Warmest October On Record In Portland…By .0165 Degrees!

You just lived through the two warmest Octobers ever recorded in Portland.  Last year was our warmest ever and technically this year was SLIGHTLY warmer.  Let me explain.


When you add up all the highs and lows (31 of each, 62 total) for each month you get this:

October 2014 3724

October 2015 3725

Then divide each by 62 (the number of days):

October 2014  60.065 degrees

October 2015 60.081 degrees

This year was .0165 degrees warmer…yes, just 1-2 hundredths of a degree warmer.

Think about it you weather geeks, if just ONE high or low would have been ONE degree cooler this October, it would have been a perfect tie…wow.

It’s possible the NWS rounds up to the nearest tenth; if so, both years will just be 60.1 degrees and a tie.

Either way, two historically warm Octobers in a row.

November has started a bit cooler and maps look relatively cool over the next 7-10 days.  The ECMWF 12z ensemble chart:


Note that most of the next 10 days the temperature there at 5,000′ is below normal for early November…interesting.  Add in precipitation forecast by both the ECMWF/GFS and one can conclude we COULD see an early start to the ski season.  All we need is two feet of snow, a bunch of parking lot snow piled up and there you go!  One or two lifts are operating and the ski season has begun!  I remember in the old days (10 years ago) it seemed like they would wait for a bit more snow so more lifts could be open all at once.  But obviously there is enough pent-up demand that managers want to get those slopes open quickly.  Good for them and good for you if you’re into those winter snow sports!  I we get lucky possibly the weekend of the 13th/14th?  We’ll see.

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen


29 Responses to Warmest October On Record In Portland…By .0165 Degrees!

  1. BlazerFan32 says:

    Hi Mark

    Seems like it has been years since I posted on here. 🙂

    First of all I see that rangers on Mount Rainier at Paradise have measured 15.5 inches of snowfall in the last three days and this morning as of 8 AM there was 12 inches on the ground. A nice start to the snow pack at least 5,500 feet up there. Kudos to the road crew which is the best in the world in my opinion, they have been keeping the road all the way to the Paradise parking lots nice and clean.

    Okay, I want to throw this out there for you Mark and everyone and I hope I don’t sound to off my cracker mentioning it but I could not find a better place to bring this out in the open for the first time.

    My questions is…

    Since The Blob is still with us and the El Nino is forecast to be quite strong, could we see an expanded coverage El Nino affects from south to north more than we would if the The Blob was not around? I know it is hard for everyone out there to comprehend because according to records and data that go back to at least 1950 at the NOAA CPC, we have never had this sort of situation line up. I would tend to at least think anyway if The Blob was not around that we would be seeing a below normal snowfall year basically over the whole are mainly north of about Crater Lake. Last year as everyone knows was really weird but we were in supposedly a neutral pattern but it felt like an extreme El Nino was happening as The Blob was said to be very intense over that time period of the winter. At least that is what I had heard from Washington State Climatologist Nick Bond.

    Once again too Mark, it was great to see you doing weathercasts four times while I was down in the Depoe Bay area back in October. It was great going down and staying with my Aunt for 4 days in Blue Lake, California too.

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

    Women love weather geeks. We know when there is an arctic front dropping in. And know within a two hour window when to get under the covers.

  3. Boring Oregon says:

    I’m not sure if this really means this winter will be a cold one but one of my chickens, for the first time in the 3 years of owning her, has finally molted and got a winter coat. She has never even come close to having this many feathers and is usually bald on her head and sides. Maybe it’s a sign of a cold upcoming winter? Thoughts?

    • billowen123 says:

      Little things like that can indicate the weather. My friend says he can tell how warm its going to be by when the birds fly south for the winter.

      Just because we had an El Nino this year doesn’t mean we’ll have a warm winter. It could also be cold during the first half, and then warm during the second half. I’ll be interested to see if your feathered friend is correct.

  4. gidrons says:

    Your average women doesn’t appreciate weather geek talk. I especially don’t recommend the phrase “back door arctic blast.”

    • gidrons says:

      That was supposed to be a reply to Mat’s weather geek talk and women comment down below.

    • That remark about women not appreciating weather geek talk is so true!.I’m reminded of a camping trip I took with a group of fellow young people many years back. One night I and a friend spent the time talking about the weather because we couldn’t sleep. Well, next morning we got an earful from the young ladies in the tent beside us! 🙂

  5. Jason Hougak says:

    Timberline winter wonderland

  6. pappoose in scappoose says:

    Interesting how important the “big wet storms” are in filling up the reservoirs.


