February Winding Down, A Mainly Dry Work Week

7pm Monday…

Today was a slow weather day, after some excitement Sunday.  A strong cold front passed across the state yesterday, followed by quite a surge of southwest or westerly wind.  The peak gust of 45 mph at PDX was the highest of the season, which tells you how slow this winter has been weatherwise.  The “today” in the graphic refers to yesterday of course.

Wind Peak Gust PDX

Much stronger wind spread through the eastern Gorge and north-central & northeast Oregon.

Gorge Gusty Wind

Baker City reached near 60 at noon, then dropped into the 30s with a westerly gust to 67 mph…now that’s a real cold front!

Today’s forecast was a “bit off”.  Partly cloudy wasn’t too far off (really was mostly cloudy), but scattered showers popped up all day long and it wasn’t a dry day for some of us.  It has been appropriately noted with an “X” on the forecast report card.

In general we have another slow work week weather-wise.  Temperatures rise the next few days as a weak upper-level ridge moves overhead.  One weak system moves inland tomorrow evening, but we’ll be lucky to get anything more than a few sprinkles or a shower.  The next chance for real rain isn’t until Friday night or Saturday.  Beyond that time (first week or so of March) it should be a bit wetter, although not excessive.  The 12z ECMWF ensemble forecast gives a mean of 1.5″ through March 10th


I notice the GFS shows about 2″ during the same period.  Pretty typical early March showery weather.

Winter still appears to be done as mentioned in last Wednesday’s post.  There’s no sign of a significant cold spell or freeze in the next 10+ days.  A nice warm up again this Wednesday-Friday, then cooler for that first week of March


So I think the idea that “we’ll transition from winter to early spring weather” is still good for the next 10 days.  It’s also clear we’ll end up with a much drier than average February; probably ending up with less than 2″ for the month in Portland.  Each month since October (except January) has seen drier than normal conditions.

Rain PDX Last 10 Days

By the way, for you holdouts, the chance for snow goes down very quickly this time of year.  The chance for getting measurable snow in Portland; covering 80 years of data at PDX & NWS Forecast Office


If you want ONE WHOLE INCH in the lowest elevations?  VERY tough to do from this point forward.  About as good a chance as getting measurable snow on Christmas!

Late Winter Snow Chance 1 or more PDX

Enjoy your (mostly) dry week!

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

36 Responses to February Winding Down, A Mainly Dry Work Week

  1. JohnD says:

    Alaska continues at the moment to be an absolute freezer this season—and much of the prior weeks/months. Simply beyond me how/why some of that never did advance south—even to US areas typically prone. No doubt some of you have a handle on this.

  2. JERAT416 says:

    The weather is sure boring, I know because this blog seems on life support! It’s been a nice week for me in Tigard (and at work in hillsboro). Mostly dry, clouds, and sun.

  3. Longview 400 ft says:

    For brief moments all was snow then back to chunky rain Saturday morning. Then at times hail. But mostly rain all day.
    I was surprised when I did look out the window in the early morning and see chunky rain. I had not paid any attention the previous couple of days to Mark’s weather forecast or KPTV weather segments.

    But, it was nice to see snowflakes in the air one last time!!!

  4. Roland Derksen says:

    Yesterday was an especially gloomy, chilly day here: Low overcast, fog like conditions with drizzle and rain til early evening. Got a high of only 42F. I hope we see the last of those kind of days soon.

  5. Roland Derksen says:

    Intresting to compare the odds of seeing snow (an inch or more) through the first 3 weeks of March here versus Portland. Based on my data from 1974-2019 (45 years) I get an 11% chance of seeing and inch or more in the first week of March and the second week as well. It goes down to 4% in the third week. If I had a time machine, I’d love to go back to March 1962 here, when we officially had over 20 inches of snow- I think most of that came on the 2nd-3rd of the month. I was around in those days , but at age 3, I would have no conscious memory of that event! 🙂

  6. Evan -- Cedar Mill says:

    Radar claiming snow above ~800 ft on west hills. Most likely just hail or graupel. However, I can confirm that at 300 ft we are seeing hail and chunky rain.

  7. Anonymous says:

    rumble of thunder…..hail off and on for the last couple of hours…..temp hovering between 35-37……

  8. Roland Derksen says:

    While February has been a definite improvement over January in terms of sunshine and lower precipitation, it’s still been a cloudier than normal month to me. Sure hope to see a March something like last year’s. I even saw temperatures in the 70’s before equinox!

  9. Evan -- Cedar Mill says:

    Beautiful weather!

  10. lurkingsince’14 says:

    Awesome thanks! Yeah those hi-res appear much more scattered which is what I’m hoping for, maybe a sun break or two by the evening

  11. Roland Derksen says:

    With the constant high pressure readings of late (30.50 inches this morning here), and almost calm conditions, it’s pretty boring conditions: Mainly overcast, light rain. I’m hoping March will break open a new pattern.

  12. lurkingsince’14 says:

    Anyone have access and care to share the euro ensembles for Pacific City this wkend?

    • Joshua Lake Oswego says:

      The Euro ensembles show Pacific City getting about 1” of rain through the weekend. Looks like a decaying cold front rolls through there Friday evening and then you get post-frontal showers. The bulk of the precipitation is done by Saturday morning. Scattered heavy stuff after that.

      I find that the euro ensembles are worthless for precipitation. At least in Portland. ALWAYS overly optimistic. Usually by more than double. Probably because the members are not high enough resolution to account for the shadowed dome.

      I would only look at the high res models when you are within their window. 60 hours for NAM-WRF, 84 hours for WRF-GFS, and 36 hours depending on the run for the HRR.

      As an example, the operational GFS and GEFS ensembles give Portland close to .50” of rain this weekend. The WRF-GFS gives us about 1/10 of that and the NAM-WRF about 1/5.

      Bottom line is that it is going to bust agin for the valley, but the coast should get .30” – .75” depending on where the heavier showers end up.

      My $.02.

      • Andy says:

        I agree with your assessment of the models over doing precipitation beyond 60 hours. This has been an issue all winter. The major models need a major adjustment beyond 60 hours. I’m definitely ready for longer days and sunshine…It would be interesting if we are cooler and wetter this summer with the way the winter turned out. Another summer like last year would be nice.

      • lurkingsince’14 says:

        Thank you!

        • Joshua Lake Oswego says:

          It actually yielded .14” of rain officially on Saturday and .01” on Sunday. Your home station is not relevant. How many minutes worth of rain do you think it took to add up to .15” with moderate showers? Not a ton more than 20.

  13. lurkingsince’14 says:

    Welcome to Spring in the Valley, where it’s beautiful during the week and rains in the weekend 🤣 ☀️ 🌧

    • Joshua Lake Oswego says:

      If by rain, you mean rain for a total of 20 minutes out of the entire weekend, you are correct.

      • W7ENK says:

        Oh jeez, here we go again…

        • Doug in LO says:

          Well, I agree with Joshua, like it or not it’s an accurate assessment.

          But this is still pretty funny.

        • W7ENK says:

          As it turns out, it was NOT, in fact, an accurate assessment. Saturday was wet for a good chunk of the morning, and the afternoon provided not one, not two, but three heavy rain showers, complete with hail/graupel, and even a rumble of thunder. The course of the day happened to yield nearly a half an inch of rain.

        • Joshua Lake Oswego says:

          Put this in the wrong spot previously…

          It actually yielded .14” of rain officially on Saturday and .01” on Sunday. Your home station is not relevant. How many minutes worth of rain do you think it took to add up to .15” with moderate showers? Not a ton more than 20.

  14. Roland Derksen says:

    i understand the disappointment expressed with the winter here, but as Gene says, we’re just observers. Exciting weather is nice to experience, provided you’re not too close to it.

  15. Paul D says:

    Mark should have posted a “double fork” picture with this blog!

  16. Jack says:

    Good. Only those with nothing to do in the greater metro area want snowed and iced-up roads, the massive delays, and the inevitable accidents. Hopefully these winter conditions die permanently west of the mountains. You want snow and ice? Then go to Hood/Bachelor/Baker/Ranier, or go tool around Crater Lake in your econobox. Leave the I-5 corridor alone.

    • Gene says:

      You do realize that none of us control the weather, right? We get what we get, then decide how to handle what comes our way as best we can. Also — those who enjoy a bit of snow now and then aren’t horrible people, as your comment seems to imply. Those who “dream of a White Christmas” aren’t monsters, either. My point is this: whether you want snow or don’t want snow doesn’t matter — the weather will do what it does. Ultimately, we’re all just observers

  17. runrain says:

    Bring on the summer heat and thunderstorms! I know. We probably won’t get those either.

  18. W7ENK says:

    Those statistics really don’t look good for us going forward… 😂🤣😂

  19. JohnD says:

    Maybe the final buzz kill post of the season(?)
    We’ll try it again next year. Or maybe move somewhere where real weather happens! (Although even some of those areas—Southern New England, for example, were virtually as sparse as we were this year!)

  20. ocpaul says:

    yawn…..until Nov-Dec

    • Tanis Leach says:

      There is always the potential for a surprise thunderstorm. Who knows, maybe 1975’s hurricane 12 becomes a thing in 2019, but moves 1000 miles east (that’s around 200 miles off Oregon as a low end Cat 1).

  21. pappoose in scappoose says:

    So you’re telling me there’s a chance!

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