An Old Friend Returns; Another Leaves

10pm Tuesday…

Ahhh, a rainy and chilly day today.  It’s like an old friend is back.  A classic midwinter day in Western Oregon and Washington.  Rain totals as of 10pm:


The astute weather geek will notice 3 times as much rain west metro compared to the eastside.  That’s likely due to southeast/easterly flow in the lowest 2-4,000′ of the atmosphere giving the areas closer to the Coast Range a bit of an upslope lift.

It’s pretty obvious that we’re going to see PLENTY of rain over the next 10-15 days.  Take a look at the 00z GFS meteogram:


Possibly some breaks at times, but in general most days will have at least some rain.

So our rain is back…but that cold east wind is about to go away!

For the past 18 days, yes, since the day after Christmas, that cold Gorge wind has been blowing.  For a few of those days it was light, but most of the time it has been raging and very cold.  Today we saw the strongest wind of the past week…84 mph at Vista House and 67 mph at Corbett.  Take a look at the peak gusts at Troutdale and Crown Point the past 7 days:

Why is the wind going away?  Because an area of low pressure is finally moving through our region instead of just swinging by offshore.  Check out the surface pressure map for right now with surface low pressure offshore, then again at 10am tomorrow morning.  It moves east of the Cascades, giving us strong onshore (southwesterly) flow.  That means a surge of west wind through the Gorge by midday at the latest.  Those of you in The Dalles and Hood River will see the low level clouds break up by afternoon (sunshine!) and temperatures should soar up to around 50 degrees for the first time in 3 weeks!

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

50 Responses to An Old Friend Returns; Another Leaves

  1. Washougal 1100ft says:

    Worked in trout lake today they have close to three feet snow. All you snow lovers move east if you like more snow and actual winters! Even white salmon has close to a foot.

  2. CorbettTez says:

    So our “break from the wind” lasted exactly 14 hours!!!! WTH!!?? How long is this bout going to last?

    • W7ENK says:

      Perhaps at least 14 more days?

    • Anonymous says:

      Sigh….just going to be one of those winters I guess! When the big pronouncement over the East wind dying off came out the other day, I certainly thought it would last longer than 14 hours!!! Another 14 days and I think I’ll have to take a quick vacation for a bit of relief…….it does wear you down after a while.

  3. Anonymous says:

    SO our big break from the East wind was one day!? So nice and peaceful yesterday, and then shocked to wake up to East winds again. Not crazy strong, but just annoying!! I was under the impression we were done with it for at least a bit. Any thoughts as to how long it sticks around this time!?

  4. W7ENK says:

    Oh, FFS!! 😦

    US National Weather Service Portland Oregon

    RAIN – It continues to be a popular word in the forecast for Oregon and Washington the next several days, but the heaviest will actually be in Northern California.

  5. W7ENK says:

    Speaking of winter being over and such…

    Anyone else take notice of Hurricane Alex?

    Alex strengthens into a hurricane, a rarity this time of year in the Atlantic

    Alex is not just the first named storm for the 2016 calendar year. It’s also the first named storm to form in the Atlantic in January since 1978, the first January-born hurricane since 1938, and just the fourth known storm to arrive in the month since records began in 1851.

  6. W7ENK says:

    I find it sad, no, ridiculous, that we can hinge the entire winter on one day — half a day, really — and call it good. I mean c’mon, It snowed for less than 6 hours before switching to rain. If I’d have slept past noon, I STILL wouldn’t have seen a single snowflake in the air for going on 2 years now.

    That was a minor snowfall at best, any way you cut it. More accurately, it was an accident. Snowing for less than 6 hours, a measly 1 inch on the ground for less than 24? We’ve had several of those in the last 6 years that we’ve all but forgotten about now.

    As for winter being over, it probably is. However, this will likely also end up being one of those winters that doesn’t kick into high gear until March — after our window for decent snowfall in the valley slams shut — and continue right on through June. 2010-11 redux, anyone?

    I really hate this time of year.

    • JJ78259 says:

      San Antonio Water Systems is all ready looking at the formation of La Niña which could bring another dry spell to the area and very hot summers again. 2010 – 2012 all over again.

    • Sapo says:

      Switched to freezing rain and sleet, not plain rain…we got a lot of ice in that storm

    • JohnD says:

      Also, we take what we can get. The snowstorm that we did finally get was pretty good really–and far better than nothing! EVERYTHING covered all day long amid below freezing temperatures and just under 2″ of shovelable snow (at least in our inner SWPDX Lair Hill neighborhood.) Fun stuff and good for hours long winter wonderland walks. Of course we all long for “more”. Time will tell.

