April Is Here…70 Possible This Week

10pm Sunday…

I’m back at work and now we are finally finished with March.  It was a soaker with over 7″ of rain and our 4th consecutive cold/cool month.  At least it wasn’t unusually cool for March…just a notch or two below normal:

You can see that once again much of the USA had a warm month, especially in the West and Central sections of our country.  In fact about half of Oregon was above normal as well.

This cool and wet pattern in the Pacific Northwest is perfectly normal in late winter and early spring during La Nina events.  Yes, I know La Nina is now dead, but we had a weak La Nina through the winter and the early spring effects seem to be similar to 2008, 2011 & 2012.  Of course reality is extra harsh this year since we’re on a rebound from the past two very warm springs.  Remember last April?  It was freakishly warm the first week of the month and then a real heat wave arrived just after mid-month.  It was strange, but I know some of us just loved the “May in April” weather.  Check out the number of 70+ days the past few Aprils:

There is no sign that we’re about to head into a warm pattern, but there’s also no sign that we’re headed into an unusually cool April regime either.  Check out the temperature anomaly plot from the GEFS (GFS ensembles) for the next two weeks:

The “zero” line is a perfectly average temp.  You see warmer than normal conditions most of this week, then cooler than average this coming weekend and early next week, then warmer again.  The ECMWF is quite similar so I think it’s fair to say we have pretty typical early April conditions coming up.

By the way, we may hit 70 degrees for the first time this season on Wednesday.  The pattern looks “right” to me with a north/south front stalled offshore and possibly quite a bit of sunshine just ahead of it.  No onshore flow and a mild southerly wind could give us the boost for our first late spring feel outside.  Since I’m getting old and conservative, I decided to stick with a 67…but that might get revised after I check things out Monday.

I just took 6 days off work to do some travelling with the family for Spring Break.  We spent 4 days in Moab, UT for my son and I to do some mountain biking.  I survived the famous Slick Rock trail!  That was one of the weirdest mountain biking experiences ever.  Really tough, but still less than 3 hours long.  Then we drove through a snowy pass on the way to Zion National Park.  Now that place was incredible, but a bit too busy for me.  I had never made it to Zion but would love to go back during a slower time of the year…maybe September or October.  We moved on to two nights in Las Vegas on the Strip.  I figured it would be good for the teenage kids to see how wild it gets.  They weren’t let down!  What a strange place…definitely not my style, but briefly fun.  And, a big windstorm on Thursday was quite a highlight.  Screaming winds and a temperature drop from 79 to 60 in just a little over an hour as a cold front moved through.  Then it was a LONG drive up to Reno Friday and then Reno to home Saturday.  2,700 miles total for this trip.  It makes a huge difference having 3 available drivers in the car, I can’t believe I used to drive 10-14 hours in one day alone.

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

24 Responses to April Is Here…70 Possible This Week

  1. Mark, if your using future tech..id say burry it and get the old stuff back to working order.

  2. Eh..it is Wednesday? Eh..Where is the 70° at? Where is the sun?
    When i look out my window…i see ..rain.

    Now i sont know what is going on with your weather machine..but..might i suggest a “weather Stick”?

    Hmm.. Find that Gremlin in your machine.and make him or her pay..lol.

  3. umpire says:

    I am on a road trip, similar area, but opposite direction. Two days driving to Phoenix, skirting the snow storm that reportedly closed Donner Pass at times on Thursday, and arriving in Reno after the wind abated. Watched my Zags in the final four, now in Kanab to head to Bryce. Sure was nice to feel the sun and 80 degrees! Forty years in Portland, but this winter wore me out.

  4. Roland Derksen says:

    I was just thinking about an earlier spring in my life:1974. That year we had a wet cloudy spring, but saw a 70+ temperature on April 14th- which isn’t bad for my area. But the next time we saw it go above 70, was on June 10th.

  5. Paul D says:

    That high temp for Wednesday keeps dropping every time I look at the 7 day forecast. Looks like a 70 is out.

  6. Sarah D says:

    I was in Vegas during that crazy windstorm too. We were at a pool and they closed early. Pool furniture was flying everywhere!

  7. High Desert Mat says:

    How much gambling did you do Mark and win?

    • Jason Hougak says:

      Obviously not enough to quit his day job😆

      Don’t throw effort after foolishness

  8. Roland Derksen says:

    I don’t mind if it’s a “normal” April here- anything’s better than the nearly constant rain and low clouds of last month. I do recall last April though; Some real summer temperatures then. Looking ahead, I usually get a day or two at 70 or higher in April near the end of the month. If that’s what will happen, fine with me.

  9. joncongdon says:

    Talking about driving, I just had my first experience driving in Japan for the past week, on the left side! It is good to be home. Temperatures and weather very much like Oregon on our trip.

  10. Kathleen Snyder says:

    Glad you had a nice Spring Break with the family. I was in Moab and Zion in Sept. It was pretty busy. Lots of European tourists and college kids that had not started school yet. It was beautiful!k

  11. …about that mention of NE oregon last night….i’m watching a snow flurry as i type…

  12. … the later in the fall you can go to Zion, the better!….the leaves turn color later there, when they do it’s spectacular 🙂 … it’s also much nicer when they open the road to cars for the winter…

  13. Jason Hougak says:

    Glad to have a new blog entry Mark. I think everyone who stayed due to work or didn’t go anywhere wanted to cry seeing that happy sun in the tropics on your spring break post. 😆
    Got some good yard work in yesterday.
    31 degrees and frosty this morning up here in the foothills. This would be a terrible year to start a garden early.
    2500′ snowlevel by next Sunday.

  14. JERAT416 says:

    Welcome back Mark! I’m glad everyone had a fun trip. I’m enjoying a more average and balanced April. Some sunny warmer days, some cooler rainy days. Basically just right. I’m in no hurry for heat. We will have time for that June-September.

  15. Jesse-East Vancouver says:

    Glad we are getting more of a normal April this year. Last year was a total nightmare. Yuck!

    Already down to 41 tonight with clear skies. Could be heading for a frost in the morning.

    • Last April was pretty bad. I think all of the Californians in Oregon brought their weather with them the last two years. 😉

      I still haven’t gotten over the fact PDX didn’t hit 90 last April. We were so close on that one day!!!

  16. Mark, what the last year when PDX didn’t hit 70 throughout April, if ever?

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