Looks & Feels like Spring! Plus Winter 2017-18 Wrap-Up

5pm Tuesday

Feels like spring doesn’t it?  Seems appropriate since we’re heading into the 2nd week of March, but that sunshine and afternoon temps near 60 sure felt nice didn’t it?  Before looking forward, let’s look back at this winter we just “endured”.  That’s a bit dramatic, since the only thing we had to endure was some slippery driving Christmas Eve/Day and again the last week of February.  What an easy winter west of the Cascades!  Meteorological winter has now ended and we are in spring…the 3 months between winter and summer.  Calendar makers prefer the late March to late June definition, although that doesn’t follow the sun’s movement or weather very well.


Take a look at temps…a slightly cool December, a “crazy warm” January, then a cool February.  February of course is interesting because the first week or so was very warm, then the next three weeks were cool.  Overall it was a “warm” winter.


Then precipitation…drier than normal

December was well below normal and in February we only saw half of our typical precipitation.  January was just slightly wet.

Note the dry weather covered most of the American West this winter.  The only wet areas were up near the Canadian border, northern Washington/Idaho/Wyoming, and all of Montana.  You can see the result on current snowpack:

Well below normal in Oregon (even with a snowy 2nd half of February).  You can’t make up a whole season of low snowfall in just a couple or three weeks.  But check out those numbers in Eastern Washington, north Idaho, & Montana…big snow there!  This means the Columbia River will have plenty of water this summer, even though most streams in Oregon will be running lower than normal.  Of course if we suddenly turn wetter through May, things could change.


Looking ahead, we’ve got a classic spring mix of wet days and some sunshine and warm temps too.    Take a look at the ECMWF 850mb ensemble temperature for the next 15 days.

You can see the above average temps right now, then another warm period Saturday through Monday.  Then it’s pretty obvious we’ll be entering a cool/wet period by the middle of next week.  There seems to be pretty good agreement with the general pattern, although some disagreement on how quickly a cool trough moves inland early next week.

It appears to me this means we have some nice spring weather coming up again tomorrow, plus this coming weekend.  The ECMWF ensembles show the warmest weather so far this season for Sunday/Monday; highs into the lower 60s.  These numbers are likely underdone, at this point something around 65 or so seems reasonable with offshore flow Sunday/Monday.


You can also see the period of cool/wet weather Tuesday and beyond next week.  So enjoy some mild weather for the next 6 days, classic cool/wet March weather will return!

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen


17 Responses to Looks & Feels like Spring! Plus Winter 2017-18 Wrap-Up

  1. W7ENK says:

    Wind Advisory just issued for Portland metro. Wind gusts up to 45 mph.


  2. Nahtalkin says:

    Watching Andy again this morning with puzzled amusement, wondering who picks out his outfits, looks as if he hasn’t changed his wardrobe since middle school…..you know I think the same is true for “strange Tony” too.

    • GTS1Kft says:

      Weather Blog….

      Post your fashion comments elsewhere – I’m sure the world of TV met couture is anxiously awaiting the wisdom of the Yves St. Laurent of Barton.

      • Ken in Wood Village says:

        I think he likes to have people comment stuff about what he writes. Next time, just ignore him. I do wish there was either “ignore” or “block” button….LOL

        • GTS1Kft says:


          It’s harmless fun and, although I think you’re quite right, he’s shown no signs of “going away” whether ignored or not. He’s been here in other guises for quite a while – perhaps before you were here…

  3. alohabb says:

    Crazy but there’s a awesome rainbow in Tigard right now at 6;40 in the morning.

  4. Roland Derksen says:

    I still have a patch of snow in my backyard. Until that disappears, it’s not yet spring for me! Actually(and seriously) it shouldn’t take long for that to happen: By Monday, we’re supposed to see an afternoon temperature near 60F here.

  5. Mark, have you turned on the water to your outside coop? Are freezing nights over?

  6. Nahtalkin says:

    Yes, Yes to answer your questions. I beg to differ on the calendar not following the sun.

    “Calendar makers prefer the late March to late June definition, although that doesn’t follow the sun’s movement or weather very well.”

    The Gregorian calendar has spring starting on March 20th the Spring Equinox where the sun angle is directly over the Equator.

    In Summer and winter the parallel of latitude 23°26ʹ north tropic of Cancer or south tropic of Capricorn of the equator.Each of two corresponding circles on the celestial sphere where the sun appears to turn after reaching its greatest declination, marking the northern and southern limits of the ecliptic.

  7. W7ENK says:

    A bit of East wind kicking up out there tonight, I don’t recall that in the forecast, thought admittedly, I haven’t really been paying close attention…

  8. lurkingsince'14 says:

    Bring on Spring! Cross my fingers the Euro has it wrong and we end up with mid 50’s and a little sunshine St. Paddy’s weekend…

  9. ocpaul says:

    The only good weather, IMO, is cold wet Fall, Winter weather. I’m glad y’all enjoy dry, warm, hot weather. I do not. I am looking forward to cooler, wetter fall weather in fall 2018, Guten tag.

    • Paul D says:

      We endured being ripped off again this winter, right?

      I have never had to mow my grass in the first week of February before. I enjoy the lack of yard work in the winter, and the time I get to ignore the yard keeps getting shorter.

  10. JERAT416 says:

    Winter is nowhere near over in the mountains thankfully. There is still some time to rebound, but of course it usually starts to decline after the beginning of April. I’m hoping to go sledding Saturday afternoon. Should be great conditions but I’ll need sunglasses!

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