Record Warm Sunday, But A Rainy Week Ahead

8pm Sunday

Today was a “January Scorcher” with temperatures in the metro area running 10-15 degrees above normal.  We were just two degrees short of our 60 degree record

Todays Observed Highs OrWa 2017

Salem, Hillsboro, & Astoria all broke records for the date

Record Highs Cities

What a change from last year eh?  The first two weeks of January are the warmest in 12 years in Portland, meanwhile the first two weeks of LAST January were the coldest in 38 years.

Winter Snow_Ice Compare

The next 3 days remain mild, although temps will be much closer to normal.  Clouds thicken tomorrow and a cold front moves inland in the evening.  This will stop the snowmelt in the Cascades; it’s been in the 40s up there since yesterday morning at the ski areas.  Note the snow depth at the lower part of Timberline Ski Area (the SNOTEL site) is the 2nd lowest of the last 10+ years:

Mark Mt Hood Snowpack January 1

The good news is that we finally see a change coming for building the mountain snow pack.  Several much cooler systems arrive Thursday through at least early next week.  That turns things wetter in the lowlands, plus a bit cooler.  See the big drop in snow levels on Thursday?

ECMWF Snow Level From 850mb Temps

In the mountains we should finally, for the first time in over a month, see a rapidly building snow base.  Check out the morning Euro model run estimate of snowfall from now through Saturday evening; 2-3 FEET in the Cascades during that time.  Almost all of this falls after Wednesday:

ECMWF Snow Accumulation

These will be colder systems moving onshore, but they will be accompanied by “onshore” flow, which means a breezy west or southwest wind with each.  That’s why I don’t expect snow in the valleys for now.

As of now I’m not sure if this is “the big change” to La Nina conditions or just a week of cooler/wetter systems.  We’ll see about that.   To sum things up, I think there are several key points for the next 7 days:


Here’s my Government Camp forecast, along with snow forecast for the ski areas at Mt. Hood (lower snow #s are for Govy, higher #s up around 6,000′)

7 Day Forecast GOVT CAMP

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

26 Responses to Record Warm Sunday, But A Rainy Week Ahead

  1. Roland Derksen says:

    Well, I hope all this talk about winter weather returning to the PNW becomes true, but in the meantime, I’m seeing temperatures in the low 50’s here. If this keeps up, the snowdrops in my yard will be blooming within a week!

  2. Jake in Gresham says:

    This Winter is certainly not done.

    Wow, most of the South gets snow in this run along with a lot of other States. I thought most got more than their share from that big cold air mass that went through much of the States a few weeks back.

    I think we’re going to see a bunch of interesting weather patterns going into February. The runs on Alaska we certainly impressive.

    Not historical, but for sure delivering old man Winter.

    All I can say is those 2 false Spring days were fun (went hiking). But I’m ready for Winter to return.

  3. Ken in Wood Village says:

    Hmm, the past three GFS runs has snow in our area around the end of the month. I know that’s a long ways off but it’s interesting…lol

  4. Jason Hougak says:

    Probably the start of PNW cold wet summer

  5. Ken in Wood Village says:

    The 18Z GFS looks very very good 🙂 Very active flow. Yahoo, winter looks like it wants to show up finally…hehe

    • boydo3 says:

      Give it a month and we’ll all be yearning for spring again.
      I keep saying that it’s very possible to get a big snow in the lowlands in Feb.
      Hope the la Nina comeback doesn’t last till June!

  6. Lee Wilson says:

    This is myusage,it is attempting to guess our power consumption
    First time trying cut and paste on PS4 PRO.

  7. Lee Wilson says:

    It has been pretty boring weather wise. We did manage to make some extra powe over the weekend.

  8. Jack says:

    Wind still going strong. Some big gusts. Ramped up yesterday and hasn’t stopped. Two-day wind event. – Camas, WA, 600′ elevation.

  9. Anonymous says:

    are we losing the East wind after today Mark?

  10. W7ENK says:

    Sunday was “almost 60,” but no mention of the 61 on Saturday?

    Regardless, this weekend was absolutely glorious! No wind at all on Saturday, the birds were going nuts with their Springtime calls all morning long, I was driving around town with my windows down and without my coat. Walked up to the store after sunset, again without a coat.

    Mark, I knew when you said in your last post…

    “Models keep pushing temperatures into the upper 50s or even 60.
    That won’t happen in January.”

    …you would be wrong. There’s no practical reason why upper 50s/low 60s can’t happen in January under sunny skies, and Saturday was proof of that.

    The wind yesterday certainly put an edge on the temperature, but it was still another spectacular day. I got a lot of much-needed yard work done. I probably could have run around with the lawnmower, but I didn’t.

    I’m glad you and your boy had a good day on the mountain, despite the traffic!

  11. Ken in Wood Village says:

    12Z GFS is looking better for a lot of snow up at the ski resorts 🙂 Down here we are finally seeing cooler temps a hopefully get a chance to have snow in the lowlands 🙂

  12. JERAT416 says:

    I’m excited! Bring on heavy snow up there and something to make it feel like winter again!

  13. Shane in Vancouver says:

    This weekend the weather was such a tease! Got me excited for Spring and Summer

  14. I get the feeling that PNW Winter 2017-18 is finally going to enter its “peak phase.” Meaning the coldest airmasses overhead and the biggest mountain snows. Would not be surprised if February ends up as the coldest month of the season in many, if not most, locales.

  15. Ken in Wood Village says:

    I went up to Crown Point today and I swear, there were to many people up there even though it was closed. One thing I didn’t like was the fact people were trying to get to Vista House with their babies. There were three people who fell and two hit the back of their heads really hard. I told them they should go to the ER and get checked out. One hit so hard I could hear her head hit the ground over the wind. That is really bad. I hope she is ok.

  16. Jason Hougak says:

    Old man winters coming to the Cascades!!

  17. Paul D says:

    Yes! Bring on some cold temps to kill those blasted weeds in my yard!! 🙂

    • JJ78259 says:

      Scott’s Weed and Feed! Also a great time to use Dolomite Lime with all the rain coming or some Ammonium Sulfate to the grass primed for the spring! That will get the mower going!

  18. Ken in Wood Village says:

    It’s about time. I think this maybe the change we have been looking forward to for a long time 🙂

  19. TruckinAint4Sissies says:

    Bring it on!

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