Last Week of November = Mild & Wet At Times

6:30pm Sunday…

The long Thanksgiving Weekend was relatively tranquil with some much needed rain in the valleys plus mountain snowfall.  I was not in the area and spent the holiday down in the Las Vegas area.  Even lots my driver’s license while taking a run.  Unfortunately that means I got the FULL pat-down experience at the airport on the way home.  Not a big deal, but weird.  Models did pretty well showing that 15-25″ snow for the Cascades.  I see depth has settled down to around 17-18″ at both Timberline and Mt. Hood Meadows.  Maybe 6″ or so still on the ground down at Government Camp.  This is at 5,000′ from our Skibowl camera:


We have a very warm system offshore right now; a typical “atmospheric river”.  It will send plumes of subtropical moisture into Washington and Vancouver Island the next 24 hours, leaving most of Oregon dry until around sunset Monday.  Enjoy your dry Monday!  For many of you it’ll be warmer (mountains, coast, valley), but in the Gorge and Portland metro area we won’t warm much due to a low-level easterly wind inversion.

That wet system moves onshore tomorrow night and Tuesday morning.  We should see about an inch of rain out of that system plus the post-frontal showers Tuesday.  The mountains see all rain through early Tuesday, then go back to a rain/snow mix depending on elevation. There are hints that Tuesday morning/midday could see very active convection with models showing below zero lifted index, plus abundant CAPE.  Similar setups in the past have produced funnel clouds and/or weak tornadoes.  Not a guarantee we’ll see either of these of course; the point is that the weather setup is similar to those past events.

Beyond Tuesday, the Pacific jet stream becomes a bit more “confused & splitty”.  By that I mean models are all over the place with locations of upper-level and low-level low pressure areas.  Generally systems are weak with lots of energy headed south into California instead of the Pacific Northwest.  The 12z ECMWF model run decided to produce a big windstorm for NW Oregon and SW Washington this coming Saturday.  See the 976mb low at Ocean Shores?

Of course I immediately checked the ensemble members.  As I expected; only 9 of 51 members imply any sort of strong wind Saturday at Astoria.  Any of the yellow/red blocks are wind gusts 50 mph or higher.

So we can dismiss that idea for now.  As meteorologists we should always be looking at (and forecasting from) those ensembles instead of just one operational run.

Other than some rain at times, and some additional mountain snow at the end of this week, things look pretty quiet.  November is going to go down as a dry one with temperatures near normal.  Quite an uneventful start to our stormy season don’t you think?

By the way, the warm blob in the eastern Pacific has expanded and strengthened in the past month.  This is sea surface temp anomaly from one month ago:

Now it has shifted a bit closer to us as well as warmed a bit (compared to average).  At this point all of the northeast Pacific from the West Coast to about 1,200 miles offshore, then north to Alaska, is running warmer than average.

What effect that has on our winter weather I don’t know, but it sure won’t help in marginal snow situations when cold air pours out of Alaska and heads toward us over the ocean.  We’ll see.

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

82 Responses to Last Week of November = Mild & Wet At Times

  1. I see that the sun Fizzled out today… It has been pushed to Tuesday.
    Sure looks like we might get some snow tonight, well maybe a touch.
    Will be glad when Monday is here.

    Unfortunately, I can not add anything to the apartment I rent..I would love to get that Dutch Mitsubishi thingy lol. but, I can’t add that to the apartment.

  2. GTS1Kft says:

    from Grammarist

    Wintery vs wintry

    In modern English, wintry is the preferred spelling of the adjective meaning of, like, or relating to winter. Wintery has a long history in English, but it has never been the preferred form, and it has no meanings of its own. In 21st-century books, it appears once for approximately every 20 instances of wintry. It is a little more common on the web and in newswriting, though still much rarer than wintry.

    There is no evidence that wintery is becoming more common, but the spelling does accurately reflect how many English speakers pronounce the word—that is, with three syllables instead of two—so it may someday gain ground. For now, wintry prevails.

    Just sayin’….

  3. Joshua Lake Oswego says:

    I will be happy if we can get a hard freeze anytime soon. My lowest temp of the season is 33.8.

  4. alohabb says:

    Well, my phone is putting snow on the forecast for Dec 7th.

  5. K says:

    Wow, somehow this year is somehow ending up worse than last year. At least then the models showed something fun down the line. Think about it, every other year we had at least one decent storm before this time. We haven’t even had a weak wind event this year.

    Nice job, 2018-2019!

    • Ken in Wood Village says:

      I know how you feel K. I see something but I’m going to hold off for about 7 days to see if the models still show it. I’ll give you a hint. I’m looking way out into the Pacific. 🙂

      • K says:

        I know what you mean, and I feel that this year the jet is either too far north or too far south.

        • Ken in Wood Village says:

          I wasn’t actually talking about the jet stream. If you go to the GFS and do the 850mb temperature and look at the whole Pacific. I go to and look at the North Pacific. During the 00Z GFS run you will see something interesting with the temperatures going from China and going out into the Pacific. It’s just something I saw but like I said in my other post. It’s way out there and things can change a lot so I’m not getting my hopes up.

  6. Jake in Gresham says:

    I hate to say it but this is a classic setup for an El Niño. Either, a split flow occurs or a strong jet stream is aimed at California.

    I haven’t had a chance to look at the models the past few days. What a rough transition. We’ve gone from split to a jet stream aimed right at California (for those that love arctic outbreaks this no better). So don’t be fooled by the cold in the Western States. Without a storm coming our way it won’t pull the deeper cold (arctic) behind the Cascades.

    Good news is the edges of systems will still deposit snow for the Winter sports in the mountains. But eh, I’ve lost my enthusiasm harshly for any kind of arctic outbreak. I love this weather none the less but I was really hoping somehow this El Niño was going to be abnormal if not special on just how quiet it started out. Hopes of, “a quiet before the Winter storm” – flattened.

  7. Jason Hougak says:

    How can fake cold exist with the freezing level at 1,500’… according to the latest NWS forecast. That’s real cold people.

  8. Extended forecast shows dry weather and a day-to-day cooling trend after Sunday. Fake cold on the way?

  9. For those new here: welcome to model-riding season. Much of the time during storm season, at least one of the runs of one of the models is showing something really tantalizing. Nothing almost ever comes of it, because nothing almost ever comes of model outliers. Ignore them. Only when the preponderance of runs, of the preponderence of models, come on board with basically the same story (and stick with it from run to run as the time frame drops to under a week) is it time to get excited.

    • GTS1Kft says:

      Good advice that will promptly be ignored.

      Overheated “analysis” soon to follow – stay tuned….

    • W7ENK says:

      In the past, when I’ve said exactly this, I’ve been accused of being a pessimistic kill-joy who bashes on people. So be careful with this sentiment — and a fair warning — it tends to generate a lot of butthurt.

      • I figured I’d take the initiative this season and take some of the butthurt retorts for you. 🙂

      • GTS1Kft says:

        Ironic that there are so many snowflakes on the blog, innit?

      • Ken in Wood Village says:

        Interesting conversation but I’m not going to ride anyone’s butt. I was just watching Rod Hill said something about what I posted about the possibility of a wintery mix next week. But it still is a week away and a lot can happen. I never said it would but what I did say how interesting it was on were the low was and how we have “fake cold” in the area.

        We’ll see what the models say the next few days.


    • Andy says:

      Probably 5 days out is the best advise with the current models. Even then they are only partially right with the strength.

  10. Ken in Wood Village says:

    The 12Z GFS isn’t done yet but I just wanted to say we need to watch what Wednesdays (5th) storm goes. It’s so close to coming in the right area that we get a good East Wind which brings in a bunch of cold air to maybe give us snow. It moves south into California but if it could move a little North and maybe just go into Southern Oregon, then we could have a good chance of snow. Just my thoughts 🙂

  11. Ken in Wood Village says:

    I just looked at the 00Z Euro. I go to because I don’t go to a paid site so I need to try to interpret what I see in the run. It’s a little different than the 00Z GFS were the GFS has us dry on the 4th and 5th. The Euro looks like it could be a little wet and cooler temps could lead to probably having snow in the Hood River Valley (I know it’s still a week away and a lot of things could change so don’t bash me for what I say…lol).

    Another things I noticed with the 00Z Euro is it’s following the 00Z GFS going into the 7th and 8th. Were the Jet Stream finally gets into a zonal flow and brings storm after storm into the PNW. I hope this will verify so we can get into more of our stormy season.

    At least that is what I can read on a limited bases with this website. If someone has more details, please let me know. Thank you 🙂

    • Ken in Wood Village says:

      I just looked at another website for the 00Z Euro. I was a little wrong on about the moisture on the 4th and 5th. I thought there would be more moisture but it looks like we could see maybe a shower on the 4th. Oh, well. 🙂

  12. K says:

    I’m genuinely surprised that both Seattle and San Francisco (as of Thursday, at least) have both seen significant storms this season while we haven’t. Not a complaint as so much an observation.

    • Ken in Wood Village says:

      I think it’s do to having a little bit of a split flow in the jet stream. It need to be more consolidated and the best set up for us would be going into the South around Eugene. That way we are on the colder side of the Jet.

      It looks like next week could be a cold week. With cooler temps and the East wind blowing. We could be in the 30’s for most of the day on Wednesday. At least that’s what it looks like on the Euro but things can chance between now and then…lol

      • I want it all… Wind,snow, it’s reading your post

        • Ken in Wood Village says:

          Hehe, the 00Z GFS is going with the 12Z Euro and bring cooler air in for next week. With the East Wind, it will feel much colder than the actual temperature.

          One thing I have been seeing with the GFS around the 8th is we get a good storm coming into the PNW but we also start seeing a zonal flow. The jet stream goes from Japan all the way over the Pacific into the NW. It has been showing this for the past few runs. It’s been very consistent with this even though it’s like way out there. Hopefully it will happen.

          Glad you want it all. I think a lot of people on this blog do as well. I want an exciting winter this year compared to last year. I hope we get the goods this year 🙂

    • Roland Derksen says:

      I’m not surprised at all. I’m north of Seattle and we’re approaching 11 inches for the month total. Time for a few days of drying out- please. 🙂

  13. Andy says:

    Looks like were trending colder next week with less moisture. Seems things are uncertain in the models.

    • Ken in Wood Village says:

      If we go by the 18Z GFS, we will be dry for probably a week but the 12Z Euro gives us a little rain (not a lot but some) but your right. We do get colder next week and with the East wind it will feel even colder.

      The 12Z Euro has the Portland area not even reaching 40 degrees on Wednesday the 5th with East wind too. It also has us having some moisture. Makes me wonder if we could see snow flying in the air or maybe something mixed. 🙂

  14. Roland Derksen says:

    2.50 inches of rain here yesterday plus another 0,66 inches overnight. We’re wet enough now,

  15. W7ENK says:

    Just FYI:

    If I worked for the NWS, I’d be issuing a Tornado Watch today for areas between Corvallis, OR up to Longview WA, most likely from Salem to Battleground. 8am to 4pm, most likely between 11am and 2pm.

    I’m already seeing our classic pattern setting up on radar.

    • Ken in Wood Village says:

      Yea, I think today could be very interesting. I think the NWS and maybe Mark are underplaying how strong the thunderstorm threat could be today.

      Another thing, some of these storms could be training, which we could see some localized flooding.

      Just my thoughts. 🌧☔💧🌩

    • W7ENK says:


      Just issued:

      921 AM PST TUE NOV 27 2018

      Looks like I’m on the right track, and a few steps ahead…

    • Muxpux (Castle Rock) says:


      • W7ENK says:

        Not really. It’s been an incredibly active day all up and down the Willamette Valley. Lots of heavy (some large) hail, lightning and thunder. Still in the window for a reported funnel cloud/weak tornado…

  16. Mark, real question.
    Have you or any one of your friends noticed how low the rives like the “Cowlitz ” are?

    I know we need the rain and snow…but any lower and Kelso Washington will be pumping water in from Longview Washington.

  17. We have gusty winds.
    if we lose power, it will be interesting.

    I see in first part of December we get chilly nights and possible snow mixed with rain.

    Does any one else have winds?

  18. K says:

    Outlook looks a bit bad, but things can always change. Excited for tonight’s soaker!

    • Ken in Wood Village says:

      One thing I don’t see is a prolong dry period. We get some rain and maybe some cooler weather. Hopefully December will be much more interesting than November. 🙂

      • K says:

        Very true Ken, very true. Hopefully an arctic blast. Or perhaps a windstorm?

        • Ken in Wood Village says:

          You are fixated on having a windstorm…lol. It’s ok, I’m all for a good windstorm as long as I know it’s coming and I’m prepared for it. I’m hoping for a arctic blast 🙂

  19. K says:

    The outlook does not look good. Sorry guys 😦

  20. WEATHERDAN says:

    I see lots of fake cold in our future. Mainly January. Cold and foggy in the Valley with lots of East winds in the metro area. Very little snow up high and none down low. Sorry. Peace.

  21. Ken in Wood Village says:

    The one thing I have been seeing in most of the models is we are trending cooler/colder. Just something I wanted to point out 🙂

  22. As forecast, it’s plenty rainy up this way (Bainbridge Island, west of Seattle).

  23. Paul D says:

    Forecast says “dry day – late rain”. So if it’s dry, why is the ground wet?

  24. paulbeugene says:

    Need to wait before getting excited about a damaging windstorm for our region. Gfs not biting, and ensemble members not all that supportive on the euro side .

  25. alohabb says:

    I for one do not wish for any windstorms. It’s all fun and neat until a tree falls into your house.

    • Doug says:

      I’m with you on this, just don’t get the longing for and sometimes almost gleeful anticipation of a windstorm. Power outages, caved in cars and roofs, debris-laden roads and bike lanes, general mayhem.

  26. Mike says:

    Yes, we want to skip summer and have longer spring and early fall. That would be just great. I wonder why we used to get wet summers once in awhile and haven’t seen any for so long now.

  27. 00z ECMWF with yet another run showing a major wind storm for the Willamette Valley south of PDX. Oh and a block may set up in the Gulf of Alaska at Day 5. That’s worth keeping an eye on too. Back to the wind storm potential. I have an eerie feeling about this one. 200+kt jet racing across the Pacific well suppressed to the south…. Yeah.

    • K says:

      It’s still quite significant for PDX as well. 55-65 gusts possible there. But I doubt it’ll happen, seeing as GFS doesn’t show anything but a weak low (but even that is trending stronger).

      • Ken in Wood Village says:

        Just looked at the Euro. It’s very impressive. It shows gusts at Canby around 90mph. Saturday could be very interesting. Let’s hope the Euro keeps it up. If the Euro keeps showing this, maybe the GFS will finally catch up.

        • Kim says:

          Ken, is it looking like we will get a wind strom? I enjoy reading your post. Also the snow your talking about around the 3-8th

    • alohabb says:

      Keep up the good work rob. Reading your analysis is great.

    • JohnD says:

      Always enjoy–and appreciate–your input this time of the year Rob!

  28. K says:

    The EURO run has put a strong low near Astoria again. For like, the third or fourth time in a row.

  29. K says:

    Also, I don’t get why people are so excited about tomorrow’s storm. It’s quite weak and boring, and I really don’t think it warrants any excitement. I dare it to prove me wrong, by all means. Maybe somewhere later this year, or next year, we’ll finally get a significant windstorm.

    • Ken in Wood Village says:

      K, Mark did say something about convection on Tuesday. Maybe we could get a good thunderstorm or two 🤗🌩

  30. alohabb says:

    Time to move on. Summer come back please.

    • K says:

      Summer can go away for a long time. Winter is here, no more of this faux-warmth and ridgy inversion periods. We’ve already suffered through an awful and hot summer, so we should be rewarded with a nice storm season.

    • Paul D says:

      Summer can wait it’s turn, but it probably won’t. It’s rude and obnoxious.

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