead will be below 0 this bext weekend. It’s not going to be 60 degrees, and if models keep trending the way they are, it won’t be much above 50.

  2. Garron near Washington square says:

    What a sight from the satellite view! Any body know what we would have achieved for high temps, if this were July?


  3. Tyler Mode in Battle Ground says:

    Another beautiful day for a hike!

  4. Tyler Mode in Battle Ground says:

    In 2009, we did not have a 60 degree day until April 4th…today is day 8 of 60+ for me so far this year…

  5. WEATHERDAN says:

    65 in Salem at 1:00 PM. Might hit 68 or so. And tomorrow might be up to around 63 or so. After a brief cool down to around 55 on Wednesday and Thursday we may hit the 60,s next weekend. Have the upstairs window open for the first time since the last October. Peace.

    • chris s says:

      Not seeing 60’s for next weekend…. and if you were to go by the 12z today, which i really think is quite the outlier, then we would be in low 50’s at best over the weekend.

    • High Desert Mat says:

      I agree, with temps in the 12z around -3 to -6 for the 850mb temps, 60’s are not going to happen this weekend. -9 850’s for central Oregon. May see a snowflake or two in the air if there’s any precip around.

  6. MountainMan says:

    Nothing to get to excited about yet, but as the GFS has hinted off and on (off in the 12z) out in lala land for a few days, the 12z ECMWF at day 9 advertises a cold low slipping out of Alaska and at day 10 driving straight down the BC coast with upper air support perhaps to place a chilly pool of air with over-water trajectory right over us. Cold enough for wet snow in the foot hills and powder on the ski slopes. Ensembles have hinted at a cooler pattern change and I would say there’s about least a 40% or 50% chance now well get something at least for the mountains out of the back side of this relentless ridge. I’m hardly a wish-caster but I’m going to cross my fingers for some mountain and foothill snow and maybe the pattern sticking around for a few weeks if it does develop. As we all know, we just need this High to shift a little west and our weather will cool. If it shifts enough west, we could get a NW flow that has been absent for a couple years and at least some mountain snow. I think it’s still a little soon to pull out the forks, at least for the hills and mountains. http://meteocentre.com/models/explorateur.php?lang=en&map=na&run=12&mod=ecmwf&stn=PNM&comp=1&run2=-99&mod2=cmc_anal&stn2=PNM&hh2=000&fixhh=1&stn2_type=anal&mode=latest&yyyy=latest&mm=latest&dd=latest&hh=240

  7. Purplehaze says:

    Unless we can manage some extra bonus snow in the spring the only 10 percent of snowpack will mean more to us then the skiers this summer when there is no water.

    It’s happened before in 1976 and it looks like a repeat. Prepare for extreme water rationing by mid July at latest if we don’t get any extra bonuses from mother nature.

    All the rain without the snow pack will evaporate pretty quickly once the dry winds come in and drop humidity.

  8. Garron near Washington square says:

    Several high temperature records fell yesterday including PDX. Likely more to fall today and tomorrow…Here’s some of the forecast locations and their predicted highs through Tuesday/vs their record highs.


  9. Joshua says:

    Why is nobody talking about what keeps showing up on the GFS operational? It has shown possible snow to the floor at the very end of the month/beginning of March for like 5 straight runs. Keep hope alive.

    • MasterNate says:

      Because its not within 10 days. And speaking of the GFS, needs to be within 2 days.

    • Benjamin (West Salem) says:

      It’s possible. The past few days it has, at times, shown a cold trough moving in on about the 28th. It has slowly moved from the 15 day time period to the 12 day time period…. There is hope.

    • Benjamin (West Salem) says:

      Of course the 12z GFS had no such trough… lol

    • Joshua says:

      Yep, 12z is back to dullsville.

    • Chris s says:

      Ya the 12z today was very odd… Wants to give us a bit of a backdoor event late week into weekend, but that kinda messed up the pattern after that with some sort of cutoff low down south in California… Let’s hope it is wrong, as I dont think many of us want to sacrifice the much needed mountain snows for 3 days with highs in the upper 40’s… Let’s hope the 00z tonight pushes that back further east and we get back to the much needed pattern change in about 10-11 days.

  10. I’ve made some negative remarks lately about The Ridge- but yesterday we finally had a sunny day here(after some fog before sunrise) and it was just so nice to walk in the sunshine. Of course I know if this keeps up we’ll be in trouble. However, having a good exposure to the sun was what I needed.

  11. JJ78259 says:

    Here in Denver for a Mining Trade Show and it is snowing a good 4 inches on the car! Going to take a few days off after the show to hit the slopes should be fun!

  12. WEATHERDAN says:

    This pattern we are in has been going on more or less since 2012. Now not all the time. Obviously we have had the high back off to the West of us at times. But this is now the third straight Winter with the RRR close by. And in fact it has only gotten stronger. 2012 was a very warm Summer. 2012-2013 Winter had a lot of false cold and inversions. 2013 Summer was hotter than 2012. The Winter of 2013-2014 was interesting because we did have 2 Arctic outbreaks. But we also had a lot of false cold and inversions. Then last Summer set all kind of records for heat. Now we are close to the end of perhaps our warmest Winter in recorded history. (1892 in Salem ). Meanwhile the last three Winters in the area of the U.S East of the plains has gotten very cold and snowy. There Summers have been very cool and wet. What is causing this I do not know. Perhaps the North Atlantic conveyor belt is collapsing, though I haven’t heard that is is. Perhaps it is due to climate change, or perhaps not. But it is kind of freaky none the less. Now if you extrapolate this out to this Summer and if the pattern remains the same then we are in for a very hot Summer. Now this is not a prediction because patterns change change on a dime. But something is causing this and it seems to be intensifying. Some on this blog assume that it will turn around in March and we will get tons of snow in the mountains. Well they may be right but I don’t think so. As long as we have this basic pattern over North America and it shows no sign of collapsing any time soon then wysiwyg. Of course that doesn’t mean an occasional cool and wet spell but the overall pattern seems to be warm and dry in the West and cool and wet in the East. Right now the dry seems centered along the West coast and the wet seems centered around the great lakes. The weather North America has seen since 2012 has been very very unusual. This is reality. I don’t know what is causing it and I don’t know when it will end.It seems to have a life of it’s own. One thing I can say for sure it sure it interesting weather we are having. Peace.

    • Garron near Washington square says:

      It has been very interesting indeed! The atmosphere seems like it is stuck like an eddy in a creek. I will be curious to see how it trends and if the warm blob intensifies off our coast this summer. Also wondering if we’re still going back into a colder PDO period and what kind of implications that will bring on precipitation trends for the next decade or two for the Pacific NW?

    • Shawn Weagle - Garden Home/SW Portland says:

      Fascinating write-up. There has to be some sort of positive feedback loop going on with persistent ridging yielding warmer SST’s offshore, which in turn promotes a warmer air mass and more ridging, so on and so forth. It will probably take a real pattern changer to break us out of this cycle…and that will probably happen at some point. When that will be I have no idea. Maybe it will take another La Nina, or a really strong MJO signature. Or something I’m not thinking of. I really like Garron’s analogy of the atmosphere being stuck like an eddy in a creek. We’re going to need the equivalent of a log or something to enter the creek to shake up the flow pattern. Until then, like you said, wysiwyg. It could change in a few weeks, or maybe it will take a few years. That is for much brighter folks than I to figure out.

    • Purplehaze says:

      At this point the PDO or PNA whatever doesn’t mean squat. This pattern is obviously independent.

  13. Tyler Mode in Battle Ground says:

    Today was warm, but 19 years ago it was warmer.

    65 today at my Minnehaha station, but it was 67 on this date in 1996.

    BTW, at my house in Battle Ground, it was 64.3 for a high after a low of 32.4. My coolest and warmest temps of the month occurred today.

  14. Wow this is going to be fun to watch….two regular members of the Blog have already made snarky troll attacks at me. Why is everyone acting like grade-schoolers, especially with all this sunshine to perk up people’s moods?!?

    • Dringus says:

      Agreed. Nonsense trolling that has nothing to do with weather. What does your opinion on politics have to do with a weather post? And I’ve heard plenty of water freakouts on here that were washed away (haha) by very wet Mar-May periods.

    • It’s as if they are blaming you for the crises in the mountains. It is confusing to me.

  15. W7ENK says:

    Oh good, Karl finally got his coveted “False Spring”… and at what cost? We have no snow in our mountains, and we have very little water in our reservoirs.

    Karl, you don’t get to lust over “False Spring” again for another 6 years. You’ve had yours now, time to let it go.

    May your precious Pterodactyl Palms in The Dalles burn bright this summer, along with the rest of your neighborhood.

  16. I think my username has jinxed all of us this Winter so i’m going to be quiet for awhile.

  17. WEATHERDAN says:

    65 and sunny in Salem at 4:00 PM. Warmest day since last November. Next 10 days look outstanding. Then maybe a little light rain for two or three days. Flowers are blooming and some flowering trees are starting to flower. Cherry trees and dogwoods especially. There is now a very good chance that this will be our warmest February in Salem’s recorded weather history. So here we go again. Last year was our hottest Summer ever and that went all the way into October. Talked to some relatives in Illinois just North of Chicago this morning. It was 6 degrees with a wind chill of -17. It was also snowing to boot. Feels like Spring out there. Peace.

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

      Just talked to some friends from Haines AK. Reporting the lowest amount of snowfall in history there.

  18. oldwxwatcher says:

    32 (now 33) comments on a two-day-old blog post in mid-February. Can you think of a better indication of how boring this winter has been?

  19. Well, “The Ridge’ is definetly back: I have foggy conditions again this morning with about 30.50 inches pressure.Looking at my first half of February 2015 statistics, I have so far a mean temperature of 48.8F. That’s a normal temperature for the first half of April here!

  20. Tyler Mode in Battle Ground says:

    Finally dropped to freezing here in Battle Ground. First time since January 31st.

  21. Tyler Mode in Battle Ground says:

    This warm weather means the flowers are a little ahead of schedule:

  22. WEATHERDAN says:

    Since January 16th Salem is averaging 55 degrees for a high. That’s 8 degrees above average. That’s a big deal. And there is no end in sight to this warm weather either. Just when it looks like there there may be a pattern change a couple of days later the models back off. It was just two or three days ago it looked like next weekend was going to be cooler and wetter. Now it looks to be warm and sunny. Rod Hill reported tonight that Ski Bowl had a depth of 0 inches. Timberline has around 40 inches. If we get no snow over the next two weeks and it looks like that may be the case, Timberline will be under 30 inches. If March isn’t very snowy from start to finish in the mountains then this Summer is going to be very difficult for a lot of us. And yesterday the NWS said that the West should expect to have mega droughts lasting decades worse than anything in the last 1000 years. Will all this come to pass. I don’t know but the longer things go on the more and more things are starting to look quite dire. !000 years ago North America was a lot hotter and drier that it is even now. Greenland was so warm that hay and cabbage and potatoes were grown there. Then about 1350 the North Atlantic conveyor belt AKA the gulf stream broke down. We then had the little ice age. That lasted until 1850. It has been warming steadily since then with just a few interruptions. Will the same thing happen again or will we be able to bring this climate change under control. Again I do not know the answer. In the meantime this week looks to be spectacular weather wise. Peace.

    • GTS1K' says:

      It’s weather – don’t panic…

    • Climate Change is beyond our control it will happen with or without us. So buckle up and get ready for a bumpy ride.

    • Dringus says:

      Boring…when you say something like that, I’m not sure what you’re getting at. Of course climate change happens with or without us, but I’m confused as to what you’re saying : are you saying that human burning of fossil fuels doesn’t increase CO2 in the atmosphere? Or are you saying that increase in CO2 doesn’t lead to increased temperature? Or are you saying there is a stronger force than CO2 that drives temperature?

      I’ve seen these types of posts from you before and never really seen on an expansion of the idea other than you just don’t agree with human caused global warming.

    • Benjamin (West Salem) says:

      I would assume that most people agree that humans are causing pollution and some warming, especially evident in urban heat islands. However, I think it would be hard to deny that in the past there have been very warm periods (warmer than we are at now) and to blame it all on humans or to think that we could completely stop or reveres climate change is a notion that I do not think is proven yet.

    • Dringus says:


      This is also weird. First you say not many would deny humans are causing some warming but then also say it hasn’t been proven we can’t stop or reverse it? Well which is it? If we’re causing it can’t we stop it?
      Who denies the earth has been warmer in the past? We used to be a cauldron of fire for millions of years. And I’ve yet to see a climate scientists or anyone say that humans are the ONLY cause for global warming. Sure I’ve seen some that say we’re the leading cause, but only? Who are we talking about here?

    • Brian Leroy says:

      Weather dan get over it and there is a end in sight it’s called March/cold and wet with heavy Mt snow it’s gonna happen whether u want it to or not this current pattern can not last forever there for change is certain, stop being such a warm bias, it’s getting old,

    • Dringus,
      If i went any further than that it’d become political which according to the rules isn’t allowed here.

    • Dringus says:

      Boring, thanks for clarification. Was kinda disappointed to not have a discussion on solar forcings or something…but it’s better than a vast left-wing conspiracy for nefarious political agenda discussion.

    • …Jeez Louise…someone writes a good observation and historically correct summation and it turns into a barely veiled trolling attempt about semantics and nuances instead of a good conversation about the facts themselves…which is why i’m a stranger ’round these parts these days…

    • JERAT416 says:

      It’s easy to not have much to say when the weather is so boring. We desperately need snowpack for water this summer. Can someone please answer me this question though. Why can’t a good portion of the Portland area just filter and drink the Columbia east of Portland? They drink the Tualatin in some places and that is muddy as heck. Wouldn’t it take some pressure off Bull Run to just tap the columbia out by Troutdale or something?

    • Benjamin (West Salem) says:

      I could have been a little clearer with my comment. ha ha and yeah, the weather is pretty dull, I guess there’s not much else to talk about right now for our weather.

      I should have just said that I believe humans can reduce the warming of earth’s temp, but probably can’t stop overall trends that are larger then us. Also I think the biggest difference we can do in regards to climate is just simply clean up the environment by reducing CO2, trash, and other pollutants. Sorry if the first comment was confusing.

    • Purplehaze says:

      To keep it short within blog limits. One great way to reduce our trash is to stop dumping it in the Pacific ocean. It is bad for life there and it is not just rubbish but tiny white pieces of plastic that does NOT dissolve over time.

      All of this rubbish is bigger then the state of Texas floating around in the currents and messing things up. There is flora that is very sensitive to the slightest temp change and the trash can and maybe already has slowed down some of the currents out there which will cause weather systems to go elsewhere.

      Heck one could make some kind of bad Sci Fi film about a trash monster coming out of the Pacific which the USA sends it’s air force to destroy it but instead of dying the giant trash monster becomes a bunch of tiny monsters that breed!

      Maybe the cause of the monster in the movie would somehow be linked to the Japan Nuclear explosion or some other kind of Nuclear melt down and the end of the movie the message is “Nuclear power is bad for you!”

      The movie will be complete with cheap visuals and bad acting since the entire movie is a joke from one end to the other making fun of every Sci Fi movie from the 50s.

  23. Wendy-Silverlake, Wa says:

    We have one more shot at snow on February 28. Every single year since my I can remember, it has always snowed on my nephews birthday party day. Even if it’s just a little, there has always been snow. Sometimes there’s a bunch on the ground and sometimes just a flurry in the air. I noticed the long range has put snow in on that date, so we’ll see what happens. Anyway, something to possibly look forward to. There’s always a first though that it won’t snow this year, but we’ll see…….

  24. Sapo says:

    I like this warm weather! Good for fishing, tennis, etc. I hope it continues

  25. Once the plants say it’s spring and start growing and budding and flowering, it IS spring. We may have a cold snap to set them back but it IS spring…

  26. mariners1 says:

    I bet there’s a member here that’s losing his mind over the fact that Mark finally said “False Spring”. Can’t pinpoint the feller though.

  27. schmit44 says:

    2/13/2015 Oregon (All) Temperature Summary

    High:70 at MT. YONCALLA(1822 ft)
    Low: 54 at RED MOUND(1753 ft)

    High:43 at TURNER(296 ft) & BOARD(290 ft) & UMATILLA(270 ft)
    Low: 15 at CROW FLAT (5172 ft )

    Largest Diurnal Change: 43 degrees
    CROW FLAT (58/15 ) (5172 ft )

  28. Well, looks like Winter has resigned too.

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

    …and the beat goes on….

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