A Quiet Wednesday Evening

January 6, 2016

10pm Wednesday…

For the first time since last Friday there isn’t much weather action either right now or in the next few days.

Temperatures warmed further today:

PLOT_Highs_Metro

The “cold” airmass pouring out of the Gorge has pretty much played itself out.  Troutdale got up to 42 degrees.  The pressure gradient has dropped to under 4 millibars.  Easterly wind is only gusting around 30-40 mph in Corbett and Crown Point…just a typical breezy winter day there.

Showers have moved into the metro area this evening as a weak disturbance moves north through Oregon.  Obviously we’re done with the freezing rain talk because of the milder temperatures.

It appears high pressure and split flow is the story through the foreseeable future.  California will see far more rain in the next 10 days than Oregon.  These numbers are from the morning ECMWF run:

MarkRain_DecemberCalifornia

I don’t think the next week will be TOTALLY dry.  In fact models have shown some sort of surface low approaching Oregon and SW Washington Saturday.  As always each model and each run is a bit different, but I’m not too excited by what I see.  The ECMWF (morning run) have a few sprinkles making it to the metro area.  The evening WRF-GFS run has a bit more rain, but still only around a quarter of an inch.  In this El Nino winter pattern, it’s quite possible models are overdoing the amount of energy (in the form of clouds/rain) makes it in here…we’ll see.  IF plenty of moisture makes it inland, I’m quite confident we’ll see freezing rain/snow in the Gorge.

The cold surface high east of the Cascades weakens a bit more tomorrow, then shows a bit more life Friday and Saturday.  It’ll be nothing like the real cold east wind we’ve seen over the past 5-6 days, but temperatures may drop a few degrees Saturday-Monday as a result.  Not just in the Gorge but also in the metro area.

Of course if a stronger system were to move in Saturday AND temperatures were cold enough we could see freezing rain move out of the Gorge and into the metro area.  But as of now, neither the precipitation or cold air is screaming “ICE STORM!” to me.

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen