A Look Ahead and ECMWF Maps

March 2, 2015

11pm Monday…

As I was making the forecast today I realized that in March I’ve never put so many sunny orbs on the 7 Day Forecast.  This is what I ended up with:

7 Day

Why?  Same old story we’ve seen off and on all winter.  Ridge of high pressure in the upper atmosphere near the West Coast for the next 7-9 days.  Both the GFS and ECMWF have rain returning around next Wednesday.    Note the very warm temperatures late this week and the arrival of rain the middle of next week on the GFS meteogram

KPDX_2015030300_tx_240

Is this an unprecedented March weather pattern?  No, it happened exactly 10 years ago!  March 2005 was incredibly warm to start.  In fact the record high temperatures from the 7th to the 11th still to this day are from that “heat wave”.  That was after a terrible ski season.  Actually this winter is matching 2004-2005 quite well so far.  What happened after all the sunny and warm weather?  It rained for the next 6 weeks starting around the 15th of the month.  By the way, the 850mb temperatures during the period below were between +7 and +11 deg. C.  That tells me that if offshore flow develops over the coming weekend or early next week we could get into the 70s…stay tuned!

MarkHeatwaveStudio_March2005

There is no sign that a significant turn to cool and wet weather is on the way.  Last night’s ECMWF monthly run keeps some sort of upper-level ridging nearby through the end of the month.  Take a look at the 4 weekly maps:

500za_week1_bg_NA

500za_week2_bg_NA

500za_week3_bg_NA

500za_week4_bg_NA

Notice that on none of these maps do you see a cool and wet westerly flow with a trough over us.  So the chance for the closed ski areas reopening this year seems to be heading downhill.  And the chance for the ski season even turning “okay” is not looking so great either.  I see the fresh 00z GFS looks cold and wet later next week, but it is…the GFS.  The ensemble chart shows the 10-15 day period is much colder on the operational run than the ensembles.  So that colder solution is unlikely.

Enjoy the constant sunshine the next few days!

By the way, I had a great time at the Pacific Northwest Weather Conference over the weekend.  Great talks by different professors, government folks, and some Canadians too,  All dealt with Northwest weather.  I also ran into a bunch of different TV personalities and we talked “shop” of course.

geeks

Do you recognize some of these people? Top row: Jennifer Gray-CNN, Chris Warren-Weather Channel,   Larry Schick-Army Corps of Engineers (KING-TV for a long time), Sam Argier-KIRO, Nick Allard-KGW.  Bottom row: MJ McDermott-KCPQ, Rich Marriott-KING, Me (didn’t want to comb hair).

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen