November Starts Dry & Mild

November 2, 2019

10pm Saturday…

I’m working this Saturday evening, but the weather is S-L-O-W.

October was a cold one across the Pacific Northwest.  But today with weak offshore flow we made it to 63 in Portland…a fantastic nice day!  I took a run mid-afternoon through Hoyt Arboretum and it was spectacular.  Warm sunshine, cool shade, NO MUD, and crunchy dead leaves on the ground.  We rarely see that combo in early November.

By the way, tomorrow we begin the “dark season” in the evenings.  For the next 2.5 months, sunsets in the metro area will be before 5pm.

Sunset Earlier

For at least the first week of this month and maybe well beyond we’ll see persistent upper-level high pressure (ridging) along the west coast of North America.  This is a “warm West, cold East” setup across the USA.

Satellite Surface

Take a look at the 500 millibar map for Thursday…the ridge is still there.  Red colors show above-average upper level heights


Then NEXT Saturday.  Ridge weakens a little and allows a bit of rain to make it into the Pacific Northwest.


But jump ahead ANOTHER week and the ridge is just as strong.  The GFS, ECMWF, and GEM models all show the same general setup all the way through mid-month

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If this is the case, the first half of November will be much drier than average and very mild too.

One BIG caveat.  More than once in the past 6 weeks we’ve seen models not clue in to a change in the ridge position westward.  Basically the ridge suddenly moves westward and a cold trough digs down through the Rockies.  That’s what just gave us record cold across portions of Eastern Oregon and Washington.   I’ll be keeping an eye out for that.

To summarize:

  1. Early November looks mainly dry.  Next real chance for rain is around Friday or Saturday the 9th/10th.  But even that may just be for a day or two
  2. Temperatures remain mild.  No sign of another freeze through at least the next week
  3. There’s no sign of a start to the traditional Pacific Northwest storm season.  Often November can be a stormy month


I’ll be on vacation during this upcoming week, back at work on the 11th.  If something really big shows up on the models I’ll likely “break silence” and make a posting.   Otherwise I’m disappearing for awhile.

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen