April Fool’s Day features a huge Cascade snowstorm plus chilly valley showers, but warming trend headed our way
It’s a soaking wet and breezy evening outside, a fine end to a somewhat wet and very chilly March. The high temperature for each day in Portland
Yep, it’s the coolest March in 11 years in Portland. Rain hasn’t been TOO crazy though, just a bit above average
Portland did NOT officially pick up measurable snow this month, although it was close a few times. Take a look at Cascade snowpack
We’ve got a great snowpack in place across all of Oregon, with largest anomaly in the driest parts of the state. 100% means normal snowfall for this date, 200% means DOUBLE the usual snowpack...that’s excellent news! Now we have a huge snowstorm headed for the Cascades this weekend as a cold upper-level trough moving out of the Bering Sea and Alaska drops in over the Pacific Northwest.
It’s just showers and sunbreaks over the lowlands, but that westerly flow runs into the north-south oriented mountain ranges. That forces a big increase in precipitation. Models are projecting 25-40″ snow in the Cascades over the weekend, with just 12-18″ of that in the next 24 hours. Obviously we’re calling tomorrow a First Alert Weather Day up there.
Driving over the mountains will be difficult, especially in the cooler half of each day (sunset to 10am), both days this weekend
With 850mb temperatures down around -6 or so, snowflakes will mix in with snow showers again, mainly Monday and Tuesday mornings. This airmass isn’t quite as cold as last weekend and showers appear to be lighter those two days. The result should be fewer of us waking up to a dusting (or 1/2″) of snow on the ground.
The good news? I see a pattern change ahead, warmer and drier. That cold upper-level trough moves east; by next Thursday a weak ridge of high pressure is taking over
The ECMWF model thinks we get a strong ridge overhead for Easter Weekend, although that’s 9 days out and risky to forecast a warm weekend in April more than a few days ahead of time!
This is just one model, but the ensemble average temperature forecast for the next two weeks from the ECMWF shows the same general idea...warming dramatically later next week. Don’t pay attention to the specific numbers, just the trend.
This means we have a very good chance of finally hitting 70 degrees, and a fair chance of getting into the 75-80 degree range within the next two weeks! Now check out the ensemble forecast of precipitation for the next 7 days...well above average. That’s mainly due to this weekend
But the following 7 days are MUCH different. A week with only a half inch of rain in April is quite nice. This is the 7th-13th.
A fresh weather podcast just dropped on your favorite platform. Camila, Jeff and I discussed all this in quite a bit of detail PLUS an initial look at what could be a developing El Nino in the Pacific. Make sure you check it out!
I am taking my first long vacation of the year starting this weekend. I won’t be back at work until Thursday the 13th; I’m quite confident the weather will be much different by that time! Hopefully we don’t get a snowstorm, or tornado, while I’m on vacation...
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