Models Struggling With Big Ridge

I’ve noticed this for a few days and now it’s becoming a bit more obvious.  Models are having issues with what to do with our upper-level ridge.  For quite awhile it’s been looking like our ridge will be replaced by an upper-level trough later this upcoming week.  Now, over the past 5 days or so, models are keeping the ridge a bit closer to us and putting it off in time.  Here is the map of 500mb heights and anomaly for 15 days into the future.  I showed this on Monday.  It’s valid Tuesday the 3rd on the ECMWF:


Now (as of last night’s 00z run) the ECMWF looks like this:


See the difference now that it’s an 11 day forecast?  Ridging is closer, although it supposedly will eventually pop back up a bit farther to the west eventually.  This is an interesting development I’ve been watching for a week.  Hmmm, not sure if it’s just a delay to the pattern change or if it means there won’t be all that much change in general for early March.  Check out the pathetic snow total from last night’s ECMWF out to 10 days…less than a foot around Mt. Hood!  ecmwf_tsnow_portland_41  That’s because weak systems coming around the top of the ridge don’t have much moisture when they come in from the north or north-northwest.  This will be a drier than normal pattern.

Enjoy the sunshine, I see it’s coming out and I’m headed outside for the weekend!

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

42 Responses to Models Struggling With Big Ridge

  1. I’m excited for the post tonight.

  2. WEATHERDAN says:

    61 in Salem this afternoon after a low of 28. That’s a 33 degree rise, not bad. High tomorrow also supposed to be near 60. That should just about assure us that this will be our warmest February ever. When the weather does turn cooler and wetter in the week it looks like we drop to normal or just below normal. No really cool weather by late February standards. This looks to be the first February in Salem where each day reached at least 50. Peace.

    • Chris s says:

      Something tells me the only model you look at is the raw output of the 4 gfs model runs each day… Seeing as how your forecast changes that often Dan. And the cpc… Lol. 😄 lets go with yours and mine original forecasts from about 11 days ago Dan, where you said snow down to 6000ft for this upcoming event, and I said 2-3000ft. Funny how after all that time, mine is still gonna turn out being closer to right. And I will say that it’s not gonna be a brief 4 day thing either. Sure, the ridge may temporarily move back in, but I think first few weeks of March will be wet and mtn snow at times.😊

    • Sapo says:

      @Chris s and weatherdan, yeah we’ll see! Well GFS ensemble mean is mostly around average temperatures for the early march period, a lot of uncertainty there but probably mostly average weather. ECMWF is cool into early march

    • dharmabum says:

      Yikes fellows, leave a little room here for the rest of us. May I suggest a good rest in a sanatorium?

    • Purplehaze says:

      Tell me with a straight face if you will still be singing and dancing with you’re warm bias comes August when we have water rationing.

      Last summer we escaped being in the orange zone of drought due to the wet June which was just enough to help us.

      Remember that cold period when it got into the 40s at night? That brought some brief snow to the mountains too.

      Hopefully it pans out this time too but usually the same thing doesn’t happen twice in a row.

  3. Guy Anderson says:

    How can I sign up for this to receive by email ? Avid skier so I watch the weather like a hawk hoping for snow….I live in Seattle so looking at your stuff or Walter Kelly’s would be great. Thanks,Guy

    • Purplehaze says:

      Last spring we were blessed by little bits of snow in late May and parts of June. That is what helped us escape being in moderate to severe drought conditions.

      We actually did go into the yellow with a few spots of orange quite a bit once we were having constant low 90s here in the valley.

  4. High Desert Mat says:

    8 on my station this morning in Redmond. Coldest morning since late December. Brrrr.

    By the looks of the 12z euro, late next weekend looks really chilly as well with -11 850’s for central Oregon. With a clear night I could be approaching 0.

  5. WEATHERDAN says:

    58 and sunny in Salem at 1:00 PM. Our low this morning was 28. Coldest since it dropped to 28 on January 31st. Might hit 60 today and again tomorrow. If so that would give us 9 days for February at or above 60. That would be just about normal for March in Salem but probably a record for February. New CPC outlook has us having a brief 4 day period of dry but below normal temperatures before we warm back up to normal around the 4th of March. The RRR strikes again. Meteorological Spring is only 6 days away and it sure feels like Spring outside today. Sunset on March 1st is 6:00 PM. DST is only 13 days away. This Winter was like driving through Burns, not much of it and fading away fast. Sure could have used a big dump of snow up in the mountains. Now it looks like maybe less than a foot. Oh well hard to complain about the weather on a day like this. Talked to my cousin in Waukegan IL last night just after dinnertime. He said they had over a foot of snow on the ground and it was 6 below zero there. Glad to be here and not there. Peace.

  6. W7ENK says:

    It’s amazing, the things that were already blooming at the 1,000 ft level up in the hills SE of Estacada this weekend…

  7. Don Sherwood says:

    27 in Sherwood this morning.

