A Dry Work Week, Plus Winter Winding Down

7pm Monday…

Today has been mainly dry across the area, with just a few light showers.  Officially in Portland we didn’t get measurable rain.  That means we’ve entered a 5-6 day dry spell!  We haven’t seen a setup like this since Christmas Week back in December.  During the 7 days starting Christmas Eve we only saw .03″ in Portland.  Actually we have not had five consecutive days without measurable rain since the first week of November!

Most likely there will not be any rain in western Oregon and SW Washington until Saturday evening.  Enjoy your 5+ dry days!  I have plans to clean up the yard, prune some fruit trees, go skiing, and get some sun on my pasty white skin. Oh, and work too.  A busy week…

The dry weather is due to weak upper-level ridging moving overhead tomorrow through Friday.  This keeps storms away.  Increasing offshore low level flow means a period of gusty easterly Gorge wind tomorrow afternoon through Thursday too.

Mark Jet Stream

Rainfall has been near to below average across much of Oregon and all of California the past 30 days


Of course Washington has been wet and NE Oregon as well (the last 30 days), much of that due to the atmospheric river event the first week of February.

Snowpack is running near normal, averaged across the state


This cold season (November to now) has ranked as just about the most boring I’ve seen in my 29 years forecasting in NW Oregon and SW Washington.   Last year was similar, but then a cold/snowy February made for some fun weather times.

No windstorms & no stormy periods.  Do you realize we haven’t even seen a southerly wind gust to 40 mph at PDX this winter?  That’s very rare, in fact it hasn’t happened in the past 5-6 winters.  We’ve seen upper-level heights above normal over the eastern Pacific for large chunks of the winter (right now).  That keeps storms weak.

No widespread flooding.  Just some minor flooding in the north Coast Range.

No hard freeze/arctic blast.  PDX only dropped to 26…in November!  Outlying areas dropped as low as 19-22 at the same time during Thanksgiving Weekend.

No cold daytime highs.  We didn’t have even a single day where the daytime temperature stayed below 40 degrees.  An entire winter with no days in the 30s…that’s very mild.  That only happens every 10-20 years.

No measurable snow.  We’ve seen it close three different times, but nothing measurable at PDX so far.

No long periods of cold easterly Gorge wind.  Likely no one is complaining about this one, but we’ve escaped with no long or strong east wind episodes.

Winter So Far Intro

What’s Ahead?

Meteorologically we only have two weeks of “winter” left.  We consider March the first month of spring in the northern hemisphere.  The sun angle is now as high as it was just before Halloween, you have likely noticed that it feels warmer in the sunshine the last couple of weeks.

We sure aren’t going to have any hard freezes or widespread snow events in the next two weeks, so what #Sad winter we had around here is pretty much over.  I considered putting the fork in winter today, but we’ve got one more close call with low elevation snow in our 7 Day forecast.

Models are insisting a cold upper-level trough will drop through the Pacific Northwest late Sunday/Monday early next week. 850mb temps go as low as -8 to -9, plenty cold to get mixed showers or even all snow to sea level.  It appears we’ll get scattered showers during that time with onshore flow.  This isn’t a “real snow” setup for us, especially in the last week of February.  But it does mean, for the 4th time this winter, we could see patches of snow on the ground.  That is next Monday morning…if everything lines up JUST RIGHT.  At the least most of us will see some flakes in the air either late Sunday or Monday.

So in reality (just like the last three times) this won’t be affecting your life early next week.  But it would cause what we call “message confusion” if I put a fork in winter, then lots of us see snow in the air (or ground) 5-6 days later.

Enjoy the sunshine this week!

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen


23 Responses to A Dry Work Week, Plus Winter Winding Down

  1. runrain says:

    Sitting on the deck with a hard cider and almost hot (wind sheltered). Getting my base tan for San Diego next week. Almost as nice here except the nights are chilly.

  2. Roland Derksen says:

    27F under clear skies this morning. It’s my 8th day with a freezing minimum this month, which makes it one more than all of January, so I guess winter isn’t over yet here!:-)

  3. MasterNate says:

    Love these cold crisp mornings. 23 this morning here. No wind of course

  4. Ken in Wood Village says:

    The 00Z Euro is very interesting at the end of the run.

  5. Joshua Lake Oswego says:

    Looks like a whole lot of nothing the next couple of weeks. Very dry.

  6. JohnD says:

    Can anyone speculate/articulate how/why the GFS was basically worthless all season?

    • Tanis Leach says:

      I don’t have the link on me, but Cliff Mass has a blog post on why it is inferior generally speaking

  7. Andrew says:

    What’s new, GFS again overly bullish on cold Sunday-Monday. Euro appears to keep temps well above freezing, with 850mb bottoming out around -5 or -6, a big difference from GFS at -9 or -10. Pattern all winter would predict GFS comes back to realty over next few days, the same way Euro did over past couple days. I don’t expect we will see many if any flakes below 1,000-1,500 feet when all is said and done. That kind of winter.

  8. Grizzly Bear says:

    Woke up to a light dusting of snow each of the last two mornings, it doesn’t stick around long but winter is still hanging around here yet.

  9. Roland Derksen says:

    Sorry to see that the winter has been forked- I’m not quite so sure it’s over for us yet. My years of observations have shown we(in my area) often get a ‘snow window” at the start of March, or sometimes later in the month. And- there’s a chance in April as well!

  10. ocpaul says:

    32.4 now here in OC. Gotta mow the grass, once the frost melts.
    Hit 28.5 last night.

  11. Burly Donn says:

    Save the Forks, save the turtles. Hydro flask.

  12. JERAT416 says:

    Fool us 4 times (weather models) shame on us…..fork time.

  13. W7ENK says:

    Don’t believe your weather apps, those snowflakes showing up at the end of the 7-Day won’t actually happen! 😂🤣😂

  14. oldwxwatcher says:

    The way things seem to work around here, if you put the fork out now it will snow and if you don’t it won’t.

  15. ocpaul says:

    Winter wound down around Thanksgiving. 2019.

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