Warm & Dry February Weather Continues

February 7, 2018

9pm Wednesday

We didn’t have any record highs today, but what a beautiful day with sunshine and warm temps.  We hit 59 in Portland and Troutdale hit 60.  The Dalles and Redmond saw record highs of 66 & 69.  It has been quite a run of warm temperatures ever since 2018 arrived; January was the 2nd warmest on record.  Only two days in the past 13 have been below normal in Portland!

High Temp Last 13 Days

Another interesting fact?  We haven’t seen a frost in Portland in the past 36 days!  This graphic is from yesterday.

Cold Nights Freezing Portland

Our typical “last frost” of late winter or spring in Portland is around mid-March; that’s what happened last year.

Mark First Frost Last Few Years

So it’s unlikely we’re done with frost, especially since we see a cooler airmass moving down over us over the next 5 days.

The 10 days of snow accumulation in late January didn’t do much good, especially when followed by the 4-5 days of warm weather and rain.  Most of Oregon has less than 50% of the typical February 7th snowpack on the ground.  Most likely streamflows will be below normal this coming summer in much of the state according to the NRCS.  Here’s a link to their February Water Supply Outlook Report:  https://www.wcc.nrcs.usda.gov/ftpref/states/or/watersupply/2018/WSOR_2018_Feb.pdf

Snowpack Oregon Plus Facts

Snowpack Oregon Plus Facts2

There is no significant change in sight right now.  The upper-level ridging that has been so prevalent near or west of the West Coast since early January shows no signs of budging.  It moves slightly west on Monday, allowing a chilly airmass to drop south over us.  But that doesn’t bring more than a foot of snow to the mountains.

m500za_f120_bg_NA

Check out the 10 day map from the same ECMWF ensembles, then the 15 day map, which takes us into the last few days of February.

It’s the same general pattern.  If this is correct, February is going to go down in the record books like 2015 & 2016…very warm.  It also appears that at least the first half of the month will be unusually dry too.  The ECMWF model from this morning produced less than 1/2″ of rain in the next 10 days!

ecmwf_tprecip_portland_41

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen