This fall has been a bright one with lots of sunny days but still plenty of rain in between those days. But now it appears we’re headed into a long period of gray and rain. Let’s hit the highlights first:
- After today I don’t see a single totally dry day in the next week and beyond. In fact it’s possible we get some sort of measurable rain almost every day the next two weeks!
- Expect a lot of gray, but that is normal from November through February…get used to it, book tickets for the tropics, or drive about 16 hours south on I-5.
- Through Saturday the rain won’t be very heavy, but weather systems will likely be stronger NEXT week.
- There is no sign of valley snow/ice in the next 10+ days; this will be a mild and wet weather pattern, in fact a bit warmer than what we saw today
You want to see gray? Take a look at the ECMWF cloud cover forecast from all of the ensembles. Blue=cloudy, white=clear
Note that almost the entire two-week period the ensemble average is more than 80%. Then see the total rainfall forecast for the next 10 days. Lots of rain, yet no specific setup for flooding or a pineapple express.
In the short-term we’ve got a classic Gorge ice/snow storm setup for Wednesday and Thursday…except the atmosphere is just a bit too warm to get either one all the way down to freeway level. If you live up above 500′ (more likely closer to 1,000′), expect your first snow to ice event starting Wednesday afternoon and continuing through at least Thursday midday.
Peak gusts tonight through Wednesday evening at the west end of the Gorge will likely reach 70 mph in the usual cold-season windy spots. That’ll be accompanied by sideways rain and 35-40 degree temps…not real pleasant I think…
There is one big bit of good news though…this wet pattern for the lowlands will turn into a heavy snow in the Cascades. Snow levels through Sunday generally remain above the passes, with a good foot or more accumulating at the ski resorts above 5,000′. Then we get a HUGE dumping Monday through Friday next week. ECMWF shows a solid 3-4 feet snow at/above pass elevations:
Even if we get half of that, there’s a good chance we’ll have some decent skiing starting up the weekend before Thanksgiving. If so, that’ll be fantastic to get the ski season started in mid-November!
Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen