Cool Weekend Ahead, Lots of Wind Too!

6pm Thursday…

So far this week has turned out about as expected. I made these points on Sunday (bold is what happened)

  1. Temperatures finally cool down to, and then below normal for late October this week. That’s going to be quite a change! In fact by next weekend it’ll be jacket/sweater weather (WE HAVE COOLED AND THIS WEEKEND LOOKS COLDER)
  2. First snow is likely in the Cascade Passes either Wednesday (less likely) or Friday night (more likely) (SNOW IN THE AIR YESTERDAY; AN INCH OR TWO STILL POSSIBLE LATE FRIDAY NIGHT)
  3. First frost is likely in outlying areas Thursday and/or Friday mornings (JUST HAPPENED THIS MORNING!)
  4. I don’t see a rainy weather pattern for the next 7-9 days, just some showers at times (ONLY .01″ SO FAR THIS WEEK, & ONLY A FEW LIGHT SHOWERS EXPECTED THE NEXT 7 DAYS)
  5. There is a small chance some lower elevations in the Gorge and eastern Oregon get a very rare October snow dusting late this week. (MOST OF THIS WON’T HAPPEN, MODELS BACKED OFF ON COLD A BIT AND MOISTURE TOO)

Today was the coolest day so far this fall…only 57 degrees in Portland. Not exactly a “chilly” day, but we get used to all the warm weather so far this month

Of course what was most noticeable was the morning chill and frosty areas. About 1/2 of the metro area saw a first frost today

Here in Portland we had an early frost last year, but most years we don’t see it until sometime in November

Right now a warm-ish area of upper-level high pressure is centered south and west of us. A cool upper-level trough moved through yesterday (remember a few showers?); that’s why we’ve turned cooler.

But look up to the north right where British Columbia, Yukon, & NW Territories meet. A pocket of cooler air is about to surge south. By midday Saturday it is swinging through the northern Rockies and Intermountain region

That’s chilly air for this early in the season. Ahead of it a Pacific frontal system brings us light showers tomorrow. Then cold air pours in behind during the day on Saturday. By that time most of the moisture for producing snow to lower elevations east of the Cascades is gone. That’s why I don’t expect any significant snow in the Oregon Cascades or most of Eastern Oregon. Notice the ECMWF snow forecast is quite “dry”.

You’ll need to be in the Blue or Wallowa mountains to get more than 1-2″ snow this weekend. Even there models have really backed off, because that upper-level system is shunted a bit farther east. By Monday, the warmer upper-level ridge is popping back up over us…lots more dry weather ahead!

What we WILL get over the weekend will be an increasingly strong easterly wind. This will be the strongest event since the Labor Day East Wind Storm. Models are consistently showing a 16-20 millibar gradient from Spokane down to North Bend (OR) by Sunday morning. The WRF-GFS tends to overplay the low level cold, but you get the idea. Lots of isobars = a very windy day Sunday for ALL areas west of the Cascades, not just near the Gorge. Here’s the WRF forecast for 5am Sunday…brrr! It may be tough to get above 50 degrees Sunday. Combine that with wind and it’ll feel more like late November or early December; for one day

The cross-section gives 50-55 knot wind (circled) Saturday night through early Sunday between 2000′-4,000′ over the Portland area. That’s not ridiculously strong like what we experienced Labor Day evening. But it’s strong enough to give us gusts 35-45 mph Saturday night through Sunday. Even though dewpoints will be plunging Saturday night, all that wind will keep us well above freezing. Sunday night should be a different story as the wind dies down. Very dry air, calming wind, low humidity…much of the urban area away from the Gorge will see a killing frost (down to 30 or so).

Much of next week will be dry. The ECMWF 15 day ensemble run from this morning…each horizontal line is one ensemble member. Time goes from now on left side to 15 days out on the right side. Highlighted is next work week.

So, much like last year it appears we’ll be seeing a slow start to the rainy season. Maybe a dry Halloween? We’ll see, that’s still 9 days out.

Enjoy the sunshine! After tomorrow’s showers…

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

55 Responses to Cool Weekend Ahead, Lots of Wind Too!

  1. Roland Derksen says:

    I measured 1.67 inches of rain for yesterday- that’s quite a bit, but well short of the record for the date back in 1989. (2.68 inches)

  2. W7ENK says:

    Anyone have any experience, or simply any thought about these?

    https://bluemaestro.com/products/tempo-disc-bluetooth-temperature-humidity-pressure-sensor-beacon-logger

    My brother has a couple, he uses them both inside and out at his house in Colorado, and he really likes them. I’m just curious, looking for a second opinion I guess.

    They’re inexpensive enough, I guess it wouldn’t hurt to snag a couple and give them a try… 🤷🏼‍♂️

  3. Jake in Gresham says:

    Seems there’s some confusion here on when a La Nina actually starts to take influence here statistically speaking:

    https://www.weather.gov/mhx/ensonina

    Note late December into March is prime time temperature wise. Also the charts don’t expand to October and what is there for November doesn’t really say too much is affected just yet. However Spokane has had a record early snowfall:

    https://www.spokesman.com/stories/2020/oct/23/your-elevation-will-determine-if-you-get-closer-to/

    Does anyone have data on strong La Nina? I don’t know the last time we had one in the PNW. Curious to compare neutral year to moderate vs strong La Nina.

  4. tim says:

    Mark should post about this ridiculously dry dry pattern were in and if there’s any hope of a normal fall weather pattern on the way anytime soon.

  5. Roland Derksen says:

    Yesterday morning I spotted a small icicle on the corner of my roof. That’s something I probably won’t see again for a while, but who knows? We nearly had snow here last night.

  6. Ziggy says:

    Nice boring patter coming for the next few weeks, enjoy the bust of the upcoming La Niña😂😂😂😂😂

  7. Evan -- Cedar Mill says:

    Lingering moisture east of the cascades?? 🤣🤣

  8. Jason Hougak says:

    This strong easterly wind reminds me of the wind we had back when the fires blew up in September. If this happens again it’ll be back in another month to month and a half. Could be interesting this winter.

  9. tim says:

    00z gfs is bone dry thru Nov 10th gotta love are new desert climate.

    • Joshua Lake Oswego says:

      Looks like the entire western USA and northern half of the USA west of the Great Lakes will get almost no precipitation for the next 10 days. Is it July?

  10. tim says:

    Looks like la nina’s aren’t the winters we should be getting excited about after all unless your a skier, as for artic blast and lowland snow windstorms ect. neutral winters are the ones we should be excited about apparently and yet all this hype for la nina for nothing, figures.

  11. Ziggy says:

    AMS meeting thoughts? Didn’t sound promising for valley snow 😳

    • Larry says:

      I’m glad no one went nuts calling for a major snowstorm or arctic blast. Even in La Ninas they are not likely, but the forecasters noted a tendency of (a)
      – ”good” snowpack
      – wetter & colder winter
      – lowland snow

      Nothing is a guarantee though. We know that from a winter not too long ago. Remember 2017-2018?

  12. tim says:

    Long dry strech thu early november, last november was much dryer then normal for seattle with only 1.71″ normal is 6.57″ would not be surprised if that happens again with this dry pattern possibly lasting to next month at lest via CFS and other models.

  13. runrain says:

    NWS calling for gusts to 45 mph tonight and tomorrow. Shouldn’t that warrant a wind advisory?

    Critical fire weather tomorrow and Monday in CA.

  14. Joshua Lake Oswego says:

    Looks like another 10 days coming up with almost zero rain. We could go 20 days from mid-October to early November with less than .10” of rain. W7?!

  15. Roland Derksen says:

    Clear and breezy this morning here, with the first frost of the season! Yesterday a new record low maximum temperature for the date was set- 44F. And that was just after midnight. For most of the day it was somewhere closer to 40F on either side.

  16. Ken in Wood Village says:

    Mom passed away peacefully a little past midnight tonight 😭😢

    • JohnD says:

      Peace be with you Ken—and your family.

    • Mike says:

      Sorry about your loss Ken. My mother isn’t far behind at 89. Plans are to get to see her in Arizona soon. I hope your mother tells the boss that we need some real weather to help cheer you up.

