A Milder & Drier Week

February 22, 2016

The weather is a bit slow this evening, as it has been most of the last 6 weeks.  After some cool and showery days late last week now we’ve dried out.  February here in Portland is running 2nd warmest on record, behind last year:

MarkFebruary_TempLast8Years

Notice how warm these past two Februarys have been compared to previous years?  In fact the last “cold” month (relative to normal) WAS 2 years ago…February 2014.  It’s been a long two years of mild to very warm to record-breaking warm weather!  You can see the toll it has taken on our mountain snowpack.  The northern Oregon Cascades are below normal now with the southern/eastern half of the state above normal but nowhere near where it was 6 weeks ago:

Capture

Looking ahead, a mild week with upper-level ridging along the West Coast

MarkHeadlines_Spring

There was quite a bit of dense fog around this morning, but with a drier atmosphere Tuesday morning the fog shouldn’t be as widespread.  Plus easterly flow has begun overhead and when that happens the fog layer tends to be very thin.

How warm later this week?  Not excessively warm, just 8-12 degrees above normal.  I doubt we get above 65 degrees, but we may exceed the highest we’ve seen so far this month (63).

Showers do return as some weak systems move through the ridge over the weekend, but in general we stay mild through the end of meteorological winter early next week.  Spring begins mild the middle of next week too.  Here are the 4 ECMWF weekly maps, showing 500mb height anomaly among the ensembles.  No changes, quite a consistent forecast over the past 2-3 weeks.  These forecasts are doing much better than back in November when they showed ridging in December…that didn’t work out well…

 

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen