A typical October week ahead includes lots of sun and a bit of rain

7pm Sunday…

Today was spectacular wasn’t it?  Other than some spots of morning fog, wall-to-wall sunshine for the entire region.  I just caught the sun setting from our Shilo Inns Seaside camera out at the coast

Cam Seaside

Portland made it above 70 degrees today, the first time we’ve reached “normal” in 11 days!  It was quite a cool end to September and early October too.  I suppose that’s perfectly reasonable after months (years) of above average temps.  The warm temps were courtesy of a warmer atmosphere overhead plus a good amount of morning easterly wind.  Vista House gusted to 42 this morning; a small preview of the upcoming 5 months.

Tomorrow will be dry west of the Cascades from Longview to Eugene, at least up until around 5pm.  At some point after that (depending on location) the chance for showers picks up and your home may even get an hour or two of steady rain between 5-11pm Monday evening.  The rain will be along a strong cold front.  Freezing levels start at 11,000′ tomorrow at 5pm and within 12 hours plummet to 4,000′!  It’s another sharp upper-level trough dropping out of Alaska, headed for Washington and Idaho.  This one appears to be slightly colder than the one a week ago, for our area.  Not as cold for the northern Rockies.  But we’re also 8-10 days deeper into the autumn season; the same airmass overhead should be a bit cooler in the lowlands.   So even with partial clearing Tuesday afternoon plus a mainly sunny Wednesday, it’ll be tough to get out of the 50s.

I don’t see much rain out of this cold front tomorrow evening through Tuesday afternoon.  In fact much of the lowlands will see less than a tenth of an inch.  The flow will be strongly “orographic”, meaning the strong west/northwest wind overhead will squeeze a lot of precipitation out of the clouds in the Cascades and Coast Range.  About 10 times as much!

RPM Precipitation Accumulation

Much of this precip moves over the Cascades before snow levels drop much.  There should be enough precipitation left after a changeover to snow that Timberline sees 3-7″ snow and 1-2″ at Government Camp.  That’s from 5am Tuesday through evening.  Here’s the WRF-GFS snow forecasting ending Wednesday AM:


Weak upper-level ridging returns Wednesday through at least Friday, possibly through next Sunday.  Models disagree on whether a quick-moving disturbance late Saturday and Sunday gives us showers.  We’ll see if they get their act together the next few days.  This means that for about a week beyond this Tuesday we won’t get much rain.  Total rain for the next 10 days from both GFS & ECMWF show 1/2″ or less in the lowlands west of the Cascades.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Other than the shot of cold air Tuesday with a bit of mountain snow, nothing all that interesting occurs between now and mid-month.  I don’t see a “stormy Eastern Pacific” pattern setting up through at least the middle of NEXT week.  It’s typically too early for that, but every few years we do get October storms.   There doesn’t appear to be a good pattern for the “October thunderstorms” either.


  • We’re going to be dry far more often than wet the next 10 days, you will have many opportunities to participate in outdoor activities/recreation.
  • There’s no sign of significant snow in the Cascades the next 10 days (that’s normal for October)
  • Expect lots of sunshine Wednesday-Friday, maybe parts of next weekend too.

By the way, peak color on our leaves tends to occur within the next two weeks, often around the 20th of October.  Of course each tree species is different, but that seems to be the case just about every year.

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen





25 Responses to A typical October week ahead includes lots of sun and a bit of rain

  1. W7ENK says:

    Overnight temperature stalled out at 37 in Milwaukie. There was an ever-so-slight breeze that held our temp up.

  2. MasterNate says:

    First morning in the 20’s here. 27. I hope there’s more where those came from.

  3. W7ENK says:

    Bottomed out at 33 degrees this morning. Fully expecting a low in the upper 20s tonight, which would be my first official freeze of the season, significantly ahead of the last several years.

    Thankfully, all my sensitive plants have been inside for almost two weeks.

    Ironically, my first Tabasco peppers didn’t ripen until the plants were moved inside under the lights. 🤔

  4. Jason Hougak says:

    What a spectacular day, as great as it gets for an Indian Summer day in the PNW. Fall leaves are amazing and snow on the Cascade Peaks make me happy to be a true Oregon Native.

  5. Roland Derksen says:

    33F for a minimum here this morning. It would have possibly touched 32, had there not been a slight breeze that developed after 4:29 am (the time it reached 33). Perhaps tonight?

  6. Andy says:

    Looking forward to here what the local weather experts say about the winter forecast. So far the national people are calling for above normal temps and below normal precipitation… some are calling for low snow for cascades in the NW. Some keep mentioning the warm blob off are coast will shunt the jet stream to the north. I feel the high will set up more west and we will continue to see cold shots in the NW. I’m sure Mark will comment more after AMS event later this month.

  7. Jake in Gresham says:

    Hello to everyone here. Back for this Winter season. Man, glad I turned the heat up last night before bed!

    I was shocked to see 35F on the weather station panel this morning after a seventy degree day yesterday! I think parts of the Eastern counties last night got their first frost.

    Weather Underground is warning me that tonight may be the night!

  8. MasterNate says:


  9. Jason Hougak says:

    The growing season for most everybody in the valley is tonight. NWS posted a Freeze Warning. Bring in those sensitive plants. Our growing season up here ended over 2 weeks ago.

  10. JohnD says:

    Yet a second weather pattern already this year that 2 months from now might have brought snow down to sea level. Sure hope these early season events are a trend and not just an anomaly.
    Will be fun to hear what the pros think on Oct. 26!

  11. W7ENK says:

    Snowing below 500′ elevation in North Bend, WA this afternoon. Confirmed by KIRO-7 News, Seattle.


  12. WEATHERDAN says:

    I expect a fairly typical Winter this year. So I look forward to some snow and a lot of fog. I expect a fairly strong windstorm as well. Though I am not looking forward to that. See you at OMSI on the 26th. Peace.

  13. Roland Derksen says:

    We could see our first freezing temperatures here by Wednesday morning. If it doesn’t actually drop to 32F, I still will probably see a few frost patches around.

  14. Anomynous says:

    Snow down to pass level again by tomorrow night, possible record lows throughout the region Wednesday and Thursday morning, and another arctic airmass moving into the northern Rockies this week. Yeah…totally typical weather for the first week of October. We see this every year pretty much.

  15. Andrew says:

    When is the winter weather discussion event at OMSI? I’m interested in attending this year. Thanks

    • JERAT416 says:

      Oh yeah, I don’t have to work Saturdays anymore, I might actually be able to come!

    • W7ENK says:

      From Steve Pierce:

      The 27th Annual Oregon AMS “Winter Weather Forecast Conference” is slated for Saturday, October 26th 2019 beginning at a NEW start time of 9AM due to a special guest speaker which you will not want to miss. We will still plan to end about 12 noon. We know this is a little longer meeting this year, but we are confident that you will enjoy our special guest speaker that we are bringing in from out of state. Yes, that is a called a “tease” in the TV world. More details to come!

  16. Paul D says:

    Such a nice time of year. Cool at night makes great sleeping conditions and nice but not hot during the day and variety!!

  17. ocpaul says:

    I’ve never known rain to impinge on activity in the NW.

    • Anonymous says:

      snowboarding and skateboarding are not fun in the rain and there are a lot of snowboarders and skaters in the PNW.

  18. Got up to 62°F today here in the City of Subdued Excitement. Continued my search for a chanterelle spot near my new home, and this time the fates really smiled on me and I returned home with a good harvest.

  19. Tanis Leach says:

    I’ll take the nice weather.

    It was nice enough to torture myself into doing 100km on the bike today.

    But at the same time, bring on winter

  20. JERAT416 says:

    It was a beautiful day! Not a bad week, good for raking leaves or hiking in some fall color.

%d bloggers like this: