Record Highs Today…Feels Like Spring!

What a string of warm days…4 out of the past 5 days we’ve seen temps above 60 in Portland.

Today the dry east wind pushed Salem up to 66 degrees, your warmest February day since 2005!  Here are the other records in the Willamette Valley:


Tomorrow should be exactly the same as the east wind keeps the fog away.  There will be a dramatic change Wednesday though…a marine push in February!  It’ll be coupled with a weakening front dragging through in the afternoon.  The combo of the two means cloudy skies, maybe a sprinkle, and temps 10 degrees colder. Check out our RPM model showing the clouds surging up from the south and inland:




Beyond that, no dramatic changes for the next 8-10 days.  The upper-level ridge pops up just to our west again late this weekend and early next week.  That means more east wind, although it’ll be cooler since we’ll have chilly Canadian air seeping south.  The GEM and ECMWF both show about a 20 millibar pressure difference from Spokane to North Bend Sunday afternoon as this cooler air arrives.  This could lead to a decent downslope wind event Sunday/Monday.  Either way, expect dry weather and sunny skies.

More on the long-term forecast later…the new ECMWF monthly maps are in and still show a big change in the pattern late next week…

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

16 Responses to Record Highs Today…Feels Like Spring!

  1. Snow Maniac says:

    When will you post the long range outlook? Later tonight possibly? Im very interested!

  2. JohnD says:

    Hey Mark,
    I know that this blog is mostly all about “our region” (amid various and sundry expanded themes)–and rightly so; but I would be interested in your take on the historical and unprecedented winter events in the NEUS over the past few weeks. Boston seems to be the knife point bullseye. Beyond words really. Simply ridiculous. While we here–equal and opposite–sit high and dry! Amomalous, or a harbinger of trends to come?! Who can say for sure I know. It just seems a bit weird. Today seemed like what a typical winter day in Los Angeles must be like!

    • David B. says:

      I’m not Mark but I’ll answer. It’s Rossby waves, the undulations in the jet stream that separates the polar and temperate air masses. It just so happens that the average wavelength of the waves is the width of the continental United States.

      So when one coast is cold because the jet is dipping way south, odds are the other coast will be warm because the jet will be way north there. There’s nothing unusual about one coast being warm while the other shivers.

      The unusual thing this time is it’s been stuck in its present configuration for weeks and weeks. Typically it oscillates and both coasts have a variety of temperatures with respect to normal.

      It’s probably NOT caused by anthropogenic global warming. At least, there’s not much evidence in favor of it being. Cliff Mass recently made two posts about it on his blog.

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

      Kinda like last year

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

      Remember the record (or near record) ice coverage on the Great Lakes last year? Seems like the general pattern is tending toward stuckiness….

  3. Linda Harmon says:

    I am a long time Oregonian and I remember that in 1977 there was no snow pack and no rain. It was sunny and dry all winter. The reservoirs were all drained and they turned down the lights at night. I can’t believe that year is not listed. Maybe I have forgotten after all this time.

  4. pappoose in scappoose says:

  5. Can we work on shunting next weekend’s cooler air further east? I don’t want it to be a false spring party pooper.

  6. Jason Hougak says:

    Howdy Mr. Nelsen

    • Jason Hougak says:

      I’ve been watching and it’s feeling like we’re due for a change of pace. Hey I’m enjoying April but hold your horses it freaking February! Remember 2005 had a big change for the Cascades. Timberline went from a dismal 25″ to over 70″!

    • Mark Nelsen says:

      Good to have you back! I just checked, only 3 other years have been this bad for snowpack this late in the season. 1 of those we started getting decent snow from this point forward. That leaves (a few days from now) only 2 other years this bad this late. That’s 2004-2005 and 1980-1981. Even those years (as you pointed out) had some sort of snow in the mountains in March/April. If that pattern doesn’t change, it would be totally unprecedented.

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

      Unprecedented seems to be the new norm…

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