The Week Ahead: Not much rain plus some warm sunshine

7pm Sunday…

Today was sure a gloomy day!  It seems like it rained at least a third of the day, but we only ended up with a few hundredths of an inch in the metro area.  That’s a classic warm-front setup

Rain Metro Today Databound

The system changed snow to rain in the Cascades.  After a big dumping above 5,000′ Thursday night through Saturday, now it’ll be mainly rain through Tuesday up there.

Snow Mt Hood Totals

A warm but “flat” upper-level ridge is sitting over the NE Pacific Ocean.

Satellite Surface

That gives us lots of clouds, but not much rain.  Tomorrow another warm front sweeps mainly into Washington.  So we’ll see lots of clouds again but little rain.  On Tuesday a little “wiggle” moves over the top of the ridging and down over us.  At that point we should see at least a few hours of rain.  Then the ridge pops up again a bit stronger and closer to us.  Here’s Thursday, look at those 588 dm heights over Oregon!  ecmwf-namer-z500_anom-1940000

If it was early September we’d see 90s out of this pattern.  Instead, at the end of October, highs somewhere between 65-70 are more likely under dry offshore flow.   This means Wednesday and Thursday feature the best and warmest weather this week.

Then by this weekend the ridge pops up a bit farther west, allowing a cold upper-level trough to drop south out of Canada and into the western USA.  That looks chilly!


These maps are the ECMWF ensemble forecasts, but other models are similar.  Notice the real cold air doesn’t drop right over us, but a bit farther east.  The Rockies and Intermountain region get nailed with cold snow showers next weekend.  This should give us a round of dry/chilly northerly/easterly wind Saturday through sometime early NEXT week.    The result for our area will be a sharp drop in temperatures between Thursday and Saturday/Sunday.  Overnight lows will go from near 50 Wednesday to around freezing once again next weekend.  But not a whole lot of rain.  Check out the change in airmass on the ECMWF 850mb ensemble chart, quite a drop isn’t it?  Just 5 days ago there was not hint this would occur.  That ECMWF wanted to put the ridge right over the top of us, but now wants to dump come cold air south over the West.  This is the 3rd time this fall season we’ve seen this happen.  Very interesting…


Check out the ensemble runs from ECMWF, GFS, & GEM models.  All show 1″ or less rainfall in the Willamette Valley through these next two work weeks.  That’s through the first day or so of November.

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It’s probably a bit premature to mention this, but why not…  It’s interesting that this is the type of pattern we can get during a weak El Nino winter.  Split flow can be common in those winters too.  We are on the warm side of ENSO neutral right now and it seems we’ll be right on the edge of weak El Nino conditions this year.  Just tossing that out there for fun.


  • I don’t see much soaking rain for these last 10 days of October, but it will rain here and there.
  • This work week features mild temps, Wednesday & Thursday should be the warmest!
  • Next weekend may feature a nice chill; perfect for the weekend leading to Halloween.
  • There’s absolutely no sign of a stormy weather pattern ahead.  I’m referring to our usual stormy setup with one area of low pressure after another giving us waves of strong wind and rain.
  • Snow in the Cascades will gradually melt over the upcoming week.  A few more inches could fall later Friday or Saturday.

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

24 Responses to The Week Ahead: Not much rain plus some warm sunshine

  1. Tanis Leach says:

    5 years above average August rainfall, I welcome the below average year. But why does it have to happen the year I’m injured out of running?

  2. W7ENK says:

    Mark, I’m not able to comment on your new post… 😭

  3. Joshua Lake Oswego says:

    Anyone else getting concerned with the lack of forecasted rain? October will end up well drier than normal and it looks possible that we will get zero rain (or close to it) in the next 15 days. Pretty crazy for this time of year and not a good thing.

    • Larry says:

      Yes! It’s a worry for me because I planted acorns on my property in September, hoping the rain would be enough to supply moisture. This dry stretch is causing me to water-feed the nuts again.

  4. WEATHERDAN says:

    As Mark has nicely pointed out most of our significant weather has come from the North since February. Of course that could change in an instant. But if it doesn,t then we are in for an exciting Winter. Either way we don’t have long to find out. Peace.

  5. Wet, wet, wet up here to the north. 1.87″ yesterday here in Bellingham, over 5″ at Quillayute.

    • Roland Derksen says:

      Rubus, you beat us slightly- I had 1.72 inches yesterday, plus another 0.05 inches in showers overnight. Good riddance to it all- we have sunshine this morning.

  6. Kyle says:

    Well I’m done with this dumb blog. People on here seem to be rude and Mark loves to delete comments. 😦 I’d love to pour gasoline and light a torch.

    • Larry says:

      gosh I must’ve missed something. what happened Kyle?

    • W7ENK says:

      I don’t know what you’re talking about, Kyle. No one here has been rude, especially not toward you. And all of your comments are there, I can see them all just the same as they came into my email. Mark hasn’t removed anything.

  7. W7ENK says:

    A quarter after 11 at night, and it’s still 60 degrees. For mid (now late?) October, this is ridiculous.

  8. Kyle says:

    The NWS NOW Data is still not working with a contract error message. Is it some kind of phone thing as I’m a desktop user not a phone idiot. Has the NWS gone phone only or is it something on their end they aren’t taking care of?

  9. JohnD says:

    NWS CPC sure looks favorable for below ave temps for a while (albeit below ave precip too.) A month from now we might be in the money. Hope the trends sustain. Will be fun to see what Cliff Mass says on Sat.

  10. MasterNate says:

    Good read on Cliffs Blog about Climate Change.

  11. Paul D says:

    That’s my kind of heat wave on Thursday!! 🙂 Bring it on!!

  12. tim says:

    In the end i think it will be warmer and drier then normal with a weak el nino again this winter minus the record cold and snow Seattle had last February.

    • Kyle says:

      I think we will have a few brief teases before the pattern flips back to the default 2013+ pattern. As long as the ocean is icked out I don’t see why what we have had won’t suddenly change to a new regime. The ocean is the main driver for us anything else is dumb talk.

    • Kyle says:

      I think we will have a front loaded winter with a lot of ‘teases’ then around Xmas or perhaps just before we will have a flip most likely to a foggy inversion pattern. I do think we could have a deep ‘fake’ cold though that could bring some impressive numbers.

      As long as the gunk in the ocean is still there I don’t see why our post 2013 pattern isn’t going to flip. There is too much acting against it.

  13. ocpaul says:


  14. ocpaul says:

    Pacific water temps are just one piece of the puzzle. This winter offers lots of possibilities. More unknown, than known.

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