A Soaking, Then Record Warm Temps Again

10pm Tuesday…

A nice cold front passed through the metro area this evening dropping temperatures about 10 degrees in just an hour or so.  It hasn’t exactly been a big soaker so far, but considering a lot of us just planted some veggies, any rain is good.  I expect more showers tomorrow and Thursday but unfortunately a huge soaking is out of the question.  Check out the paltry totals from our evening RPM model run:


Could April actually end up with below normal rain?  We haven’t seen a drier than normal month since November, but we still have almost 3 weeks of the month to go…plenty of time for rain!

We have another highly anomalous warm period coming up.  It appears we’re headed for record-setting warm temperatures early next week.  This with our average monthly temperature running 5-7 degrees above average!

A strong ridge and split in the jet stream flow will return over the weekend and be held in place by an upper-level low approaching California.  This is the pattern I would have expected to see more of back in our El Nino winter.   Take a look at the GFS ensemble surface temperature anomaly over the next 2+ weeks.


WAY above normal Saturday-early next week, then a little closer to normal after that time through the last week of April.   The ECMWF ensembles show a long period of dry weather after our few days of showers:


The blue is the operational model run we all look at and the green is the ensemble average.  Very dry for mid/late April.

Here’s what I find far more interesting; this 2nd highly anomalous “heat wave” coming didn’t even show up on ensemble/model forecasts a week ago!  Not even a hint.  Clearly they are having trouble with this split flow and/or lows diving towards California.  Take a look at the ECMWF ensemble chart from ONE WEEK AGO showing the end of the first “heatwave” and then near normal conditions through the following 10 days:


The TODAY is where we are right now (12th).  Now look at what is forecast from this morning’s run laid on top of last week’s run:


The new/current forecast now has the big ridge where there was no hint a week ago.  Interesting eh?

So how warm this time around?  We know that it’ll be 9-12 days farther into spring thus a slightly higher sun angle.  850mb temp forecasts keep rising too.  Check out the last 3.5 days of GFS run 850mb temps, latest run is the bottom line:


Note the +16 to +17…that’s exactly what the ECMWF is showing for both Sunday and Monday, and now the latest GFS run (not shown above) is right in line too.  We get offshore/easterly wind at least on Sunday, we’ll see about Monday.  Offshore flow at +16 has produced high temperatures around 83-86 degrees in Portland in mid-April.  Of course very few data points this high up.  Regardless, I’m feeling pretty confident that we would beat both Sunday and Monday’s record highs of 78 & 80 degrees.  Stay tuned.  I’m even more confident that we’ll have a 3rd consecutive dry and mild April weekend…crazy.

This is good news for your lawn mowing of course.  If you forgot to tell your son to mow before leaving for work Sunday (me), you can do it either late Friday or for sure over the weekend.


Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

24 Responses to A Soaking, Then Record Warm Temps Again

  1. Tyler Mode in Battle Ground says:

    Managed 53 here with some late sunbreaks.

    0.44″ for the day. 1.35″ for the month.

    Now onto the heat of April apparently.

  2. Hal in Aims says:

    absolutely pouring and just 44 all day………..

  3. Boring Oregon says:

    “A huge soak is out of the question.” I’ve had 1.02 inches so far today!

  4. On this date (April 14) back in 1976, I recorded a maximum of 41F. It was a rainy day, and I got soaked coming home from school. 16 days later, (April 30)I recorded a maximum of 81F. It turned out to be my highest temperature for the year. Goes to show you can’t predict what the summer will be like yet at this time of year! 🙂

    • DBurnett says:

      Really? That’s impressive. I wonder if Portland will ever record a year that sees it highest temp in April. I recall reading about a year when May saw then highest temp (don’t remember the year though)

    • Hi DBurnett; I think the year you may be referring to was 1983. Back in 1976, however, we had a crummy summer here in Vancouver, BC. I saw the temperature get up once more to 80F in July and that was it.

  5. Lee Wilson says:

    With all the wacky weather this year..i am going to try cantaloupe
    How about any one else?

    • Paul D says:

      I have a large patch of weeds that are doing awesome with no help from me. I think I’ll just stick to growing weeds.

    • W7ENK says:

      Cantaloupe is going to be awfully hard to grow — as will peppers and tomatoes — once our weather flips to a cool and crappy Summer. Probably somewhere right around the end of May, beginning of June…

    • I may kick myself later for saying it now, but I wouldn’t mind a cool showery start to summer. I definitely don’t want to see things get as parched as they got last year when the rains ended early (and that’s with the early end to the summer dryness we got with thunderstorms up this way; I’d hate to have seen how dry it would have been without those).

      Might as well enjoy the coming warm spell. It’s not as of worrying about what summer may be like will change anything. NWS is going with 70 on Sunday and 77 on Monday for me. If so, that 77 would be the warmest so far this season; the last warm spell peaked at 74 for me.

    • W7ENK says:

      Sad how all the lightning died as the storm front hit the coast last night…

      Just The Dome, doing its doming thing again. 😦

    • We had a good line of strong showers come through in the middle of the night up here, but none of them involved thunder or lightning. Thin fog with blue sky above by daybreak.

  6. Mark – I would love to see you posts with graphics showing “Here’s what the models said last week…and here is what happened.” I found that very interesting. Thanks!

  7. I’m not going to comment yet on how warm it will get next week. Right now, where I live, we’re experiencing a typical April weather condition: Rain showers mixed with hail and some sunny breaks.Temperature is a cool 50.5F.

  8. W7ENK says:

    This warm weather has been fantastic! Keep it comin’!! 😀

    As for my lawn, I have yet to break out the mower, so right now it’s just this massive shaggy green beast with a sparse sprinkling of yellow dandelion blossoms mixed in. I was injured last week so I can’t mow it myself, I guess I’ll have to employ a “son” to come over and take care of it for me?

  9. Yuck. Just yuck. Yuck, yuck, yuck.

    Yes, the warmth is nice but it’s really not what should be happening if we want to have a non-parched summer: we need a normal, generally cool and showery, spring. Our summers tend to be on the dry side anyhow, best to start them with a good reserve of soil moisture heading into the dry season.

    • Mark Nelsen says:

      I don’t agree with the YUCK part, but you are right, very weird and I hate to see our vegetation stressed July-September. I sure wouldn’t mind a warmer climate if we were to get more rain in mid-summer from time to time.

  10. Paul D says:

    You’re just full of bad news 😦

    More record setting heat? Sigh……

  11. Aleta-West Gresham says:

    Rain during the week and sunshine on the weekend- perfection! Everything I planted a week and a half ago is coming up so now they can get a good start with the next warm spell.

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