Mild Weather & (Mostly) Good Travel For Thanksgiving Week

8pm Monday…

Most likely you experienced a mainly sunny weekend, OR a foggy/cloudy one. It all depends on your location because we saw the first seasonal “inversion” across the region. That’s when cool overnight air stays trapped in the valleys during the very long “winter” nights, along with moisture. The combo leads to persistent fog/clouds in some valley locations both east and west of the Cascades and it happened over the weekend, especially Sunday. This is a common feature of our climate from late November through late February.

Portland only made it to 46 yesterday and parts of the valley never broke out of the gray. Meanwhile east metro areas stayed clear with just enough drier Gorge wind keeping the clouds away. The Cascades remained sunny above the inversions too. In fact Central Oregon (above 2,000′) popped into the 60s today!

A cold front is approaching tonight and that’ll bring us with the usual steady rain turning to showers. This time a much colder airmass follows, along with strong WESTERLY flow into the Cascades. That should be very efficient at dumping lots of snow up there. 6-10″ is likely, on top of the 2-6″ on the ground at the ski resorts.

Of course that isn’t enough for Thanksgiving Weekend skiing, especially with the snow level headed WAY up the rest of the week. Lots of mild weather to wrap up November…

This mild weather pattern is caused by a “flat” upper-level ridge in the atmosphere; that’s warmer than average air over the western USA. Here’s the 500mb map for Thanksgiving Day

And then again NEXT Monday, the 29th…still mild

By the way, there are strong hints from our long range models that a turn toward more typical or even colder than normal December weather might show up about two weeks from now, but that’s WAY out there…

For now, expect lots of days in the 50s over the next week with little/no weather impacts on your Thanksgiving travel. I’ve covered the Cascades…snowy tomorrow through Wednesday morning, then much better Wednesday afternoon and pretty much clear through passes Thursday. How about the Gorge? No sign of cold air, but tomorrow’s snow WILL impact the Blue Mountains between Pendleton and La Grande

Coast Range passes will be all clear through the weekend, as will I-5 both north and south of us. Sometimes we see snow at I-5’s Siskiyou Summit south of Ashland this early in the season, but nothing significant is in the works for this long weekend.

That’s it for now, enjoy the mild Thanksgiving holiday!

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

230 Responses to Mild Weather & (Mostly) Good Travel For Thanksgiving Week

  1. Oliver Watson says:

    Don’t look at the drunk uncle. It shows snow next Monday for the valley. Crazy weather models!!

  2. Andrew says:

    For the benefit of those without the paid model services, starting around December 10th, both GFS and EURO model ensembles begin to hint at snow in Portland. Models are similar in proportion of members showing snow (roughly 65%) but GFS much more bullish on snow amounts overall – which range from just a dusting to 10+ inches. EURO members are virtually all under three inches through December 15.

    This is 10+ days out and highly unlikely to remain consistent. in fact, i expect changes with virtually every new run. But sharing here to dispel any perception that other commenters are just engaging in wishcasting. there is model support for potential snow. But nothing is close enough to warrant a true forecast for snow.

    I also would remind everyone it took until January of last winter to ever see this level of noise for snow in models. So while it very well might peter out and resolve to nothing, there is reason to be encouraged just by seeing the model activity.

    • Anonymous says:

      The GFS is always overly bullish on snow amounts, but I concur with your overall sentiments here.

  3. JohnD says:

    The Portland NOAA AFD “Long Term” this morning was very encouraging!

  4. GFS still holding on.

  5. W7ENK says:

    Lots of crickets in here, all of a sudden…

    I’m guessing it’s because of what I just watched unfold on the WRF and a handful of other models?

    An epic dump of Arctic air getting shunted down the backside of the Rockies out out into the Plains. Absolutely nothing spills into the Intermountain West, and here on the Westside we have a ridge of high pressure snuggling up against our coastline. End of run (12/6) shows heights over PDX in the mid 540s, 850 temps in the +3C to +5C range, and a Low center just about to pass to our North.

    Doesn’t look good, folks.
    I guess we’ll have to wait another 10 days…

    • Which models did you see this on?

    • W7ENK says:

      WRF–GFS (which I feel is better suited for PNW climatology, because it’s based out of UW) as well as the MM5–NAM. Granted, the NAM doesn’t run out as far, but as counterpart to the GFS, the pattern evolution is nearly identical through Hr-84.

      I’ll take a look at the new runs this afternoon, when I have some time.

      • Zach says:

        We have known this for a while though. There was never any real ensemble support for a seriously cold snap in the west this upcoming weekend.

        • W7ENK says:

          True, although I’ve been AFK for about the last week. Upon catching up on comments this morning, all I was seeing was unbridled optimism about December 4th. Oh, and a bunch of Ziggy-esque trolling that’s since been cleaned up (thank you Mark!)

    • Andrew says:

      The eye candy in models has definitely pushed out to mid-December. Any early indications of colder weather arriving later this coming weekend and early next week were shot down in models several days ago. Models are notoriously unreliable that far out but encouraging that model trends are following other climatology factors that seem to favor a pattern change. I also recognize that a pattern change by itself means very little. We will still need the right ingredients to line up. But at least we might be in the right general setup.

      • W7ENK says:

        Is that not exactly what I said about 10 days ago? And look where we are… waiting another 10 days. Guess where that cold snap will be in another 10 days from now, besides Wyoming, Colorado and across the Midwest?

        It’s the broken record that folks know is broken, but they keep playing it anyway, over, and over, and over, and over… ad nauseum. Sad part is, when someone mentions this, those folks lose their ish and launch on long-winded tirades about why they think us cautious and sane ones are wrong. Pretty soon, my rational and realistic approach will be called out as trolling. Wouldn’t be the first time. You can go back in the “way-back machine” (links to the right) and see it for yourself. I’m sure many folks here still remember.

        • Oliver Watson says:

          I agree with you. I just think it’s silly for grown people to keep falling for what these models show 10+ days out. I would absolutely love it if the models verified every time but I know how they work. We should all know this. There is no excuse for being ignorant. It’s even more silly when people get all upset when people call them out. If you want to fantasize about 10+ days out go ahead but don’t get bent out of shape when your comments are somewhat criticized

        • Oliver I think very few people take the models out of the 7 day range seriously.

        • Andrew says:

          I think it’s all about context. It would seem odd that commenters on a weather blog wouldn’t look at model runs and speculate on trends, even those 10+ days out. this isn’t the five minute local weather forecast. we’re clearly all into this stuff and consider it a hobby. Most of us are very clear that anything more than like five days out is merely conversational and the stuff of speculation. It’s fun for us.

        • Opie says:

          if the various models are consistently showing the same forecast, several days in a row, it’s likely they’re picking up something real, even if it’s a long ways out.

          OTOH, whiplash from one run to the other, one model to the other, means the forecasts are essentially worthless.

        • I agree with what you guys (Andrew and Opie) said, but I still try to avoid taking the long range too seriously because I avoid getting my hopes up.

  6. Time for the weekly La nina update and comparison to other La Nina winters to see if its on track to be a strong La Nina moderate or weak! Here goes!

    Current ocean temp anomalies
    2011-2012 November 28th, entering a Moderate La Nina
    2010-2011 November 29th, entering a Strong La Nina
    2007-2008 November 29th, entering a Strong La Nina
    1999-2000 November 27th, entering a Strong La Nina

    1998-1999 December 1st, entering a Strong La Nina

    Likely some of the images won’t load and you will have to click on the link.

    Also the reason they aren’t all the same date is because not every day has an archive so I have to pick the closest day that does have an archive.

    Also the temperature scale is a bit different.

  7. Snow-Zone Dallas/400ft Roman says:

    I’m looking forward to the snow flakes returning to the blog. Love that snowy feeling and helps me not notice my floaters in my eye so much. Really hope we get some type of arctic blast by New Years.

    • Ken in Wood Village says:

      LOL, I have those too…lmao. I like those snowflakes too…hehe.

    • Aren’t those floaty things a reaction from your eyes being too exposed to bright light?

      But yes I’m also excited for the snowflakes, I (probably obvious at this point) have an obsession with snow, every winter I wait for a big cascade snowstorm, once it finally happens I rent a friend’s log cabin in the cascades, and just sit by the fireplace for hours watching the snow come down. Unless that snowstorm is also snow in the valley, then I stay home and do the same thing.

  8. Ken in Wood Village says:

    I’m going to say this for the last time. I’m tired of people saying political stuff or just down right being nasty. As you can tell, someone’s comments are no longer visible (most likely deleted). I sent an email to Mark about what is going on here.

    We need to keep focused on the weather. This forum is for the weather geeks to talk about the upcoming weather.

    Please keep it that way.


    • Thank you, people were getting so political (likely the same person, maybe two people) and then there were people pretending to be my son, talking to themselves, ect. It’s insane.

      Hopefully these trolls stay away, which sadly will not happen.

      I just wish people would stick to the weather discussion.

      • Ken in Wood Village says:

        Good evening Hank, Mark emailed me back. I guess because weather is slow, he had time to go through the blog and remove a couple more people which I didn’t mention. If you look at the comments, you will see some comments that are no longer there so you’ll know who they are. I really don’t want to name names, I think it would be rude.

        Now, talking about the weather 🙂 the 00Z GFS has gotten interesting starting around the 9th (colder air does come in around the 4th still but not a lot) and continues through at least the 13th (that’s how far the model is for now).

        I’m going to try and stay up until 9:30 but I really need to go to bed soon.

      • Ken in Wood Village says:

        I think we will be getting into a much cooler pattern by what the models are showing. The 00Z GFS is very interesting in the long-range forecast with colder air and the possibility of snow but that’s a long way off so we can’t really say it’s going to happen (just yet!!).

        It’s time for me to head to bed because I need to wake up at 4 am to get ready for work. I’ll look at the Euro model in the morning.

        Let’s hope the models keep trending for colder air for the future 🙂

        Have a good night, everyone.

    • Snomanski says:


  9. MasterNate says:

    Everyone, don’t be distracted by all the shenanigans going on in the Blog. Have patience as our winter weather develops. In my opinion we are about to enter into a wild winter amusement ride. With La nina firmly in place, a strong negative PDO and the MJO forecast to move into phase 6 and 7 which focuses the jet directly onto the west coast from the gulf of Alaska, things will start to get interesting starting next week and lasting possibly into February or March. Look at the big picture. Everything is lining up just right for some wild weather. A little advise, leave the models and blog for the next 5 to 7 days then revisit with a fresh perspective.

    • Ken in Wood Village says:

      Thank you for being on point with talking about the weather MasterNate 🙂 I think your right about the upcoming winter. I think by the end of this week will be just the beginning of what could be a wild ride for this winter. Just like what happened back in September, from being dry to all wet. I think it will be from warm to cold weather in a heartbeat. Just looking at the trend on the GFS, we are going into a NW flow (from Alaska) and sometimes Northerly flow (artic air) in the near future.

      Again, thank you for focusing on the weather 🙂 time to ride the models 😉

    • The setup is looking amazing, normally I say this because I’ll admit, I’m a bit of a wishcaster, but the PDO is extremely low, we are entering a good La Nina, good NW flow, it’s looking great.

      Let’s keep this blog a weather blog, not a CNN vs Fox argument blog.

  10. Hank from Salem says:

    You’re talking to yourself, stop trolling.

    And if you’re not a troll, I’m worried about your mental health.

  11. Hank from Salem says:

    First of all, my son’s name is Will, not Hank Jr

    Second of all, what the heck is the point of this comment

  12. Hank from Salem says:

    What the hell

  13. Ned Bergundy says:

    Well I see Mark has picked up on my predictions based on his recent weather update. As I said in my last post, things are about to get interesting. I’m not at liberty to share my findings based on unpublished weather data, but I am guessing my fellow meteorological hobbyists are also in tune to what I’m hinting at. Let’s see what happens over the next few days. Godspeed.

  14. Opie says:

    The Weather Channel is showing lots of snow at Timberline Lodge starting next Sunday night. Lows in the teens. Not as much as Government Camp, but still decent.

  15. Peter Christenson says:

    Is there something that corresponds to Let’s Go B for Trump-haters?

  16. Hank from Salem says:

    A white Christmas would be great!

    Last time we’ve had one in salem was December 2008, but that doesn’t even count because it was raining all day.

  17. Weatherdan says:

    We must be in some kind of time warp. Every day for the last month the CPC has shown almost all of the lower 48 warmer than average and a good chunk wetter than average. Despite the fact there has been a fair amount of snow across the country. Also the 16 day meteogram has cold weather for us starting around 10 days out. This has been going on for about 10 days now. Mayhaps they are both on a vacation and are running the same maps every day. Peace.

  18. tim says:

    Wet and mild for the foreseeable future, no cold and snow except in the mountains were we really need it

    • Hank from Salem says:

      If we get no snow in the valley, and lots of snow in the mountains, I’ll still be happy. The mountains are a short drive away and I love skiing.

    • Joshua Lake Oswego says:

      I’m not seeing the wet part. Looks well drier than normal for at least the next 7-10 days.

  19. Andrew says:

    Latest runs aren’t all that promising for cold and snow until mid-December, which is so far out hard to put much stock in it. Positive is that a general pattern change over next couple weeks seems pretty imminent at this point.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Interesting how all “3” of you posted within 15 minutes of each other. If you look at the posting patterns of everyone else, you’ll notice there’s large chunks of time where people are absent and don’t respond to comments. I only visit this place once, maybe twice a day myself. Yet you folks somehow always comment within the same 15-minute to half-hour block of time. There’s been times where I’ve seen 3 different “new” account names post within 15 minutes of each other. It’s one person creating multiple profiles obviously. On a weather blog. It’s very weird and sad honestly.

    • Hank from Salem says:

      Dude I’m not using multiple accounts, I think atleast a few people on here know that and can back me up.

      There was one time I commented 2 minutes after him and now you turn that into I’m an impersonator.

      Also you saying you visit here once and maybe twice a day, is a lie. Yesterday you commented at 3 different times of the day which means atleast 3 visits, likely more. Same thing for the day before Yesterday.

      If you think these accounts commenting are me, we can bring Mark into this, and if it’s coming from the same IP address as my account, then it is me. But mark is a busy person and I don’t want to waste his time.

      • Anonymous says:

        Also you saying you visit here once and maybe twice a day, is a lie. Yesterday you commented at 3 different times of the day which means atleast 3 visits, likely more. Same thing for the day before Yesterday.

        FYI there are at least 3 different people on here that go with the default anonymous account, so that may or may not be true but you’re lumping all of us together, ironically.

      • Hank from Salem says:


      • Hank from Salem says:

        Oops I was typing and accidentally sent the comment, what I was trying to say.

        Okay that’s a good point, not every anonymous is the same person, it’s just hard to tell the difference, which is why I like people using names.

  21. Hank from Salem says:

    I’m so confused.

  22. Hank from Salem says:

    Some of you guys took this too far, because of someone’s (political I’ll admit, but not that bad) name, and me thinking it was funny.

    • Hank from Salem says:

      You gosh darn troll, can you stop saying we’re the same person.

      If you continue this, I’m not going to be happy.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Kyle I take it? Why am I not surprised that Hank likes your name. Between you and Hank – who evidently lives in this blog now 24/7 – the quality of comments here has been just abysmal as of late. You two need to get a life, for real. With each other even. I’ll pay for the wedding.

    • Hank from Salem says:

      24/7? Just because I comment often doesn’t mean I’m here 24/7, although I have commented more lately, but that’s because I haven’t had much going on the past couple of days, and my leg has been really sore so I can’t go outside much.

    • Hank from Salem says:

      Oh now I know your a troll. Because we aren’t the same person.

  24. Hank from Salem says:

    Yeah he didn’t say anything political. So I wouldn’t jump to conclusion of it being political so fast.

    Although for some people using that phrase it could be meant in a political way, the reason I like that phrase (which isn’t political) is because its funny the way it became so popular.

    I was never a political person, and I don’t use it in a political way, and Let’s go brandon might be the same.

    Just don’t jump to conclusion so fast, when he hasn’t said anything political yet.

  25. Snow-Zone Dallas, OR says:

    Also currently 55f and partly cloudy. Would be nice to have an arctic front slam into us from the north love those huge -30f drops in just hours. It’s been too long since we’ve had one of them

  26. Evan -- Cedar Mill says:

    Your name is literally a political statement lmfao.

  27. Snow-Zone Dallas, OR says:

    Guys I love this time of year! Let’s go for snow I think December will give us something. Anyways keep up the good model analysis really helps an amateur like me lol

  28. Evan -- Cedar Mill says:

    Y’all are delusional. Where are you seeing that? Way too warm for snow even on the cold-biased GFS.

    • Hank from Salem says:

      I thought it was odd when he said a foot, when I said 4-8 if we get lucky, I was basing it off the GFS runs, but I’m not sure where he got a foot from.

  29. Hank from Salem says:

    Oh I thought my 1st reply didn’t send, because it wasn’t loading for a couple of minutes, so I did a 2nd comment.

    Didn’t mean to reply twice, well now I have replied 3 times.

  30. Hank from Salem says:

    Sadly 12″ is probably not what we will get, if we’re lucky though we can get 4-8.

    I love your name.

  31. Hank from Salem says:

    Your name is the best name I’ve seen on here! I agree on your name! And on your comment.

    • JohnD says:

      *This is not the venue for politics. Now or ever. Subtle or otherwise. Mark knows.

    • Gene says:

      I agree, John. There are plenty of other places to go for politics. Most of us come to this site for weather-related information and banter. So stick to that.

  32. Hank from Salem says:

    18z GFS look’s good, similar to 12z yesterday, hopefully this Dec 6th snow trend continues.

    • Ken in Wood Village says:

      The 18Z GFS run was amazing. It’s starting to look like temperatures will start to fall on the 3rd now. I’m not saying they will be in the 30’s but being around or below average for this time of the year. After that, the bottom drops out. High temperatures could be in the 30’s with low’s in the 20’s. There looks like a good chance of snow too but I think I’m getting ahead of myself. This is still way to far out to say it’s going to happen and there is still a possibility that this could all fall apart. We need the models to keep showing this pattern change for a few more days then we can say it’s going to happen 🤗

      Let the endless models riding being this week 🤣 I will only be able to watch the GFS (at night because I go to bed around 9 to 9:30pm) but I’ll be able to see the Euro when I get up.

      I can’t wait to see the GFS tonight 🤗🤣🥶❄

  33. Anonymous says:

    walks outside

    Spring? Is that you?

  34. Andy says:

    I think we can all say a change is coming in the first part of December…the big question is how cold and snowy it will be…we especially need snow in the Cascade’s. I’m hoping a cooler pattern lock’s in for a while. I think the CPC will change next week…my only concern is the chaos in the model’s is really affecting long range forecast… this is being mentioned by some of the expert’s. I guess we will know more by next weekend.

  35. Zach says:

    Once again, the 12z GFS is delivering on the colder air after this next weekend.

  36. runrain says:

    It’s 63° outside. At midnight. 3 days before December. ‘Nuff said.

  37. Anonymous says:

    Funny to see how we’re all fixated on potential snow even it’s 60 degrees outside… in late November, at nearly 11pm. This is wild.

  38. Ken in Wood Village says:

    The 00Z GFS has started 🙂

  39. Opie says:

    “Week 3-4 Forecast Discussion Valid Sat Dec 11 2021-Fri Dec 24 2021

    The Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO) is forecasted by some models to emerge in phase 6 by the beginning of the Week 3-4 forecast period, however the uncertainty regarding that signal is large. The current Week 3-4 outlook is based on other large scale signals such as the present La Nina conditions and the projected positive phase of the NAO, as well as blends from the dynamical model guidance including the GEFS, CFS, Canadian, ECMWF, JMA, the SubX multi-model ensemble (MME), and statistical guidance.”

    • Opie says:

      I definitely wouldn’t bet on a forecast that far out, just wanted to show some of their methodology.

    • Ken in Wood Village says:

      You do know the PNW (except the Eastside of Oregon) has an EC (equal chance) of having normal or below normal temps. Just pointing that out 🙂

      • Opie says:

        Absolutely. Please see my recent comments.

        Also, week 3 could include an arctic blast, followed by a warm SW flow in week 4, and neither event would show up on the map. All the map shows is a forecast for a two week average temperature.

        But before dissing the CPC, people should understand they utilize the same models so often discussed on this blog.

  40. tim says:

    Once again today’s cpc outlook has us above normal temps during the next two weeks so these operational model runs are wrong so until cpc shows cold im not biting.

    • Ken in Wood Village says:

      WOW, DENIAL 🤔🙄😒

    • Hank from Salem says:

      GFS and ECMWF are much more accurate than CPC, why are you so confident in CPC?

    • Anonymous says:

      The CPC constantly flip flops but I notice you only seem to mention it when it says anything about above average temps.

    • Hank from Salem says:

      I think I know why tim can only bring something up if it show’s warm, and if it show’s warm its so accurate, but if it show’s cold/snow it’s la la land.

      Here’s some ideas on the reason.

      #1. He’s a troll.

      #2. He likes being a debbie downer, this one is similar to #1

      #3. He doesn’t like getting his hope’s up.

      #4. He said warm a week ago, and he cant accept being wrong, so he try’s as hard as he can to avoid accepting it.

      #5. He hates snow

      #6. He’s terrible at forecasting

      #7. All of the above

      #8. (least likely reason) He thinks this is the actual forecast, and he is confident with it.


      I would like to here you guy’s ideas.

  41. Ken in Wood Village says:

    Ok, the 18Z GFS has gotten a whole lot more interesting. For now, it really looks like we are going into a different pattern and that pattern looks to be a whole lot colder 🥶

    I see the pattern change around the 4th but what interests me is what happens afterwards. I look at the North Pacific and look at the 500 hPa and around the 8th, I see around -240 to -300 hPa coming down from Alaska. It’s just means it’s very strong low pressure system with a lot of cold air. It arrives in the PNW around the 10th. Then I see another strong low with the same range coming out of Alaska around the 11th and coming to the PNW around the 12th 🤗❄

    Hank, I think you could be right about us getting into a cold snap (not sure about a Artic Outbreak because those normally come straight from the North).

    I know this is all in LA LA LAND and a lot can change between now and then.

    Oh, one thing I forgot to mention. Those strong lows I’m talking about, at the end of the Euro model run, it showed that same Low around the 7th but even stronger 😳 I think we are going into a big change in the weather starting next month 😳🥶❄

    • Andy says:

      I agree…looks like a lot of model riding ahead…

    • Anonymous says:

      Thanks for your model insight, Ken! Always interesting to read and you catch and notice things a lot of us wouldn’t know to look for. Seems like we’re in for an interesting few weeks at least.

      • Ken in Wood Village says:

        Thank you Anonymous but it’s only good if it verifies….lol.

        One thing makes me feel good is the fact the Euro model shows the same pattern the GFS is showing. Especially that big low around the 7th or 8th (depending which model your looking at). What I can tell, the low gets as low as 963mb. The Euro model only goes out to the 7th so it still has the low up in Alaska. The GFS model goes out to the 13th. That low I’m talking about, comes down from Alaska and into the PNW on the 9th and 10th but I don’t think I said that another low comes in around the 12th and 13th (that also comes from Alaska again.

        All this is based on if all this verifies. Like Andy said, “looks like a lot of model riding ahead.” Not sure if the models will change again (most likely) but we just to keep watching what will happen.

        I’m waiting for the 00Z GFS to start. I hope nothing changes…lol

  42. Hank from Salem says:

    Go beavers!!!!!!!

  43. JohnD says:

    Even today’s Portland NOAA AFD mentions the possibility in the extended! Hmmmm

  44. Roland Derksen says:

    It would be nice if something other than this heavy rain were to start around the 4th- (that’s my birthday), but seriously, this November is now my second wettest on record and with 2 more AR’s to come(I’d say the first one is already here), I think this will be another record wet month for me.

  45. Hank from Salem says:

    12z GFS still loading, but wow! It’s in the 9 day range, so that’s not super far out.

    It might look more interesting once it’s done loading, but for now, check this out!

    • Hank from Salem says:

      Sorry tim. I wouldn’t put a fork in it just yet.

    • Ken in Wood Village says:

      I’m having breakfast with a friend at Elmer’s and I’m watching the GFS too. It’s coming around again. Again, something is going to happen around the 4th. This could get very interesting 🤗❄

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