Two More Warm & Sunny Days; A Mild & Dry-ish March so Far

10pm Thursday…

Today was another fantastic early spring day. Other than patchy morning clouds, we saw sunny skies and warmer temps across much of the region. In fact the 61 degree high today in Portland was the warmest so far this season.

Tomorrow and Saturday should be similar, with Saturday likely the warmest day due to a warming airmass. Then a cold front moves inland Sunday midday, bringing a much cooler and wet day. So clearly SATURDAY IS THE “OUTDOOR” DAY THIS WEEKEND.

If we get up to around 64-65, that sure wouldn’t be a record, those are around 70 or so this time of year. How warm do we get in March? Most years we get into the upper 60s or lower 70s at least once by the end of the month.

March has been drier than average…

Temperatures have been near normal across the state, a little cool west and warm east.

The temps we have been seeing are about as normal as it gets for the first 1/3 of the month. The green on the chart below is typical temperature range (highs & lows). Red is record high for each day and blue shows record lows.

What a strange “La Niña winter” this has been. Except for 2-3 weeks in mid-late February, the entire cold season has been quite mild. We’re clearly out of winter weather now…EXCEPT for the cold showers behind Sunday’s system. Snow levels could dip down to around 1,000′ late Sunday night and Monday morning…maybe. 850mb temps dip down to around -7 to -8, although models don’t show much precipitation. WRF-GFS snowfall forecast has a few inches in the Cascades, but none for the lowlands:

Next week we’ll see a mix of dry and wet; not really a long & drawn out cool/wet pattern. Looks like decent March weather to me!

We just recorded a fun FOX12WEATHER podcast this afternoon. By “we” I mean me plus the other 3 meteorologists here: Anne Campolongo, Jeff Forgeron, & Brian MacMillan. It’s full of informative and interesting weather tidbits, plus we answered some of your questions. And my coworkers say I’m being a bit “too controlling” with the forecast. Hmmm…

You can find it in Apple Podcasts or listen straight off the web at this link:

Enjoy the weekend; I’ll be back at work Sunday afternoon…

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

41 Responses to Two More Warm & Sunny Days; A Mild & Dry-ish March so Far

  1. Tanis Leach says:

    This will be my only comment (unless a question is asked then I’ll respond if I see it) until at least Friday due to finals this week.

    A few days ago, I recorded and posted my scorecard to my winter forecast. There is also a broad prediction based solely on statistical likelihoods at the end of the video for next winter (subject to change, yes there are disclaimers). Link:
    Note that there is a typo in the video that I fix in the comments. That was due to my rush to get it out to get back to finals studying.

    Also, For a while, off and on when I’ve had time with school, I’ve put previous comments from Arctic Blasts into a 3 page document (hat tip to Mark Nelsen for help with some of this, especially before 1973). Link:

  2. Longview 400 ft says:

    Monday morning on my to in work in Clatskanie, Just in the city itself, I ran into a snow shower that had made the city all white. What a fun way to start the work day off!!

  3. tim says:

    Possible windstorm saturday?, anyone see that looks like a strong low approaching the coast.

  4. W7ENK says:

    Second morning in a row down to 28 degrees, 5th out of the last 6 overnights below freezing. Woke up to a heavy frost on grass, cars and roofs, there’s a skin of ice atop of my front yard rain barrel, and the puddles on my street are frozen solid. Dancing dangerously close to “cover your hose bibs” territory here…

  5. JohnD says:

    VERY interesting comparison! Looks like 31’ @ PDX today to add to the list. 28.4’ in my ‘hood this morning.

  6. Frosty says:

    I’m waking up to frost on everything long after Mark forked winter. Probably shouldn’t have uncovered plants and things just yet I guess…..

  7. W7ENK says:

    Today marks more overnight lows below freezing in March (5) than in January (4), and the average overnight temperature is running 4.8 degrees colder than January’s (33.7 vs. 38.5). Only half way through the month at this point, and will almost certainly add another one to the pile tonight.

  8. JohnD says:

    Surprised no one mentioned the Rocky Mountain winter storm of yesterday: 4th biggest snow total ever officially for one storm in Denver @ 27.1”. ALL time biggest for Cheyenne @ 30.8”! The Rockies had a fairly benign season prior. Cold at one point with fringe effects of what bullseyed in Texas. But overall benign up to now. I gained a greater sense of intimacy with the Rockies after hiking a couple of peaks there the past two years—out of Leadville, CO—the highest incorporated US city @ 10,000’+. Volatile weather out there to say the least.

    • W7ENK says:

      My brother lives in Westminster, just a few miles to the NW of Denver. He got slammed pretty good, but not as hard as forecast. This was a heavy wet snow, which is fairly unusual for the area, but good for soaking into the normally arid ground. Hoping things will be green next month when I visit!

  9. Ken in Wood Village says:

    Sorry I haven’t been online lately. I started a new job last week. I’m working M-F 40 hours a week so by the time I get home, I’m a little tired.

    I just looked at the 12Z Euro and the 18Z GFS. I won’t be staying up late to see the 00Z models because I get up just before 5am and frankly, I need my sleep…lol. It really depends on what you want this coming week. If you like cooler and wetter weather, then you should like the Euro but if you want warmer weather, then the GFS is for you then. Don’t get me wrong, the long range forecast is really subject to change so the GFS probably will change…lol

    The first front that comes in looks to be a little warmer than the seconded one. The first one comes from the SW (which brings warmer air) and the second comes from the NW (which brings cooler air). After that, both want to bring High Pressure into the area but the Euro doesn’t really bring warmer air into the area but the GFS wants to (highs could reach the mid 60’s again). But like I said, that’s a long ways out and a lot can change.

    I’m not sure about thunderstorms yet. Normally we will have a better idea when we get closer to an event.

    I hope everyone has a good night. I won’t be online until probably 4pm. I work 7am to 3:30pm. 🙂

  10. Anonymous says:

    Commented down below but currently experiencing some kind of hail-ish/snow mix in LO

  11. Joshua Lake Oswego says:

    It has rained .43” through the first half of this month. Nothing over-performing about that. Maybe if it was August.

    • Joshua Lake Oswego says:

      Oops. I was responding to W7.

    • W7ENK says:

      So, when the forecast calls for partly cloudy to straight-up sunshine all week starting Sunday, but then it rains on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, you don’t consider that “over-performing” on rainfall? I mean, for any period that’s supposed to see 0.00″ of rainfall, I would consider the quarter inch of rain (0.24″ to be exact) that fell on those supposed-to-be-dry days an overperformance, but maybe that’s just my interpretation…

      • Joshua Lake Oswego says:

        Trust me when I say that you don’t follow precipitation forecasts as closely as I do. Every single “event” in the past month or so has outputted far less that what the consensus of models predicted leading up to it. They generally accept the reality of impending futility within 24-72 hours of the event.

        • Peter Christenson says:

          Do you think there’s a simple way to fix the models? If you are right, why don’t they just subtract a constant percentage from the progs–say, 40%. I reckon that’s what you do. Are you getting good results?

  12. W7ENK says:

    Anyone else seeing little snowflakes coming down out there?

    I am, here in Milwaukie. Few and far between, but sure as shinola, they’re spitting down…

    • Anonymous says:

      In LO and it started with some kind of frozen mix, looks like hail mixed with snow, about 5 minutes ago

  13. Anonymous says:

    Ok guys this is my first ever cuckoo post. But I’m trying to confirm or determine what I saw in the sky this morning. I was driving to work and crossing the west Salem bridge right at 6:00am. In the NE sky appeared and orangish tinted star in the sky. It’s seems out of place for the color it was putting off and it didn’t appear to be moving at all. And then randomly some sparks or flames fell from underneath it in probably 1second bursts that happened 3 separate times from when I first entered the bridge and crossed over about 30second drive… From then on I was driving due south onto commercial and lost sight of the object. I must say this is the first UFO sight I’ve ever seen and with out those creepy sparkly flames dropping from underneath it I woulda just thought it was a orangish star or Mars cause it definitely wasn’t a meteor. Just curious if anyone else reported or saw such a thing.

    • W7ENK says:

      Sounds like a Chinese lantern. We’ve got someone near my neighborhood that lights them off periodically, despite them being declared illegal in Oregon a few years ago. Occasionally, if the wind is blowing right they’ll float directly over my house a couple hundred feet up. I’d like to know who’s doing it so I’ll know where to send my insurance agent if/when one tangles in my trees and lights my property on fire.

  14. 5OClockCharlie says:

    Blech. Not liking what I see Thursday and beyond on the Euro. Although the upcoming Sunday’s rain has backed off. I guess I shouldn’t complain though, we’ve been spoiled these last couple of weeks. Looks like Joshua’s “underperforming rain events” are holding true, but I welcome that trend… for now.

    I know spring weather often has little or nothing to do with the outcome of summer, but I can’t help being concerned about a warm and smoky summer. We know summers have been trending warmer… Mark has said as much many times. Warm January and mild March = lots of vegetation to dry out later and create fire fuel

    • Joshua Lake Oswego says:

      Thursday is going to be underperforming rain event number 7 in a row. Mark will have to back off of the “rainy day” forecast currently showing.

    • W7ENK says:

      I think it’s funny, last week was supposed to be completely dry after Sunday — sunny and cool-ish to comfortable — per the Saturday forecast, and then it rained on the first 4 days of the week. In what I guess would be considered and “over-performing rain event,” nary a peep from Lake O…

  15. Weatherdan says:

    Still cleaning up yard debris from that Ice storm last month. I am so ready for Summer. DST is a good start. Maybe 70 by the last week of the month. Peace.

  16. lurkingsince’14 says:

    Last couple days have been perfection, with crisp mornings and some sorely needed Vitamin D ☀️ Eyes turn now to Oregon’s spring break forecast…👀

  17. tim says:

    Late march is looking warm a prelude to a very hot summer.

  18. Matt in Keizer says:

    Well its nearly mid-March and we’re enjoying sunny low 60’s weather, so I thought I’d check and see how early spring was coming along in Alaska….LOL….Fri 3-12 temps: Central Alaska Area Highs/Lows: Bettles…-12/-42 (22″snow depth), Fairbanks…-4/-35, McGrath….4/-37, West Coast Area….Nome…1/-20, Bethel…4/-21, Southern Coastal Area….Anchorage…21/10 (26″snow depth), Kenai…20/-6, King Salmon…8/-6, Valdez…28/21 (57″snow depth), North Coast Area: Barrow….-19/-33, and then we have the banana belt in the South-Eastern Peninsula Area: Juneau…34/24, Sitka…37/29…….Man what an ice-box that state is!…..5-6 months in a row of below freezing temps. every day every winter!….I was born in Fairbanks in the 50’s in late September (my mother was a nurse up there)….She told me that it was 0* the morning I was born!!….Thankfully she moved to Oregon soon after I was born!!

    • JohnD says:

      Fascinating for sure. I follow Alaska weather too. Would love to visit there sometime.

  19. Joshua Lake Oswego says:

    Underperforming rain event number 6 in a row coming up Sunday. What is going on? Every single front loses all of its oomph before reaching us. The models drop the QPF forecast as the ‘’event’’ approaches. Never the other way around.

    We will have gone well more than a month without a single day over .25’’ of rain by the time we have a chance late next week. Of course, that is starting to peter out too compared to previous model runs too.

    Feels like an El Niño winter. Above average temps overall and now below average precipitation for the water year beginning October 1st.

  20. Roland Derksen says:

    It certainly has been a drier start to March than I expected as well. Don’t know if this means a hot dry summer, but by the month’s end, perhaps we will see temperatures near 70F. (just speculating)

    • Roland Derksen says:

      Dry first half of March; 0.82 inches in total so far. However in a few days that will change. It’s too early to say how the summer will go, though.

  21. JERAT416 says:

    Saturday will be the yard work day in the suburbs haha! But really let’s enjoy a couple more sunny days, nothing wrong with that.

  22. tim says:

    Looks like were long overdue for a warm dry march, summer is gonna be intense this year, can’t wait.

    • W7ENK says:

      First half of the month is already over, not off to a very good start if you’re looking for that “long overdue” you’re whining about…

  23. 5OClockCharlie says:

    This spring weather has been lovely! More of this please 😀

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