    • Lurkyloo says:

      “Peacefully.” What a blessing. Sorry for your loss, Ken.

    • Ken in Wood Village says:

      Thank you everyone for your thoughts and prayers for my mom ❤❤ she loved seeing it snowing so I hope she will tell the boss to make it snow this season ❤❄

      • Diana F. says:

        …..While dreaming of snowfall and winter wonderlands……
        Ken, as always, I will be praying for snow this year~& now remembering your Mom along the way…after all, she’s a fellow snowfall lover!!!
        And when it DOES snow, we just might know who pushed the button! 🧚🏾‍♂️

  17. JohnD says:

    Looks like Spokane had their 2nd highest historical Oct. snowfall today @ 4.7”. Dramatically different climate up there than here—still Pacific Northwest—ala inland!
    Perhaps a harbinger of things to come for the season—region ride!

    • Jake in Gresham says:

      It’s exciting, we’re in a spot now where the PNW has snow cover to bring artic air into the Columbia River Basin. Not something I cannot deny being excited for this Winter potential has started early. May bring excitement or a whole lot of train riding. We shall see!

    • JohnD says:

      Update: 6.2” of snow ended up falling in Spokane officially Friday. An all time single day October snowfall record there!

  18. Ken in Wood Village says:

    I like to thank everyone who has sent their thoughts and prayers for my mom. I didn’t want to see her before her passing because I wanted to have the last thoughts of her being able to look and talk with me. She hasn’t passed yet and I thought she could be holding on to see me so I went to the hospital to see her one last time. I couldn’t hold it together. It’s so hard to see your mother like that.

    Again, thank you everyone for your thoughts and prayers.

    • Diana F. says:

      Ken–I am so sorry, gosh what a predicament! It is hard to see those we love in distress of any kind–though I also do believe that in time, you will be glad you did make the decision to physically see her. May I suggest–perhaps set up some framed pics of your Mom–really special ones-your favorites, or some from her younger years-or even ask relatives for some that you may not have seen before- maybe. But the idea would be to set these up In a few different spots in your house, some hanging some on tables & such. Then, as you walk through your place, as we all so frequently do, you will be quietly comforted…..enveloped by your Mother………

      • Ken in Wood Village says:

        Thank you Diana. It’s actually not my place its her place so everywhere I look, I see her. It’s a little hard being here all by myself so I’ve been seeing friends and family to help me. After taking care of mom for almost 4 years it’s hard to see her this way. The rest of the family are taking turns with her until she passes away. We don’t want her to be alone when she goes. My dad passed away almost 6 years ago so mom is our last parent and that makes it even harder 😭😭😭😭

  19. Andrew says:

    Curious if this dry/weak storm remnants period we’re in and appear to stay in for at least another week or two is the product of a more tranquil pattern, or if storms that would otherwise hit us are just being diverted by this blob of warm ocean water.

  20. Roland Derksen says:

    40F with light rain here this morning. That’s not quite cool enough to see some snowflakes, but I’m sure they would be seen a bit higher up in the hills around my area in southern BC

    • Roland Derksen says:

      Well, I did see some sleet at least in the hour before noon. It was cool enough at 38.6F.

  21. tim says:

    Goes 17 is not updating at this time via noaa, i also notiandce it has not been working properly off and on the past couple of days i wonder if noaa will go back to useing goes15 again.

  22. Tanis Leach says:

    I just finished listening to you podcast, and I noticed a question about hurricane seasons in the atlantic and the pacific hurricane seasons. I was able to find a correlation between at least one of the factors. Said factor(s) will not be revealed here. Find out in 36 hours.

    • Tanis Leach says:

      Said incorrectly, I meant to say atlantic hurricane seasons to our local winter weather factors.

  23. ocpaul says:

    , MODELS BACKED OFF ON COLD A BIT AND MOISTURE TOO)
    Geez, if I had a dime, for every time I’ve heard that. Get ready for the ‘back off’ season ahead.

  24. Ken in Wood Village says:

    Thank you for the update Mark.

    I haven’t looked at the models the past two days. My mom is close to passing away.

    I just like to say to everyone here, please spend more time with loved ones because life is short. ❤❤❤

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