Blustery January Day, But Beautiful Weekend Ahead

8pm Thursday

Today we had a nice little Pacific Northwest wet & windy day.  Neither the rain or the wind was too much.  Note the rain totals generally under one inch:

Rain Metro Today Databound

Peak wind gusts didn’t cause much damage either at the Coast (generally under 60 mph) or in the Valley (gusts 30-40 mph) as expected:

Wind Metro Peak Gusts Today

One thing that really stuck out though…the warm temps!

Today was the warmest since Thanksgiving Day in Portland.  We tied a record high of 58 degrees.  That meant mainly rain in the Cascades, except at the highest parts of the ski areas.  A cold front is moving through Oregon right now, but the air behind it isn’t very cold.  Snow levels will only come down to around 4,000′ tonight and Friday.  That’s the lowest we’ll see snow, since a much warmer airmass surges into the Pacific Northwest beginning Friday night.

A strong upper-level ridge of high pressure develops Saturday through Monday along the West Coast.  Note the ECMWF model showing heights WAY above normal


That gives temperatures between 50-55 degrees up around 5,000′.  Now if it was late March or April, we’d be forecasting high temperatures in the 70s for the weekend.  But of course it’s not, and the warm air doesn’t mix all the way down to the surface due to winter inversions+weak sunshine.

So how warm could it get?  Models keep pushing temperatures into the upper 50s or even 60.  That won’t happen in January.  But if we get the perfect setup of cloud cover all  Friday night (keeping temperatures warm overnight), then they lift north quickly and we turn sunny?  I could see highs in the mid 50s as a light easterly wind develops out of the Gorge.  I’ve gone for a high of 54.  Clear skies Saturday night mean a tougher break through the inversion Sunday, plus east wind looks stronger.  The result should be high temps close to 50, but it’ll feel like 40 on the east side of town in the wind zone.

Regardless of the exact temperature details for this weekend, keep in mind we have a MOSTLY SUNNY WEEKEND WITH COMFORTABLE TEMPERATURES IN JANUARY!  That’s almost unheard of, usually it’s sunny and cold (last year at this time) or sunny & windy/cool.

We have a period of wet weather coming up again next week, with rain arriving on Monday (MLK DAY) afternoon.   You can see that on the ECMWF meteogram (blue bars from left to right) for the next 10 days

By the way, there is no sign of stormy weather (a windstorm), flooding, or lowland snow/ice in the next 7-10 days.  We MIGHT get by with a snow-less January.  That is not unusual, check out the last 11 January’s.  Only 4 of 11 had measurable snow.  Apparently we may have had a little “overdraft” with those 8″ last year.

January Snow PDX

Enjoy!  Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

38 Responses to Blustery January Day, But Beautiful Weekend Ahead

  1. Josh "the snowman" from gladstone, OR says:

    I’m in love with marja. She is basically my dream girl. Very gorgeous woman.

  2. JohnD says:

    Sure is looking like the precipice of a pattern change. ‘Hope that it evolves into something interesting for the lowlands. And no doubt the ski resorts are chilling the champagne already! Overdue! And today! Wow! Like a lot of us, out now for a nice long hike.

  3. Jason Hougak says:

    Sure didn’t feel like January yesterday. Was great for a family reunion and the view of Mt. Hood was awesome!

    • Jason Hougak says:

      Yes Mark
      The traffic to Hood is so terrible anymore on the weekends. I’m thankful I can schedule to go up during the work week.

      • Nahtalkin says:

        Too many f…..g babies, not enough sense to go around. It’s the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine!

  4. Jason Hougak says:

    The 00Z GFS looks very nice🤔

  5. Nahtalkin says:

    Anyone else tired of seeing Marja dressing for the “outfitters guide”?

  6. Roland Derksen says:

    Well, the rain here seems to have stopped- thank goodness. I have a total of 4.40 inches for the month to date. Just need 0.47 inches more to tie last January, and we’re still not quite at the halfway point.

  7. Jason Hougak says:

    Will the hammer come down like Feb. 1989??? Or 2014???

  8. Jason Hougak says:

    I going to be mowing and doing some yard work this weekend. Prune back the fruit trees.

  9. marinersfan85 says:

    Good on the Portland NWS to not overhype Thursday. It was really very garden variety.

  10. Jason Hougak says:

    Dismal 57″ of snow on the ground at Timberline in mid- January. Really hope things change! Last summers record fire season followed an excellent snow year. With a poor snow year so far and if we have a hot summer then we may really start looking like California.

  11. Ken in Wood Village says:

    Just looking at the 12Z EURO and it puts 2″ of snow in Troutdale…lol

    • Ken in Wood Village says:

      Sorry, I forgot to put something else. It puts 2″ of snow on the 22nd…hehe…sorry

    • Joshua Downtown PDX says:

      I’m just glad we’ll have 850 temps below zero for a while starting late next week along with troughing. That should help get the snow pack up. I see that Paradise and Stevens Pass have more snow than Timberline’s base. At lower elevations. We have mainly been on the wrong side of the lows this winter.

      • Jake in Gresham says:

        I’ll believe the worthwhile to look once it’s in the 7-day range. Nope, not looking. Nope.

        • Ken in Wood Village says:

          LOL, funny 🙂 the temps seem a little high on the EURO. I have noticed one thing about the GFS. The temps seem to be getting cooler over the past few runs. I’m not sure about the CFS, it also shows us getting cooler around the same time (22nd or there about) but also, it gives us a major snow storm around the first of the month too.

          We will see how things trend…hehe 🙂

        • Jake in Gresham says:

          If you’ve every watched star wars you know what happens next.

          Oh dark side. grabs light saber

          The CFS is made by the Canadians. Not to insult them but it’s not as great as the GFS made by us. Which is leagues behind the Euro. Which collectively. Well I want not live on earth and not be deported to mars so I will say nothing else.

        • Jake in Gresham says:


        • Ken in Wood Village says:

          I know what you mean. I’m just saying it looks like they are trending cooler. I’m hoping the trend keeps up. I believe we are finally getting into a more active pattern now which will help with getting a better snow base on the ski resorts. 🙂

  12. Ken in Wood Village says:

    I have a question about one of the models. How accurate is the CFS model? I’m just wondering because it shows some interesting things coming up but not really thinking it will happen.

  13. Roland Derksen says:

    It’ll be nice to get some of that milder drier air here this weekend. The last 2 days here have been as dreary and wet as I’ll ever see in January. Once again we’ve been on the edge of snow and freezing rain.

  14. W7ENK says:

    Aside from a bit of East wind returning, sounds like this weekend is going to be quite nice. A taste of early Spring, perhaps? With low snowpack in the mountains, it might be a good weekend to get up into the forest, explore some new NF roads, hike some old familiar trails, maybe forage for some Winter chanties and hedgehogs? If for no other reason than to get outdoors, and hopefully soak up some precious sunshine. That stuff is hard to come by this time of year, and it’s absence is starting to wear thin on me, especially after how dark and wet it was yesterday.

    1.13″ rainfall at my place in Milwaukie yesterday, with a high of 56 and a peak gust of only 11 mph, just FYI.

  15. Nahtalkin says:

    Bunch of sniveling, whining complainers anyway, suppose you’d complain if you were “hung with a new rope”. I see all blue sky and a world filled with a “whole hillside full of heavenly-scented marigolds and daffodils”,

    • W7ENK says:

      Your rope came loose, and your lips are flapping in the breeze. If it weren’t so repetitive, the sound of your toothless gums slapping together might be kind of amusing, but it’s really not.

    • GTS1Kft says:

      I see all blue sky and a world filled with a “whole hillside full of heavenly-scented marigolds and daffodils”

      Stopped taking your Thorazine again, eh Ted?

  16. So no sideways rain today like there was downtown Thursday about noon?

  17. Paul D says:

    Cheated out of another winter. I fear I’ll be mowing the lawn in February again. Sigh…..

  18. ocpaul says:

    A big pile of nothing.

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