  7. billowen123 says:

    HEY MARK, Great post as usual. Many times your stats back up what I would remember in terms of the winters. In other words, this October and last October seem like the warmest on record to me, but I would have no statistical way of proving that.

    Likewise with the beginning of the warming trend, which in my mind began around 1990. I would love to see a breakdown of all the winters from 1980 through 2000 to see if this is true. That’s probably too big a project for me. I like the historical aspect of your blog. To me it makes the science better if we keep in mind what has happened in the past….Thanks, Bill Owen

  8. November is too early to judge how a winter snow season will go. Yes, it’s a promising start, but past experience with El Nino winters has shown me that they don’t show their real “character’ until late December or January. I think someone compared this one with the one back in 1982-83 recently. November 1982 was a pretty cool month in my area, but it ended up being colder than any other winter month following it.

  9. schmit44 says:

    11/2/2015 Oregon (All) Temperature Summary

    High:62 at BROOKINGS( 79 ft) & Yaquina Bridge W(120 ft) & BROOKS(187 ft) & RUFUS(185 ft) & DW0462 Umatilla(390 ft)
    Low: 52 at WYETH(102 ft)

    High:29 at Rim(7050 ft) & HOWARD Mt Howard(8150 ft)
    Low: 22 at HOWARD Mt Howard (8150 ft )

    Largest Diurnal Change: 26 degrees
    DIMLKE (54/28 ) (4726 ft )

    Heaviest Rainfall:
    1.09″ at CW2664 Corbett(659ft)
    0.90″ at NORTH FORK(3060ft)
    0.86″ at DW4118 Sandy(1250ft)
    0.80″ at BLAZED ALDER(3650ft)
    0.71″ at DW9126 Brightwoo(1336ft)

  10. Mark bergal says:

    Cautiously optimistic we have entered a new weather regime for a while. Gives some hope this Winter might be better than many think.

    • Mark Nelsen says:

      I was thinking that after the “cool” September. It bounced right back to warm didn’t it? I’m thinking that with a strong El Nino we won’t see a cool pattern until late next spring or summer if a La Nina suddenly appears. Just a thought

      • billowen123 says:

        HELLO MARK, Just wondering if La Nina has to be present for El Nino to disappear, or is there a “neutral zone” where neither are present? Thanks, Bill

    • Mark bergal says:

      It’s not exactly cold, just average. Perhaps our coldest this year will just be average, which is still cooler than last Winter. Aren’t there always other variables involved too?.Who is to say that perhaps
      the current weather pattern isn’t a byproduct of this El nino. That’s what it said on AccuWeather

    • W7ENK says:

      Please don’t say that Mark, that’s my worst nightmare!!! 😥

    • Mark Nelsen says:

      The “next spring or summer” part? I remember what happened last time when we made a quick swing from strong El Nino to La Nina…Summer 2010, the summer of green tomatoes. That was during a cold PDO episode, we’ll see if this one coming up changes to that as well

    • W7ENK says:

      Yes, that part. Summers of 2010 and 2011 were the WORST!!

    • leer` Geddy says:

      Although after the 97/98 strong El nino winter we had a very hot summer of 1998 and 1958, so a switch to La nina doesn’t always mean a cool summer.

    • leer` Geddy says:

      Nevermind 1958 that went into a neutral winter.

    • Jason Hougak says:

      Winter 98-99 had a settled base of over 300″ at Timberline. That’s over 25′ of snow. I remember driving to the ski areas and the plows had to blow the snow out of the bobsled course. The plows had nowhere to push the snow… an amazing winter!

  11. MasterNate says:

    That would be great news for the resorts. Lets hope it doesn’t dry out and warm up above with fog and inversions for December. As for now it looks like a lot of rain for us. Nice to start out this way after such a long hot dry summer.

  12. billowen123 says:

    HELLO MARK, Its only after reading your blog for two months that I actually like being called “a weather geek.” Thank You For This.

    Bill Owen

    • High Desert Mat ( Redmond Or.) says:

      Try 10 years Owen. I feel like a geek all the time now. Thanks Mark, I can’t pick up women anymore and Star Trek look better everyday. Not to mention when I go hunting now, all those animals in the wild look better with each passing you. Hmmmmm, bring on the winter weather will you?

      • billowen123 says:

        WHAT? You mean the girls aren’t falling head over heels when you say “Amateur Meteorologist?”

    • W7ENK says:

      Only when I nudge my glasses up the bridge of my nose right after I say it.

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