A Look Ahead and ECMWF Maps

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


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!


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:





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.


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

50 Responses to A Look Ahead and ECMWF Maps

  1. Russell Porter says:

    I don’t like the new weather App. The old was was better and provided more real time data and longer forecasts. It was also more pleasing and much easier to add cities to check their weather. Too bad the new one is not better.

  2. High Desert Mat says:

    Geez Mark, don’t you get a little star struck being around all those celebrities? Or are they star struck being around you?

  3. W7ENK says:

    I could feel the heavy chill in the air settling in last night, so I decided to lay my avocado tree on its side and cover it with a blanket when I went to bed. I’m glad I did, because it was 27 when I got up this morning, and as I left the house the blanket was covered with a fairly substantial layer of frost…

    Close call! O_O

  4. Purplehaze says:

    Low of 31F yesterday with a high of 60F as if this was The Dalles!

    Today a low of 28F and it’s only 45F right now much much cooler then yesterday yet stepping outside it feels warm when not in the shade. Weird……..

    Yesterday was very nice except a chilly breeze tried to form late morning thru early afternoon before slacking off.

    • W7ENK says:

      It’s still early yet, I’ll bet you reach 60 (or at least fairly close) again later this afternoon…

      And, I hate it when the weather slacks off. It’s been slackin’ off all winter long!!

  5. David B. says:

    A frosty 27 this morning. Believe it or not, that’s the coldest I’ve seen this year! Just goes to show how ridiculously warm January and February were.

  6. Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!
    It’s already 30.2 here and falling. Downright nippy and Wintry feeling. I guess that’s the best we can do. We can’t control mother nature, so may as well make the best of it and really any situation. Enjoy the nice week and weekend.

  7. schmit44 says:

    3/3/2015 Oregon (All) Temperature Summary

    High:63 at Brookings (US 10( 150 ft)
    Low: 43 at Brookings Airpor(459 ft) & PATSY Eddyville/(1210 ft)

    High:17 at CW7477 Lostine(7002 ft) & HOWARD Mt Howard(8150 ft)
    Low: 3 at CROW FLAT (5172 ft )

    Largest Diurnal Change: 35 degrees
    Lorella (48/13 ) (4160 ft )

  8. Jason Hougak says:

    So Mark we’ve been stuck in the doldrums all this…uhhhh…winter??? If you can call it that here in the PNW. What did all you weather experts come up with. Is this a new pattern developing with a massive stubborn ridge or is this thing gonna disappear?
    I know we cannot know what’s happening but I’m sure there was a lot of talk how our weather here is anything but usual. Just remember there are two sides to a coin. I cannot wait for our turn for a wild winter.

    • David B. says:

      I believe the general pattern we’ve been experiencing is called an omega block.


    • Jake-(Gresham) says:

      If I’m not mistaken isn’t an omega block more common in the summer due to a weaker Jet stream?

    • Lee says:

      I am not a weather expert but here in Castle Rock, I am having to use heaters to prevent freeze damage.
      I have pictures as well as recorded data ie High for to today was 68 and a low for this morning was frigid 30 degrees.

      I purchased a mini weather station of sorts and it is at 2997 InHG.

      I think the leprechauns done got froze.

      All in all, due to all the inaccuracies, I have resorted in purchasing my own mini weather station..it is currently self calibrating.

  9. schmit44 says:

    18z GFS operational run 🙂

  10. David B. says:

    “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.”


  11. WEATHERDAN says:

    28 in Salem this morning, but already up to 51 at noon under sunny skies. Should hit about 56 today. The rain 10 days out is in la la land. Still we will probably get at least some rain. I don’t see a long pattern change just about a 4 or 5 day wetter and cooler spell with some snow down to maybe 3000 feet. Then most likely the RRR will re assert itself. We need the snow in the mountains though. This weekend looks like we might hit 70 for the first time this year. Peace.

    • Ya, I bet you’re right. Although the latest ensembles are hinting at maybe just warm systems plowing through after the stretch of warm weather. BTW, don’t pay attention to the trolls. Just ppl with nothing better to do since the regular trolling victims smartened up, and quit commenting here 😉

    • chris s says:

      Lol, the ensembles arent showing warmer systems, but thanks for the brilliant input mike!!! and actually Dan is the one that is basing his forecast off of what has been the likely scenario instead of the models, and this last time he got mostly lucky. But hey, thanks again for your input and on who is a troll or whatever sort thing you can think of.

    • Today’s GFS 12z ensembles slowly backed off from the cooler trend Chris. Keep chasing that carrot tho 🙂

    • The ensembles were also showing a lot cooler last week too. But the Euro won out at that time as well. Remember?

    • …chris s ….why dont you “put your money where your mouth is” and enter the monthly contest…

    • GFS 00z ensembles from last night. Oh look. It’s trending warmer. Euro always wins 😉

    • WEATHERDAN says:

      Thank you Mike. Chris what do you think a forecast is anyway? Somebody looks at several pieces of data and draws a conclusion. While models are getting better they are still unreliable, especially more that a few days out. As an example just look at the 18z operational posted by Schmidt 44. (thanks for the post). It has Portland dropping to 4 degrees on March 15th. That is 13 degrees colder than Portland has ever gotten in March. And that was on March 1st 1971. It’s those jaw dropping insane model runs that seem to show up from time to time. They call it la la land. Funny thing is that they only seem to happen in the Winter. What’s ever more amusing is that after so many of these non events over the years anybody still puts any credence into them. What if the 18z gfs that came out on July 10th had Portland at 121 degrees on July 23rd would you believe that. That would be about 13 degrees warmer than Portland has ever been in July. Ever hear of people who drive into a lake or a river because their GPS device said that’s the way the road went? It’s just like a long range model run. If something really bizarre comes out take a look at other sources. And I did not get lucky with my forecast as you say. I looked at all the reliable sources of data and drew a conclusion. That’s called a forecast. And yes my forecast did change from day to day because the available data also changed. Peace.

  12. schmit44 says:


    Entries will close on March 5th. Please put your full name if you want credit for winning. Thank You all.


    • schmit44 says:

      Here are the results of the February 2015 weather contest. Mike Newman captured his first monthly contest title.

    • schmit44 says:

      Here were the original guesses from last month

    • schmit44 says:

      Here is the February 2015 climate summary for PDX. It was the warmest February of all-time beating out 1991. We put together 27 consecutive days with above normal daily mean temperatures with Feb 1st the only day of the month below normal.

  13. Joshua says:

    GFS operational will not back down on showing cold and wet starting at the end of next work week and continuing for the rest of the run.

  14. W7ENK says:

    One of these years I hope to make it up there for that weather conference thingie. Unfortunately, it always seems to coincide with same weekend as the Eesti Vabariigi Aastapäev (Estonian Independence Day) celebration, something I’ve attended and performed at for the last 18 consecutive years now. How could I possibly break a streak like that?

  15. Intresting comparison with March 2005. That month was warmer than average here as well (north of the 49th) and the second week in particular: I recorded a maximum of 68F on the 10th. So a 70+ temperature reading somewhere in this general area of the world would not be too surprising.

  16. schmit44 says:

    3/2/2015 Oregon (All) Temperature Summary

    High:60 at BROOKINGS( 79 ft)
    Low: 48 at BROOKINGS(79 ft)

    High:26 at Mount Hood Meado(6601 ft) & HOWARD Mt Howard(8150 ft)
    Low: 1 at CROW FLAT (5172 ft )

    Largest Diurnal Change: 34 degrees
    MCDERMITT 26N (51/17 ) (4464 ft )

    Heaviest Rainfall:
    0.25″ at BANDON(79ft)
    0.22″ at CW2527 Florence(46ft)

  17. Mark 🙂

    Thanks for getting the snapshot on here with MJ, Sam, Rich, and yourself. I wish I could have made it up there to talk with all of you at some point but my legs are still a mess here.

    A little background here: I first met Rich back in the 1980’s when he was a forecaster for the Northwest Avalanche Center which is directed by Mark Moore these days still I believe. I actually used to relay weather data from the ranger station at Paradise that I took in the morning at the weather station up there to Mark and Garth Ferber. They in turn would let me know the latest forecasts they were seeing. I have always admired Rich and I know he also used to be the manager of the Blue Glacier project out on Mount Olympus in Olympic National Park. I was still in high school during that time.

    As for MJ from KCPQ I had lunch with her at the NOAA cafeteria on the second day out there and she was really intrigued about my work as a ranger and weather observer up at Paradise on Mount Rainier.

    I talk to Sam Argier at least every week at some point via his Facebook page but have yet to meet him in person and have shared charts with him on Seattle weather as well as Mount Rainier. Sam knows that Rebecca Stevenson and I knew each other and he remembers when she had me on one of her winter weather shows for KIRO. I told Sam I have always preferred KIRO for TV weather in the local area because it has a great history and I grew up watching Harry Wappler back beginning in the early 1970’s.

  18. Jake-(Gresham) says:

  19. Chris s says:

    Little confused Mark, as the ensembles have looked really good for the past few days… And I can’t help but once again notice that this weeks set of euro weeklies is quite a bit different than last weeks. I think this may be the time where the gfs is right, ya it might be wish casting but what the heck!!

  20. EPIC FAIL: Mark forgot to mention anything about the final numbers for February on the blog! 😛

%d bloggers like this: