Rainy & Windy Sunday Night Ahead

9:00pm Sunday

Surprise…it’s still raining!  What a gloomy April Sunday don’t you think?  We’ve picked up about a third of an inch of rain here in Portland, but more than 1/2″ fell once again in Salem.  Yesterday over 2″ fell in parts of western Washington.  Yes, April has been much wetter than average.  We’re halfway through the month; check out those monthly totals so far!

That Portland total is the 4th wettest first half of April on record.  We’ve seen rain on 12 of 15 days this month:

But the weather pattern will become far more “reasonable” this week.  By that I mean we’ll be drying out quite a bit…after Tuesday.

Tonight we have a deepening surface low pressure center traveling straight north through NW Oregon and a 2nd low moving north through Eastern Washington and northern Idaho.  Here’s the 8pm position of the low:

By 2am note the lowering pressures over Washington, both western and eastern sides of the state.  Quite a southerly gradient through the Willamette Valley!

Then by 8am the weaker low has been absorbed by the 989mb center in southern British Columbia.   This is a windy pattern for the Pacific Northwest so you can expect a windy day Monday after tonight’s gusty wind.

We’ve already seen gusts in the 30-40 mph range in parts of the Willamette Valley and south metro this past hour.  I see a 35 mph gust suddenly just arrived at I-205/Division ODOT sensor and a 39 mph gust at Aurora.  We have 12-18 hours of wet & windy weather on tap.

Here’s the good news!  In the past 3 days models seem to be keying in on a change…actually 2 changes for the next 10+ days:

  1. The upper-level troughs moving along the westerly flow appear to get weaker/milder and don’t dig as far south
  2. Upper-level heights rise as the weakening spring jet stream pushes farther north more often.

The result is a significantly drier and somewhat warmer weather pattern.  It appears we’re going from mid-March cold troughs to more of a May-type pattern.  Take a look at the ECMWF ensemble precipitation forecast:

You can see almost all ensemble members are dry from Wednesday through early next week, minus the shower chance Saturday morning as a trough passes by to the north.  This is the driest chart we’ve seen in many weeks, maybe since early February.  Notice temperatures rise quite a bit too, this is from the 18z GFS:

To wrap it up…AFTER Tuesday I see a much milder/nice mid-spring weather pattern ahead.  Not totally dry, but our gardens/lawns/fields will get a chance to dry out.

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

15 Responses to Rainy & Windy Sunday Night Ahead

  1. WEATHERDAN says:

    Nice weather ahead. Might hit 80 by the end of the month. No snow whatsoever this past Winter otherwise mostly normal weather. Now hoping for a blistering hot Summer. Peace,

  2. K says:

    Got suddenly windy in Beaverton.

  3. lurkingsince'14 says:

    Wednesday can’t come soon enough…

  4. Roland Derksen says:

    I might see over 8 inches of rain for this April. What a sodden spring! (no, it’s not “sudden” mispelled)

    • W7ENK says:

      6.06″ at my location in Milwaukie as of last night. Another 0.05″ by the time I left for work. Clouds look to be thinning out and breaking up this morning, but with how cold it is above, methinks that’ll translate to some pretty heavy showers this afternoon.

      Already seeing what looks like post-FROPA popcorn on radar.

      Sodden indeed, it’s not over yet…

      • Roland Derksen says:

        Maybe it’s going to be a “photo-finish” between us; I had 5.64 inches last night at 9pm, but with showers overnight (about 0.20) we’re closing in on 6 inches. Last year’s April was at 6.17 inches- so that’s bound to be passed, anyway.

      • Joshua Downtown PDX says:

        I wonder what downtown is at? PDX is at 3.24”. Huge discrepancy between the airport and other areas. Based on the long-term forecast, officially, Portland will likely have just a bit more rain than average in April.

  5. K says:

    Wind has slackened here. Will it pick up and gust 30-40 mph again?

  6. Diana F. says:

    It has indeed been a windy and rainy Sunday evening, and still is at midnight!

    It’s great, I can hear the wind, and I can feel it because the windows rattle just enough to let me know it’s there!

    The Cat seems to love it too, sitting on the 2nd story balcony railing, in the dark, in the rain, and the wind, which makes me feel a stab of panic for her safety. It also seems like strange behavior! But then again, she’s probably just geeking out on the weather—while she is a Cat, she did grow up in a Weather Geek household. Well, technically, complete Geek. Weather is the hobby part, Geek is sort of like, being French.

    Plus I keep thinking she’s going to “blow off” the rail during one of the 20 MPH gusts!

    THANKS for the great post, Mark! Fun to follow……

  7. K says:

    Winds are roaring here in the West Hills. Fun!

  8. W7ENK says:

    It’s funny, on your Facebook post you say “as expected,” however no one — and I do mean absolutely NO one — made any previous mention of this wind. 🤔

    Not that I’m complaining, I kinda like hearing it out my window.

    • Mark Nelsen says:

      I didn’t get to work until 2:30pm, but I had the forecast done by 3:30pm. South 20 g35 mph was in all my graphics at 5pm. You had…well…4-5 hours notice.

      • W7ENK says:


        I was out playing in the woods. Glad the winds didn’t come in sooner, or that could have been dangerous, especially with how many trees apparently came down over the Winter out there.

        Was also surprised to see about 8 inches of new snow down at 2,200 feet.

        I know for a fact the forecast was for 4,500 feet and above! I have proof!!

        219 PM PDT Sat Apr 14 2018

        Snow levels will lower to around 4500 feet late tonight and Sunday morning while a moist front begins to move over the Cascades.


  9. Andy says:

    Thanks for the update Mark. You answered my question earlier about the strong winds were having in Albany.

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