Blob Update

Lots of talk the past 2 years about unusually warm water in the northeast Pacific.  It has been named “The Blob”.  I’ve seen some discussion on different forums recently that it has gone away.  Yes and no.  The positioning of warmer than normal sea surface temps has changed, but there is still a LOT of “warm” water offshore.  Note a month ago:


Warmest water relative to normal is way out there…looks “blobish”.  But big picture is warmer than normal water across all areas to our west.

Now the current image:

sst now

It has cooled quite a bit way out there, but the anomaly has strengthened within the 500 miles of the coastline…more reds showing up.  If you want marginal snow events here this winter you’ll want that to go away!  Plus that has to have some effect on our weather as it has in the past two winters.  Very “Warm PDO” look.

That’s all.  Maybe a posting later on a soaking coming this weekend and first mountain snow (to the passes) about a week from now.

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

44 Responses to Blob Update

  1. leer` Geddy says:

    Who’s ready for spring?, yes well get some rain, little wind and a bit of Mt snow but so what this fall/winter is a bust due too El nino so why are we all holding our breath when nothing exciting is coming so skip winter and get ready for another great growing season with a early spring and hot summer on the way. That’s the bottom lines.

  2. Boring Oregon says:

    For Saturday you’re saying “could be a soaker!” Are you saying “could” in effort to butter us up and make us want to trick or treat?

  3. Mike says:

    I grew up in Hurricane country(Florida). Hurricane Patricia was a fluke. Just the right water temperature, no wind shear, etc. I think the pacific blob may have had a little to do with it but not much. Once in a hundred years wind speeds.

  4. jimbo says:

    Wow. Check out the moonrise!

    • Boydo3 N. Albany says:

      Nice conjunction in the morning before sunrise. Look to the east and see Mars, Venus and Jupiter all tight together. Very pretty this morning and should only get better for the next couple mornings. Some really good photographer on this blog (Tyler?) could get a great pic with Mt Hood or Mt Jeff in the foreground.

  5. Josh "the snowman" from Gladstone, or says:

    Mark doesn’t know why is going to happen more than 5-7 days out than the rest of us. Quit speculating and enjoy the ride. Every winter has a surprise or two.

  6. I’m definetly not expecting a ’68-69′ type winter, but i’m thinking a cold spell or some kind of arctic outbreak in late January or in February isn’t out of the question. One can only hope! 🙂

  7. Mark bergal says:

    The GFS has us in a cooler regime next week but states the origin of the air is not particularly cold, so it will probably just average out to normal

  8. Lee Wilson says:

    Just thankful for the snow up in tie mountains.

  9. WEATHERDAN says:

    64 and mostly sunny today. This is 4 degree above average for the date. We have had I think 3 below normal temps so far this month. Last year we set a record for the number of days over 60 in a calendar year at 230. Today is number 229 on the year. We are likely to get to 240 days this year. That means that for 8 months out of 12 this year we will have been above 60, amazing. Normal is around 200 and 50 years ago it was around 190. Tuesday should be mainly sunny. Now that a lot of the trees are changing color it makes for a great time to take a walk. Peace.

  10. Steven James says:

    Just wondering, Mark … did this warmer water offshore have anything to do with Hurricane Patricia? Just a thought.

    • Mark Nelsen says:

      No, it’s been there for a long time. During the summer it was much warmer than normal too

    • Hmmm, I beg to differ with Mark. The water’s been warmer than normal off the coast of Mexico, too, and given that hurricanes feed off warm water this almost certainly DID help Patricia undergo the rapid and remarkable strengthening that it did.

    • Mark Nelsen says:

      I think I misunderstood the question. I read it backwards. Thought Steven wanted to know if Patricia CAUSED warmer water off our coast. Most definitely Patricia was helped by the warmest water in the northern hemisphere at the time. I think I saw 86-87 degree water in that location last week.

    • If anything, one would expect Particia to have cooled the water off slightly, since it did extract energy from it. Whether this is enough to be measurable or not is debatable.

    • Steven James says:

      Alright, thanks!

  11. Boydo3 N. Albany says:

    This might help the situation..

  12. W7ENK says:

    “f you want marginal snow events here this winter…”

    I don’t want “marginal snow events.” I want “absolutely positive, in the bag, no doubt about it, ‘Day After Tomorrow’-esque, January 2015 in Boston, Mass.” type snow events. Why can’t we ever get those with any kind of consistency?

    Marginal… always marginal. Those are the worst!

  13. jakeinthevalley says:

    I am holding out hope that warmer ocean surface temps will contribute to more moisture being available when we have a low spinning off the mouth of the Columbia and the flow of cold, continental air picking up said moisture in our version of “Lake Effect.” More commonly known around here as “short overwater trajectory.”

    • W7ENK says:

      So, instead of our usual 33 degree rain, we’ll instead get 37 degree rain? We don’t get “lake effect” snow from the Pacific, because it’s too warm. What we DO get is SOWT (Short Over Water Trajectory) snow events, or at least we USED TO get those. But, I doubt that’ll even do it for us at this point, since our offshore Pacific waters are now slightly warm-ER…

    • Mark Nelsen says:

      I think that’s a good assessment. We need even slightly colder short over-water trajectory than normal to get snow to the same low elevations. That’s assuming the anomaly continues for 4 more months.

    • jakeinthevalley says:

      Maritime Polar air mass situations will certainly be more quickly modified by higher SST, but I wouldn’t worry about those same SST’s modifying a true SOWT event and the cold, dry continental flow of air. I would expect a higher availability of moisture picked up over a warmer ocean.

    • runrain says:

      ’68-’69 redux anyone?

    • Mark Nelsen says:

      Good point Jake. No effect on already-entrenched cold airmasses. Could add a little juice to wind coming from the west/southwest too

    • pappoose in scappoose says:

      Or get a shorter over water trajectory. Gotta be some way to get some snow in here

    • SOWT air? I personally prefer the term “Oceanized Arctic Air.”

    • pappoose in scappoose says:

      How about PAA, Pacific Arctic Air!

  14. WEATHERDAN says:

    I thought it was crazy a couple of days ago when the 10 day GFS Meteogram had PDX at 6.25 inches of rain. Now they have PDX at 8.49 inches of rain over over the next ten days. Yet they have EUG at 2.67 and SEA at 3.69 inches. What a joke. We are probably looking at 1.50 inches and maybe 2.00 inches or rain at the most over the next 10 days. I suppose tomorrow or Wednesday the meteogram will have PDX at over 10 inches of rain over the next 10 days. Peace.

    • Brandan says:

      I see 8.52″ at KTTD, KPDX shows 4.22″ per the 12z. KTTD usually has higher totals due to it being so close to the mountainous terrain.

    • WEATHERDAN says:

      This is from the COLA/GRADS Meteograms. Yesterday (Oct 26th) they had PDX at 8.49 inches. Peace.

  15. WEATHERDAN says:

    First. Peace.

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