February “Heat Wave” Coming…How Warm?

9pm Thursday…

You knew I just had to have a dramatic title like that didn’t you?


Sunday through Tuesday, and possibly Wednesday will feature our first taste of “early spring” this year with some record high temperatures likely in spots.

  • Skies should be all or mainly sunny during that period
  • High temperatures away from the Gorge wind areas in the western valleys and in the Cascades should reach 58-64 Monday-Tuesday
  • Highs at the Coast and Cascade Foothills will be up around 70 in spots those two days



It’s been obvious for the past few days that a big ridge of high pressure in the upper-atmosphere will build over the Pacific Northwest.  That starts this weekend and then continues through the middle of next week.  Models have been in excellent agreement with the general pattern.


Those models have also been in agreement that this will be an unusually to record warm airmass for early February.  Here’s the Salem 850mb temperature (5,000′ temp in C) climatology from the SPC website.


I know; lots of lines.  The thin red lines show the warmest temperature ever recorded for every day of the year at 850mb.  Think of those lines as the warmest temperature recorded on any one date around the 5,000′ elevation.  Notice that from late January through all of March the 850mb temperature has never been up to +16.  Both the GFS and ECMWF models say that on Monday afternoon/evening the temperature over Salem will be around +16 to +17!  That would be a new record (if it occurs) for us.  I’ve highlighted what models are showing in yellow and you can see it in the maps below:

As a result, I’m confident we’ll see temperatures up to 60 or higher in the 3,000-5,000′ range over and west of the Cascade Crest on Mt. Hood Monday/Tuesday.  Not east of the crest and maybe not Government Camp either because of a cool surface high east of the mountains.  You can see it on the maps above.

But what about the lower elevations?

IF it was March with the same atmosphere overhead, we’d see temperatures in the 70s early next week in the lowlands.

IF it was mid-January, I’d expect highs around 45-50 degrees as a strong inversion locks in “cool” air in the valleys.

But we’re inbetween and that’s the temperature forecast problem.  Some sort of inversion will still be present but we’re right on the cusp of the end of inversion season so it’s tough to tell how much we’ll break out of it.  We’ll also have a good 6-8 millibars easterly wind flow through the Gorge, so the areas in the strong east wind zone here in the metro area will likely remain below 60 degrees.

Similar weather patterns in early February 1963 and 1995 DID produce highs into the mid 60s in the metro area so it is very possible we see a 65 degree high somewhere in the lowlands.  This evening’s WRF-GFS run from the UW shows highs Monday in the 60-65 degree range in our area and that’s pretty much what our 7 Day forecast shows.  Earlier this model had shown even warmer temps but this seems more reasonable now.


Now these have all been just weather nerd details…the big picture shows lots of sunshine Sunday-Tuesday and very warm temperatures…Enjoy!

By the way, record highs at PDX are 62, 64, 62, 65 for Sunday-Wednesday.  We’ll see if we beat one or two of those.

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

55 Responses to February “Heat Wave” Coming…How Warm?

  1. GTS1K' says:

    The Beast wind doth blow hereabouts most assiduously. Dry it will be for a day or two.

    Peace, but not quiet…

  2. Is Mark going to post the new “Six Week ECMWF” tonight??? o.O

  3. esmewwax says:

    Anybody notice the wind at Vista House? I’ve worked there ten years and for the first time got knocked on my tail end trying to get into my car, trying to keep my door hinges from getting sprung. Mostly 60-80 but one 96mph at 11:36.

    • Jack says:

      Yeah, what the heck is with the winds today? I thought the big winds were mostly over by this time.

  4. WEATHERDAN says:

    At 2:35 PM North Bend is 82 degrees. Not bad for February. Peace.

  5. CorbettTez says:

    Wind speeds currently are 48g64 at the Corbett school. If this isn’t a “wind event” what do you call it? When we get winds speeds in the upper 40’s to mid 60’s for multiple days, I call that an “event!” What is your criteria exactly and how long is this going to last?

  6. WEATHERDAN says:

    Brilliant sunshine outside today. 60 at 1:00 PM. 77 at Noon at North Bend. Spectacular stretch of Sunny warm weather ahead. And this year we don’t have to feel too guilty for the nice weather. The snowpack is above average and the reservoirs are full. Not a great Winter but at least it didn’t stink like the one before. Maybe next year will be even better with a La Nina. Just 34 days until DST. Some flowers in bloom already. Thanks to this nice weather I am getting an early start on Spring yard work. Just about time to take down my Christmas tree. Or maybe change all the lights to red and white for Valentines day. I wonder when Mark will officially put a fork in this Winter. Peace.

  7. Dave in South Salem (500') says:

    68 degrees in Lincoln City at noon already!

  8. Jackfrost says:

    Good time to think about cutting back on poll…..I mean emissions so we can save ourselves from ourselves.

  9. schmit44 says:

    2/7/2016 Oregon (All) Temperature Summary

    High:74 at Gold Beach (US 1( 60 ft) & Brookings Airpor(459 ft) & Bullards Bridge(23 ft)
    Low: 53 at BROOKINGS(79 ft)

    High:35 at Baker Valley(3420 ft)
    Low: 14 at Baker Valley (3420 ft )

    Largest Diurnal Change: 36 degrees
    PRINEVILLE 4NW (63/27 ) (2839 ft )
    Lorella (60/24) (4160 ft)
    CRAZYMAN FLAT (57/21) (6180 ft)

  10. Jason Hougak says:

    Start your spring yard work. Too early for me but I did enjoy using my new Stihl brush cutter to knock down the black berries yesterday.

  11. Joshua Downtown PDX says:

    Barometer is reading 30.53 right now. Pretty dang high. Sun and warmth to come.

  12. schmit44 says:

    2/6/2016 Oregon (All) Temperature Summary

    High:60 at BROOKINGS( 79 ft) & EW1735 Central P(1285 ft) & EW4806 Grants Pa(942 ft)
    Low: 50 at BROOKINGS(79 ft)

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

    Largest Diurnal Change: 29 degrees
    Lorella (56/27 ) (4160 ft )

    Heaviest Rainfall:
    0.78″ at FLYNN PRAIRIE(1543ft)
    0.71″ at SOUTH FORK(2257ft)
    0.65″ at CW2527 Florence(46ft)
    0.60″ at CEDAR(2220ft)
    0.57″ at TIDEWATER(2035ft)
    0.57″ at CHARLOTTE RIDGE(1220ft)

  13. Tyler Mode in Battle Ground says:

    The Five Minute Sunrise

    A couple years ago I shot a sunrise I called “The Ten Minute Sunrise.” The color only lasted ten minutes but it was beautiful.

    This morning proved even more brief. The amazing colors last just 5 minutes before things turned to their normal winter grey.

    I love waking up early on my days off…

  14. schmit44 says:

    2/5/2016 Oregon (All) Temperature Summary

    High:63 at AGNESS2( 247 ft) & ILLINOIS VALLEY(1389 ft)
    Low: 51 at CW5925 Coos Bay(49 ft) & OCNSID Oceanside(22 ft)

    High:28 at HARL BUTTE(6071 ft) & NYSSA(2172 ft)
    Low: 7 at KIRK (4519 ft )

    Largest Diurnal Change: 39 degrees
    CRAZYMAN FLAT (47/8 ) (6180 ft )

    Heaviest Rainfall:
    0.81″ at WANDERER’S PEAK(4350ft)
    0.68″ at LOG CREEK(2800ft)
    0.68″ at SOUTH FORK(2257ft)
    0.62″ at BOULDER CREEK(3570ft)

  15. Looking forward to the drier weather pattern; I’ve seen rain on 10 of the last 11 days. Does anyone here remember February 1993? That was a really dry February in my books. I saw 2 days of measurable rain and 2 days of some light snow for a total precipt. amount of 0.60 inches.

    • JohnD says:

      Thank you for your candid and enjoyable post(s) Roland. It is apparent that a number of our fellows haven’t mastered the fine art of human civility/kindness. ALSO I just realized that you are hailing from Vancouver, BC–right? I believe that many of the bloggers have Vancouver, WA in their thinking. In any event THANKS! Vancouver, BC indeed a wonderful place. And notwithstanding our shared marine climates, sometimes significantly more wintry up there than here in Portland, no,doubt attributable to your increased latitude, etc.

    • Hi, John! Thanks for your kind words. Yes, I do hail from that Vancouver north of the border. In case you (or anyone else) is wondering why I don’t use Celsius degrees for temperature or millimeters for rainfall measurements in this blog, it’s simply to keep things understandable for everybody. I grew up knowing the Imperial system. In Canada, we switched to metric when I was 16 years of age, so I’m comfortable using either way! 🙂

  16. Jason Hougak says:

    Enjoy the warm February, the hammers coming down with La Niña 16-17!!! 97-98 record strong El Niño was followed by record strong La Niña, Timberline had over a 300″ base, that’s the snow depth on the ground. MT Baker recorded 1,140″ of snowfall that winter.

  17. Josh "the snowman" from Gladstone, OR says:

    Calling me son? I’ve been here since the inception of this blog. I listen to the same mundane posts. Nothing new is ever said by weatherdan, YOU, farmer Ted. It’s all the same garbage. Perhaps you guys should go over to the weather forums where that stuff is rampant.

    I get it Dan. You nice warm weather, but good lord man. And farmer Ted is his lackey. Probably follows him on Facebook. Lol. I bet you next year weatherdan will cry like he lost his first born when we get some negative anomalies. Actually he may start to understand that life doesn’t revolve around Salem. The crap-hole of Oregon.

    • marinersfan85 says:

      I thought w7 was always the troll?

    • WEATHERDAN says:

      Earlier on this blog someone wrote of civility. Well I would like to be civil on this blog but I just can’t ignore the moronic trolls who creep about on this blog sometimes. Morons like Josh who aren’t content to badmouth just me they have to rip a whole city as well. But since you brought up my alleged mundane comments about the weather perhaps one could look into your scintillating comments.You insult a whole city just for fun. Then you insult Ted for no reason. But I shouldn’t be surprised because you have made a jackass of yourselves so many times I have lost count. You and the other trolls that pop up from time to time. Thing is Josh boy I never see you posting about weather, only insulting others. If you don’t like my posts then come up with your own viewpoint. I shall continue to post my views on the subject of weather. So I suspect I shall have more insults hurled my way. But hey you seem to be able to stream more than one semi intelligent sentence together. Which just goes to show you the good value you get from remedial education. Peace.

    • seeing how the point of a weather blog is to talk about the weather, i for the life of me can’t figure out why anyone has to complain about other people posting about weather, other than to scratch some deep seated urge to be a disagreeable jerk…my only hope is that people get this urge to be a***oles out of their systems online so in real life they can be courteous caring humans…..but i suppose that’s a pipe dream too….

  18. Josh "the snowman" from Gladstone,OR says:

    Thanks Mr. Broken record. I mean weatherdan. Gets real old hearing the same rhetoric.

    • marinersfan85 says:

      So don’t read it. My God. So many of you are so soft and sensitive.

    • pappoose in scappoose says:

      Crazy to state, “Of course we will continue to get snow events in the future. Just not as many as we had in the past”.

    • …it gets real old hearing the same few people bitch about posts, too…you don’t like it, don’t read it…it ain’t rocket science…

    • Farmer Ted says:

      Son, let me give you some sage advice; quit complaining about others making your day miserable, you yourself are responsible for your own happiness. If you don’t like what people post on this blog then maybe try starting a hobby or reading a book or just go out for a walk and enjoy what the world has to offer. Best of luck as you start your walk of life.

    • GTS1K' says:

      Theodore, as a self-described “older man”. perhaps YOU should take your own “sage advice”: …If you don’t like what people post on this blog then maybe try starting a hobby or reading a book or just go out for a walk and enjoy what the world has to offer. Best of luck as you begin your walk of life.

      But no; you find it necessary to preach, sermonize (but, I repeat myself), scold, condescend (which is amusing, considering that, if you were much lower in elevation you’d be in the Clackamas), and assume the mantle of “sage”, no less.

      Everyone’s entitled to their opinion and yours is no more valuable than anyone’s – however superannuated you may be. Your smarmy, smug little gems like: wisdom is always worth repeating – agreeing with a comment saying: No one is forcing you to read anything ever. – rings laughably hypocritical when you do exactly what you sanctimoniously chide others for doing.

      I’m not sure you’d recognize “wisdom” if it bit you on the leg. Some folks think “older is wiser”, but, the truth is: “older is just older”. Save your advise for some more gullible rubes.

      BTW – For those who can’t figure it out (you know who you are, marinersfan85): I’m the troll – W7’s above the kind of crap I deal out. Unless he’s in a particularly bad mood – because Tri-Met 🙂

      Somebody’s got to do it.


    • GTS1K' says:

      Oh, and Peace.

    • Boring Oregon says:

      I’m with GTS1K

  19. WEATHERDAN says:

    Best forecast since October in my humble opinion. 3 points to make. We seldom get much snow in any given Winter. It was an El Nino Winter which usually means little or snow in a Winter. And with climate change we get less snow that we did 50 years ago. So what happened was not a big surprise. Of course we will continue to get snow events in the future. Just not as many as we had in the past. I know this doesn’t sit well with some of you but those are the facts. Of course maybe next Winter we will have a foot of snow, who knows. As for now I will revel in some nice sunny warm weather next week. Peace and Happy Valentines day.

    • GTS1K' says:

      Golly, ya learn nothing new every day reading Dan’s stream of unconsciousness ramblings. I bet I can outline the next 50 with 90% accuracy. Still, he’s probably surpassed W7’s word count this year – so there’s that. AND that’s without even saying anything!

    • Boring Oregon says:

      Ok so first off I just want to say that I’m not looking for any argument on climate change but my lord! You all can come on this blog and ramble about climate change all you want but the second I, or anybody else says something to counter it, we get our heads chopped off! I just think that if I have to be neutral everyone should have to be neutral too or else I will start making little comments about climate change that you probably won’t like.

  20. Paul D says:

    I feel ripped off. I like winter. That grass is going to need mowing in February again this year, and that makes me grumpy 😦 I want the 50 degree temperatures we usually have this time of year.

  21. Farmer Ted says:

    In early January of 2004 we had a bad ice storm, 1 inch of ice coupled with a strong east wind that took down many young fir trees on the property. My wife and I started a massive cleanup effort in February and here on the farm we had many warm dry sunny days with some east wind causing surprisingly dry conditions for burning slash. Several times we had the duff burning and trying to get out of control. It’s hard now even to imagine that kind of bone dry conditions in February in western Oregon.

  22. Joshua Downtown PDX says:

    Happy National Weatherperson’s Day, Mark! Didn’t know there was such a thing. 60s and sunny is going to pretty feel pretty warm and good. Even this cold weather lover is looking forward to a few days of it.

  23. schmit44 says:

    2/4/2016 Oregon (All) Temperature Summary

    High:62 at DW7774 Roseburg( 446 ft)
    Low: 51 at LINCON Lincoln C(187 ft)

    High:24 at HOWARD Mt Howard(8150 ft)
    Low: 5 at CHLOQN (4231 ft )

    Largest Diurnal Change: 34 degrees
    CHLOQN (39/5 ) (4231 ft )

    Heaviest Rainfall:
    3.24″ at Timberline Lodge(5880ft)
    2.14″ at Mt Hood Meadows(5380ft)

  24. Runtmc says:

    “Wayne Garcia runs naked through the newsroom.” That’s a tough image to dislodge, Mark.

  25. Boydo3 N. Albany says:

    Hoping for the no fog on the valley blog..

    • marinersfan85 says:

      I think it’ll be morning fog clearing out during the day. It’ll get no warmer than 60 during this stretch.

  26. High Desert Mat says:

    First and thanks Mark.

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