Warmest So Far Today; But Rains Return

February 25, 2016

11pm Thursday…

What a day!  Felt more like early April with high temperatures up into the low-mid 60s across the metro area

PLOT_Highs_Metro

Off the map, Battle Ground hit 71, Roseburg 72, & Forks (WA) made it to 70.  Quite a taste of spring.

That changes somewhat the next few days as rain returns.  Some rain Friday afternoon and then quite a bit more on Sunday.

Models are looking wetter for much of next week; just in time for March!

Mark_WarmLateWinterEarlySpring

This winter will go down as the 4th warmest in Portland’s history, at least at the airport.  A mild winter is to be expected in an El Nino year here in the Pacific Northwest.  At least that has turned out well.  But no so much with the precipitation forecast.  IN GENERAL, El Nino years give us normal or drier than normal weather from northern Oregon north into British Columbia.  Meanwhile MOST El Ninos give southern California a soaking…but not this year.  The much anticipated drought-busting winter has been a no-show.  Take a look at rain since January 1st

MarkWestCoastRain_California

Those are definitely not the numbers you want to see to end a drought down there.  It seems to me that we’ve been seeing a very persistent subtropical ridge along the West Coast (relative to normal), diverting wet systems farther north than normal.  Basically the whole pattern seems shifted to the north this year.  Just a guess.  The graphic below represents what I’m thinking.  The MOST EL NINOS FOLLOW THIS PATTERN text refers to an earlier part of the scene where the wetter than normal is down in California.

MarkElNino_ThisWinterSoFar

We’ll see how March goes, but California is just about out of time to get the big rains.  There ARE hints on the monthly ECMWF maps from last night though.  Look at the pattern showing lower than normal heights to our south and persistent ridging over/north of us through the next 4 weeks.  This pattern could produce better rainfall for California…we’ll see.

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen