November Starts Dry & Mild

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

51 Responses to November Starts Dry & Mild

  1. Roland Derksen says:

    A bit more rain here overnight (0.60 inches) and low overcast/foggy conditions this morning, so at least it looks more like November now.

  2. W7ENK says:

    Natukene midagi mida ma tegin.

    On kuu tuleb taevas üle minu kojus, eile õhtust. 🌕

    Laul on ‘Kuu’ – Tarvo ja Toomas Urb

  3. WEATHERDAN says:

    No precip in SLE since Oct 25. Looks cooler after the 20th. Also a little wetter the next 16 days. Maybe 1.5 inches. But no big wet and cold pattern. Snow for Thanksgiving? Not down low, but maybe down to 2k feet. Happy Hallothanksmas. No feels that way sometimes. Peace and Go Ducks.

    • Grizzly Bear says:

      Hallothanksmas, I feel that way too. I’m seeing Xmas commercials on the tube already, way too early for that. I suppose that someday soon folks will start putting up the tree and holiday lights November 1st!

  4. W7ENK says:

    Rod Hill claiming our weather pattern will flip for the wetter on Sunday, also mentions the possibility of snow on Thanksgiving.

    I think he may have overheated his crystal ball.

  5. Andy says:

    Looks like the weather will be more active starting this coming weekend and beyond. Mark should be posting something soon. maybe some detail for a more active period with the MJO becoming active in the western Pacific.

  6. W7ENK says:

    Had just shy of a 10th of an inch of rain this weekend. Just enough to wet the ground and make the mushrooms start popping again.

    Felt unseasonably warm.

  7. Roland Derksen says:

    A misty drizzly day yesterday here, but we got about 0.17 inches of precipitation out of it, so that’s better than nothing.

  8. Jake in Gresham says:

    It snizzled here today. Hardly anything and it’s hard to believe Bend, Oregon made it into the 70’s today and yesterday.

    • W7ENK says:

      You had snow-drizzle? At 70 degrees?!?

      • Jake in Gresham says:

        So far I’ve had 0.33 inches of rain in the past month.
        About 0.22 inches of that fell in the past week and this past 24 hours yielded 0.15 inches of that total. Very bad numbers considering one rainy storm in November can yield over 2 inches, easy. I feel like it’s September or something.

        One of the interesting things about the micro climate in my area is I’m East of the PDX airport and South of Blue Lake park and other swampy areas by the Columbia river. During stormy season (October to April) I’ve been to downtown where it’ll be but a bit damp on the sidewalks with stormy clouds all around will pop up along I-84 and just piss rain on PDX airport and my home before going into the gorge.

        I’ve gotten 50% more rain total from a storm than family in say Damascus because of this (okay maybe not that much difference!). But my point is I’m used to stormy weather this time of year living at the mouth of the gorge. I’m really not impressed with this Fall. Started strong before going into Indian Summer mode. Hard to believe this is early November. I hope Winter brings exciting weather because I’m bored of this.

        Also it is so good that the weather models are shifting a little because the conditions in California were starting to spread into Southern Oregon (Grant Pass is at about 25% of average for rainfall). I don’t want that smokey ash crap up here.

  9. Jason Hougak says:

    Montana getting hammered again by snow

  10. runrain says:

    Dry streak is over. On to the next one!

  11. Jason Hougak says:

    Got Indian Summer

  12. Gene says:

    Out and about today, I noticed people in shorts and T-shirts walking around, riding bikes, running, doing yardwork, generally just enjoying a sunny, warm day . . . in mid-November. Welcome to San Diego!

  13. Evan -- Cedar Mill says:

    Wow. This would have been one heck of a heatwave in the summer.

  14. Roland Derksen says:

    I’m finally supposed to see some rainfall here overnight and tomorrow. Doesn’t look like it will be much, however. Everything is dry.

  15. Andy says:

    Lets hope things change for the last two weeks of November and we have some stormy weather. Otherwise I sense a record will be made for our region for rain. Lets hope the high backs off west and we get stuck in a cold snowy pattern. I can’t imagine a repeat of 1971 or 2015…lets hope we forget about this dry spell when things get active.

  16. Joshua Lake Oswego says:

    Another day. Another set of 12z model runs. Still essentially no chance of meaningful precipitation in the next 10 days. Getting a bit ridiculous. Above average 850 temps for the extended period. The RRR is very stubbornly entrenched. Novembuly lives on.

  17. Roland Derksen says:

    Well, one week has gone by this November without a drop of rain. Still, there’s a long way to go before the 30th. My driest recorded November goes back to 1979 with 2.62 inches. Hopefully we won’t break that one, and in case you’re wondering, it was followed by a record wet December for me.

  18. JohnD says:

    Well here we go with yet another winter season entrenched western ridge. We all know they typically persist. All we can hope for is a retrograde. At least it is early season and not in the heart of prime time–at least yet.

  19. Frost again after several frost free nights in Bellingham. We had the perfect scenario for generating more fake cold: overcast all day yesterday, cleared right at sundown.

  20. W7ENK says:

    Fog-version season is in full swing!

    I don’t think it’s going to break today…

  21. Jake in Gresham says:

    I jumped on the computer weather models for the first time this morning. Wish I hadn’t. The GFS shows a massive arctic shift going into the Northeast. The entire West just bakes in the sun.

    Phoenix, AZ has forecasts of upper 80’s and some 90’s this week. The pastor at the church I used to go to as a child would joke that Phoenix is training for hell lol! Poor California though:

  22. Tyler Mode in Battle Ground says:

    No measurable rain through today. My driest first 5 days of November is 0.50″ in 2015.

    My wettest first 5 days was 1.75″ in 2014.

  23. MasterNate says:

    Last month Pete Parsons called for a dry November and by looking at current models it appears that will happen.

  24. Evan -- Cedar Mill says:

    Boy has it been DRY. Wow.

  25. W7ENK says:

    Thanks for the update, Mark!

    Enjoy your vacation.

  26. another time change
    feline gut rumbles do not
    us goofy humans

  27. Roland Derksen says:

    I recall last November was pretty quiet and sunny until the last week or so. Maybe this is a trend for the future?

  28. Joshua Lake Oswego says:

    For those of us that like green, mossy, moody, and wet, this is a worse than worst-case end of October and first half of November. Horrible year to have done a bunch of fall planting.

    • Joshua Lake Oswego says:

      This is now looking more and more like a historically futile period of time. It looks likely that we will get through at least the first 15 days of November with zero precipitation. If that is the case, it will be 20 consecutive days without rain. It will break the all-time November dry streak. We also only had .23” of rain for the final 11 days of October. That’s after .18” in the first 15 days of October. Name change in order to the desert NW.

  29. Ken in Wood Village says:

    Thank you for the update Mark. Looks like we will have a dry spell but models are hinting on a change in the middle of the month for a active pattern. Let’s hope the models stay true for this change.

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