    • Boring Oregon says:

      But it doesn’t even matter how much snow we get in the lowlands. Yeah, it can be exciting of course but it only matters how much snowpack we build in the mountains. If we don’t get anymore snow here in the lowlands this year that’d suck but we have great amounts of snow built in the mountainS so how much snow we get down here doesn’t even matter in the whole scheme of things.

  7. Looks like I could see my first 50F reading on Tuesday. I’m not expecting a cold snap anytime soon either, but as I said before it could still happen either in February or early March yet.

  8. schmit44 says:

    1/13/2016 Oregon (All) Temperature Summary

    High:60 at BANDON( 79 ft)
    Low: 48 at EW1135 Yachats1(32 ft)

    High:30 at HEREFORD(3599 ft) & Mt Hood Meadows(7300 ft)
    Low: 16 at Mt Hood Meadows (7300 ft )

    Largest Diurnal Change: 24 degrees
    CW9205 Lexington (56/32 ) (1558 ft )

    Heaviest Rainfall:
    1.77″ at EW7191 Selma(1394ft)
    1.71″ at DW8761 Gleneden(72ft)
    1.66″ at CEDAR(2220ft)
    1.66″ at WALDPT Waldport(43ft)
    1.63″ at WX5RP Scappoose(65ft)
    1.61″ at QUAIL PRAIRIE LO(3183ft)

  9. ENSO will still be firmly in the El Niño court this summer. The bigger difference will be “The Blob” finally breaking down and going away. That will be the bigger factor in this Summer (hopefully) being cooler than last Summer.

  10. GTS1K' says:

    Well, Dan, shall we treat this as gospel, or should it be lumped in with this “forecast” bust from a couple of days ago: Fair amount of rain but no big dumps?

    100% inaccurate by my lights.

    Hey, but you got your word count in.

    • JJ78259 says:

      Weather or not

    • WEATHERDAN says:

      It is you who is zero percent correct. What we have had the last couple of days is just what I said it is a fair amount of rain. Has the NWS issued a flood advisory that I missed? Are we getting 2 or 3 inches per day of rain like last month. NO!!!. This is a fairly typical midwinter rainy pattern we are in. This is not a big dump of rain like last month. A point which has been made by more than 1 tv met. I would say more but instead I will just consider the source of the remark.

    • JJ78259 says:

      Yes Dan it is very normal to see constant rain for what seems weeks on end in Portland in the winter. Not much cold weather just rain. My family members all seem to have forgot this fact based on last years awesome weather. They are starting to complain, great time to visit their brother in San Antonio as Festival season starts shortly. Rain Drops in Portland it’s just what they do.

  11. WEATHERDAN says:

    I’m sticking a fork in Winter because it’s done. By Winter I mean sticking snow on the Valley floor and a low less than 20. So what could we still have. Chunky rain, lows 20-25, and a high from 35-40 still in February. But that 4 or 5 day cold spell with sticking snow and a low of 17 is very unlikely from this point on. Why would I say that, it’s only January 13th. All indications are the rest of January is mild and wet. We are in a strong El Nino. Even if this wet and mild pattern breaks in February it is unlikely to turn cold. Could it happen? Of course it could. But there is probably more than a 90% chance that it won’t. I think the big question is do we have a warm dry Spring or a cold wet one. But as far as this Winter goes you can pucker up and kiss it goodbye. Peace.

    • Boring Oregon says:

      Agreed. And I believe the ski resorts will pick up good snow for at least the rest of the month.

    • High Desert Mat says:

      Dan, Phoenix called, they want their blue pills back.

      On a brighter note, winter is not over by far as the valley can have sticking snow through February let alone recently in March. This el Nino smart guy has acted anything but up to this point.

      I have a feeling this summer will be nothing close to the last one as we are headed in a different direction with the ENSO this time around. Get ready and enjoy the following one as we are headed for normalish weather the next few years at least imho.

    • Washougal 1100ft says:

      Just like models showed December being dry and look what happen. You can’t count on models more then two days out. Winter is not over six weeks of good winter!

    • Sapo says:

      Yeah I mostly agree Dan..although a huge snowstorm with lows in the teens is extremely rare, no matter what month. Anyway, I think there’s about a 20% chance (random guess) that we’ll get another decent winter event this year, my guess is it’s over as we’re seeing a bit of a pattern change now and I don’t feel like our weather will change drastically in February.

      It is possible, though…We did have a snowstorm in March a few years ago, it wasn’t prolonged (well it was March) but we got a few inches from that.

      And February 2014, can’t forget that one. By far the best snowstorm since 2008, for me at least, since I got close to 8″.

      But I’d say it’s probably over for us this year. And hey, we did ok this year, Sunday January 2nd was not bad at all.

    • Sapo says:

      January 3rd*

    • Farmer Ted says:

      I agree Dan, the trend is your friend and so too I also feel that we will not have an Arctic outbreak this year, and as always that’s just fine with me. Don’t get me wrong I love’em when we get them but I’m not going to sweat it and be bummed out over the great Pacific NW rain & storms that we usually get. I’m getting prepared for you spring gardeners here at the farm, been busy sowing flower seeds for upcoming spring baskets with extreme hot chili peppers being sown next. And remember “Idle hands are the devil’s workshop”!”

    • Warm bias wishcasting.

      It’s way too early to do that. There’s still a good month left in the arctic blast window. Forecast models a month out are notoriously unreliable.

      If, by the 14th of next month, there has been no arctic blast and it looks like none is on the horizon, then it’s time to consider bringing the forks out.

    • buffedman says:

      Cheap electric bill

    • WEATHERDAN says:

      Alright let’s look at the times we have had a low of 19 or less or 3 or more inches of snow that lasted more than 24 hours after February 10th since 1960. 1960.1971.1993,1995,2014. That’s 5 times in 56 years. And as I stated we have about a 10% chance of that happening this year. And every one of those years were in Winters that were cool to cold. Not a mild and wet Winter like this one. Remember I sail it was unlikely not impossible for a major cold spell that late in the year. Please note that. Peace.

  12. GTS1K' says:

    With “friends” like these……..

  13. KPTV Weather Troll says:

    Dec-Feb is the lowest point of the year for me. The perpetual gloom and chill really gets me down. But at least I know that milder days are not far ahead. 🙂

  14. Boring Oregon says:

    I don’t know what happened in Troutdale but at 9:00 last night I had 1.05 in the guage.

  15. gidrons says:

    So much for the Nino split flow. Hopefully there aren’t more landslides.

  16. W7ENK says:

    Less of an “old friend,” more like that old homeless guy that keeps curling up in the doorway outside your apartment downtown every night. You keep shooing him away, but every morning there he is, back again…

    DJFM are generally the worst months of the year, IMHO.
    It gets old, pretty quick.

    • gidrons says:

      Wet Aprils are my least favorite. I’m more than ready for spring by that point. At least there’s a chance of snow JFM.

    • As an allergy sufferer I’d rather have dry cold January-March and a mild wet April-June to suppress pollen. 🙂

    • W7ENK says:

      As a fellow allergy sufferer, my allergies randomly kicked into high gear over the weekend and they aren’t letting up at all this week…

      I’d rather have the warm sunshine back for more than just a day or two.

    • KPTV Weather Troll says:

      I kind of disagree with you about the sunshine. It is nice to have a break from the rain this time of year, but the sun isn’t really warm. You’ll need to wait until March for the sun to actually be meaningful.

    • W7ENK says:

      Sunny skies under high pressure can yield daytime temperatures into the mid 60s this time of year. By January standards, that’s pretty darn warm.

    • JJ78259 says:

      The sun in my nieghborhood gets close to 70-73 on Friday. After being in the great white north for a week it will put a little pep in my step

    • Must be mold allergies then. I wouldn’t think pollen would really be a factor for another 2-3 months. Unless we got abnormally sunny and warm.

      I haven’t had any allergy issues this winter thus far. I did make a big dietary change and removed most sugars from my diet which seems to have mostly squelched my allergy issues. Even with this last allergy season being pretty brutal.

  17. JJ78259 says:

    Rod Hill said that the previous two strong El Niños had very wet January Febuaury March months. I remember that well very wet in Milwaukie. I put in a new lawn and never had water very much spring of 1998.

  18. Paul D says:

    49 right now in Hillsboro. It’s a heat wave!!

  19. schmit44 says:

    1/12/2016 Oregon (All) Temperature Summary

    High:62 at CW3932 Central P(1290 ft) & MEDFORD(1339 ft) & Rogue Valley Int(1312 ft)
    Low: 54 at Gold Beach(16 ft)

    High:24 at EILERTSON MEADOW(5510 ft) & HARL BUTTE(6071 ft)
    Low: 6 at Burns Municipal (4144 ft )

    Largest Diurnal Change: 29 degrees
    Sisters (US 20 M (52/23 ) (3194 ft )

    Heaviest Rainfall:
    2.38″ at HEBOWX Mt. Hebo(3160ft)
    2.31″ at QUAIL PRAIRIE LO(3183ft)
    2.09″ at EW6494 Florence(64ft)
    2.04″ at CANNIBAL MOUNTAI(1939ft)
    1.95″ at RED MOUND(1753ft)
    1.88″ at CEDAR(2220ft)

  20. Dave in SW PDX (235') says:

    Thanks, Mark. I don’t see the surface pressure map you referred to in your last paragraph – did you forget to post it?

  21. jimbo says:

    Aaaannnddddd- FIRST!

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