  8. schmit44 says:

    2/22/2015 Oregon (All) Temperature Summary

    High:67 at BROOKINGS( 79 ft)
    Low: 47 at NERRS METEOROLOG(9 ft)

    High:21 at MOON HILL(6100 ft)
    Low: 1 at MT. HOWARD (7910 ft ) & MOON HILL (6100 ft )

    Largest Diurnal Change: 37 degrees
    LITTLE BUTTE CRE (62/25 ) (1702 ft )
    CW0825 Sweet Hom (59/22) (600 ft)

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

    40 deg and raining in Fairbanks right now..

  10. Purplehaze says:

    May I suggest Mark of you posting dates on you’re blog posts because when the comments start getting close to 100 (or higher) it gets confusing as to when you’re original blog post actually began especially if models changed a lot since you last posted Mark.

    • Kassie97222 says:

      The dates are on the blog posts, look under the posts title before you click to view the comments. This one is from 2/21.

    • W7ENK says:

      That’s odd. I can see it just fine, Kyle…

    • Mark Nelsen says:

      Actually it has always annoyed me too. I would prefer the date/time be right up at the top of the post for easy access. When I read some other blogs I wonder when it was written. It’s the “theme” I have chosen. It doesn’t allow for date/time. Now that it’s been almost 10 years of blogging, maybe I should mix it up a bit for this ancient information-conveyance tool.

  11. Purplehaze says:

    Humidity is down to 31% here in Aumsville! Looks like the dry air made it into the valley compared to yesterday which the humidity was around 60%.

    Welcome to Sacramento Lite!

  12. Dave in SW PDX (235') says:

    It’s really dry outside this morning. Currently 50.1° DP11° at my place.

  13. My wife just got back from Safeway and I’m looking at a tomato, an onion, some cheese slices, buns and a pound of burger. Long range ECMWF is telling me we are having Chinese for dinner. I’m not seeing the ingredients that would indicate Chinese. We may get a spring roll or two but I’m betting on persistent burgers.

    In other news… “Nationally, it’s been one of the warmest winters on record” according to USA Today. Quit your whining people east of the Rockies and enjoy our sixth warmest winter ever. ☺

  14. David B. says:

    There’s this strange whitish icy stuff on the lawns, cars, and roofs this morning. I think it’s called “frost”. Didn’t we used to get it sometimes in the winter?

  15. moosieman says:

    longterm NOAA updated march maps still show elevated temps as well as Mar-June. This upcoming mini event looks more like an aberration and short lived event rather than a late season pattern shift miracle. We are having a once in 40 years or so winter. Just mother nature nothing sinister or amiss..We will revert

  16. schmit44 says:

    2/21/2015 Oregon (All) Temperature Summary

    High:69 at BROOKINGS( 79 ft)
    Low: 52 at BROOKINGS(79 ft)

    High:21 at HOWARD Mt Howard(8150 ft)
    Low: 8 at HOWARD Mt Howard (8150 ft )

    Largest Diurnal Change: 34 degrees
    ILLINOIS VALLEY (61/27 ) (1394 ft )

    Heaviest Rainfall:
    0.35″ at CW1102 Wallowa(2946ft)
    0.32″ at CW8673 Elgin(2782ft)
    0.32″ at CW2313 Tollgate(5075ft)

  17. Chris s says:

    Fairly good set of model runs tonight, they seem to be swinging back towards a more favorable pattern for mtn. snow and cooler weather. Sorry Dan, I know you were rooting for the warmth… 😉

    • WEATHERDAN says:

      You just don’t get do you Chris. I’m not rooting for anything. This isn’t a baseball game where I’m rooting for the home team. I just don’t see a big long wet and cold spell and have said so. It’s you who seem to have taken this thing personally. Peace.

  18. Mark

    Come over to the dark side and forecast us some snow for a while. 🙂

  19. WEATHERDAN says:

    60 in Salem today with mostly sunny7 skies. Some trees are now turning green. A lot of flowering trees are now blooming. Really loving this weather though I know we need snow in the mountains. At least some of the ski resorts are able to make snow with the colder nights. Salem may be close to 60 the next 3 days because we are a fair ways away from the Gorge. But areas like Troutdale might be closer to 50. One week from tomorrow our sunset is 6:00 PM. And just one week after that our suset is 7:09 PM. Peace.

    • Jake-(Gresham) says:

      Yeah my great grandfather planted fruit trees in my folks backyard (plums, apple, cherry and pear) and all of them having been showing activity since about 5 days ago; quite early for Gresham I’d have to say!

  20. So you’re telling me that you fooled me again!?!

  21. Benjamin (West Salem) says:

    1st??? I noticed the 12z GFS is cool, but fairly dry once you go past next Saturday with more of a northerly flow.

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