We had a nice cold front pass through the region Saturday evening, leaving us with scattered showers and sunbreaks today. Tonight skies begin to clear out as we get into a cool northeast flow for a couple days. This isn’t an “east wind comes blasting in with bitter cold temps” sort of setup. It’s just back to normal temps or even a little below (especially at night) for most of us. That’s something we haven’t seen much of the past 2-3 weeks. Since early October we’ve been in a mild/warm weather pattern much of the time. This December will likely end up in the top 10 warmest at PDX. As of the 29th, it’s the warmest since 1979, but that will change with cooler temps this evening and Monday.
We have caught up on rain, making it just about average for December. Snowpack has been slowly improving the past week as well. Now over 50% throughout Oregon with much of Eastern Oregon right at average. Very nice! Considering I can hardly see movement on Hwy 26 @ Timberline Road on the ODOT camera at 5pm, I’m guessing that a LOT of you are enjoying the snow?
One thing we’ve been missing? Those of us in the east wind areas missed the cold nights in early December, meaning some parts of Portland central/east metro have barely seen a frost! PDX has hit 32 four different times, and will likely do it either tomorrow morning or by midnight tomorrow night once again
That’s quite unusual, even for that relatively urbanized location at the airport. All the rest of us in the western valleys have been down into at least the mid-upper 20s.
You can see that most Decembers we get at least down into the mid-upper 20s at some point at PDX
We are 1/2 of the way through our “storm & cold” season and I think it’s fair to say it’s been a real dud so far. It shouldn’t be a surprise in this El Nino winter; these are sometimes quite boring for the geeks like me. Yes, I know it’s not officially an El Nino, but most likely it will be considered one once we look back on it. It’s especially disappointing considering it’s our second consecutive cool season (so far) with not much exciting weather. You may recall that last year was a real dud from November through mid-February, except for that Christmas ice/snow.
It’s very clear that we’re back into a ridgy/split-flow pattern for the next 7-10 days. Little or no storminess, just occasional wet weather systems. Temperatures will likely be milder than normal for at least the first week of January. The 18z GFS shows 3 systems splitting as they move towards the coastline: this Friday, Wednesday the 9th, and Friday the 11th.
The ECMWF model is a little more consolidated the next 10 days, but still “weak” looking.
- THERE IS NO INDICATION THAT WE’LL SEE ANY LOWLAND SNOW/ICE IN THE NEXT 10 DAYS
- NEW YEARS EVE WILL BE CHILLY AND CLEAR AT MIDNIGHT; POSSIBLY A FEW SPOTS OF FOG DEVELOPING LATER
- NEXT CHANCE FOR RAIN IS THURSDAY
Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen