Spring Break 2016: The Usual Mix of Sun/Showers/Warm/Cool

March 18, 2016

9pm Friday…

springbreak

Oregon’s spring break is here and lots of people are traveling today, tomorrow, or Sunday.  Often in search of sun, snow, or sand!  How does the weather look?  Surprise, quite a mixed bag.  That’s common in late March because we are in spring now, the transition between winter and summer.  And here in the Pacific Northwest spring goes on a LONG time since we don’t have real cold winters or scorching hot summers.

MarkHeadlines_Spring

Today was warm of course, although very windy.  Peak gust was 41 mph at PDX.  That east wind dies down and we’ll barely notice it in the metro area tomorrow.  At the same time a dying front drags onto the coastlline.  So expect lots of clouds at the beaches and a few light showers.  Inland we’re ahead of the system so still a mix of warm sun and clouds…pretty nice for March 19th.

But this changes Sunday through Thursday this coming week; we will be under wet westerly flow much of the time.  So back to showers and cool weather.  Expect snow in the mountains at times too.  There IS still hope for the very end of spring break though…models are trying to pop up some sort of ridging along with the attending drier/warmer weather.  Take a look at the GEFS ensemble temperature chart, showing surface temperature departure from average.  You see the near normal to slightly below normal temps next week, then a real obvious warm spell around 3-12 degrees above normal.

gfs_18z

 

The 10 day ECMWF 500mb height anomaly shows that upper-level ridging for Easter Saturday, or at least just offshore.

ecmwf_Sat26

Wouldn’t that be nice to have sunny/warm for Easter weekend?  Of course that would probably be asking too much.  That said, the 12z ECMWF ensemble 850mb chart lends some moderate confidence to a warm spell in the 7-14 day period:

tseries_850t_000-360_Portland

By the way, if you want to ski the next few days, choose tomorrow (Saturday) or Monday, not Sunday.  A warm system swings up out of California so likely a wet day at the ski areas:

MarkSkiWeekend

Also for you social media folks, I finally broke down and created a Twitter page:  https://twitter.com/MarkNelsenKPTV

I have always had a Facebook page too, it’s here:  https://www.facebook.com/Mark-Nelsen-213382442022852/

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen