Warmest So Far Today; But Rains Return

11pm Thursday…

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


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!


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


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.


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

12 Responses to Warmest So Far Today; But Rains Return

  1. buffedman says:

    “In like a lion, out like a lamb”

  2. Jackfrost says:

    Insert 1983. I wouldn’t be surprised if we have a slightly wetter then norm summer.

  3. The system coming in this evening seems to be as weak as the last one we had on the 21st. Just some light showery precipitation here since 4pm.

  4. JJ78259 says:

    Very nice weather for the next 10 days 75 to mid 80s in San Antonio, have some family in for few a days from Portland to catch some rays.

  5. With the rain forecast over the next 3 days, I’m expecting to see my 3 month total for December to February to be the 3rd highest I’ve measured- behind 1998-99, and 1981-82. We’ll pass 1989-90 and 1982-83. It’s intresting (but admittedly not conclusive) that of these 4 previous winters, 3 of them were followed by cooler/wetter than normal type summers. (That is, summers in my area north of the 49th parallel).

  6. Jack says:

    Queue California legislators saying (once again) they need to run a pipe from the Columbia to California’s reservoirs.

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