The Quest For A 70-Degree Day (Spring 2017 Edition)
We are now well into the second half of the month of April, and there have still been no 70-degree days at Columbia Gorge Municipal Airport, also known as DLS. A little over a week ago, we celebrated the "Latest 65" milestone. Assuming we make it through tomorrow with no 70 (nearly certain), then we will be guaranteed at least the 3rd latest 70 on record, since the spring of 1949. It's most bizarre that this is happening in what is clearly NOT a historically cold spring. You might recall the extremely cold and delayed spring of 2011, when March, April and May were ALL well below average for temps. Not only were there very few warm days, there were a ton of genuinely chilly days in the 50s, even low 50s. Snow levels 2,000 feet or lower in the last week of April. And plenty of cold nights in the... read more ❯
Could El Nino Return This Summer?
Rumors of ol' El returning for summer 2017 have been percolating through meteorological echo chambers for the past few months, but in the past few days, mainstream media outlets like the New York Times have spilled the beans to the bourgeoisie and proletariat alike, alerting Americans of all walks of life that another El Nino may be in store for summer 2017. As a forecaster, it's always a bit risky to go sounding the El Nino alarms in spring due to the "spring predictability barrier," which I will touch on later in this blog. But climate models are in reasonable agreement that a weak-moderate El Nino will develop over the next few months. If this were to happen, it would be the most rapid switch from El Nino to La Nina and then back to El Nino since the July 1963- April 1966 time period, when we swung from El Nino... read more ❯
Warmest Day Of The Year Tomorrow!
After such a cold, snowy winter and the strongest April windstorm in the Portland metro area since April 14, 1957, I'm sure many of you will be relieved to hear that tomorrow is shaping up to be the warmest day of the year! It's a far cry from the mutant heat wave we saw last April, but the way this winter and spring have gone, I don't think we can afford to be too greedy. Tomorrow won't be particularly sunny, as a low pressure system to our southwest will give us increasing clouds throughout the day. However, a weak thermal trough will be over our region, and this will help us reach reach our warmest temperatures of 2017. A ridge over the Intermountain West will direct a tongue of warm southerly flow aloft into our area, creating a thermally-induced area of low pressure and setting up offshore flow... read more ❯
The Showers and Sunbreaks of Spring
I have a somewhat bad habit of overusing alliteration in my titles and posts, and this post marks the second consecutive post I've made a tongue-twisting title revolving around spring. But when you realize how many weather words begin with the letter s... supercell, sleet/snow/slush, all the stratus clouds, and even Sharknados 1-4 (rumor has it there's a 5th slated for summer '17), it's hard not to get a little carried away. The Pacific Northwest is famous for its seemingly never-ending supply of showers and sunbreaks, and we see more showers and sunbreaks during spring than we do during any other time of the year. The summer is our dry season, and during the autumn and early winter, our precipitation primarily comes in the form of powerful extratropical cyclones and atmospheric rivers. But in the late winter and early spring, when the higher... read more ❯
A Surprisingly Strong Springtime Storm
Hi everybody, I'm back after a brief break from blogging! I've been working like mad on finding out how to automatically upload some of the model charts I've created to the internet, and I broke new ground today and finally did it! This means that now, you'll be able to view some of the latest model data on WeatherTogether. Granted, the collection of charts I have right now is rather miniscule, and it will likely stay that way for the forseeable future, since the scripts that make these charts are computationally expensive and there currently aren't any supercomputers on the Portland Craigslist. But it's a good start, and hopefully the beginning of a new chapter for WeatherTogether. You can find the models here. An unseasonably large storm off the West Coast on April 6, 2017. This storm will bring gusty winds to the Pacific Northwest on Friday.Image... read more ❯