ECMWF Monthly Run

10pm Thursday…

The usual maps…from the Wednesday night 32 day run of the ECMWF.  One map for each of the next 4 weeks.  They show the same pattern continuing for the next month.  That’s above average 500mb heights (ridging) to our northeast and below normal heights (troughing) to our west.  Theoretically this pattern tends to split storms and give us less rain than normal.  In this case that troughing is pretty close (especially in the first week or so) so we appear to still get plenty of rain, but warmer than average temps most likely with no freezes in sight.  Two days ago I turned on my outdoor faucets/water lines that my chickens/ducks use.  So I’m hoping we don’t get below about 28 again or at least for a couple weeks…we’ll see.

This El Nino seems to be tracking more like ’82-83 than the other real strong event ’97-98.    Take a look at rain anomaly December 82 & 97 vs. this past December.

What happened in January and February those two big years was the same though…mild and wet.  The temperature anomaly:


and the precipitation anomaly? Wetter all along the West Coast with the wettest action shifting down into northern/central California compared to now:


I went through the daily temps for Jan/Feb both those years and it was quite mild.  If our weather tracks similar to those winters then we’ve seen our coldest/snowiest weather of the winter already.  It is obvious that the pattern remains very mild through the rest of this month at least.  My gut feeling is the 1.1″ of snow in Portland so far this winter could be it for the season.

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen


43 Responses to ECMWF Monthly Run

  1. schmit44 says:

    1/15/2016 Oregon (All) Temperature Summary

    High:56 at Gold Beach (US 1( 60 ft)
    Low: 48 at EW1135 Yachats1(32 ft)

    High:23 at Burns Municipal(4144 ft)
    Low: 11 at Burns Municipal (4144 ft )

    Largest Diurnal Change: 27 degrees
    COLGATE (46/19 ) (3231 ft )
    Prineville Airpo (43/16) (3250 ft)
    NORTH FORK MALHE (43/16) (3270 ft)
    Burns Washington (36/9) (4155 ft)

    Heaviest Rainfall:
    1.10″ at BIGELOW CAMP(5130ft)
    1.00″ at BILLIE CREEK DIV(5280ft)
    0.94″ at LOG CREEK(2800ft)
    0.70″ at ZIM(4089ft)
    0.69″ at BROOKINGS(79ft)
    0.67″ at BURNT RIDGE(2955ft)

  2. Week 4: Partly sunny with a chance of daffodils west side.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Week 1 map: Below-average heights with above-average surface temps = excellent “mixing” that would make any DJ jealous.

    Weeks 2 & 3: Strong subtropical jet stream continues across the southern U.S.

    Week 4 map: Partly sunny with a chance of daffodils west of the Cascades.

  4. Timmy_Supercell (Klamath Falls, OR) says:

    Been a while since I posted. Thought I’d update everybody on Klamath Falls Winter ’15-’16. Quite a lot of snow! So far this property has around 48″ inches of snow and we are not half through this winter season. We still have the rest of January, all of February and March to go before our snow season ends on the east slopes.

    Klamath Falls averages 36.00″ in a season from Nov-Mar.

    In December, there was 28.50″ recorded by a station (OR-KL-5, Klamath Falls 3.4 SSE). This was one of the snowiest months since January of 1993. This house on the hill in downtown had nearly 3 feet in December with a max depth of 18″. With perspective on how much deeper than normal this is; my previous max depth I’ve seen in the last 5 years was around 7-8″ (and this was during the ’10-’11 winter season).

    I’m not the only one having fun with the snow; some may have heard about Crater Lake National Park receiving 196.70″. This broke a 67 year record of snowfall for December (Dec 1948 had 196.00″).

    I assume the drought will soon be no more.

    R.I.P. PNW Drought 2012-2015!

    • JohnD says:

      That is great input Timmy–Thanks! It must be fun living there. Are you a lifelong “local”? I have often asked myself: If you love snow in your own backyard so much, then why do you live in Western Oregon!? Well that, of course, involves a lot of things–heritage and otherwise. We do get big events here–which makes them all the more special; just very infrequent–at least in recent decades!

    • Aleta-West Gresham says:

      I lived there in the winter of 92-93. Oh my was there a lot of snow! As a matter of fact there wasn’t one drop of rain from mid December to the end of February that year. I got SO tired of shoveling snow!! I think there may have been around a 100″ fall that winter if my memory serves me right.

    • Timmy_Supercell (Klamath Falls, OR) says:

      JohnD – I actually was from the metro area (born in Oregon City), grew up in Milwaukie and spent much of my life in the west side Portland area and Hillsboro.

      Until 2010 that is. My parents had tough income and couldn’t stay at a $1000 / month apartment. My grandmother had been in K-Falls around a year before we moved here. To save money we moved in with her in a cheap condo. Then we bought our own house in downtown in early 2012. Good deal, much more affordable to live in a home in a small town than in a big city.

      I’ve only been in K-Falls for 5 years and so I actually was more of a city guy.

    • Timmy_Supercell (Klamath Falls, OR) says:

      To add to my above comment, I was also finishing my final year of High School when we came down to Klamath Falls. I didn’t have much choice but to tag along.

    • W7ENK says:

      Aleta – I heard many stories about that winter when I was living down there. That was the winter where the roof at one end of the shopping mall collapsed due to the weight of all the snow. Funny thing was, 12 years later when I was there they still hadn’t fixed it, they just roped off that end of the mall and wouldn’t let anyone walk down there. The floor would fill with water every time it rained. They finally tore the whole place down a couple years after I moved back to Milwaukie in 2005, built a brand new Sherm’s across the old parking lot from where it used to be, and paved over the rest of the whole property.

      I think 1993 was also the year I heard stories about there being an inch of snow accumulating while everyone watched the 4th of July fireworks over downtown?

      What a crazy place!

  5. WEATHERDAN says:

    And the sun came out to play. First partly cloudy day since last Saturday. Great day for a walk. Hey going back 30 years to 1986 we have had 7 cool Summers. So about 1 out of 7 is cool. It is actually 23% cool Summers the last 30 years. So we should have a 77% odds of at least an average Summer this year. That translates to about 70 days over 80 and 18 days over 90. Down quite a bit from the last few years but much warmer than 2010-2011. Yes we could have a wet and cool Summer but the odds are against it. Also a warming climate would suggest another warm to hot Summer. That is not warm bias as some have suggested but rather the odds. Yes I would like it to be warm, however I was and still am hoping for a Arctic blast and a big snow storm and that didn’t happen so we shall see. Peace.

    • W7ENK says:

      You’re figuring is incorrect. If only 23% of Summers over the last 30 years have been below average, and 77% have been above average, then odds are highly in favor of a below average Summer. Hence the word “average”, because average is average. Average consists of a 50/50% split. Average is not odds of warmer because more have been warmer. Quite to the contrary, actually. That’s not a warm bias or a cold bias, it’s called confirmation bias.

      Statistically speaking, odds are in favor of a cooler than average Summer, because 77% of the last 30 Summers have been warmer than average.

      Though technically, there are no odds. Each Summer and each winter are — for the most part — mutually exclusive of the previous. It’s like flipping a coin 100 times and getting 23 Heads and 77 Tails. On that 101st flip, your odds are still 50/50.

    • phil in Beaverton says:

      Isn’t that like saying that since the odds of getting heads when flipping a coin are 50% and since we’ve gotten heads for the last three flips we can expect that the odds of getting tails the next flip are somehow better than even? And yet, they’re not. It’s still 50% odds.

    • W7ENK says:

      That’s exactly what I’m saying.

      Every flip is mutually exclusive of the last. To believe otherwise for any reason would be confirmation bias.

    • W7ENK says:

      Mutually exclusive is the wrong term, I think… I know what I want to say, I just can’t think of the correct words.

      Maybe just exclusive? Either way, you get my point.

    • W7ENK says:


    • WEATHERDAN says:

      The thing is 50 years ago we had as many cool Summers as warm ones. Now most are at least average if not warmer than normal. You can’t compare a coin to the weather patterns because a coin today is the same as a coin of 50 years ago. But weather patterns change. For example from 1956-1986 we would normally have expected 62 days over 80 but from 1986-2015 it would be 70 days over 80. so while 66 days would be above average in 1976 it would be below average in 2016. And flipping a coin is only dependent on the flipper whereas the weather is more complex. Following your example we might favor a colder Winter because we have had mainly warm ones the last few years. But if we had another El NINO next Winter it would favor a warm Winter. So what I am saying is that our changing weather would tend to favor but not guarantee that we don’t have a cool Summer this year. Peace.

    • Farmer Ted says:

      Weatherdan 2-0 , wseven 0-4

    • JackFrost says:

      Jolly good weather Dan. What we call above average in the 1970s would be normal in the post 1980s decade.

      Same with below freezing nights where what would be above normal mornings in the 1930s would be normal today with it being really tough but not yet impossible for frost.

  6. boninepaul says:

    Second Zone 9 winter in a row. Seems like Zone 9 winters are becoming the norm. I still consider us zone 8 but things appear to be shifting. Interesting pattern for gardeners.

    • Zone 8 is 10 to 20 degrees. It simply doesn’t get into the teens every winter in most places in the lowlands. Still a wise idea to plant for it, because it does certainly happen often enough.

    • oregonalex (Rock Creek, 240 ft) says:

      USDA zones are based on average seasonal lows over the past 25 years. I keep this table with the local seasonal lows and related averages. Looks like PDX is zone 9, but only just. HIO is squarely in the middle of zone 8.

      Winter Low (F) HIO PDX PDX-HIO
      1986 - 1987 23 23 0
      1987 - 1988 22 22 0
      1988 - 1989 8 9 1
      1989 - 1990 13 20 7
      1990 - 1991 6 12 6
      1991 - 1992 26 26 0
      1992 - 1993 14 20 6
      1993 - 1994 16 18 2
      1994 - 1995 16 16 0
      1995 - 1996 11 14 3
      1996 - 1997 21 26 5
      1997 - 1998 24 24 0
      1998 - 1999 5 11 6
      1999 - 2000 21 26 5
      2000 - 2001 19 24 5
      2001 - 2002 19 26 7
      2002 - 2003 17 27 10
      2003 - 2004 17 18 1
      2004 - 2005 20 24 4
      2005 - 2006 16 22 6
      2006 - 2007 18 19 1
      2007 - 2008 19 23 4
      2008 - 2009 12 20 8
      2009 - 2010 7 12 5
      2010 - 2011 15 18 3
      2011 - 2012 21 24 3
      2012 - 2013 20 23 3
      2013 - 2014 9 12 3
      2014 - 2015 19 21 2
      2015 - 2016 19 24 5
      Avg (30 yr) 16.4 20.1 3.7
      Avg (20 yr) 16.9 21.2 4.3
      Avg (10 yr) 15.9 19.6 3.7
      Avg (5 yr) 17.6 20.8 3.2

      Hope it shows up right….

    • oregonalex (Rock Creek, 240 ft) says:

      Of course it didn’t align right, sorry. But is should be readable anyway.

  7. High Desert Mat says:

    I’m taking a two week hiatus from being a weather dork. Hopefully when I come back things will look improved.

  8. JackFrost says:

    I was wondering how long it would be before somebody on here mentions the 82-83 analog.

    • I’ve mentioned past super-strong El Niño winters a number of times. It’s why I’ve long expected this winter to not be dry.

      Given past trends, it’s probably correct to stick a fork in this winter, though I’m still going to withhold judgement on that for at least another month or so.

  9. Dawn says:

    We’re the northern lights visible this morning 1/15/16 by my hood

  10. JJ78259 says:

    Cold and snowy in Calgary this morning really cold! I froze just getting to the rental car. Heading back home to thaw out Sunny and 65 to 75 next 10 days! Almost Weather Dan like weather.

    • JohnD says:

      Cool that you have a job that affords the opportunity to experience such winter weather extremes; lots of fun! My wife’s family is in Massachusetts and our nephew works at a hospital in Bozeman, MT. So–at least vicariously–I also have that opportunity. I would rather have it on the road, though–as yourself.

  11. W7ENK says:

    After almost 2 weeks in the storage shed again, my avocado tree is back out in the yard soaking up some much needed rain water and natural light. I don’t foresee the need to tuck it away from the cold again until next winter, aside from perhaps a handful of overnights laying down on the lawn under a tarp.

    Nearly 9 years now, and I think it’s finally acclimatized down to 33 degrees without needing to go into hiding? But it still won’t flower!! Maybe this year??

  12. Paul D says:

    Sounds like the grass will start growing in February again. No, please! Not again.

    • Farmer Ted says:

      Everything is always growing, just at different rates; slower in winter faster in summer.

  13. muxpux (Longview) says:

    Uh oh. Sounds like Mark is digging in the silverware drawer looking for a certain utensil…

  14. BlazerFan32 says:

    Looks like a lot of split flow to me Mark.

  15. schmit44 says:

    1/14/2016 Oregon (All) Temperature Summary

    High:56 at ECHO( 683 ft)
    Low: 45 at Port Orford(0 ft) & EW1135 Yachats1(32 ft) & Brookings (US 10(149 ft)

    High:21 at HOWARD Mt Howard(8150 ft)
    Low: 4 at Burns Municipal (4144 ft )

    Largest Diurnal Change: 28 degrees
    CROW FLAT (33/5 ) (5172 ft )

    Heaviest Rainfall:
    1.59″ at ILLINOIS VALLEY(1389ft)
    1.45″ at QUAIL PRAIRIE LO(3183ft)
    1.35″ at EW4856 Brookings(1365ft)
    1.34″ at EW7191 Selma(1394ft)
    1.28″ at Timberline Lodge(5880ft)
    1.20″ at SOUTH FORK BULL(2690ft)
    1.20″ at BLAZED ALDER(3650ft)
    1.17″ at CEDAR(2220ft)

  16. schmit44 says:

    Maybe we get a great arctic outbreak next December like the one in 1983 around Christmas if the post-el nino pattern is the same?

    • Well, if we do get an arctic outbreak next December like the one in 1983, I hope it works out better for us than that one: We got “cheated” out of a white Christmas here in Vancouver BC that time. It was cold just before the 25th (got down to 1F on the 23rd). Then it started to warm up on the 24th and by the afternoon of the 25th it was above freezing and we got a light mix of snow and rain. I recall feeling very disappointed. 😦

    • 34 ˚F rain is always a big letdown.

%d bloggers like this: