Friday Should be Warmest So Far…

March 3, 2016

10pm Thursday…

Today was a wonderful early spring day in the Pacific Northwest with high temperatures up into the 60s in many areas:



Note the high temperatures east of the mountain were similar to westside, March is the month where the see-saw begins to tip towards warmer east of the mountains.  Higher sun angle means land is warming up; meanwhile the ocean is still the same temperature.  This also spells the end of the east wind season too by the way…good for you folks in the western Gorge!  But I digress…

Tomorrow should be even warmer for most of us.  A warmer atmosphere overhead, light southeasterly flow aloft and at the surface, and at least a half sunny day should allow temperatures to end up a few degrees warmer than those you see above.  I would not be surprised to see some 70 degree temperatures in the Willamette Valley if the clouds hold off.   I do not expect to exceed last March’s 73 degree reading at PDX though.  More like 64-67 degrees.  Our 65 degree forecast high might be conservative…we’ll see.  Either way, a very nice day!MarkHeatwaveStudio_RecordPDXDay_March

Looking farther ahead, a cooler trough moves inland Saturday night for more reasonable early March weather Sunday-Tuesday.  That means cool showers with sunbreaks here and there.  Temperatures remain cool through all of next week, check out the ECMWF meteogram from this evening…wet and cool through most of the week:


Looking even farther ahead, the ECMWF ensemble maps just came out again this afternoon.  Not dramatically different from earlier this week showing a shift to drier weather in 10 days or so.  Here is the precipitation anomaly for each of the next 4 weeks:

And the surface temperature anomaly for those same 4 weeks showing near normal temps the next two weeks and then warmer after that time:


By the way, a very interesting tidbit came out yesterday in the “climate discussion/debate”.  For years there have been several different datasets used for monitoring global climate.  One that I have always liked is from UAH; mainly because it has sometimes been an outlier.  This is an extreme simplification, but basically this set is often on the cool side and has continued to show a month in 1998 as the warmest on record while all other datasets have shown warmest months on record over the past year or two.  Well, the measurement was off the charts in February.  Note the brand new high:


The posting is here.  A quote from Roy Spencer:

“…In addition to the expected tropical warmth, scattered regional warmth outside the tropics led to a record warm value for extratropical Northern Hemispheric land areas, with a whopping +1.46 C anomaly in February…fully 0.5 deg. C above any previous monthly anomaly (!)…”

So what happened in the past month was not only El Nino but higher latitudes were warm as well.  He notes further down in his discussion that the 97-98 El Nino actually had warmer anomalies down in the tropics.

The main message is that we are not alone here in the Pacific Northwest; lots of other places are warm as well.  I assume the other datasets and/or NCDC will be talking about the extreme warmth in the next few days/week too so we’ll see how extreme they were.

Enjoy the weekend, I am off to the Pacific Northwest Weather Workshop the next two days up in Seattle.  Should be some great presentations up there as always.

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen