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  • Updated

Monday, July 26th, 3:50 A.M. 

Off to a mild start this morning with mostly clear skies. Plan on hazy sunshine today with a high of 88. It stays mostly sunny with somewhat hazy conditions tomorrow, high of 86. We have a heat wave starting Wednesday and going through Saturday with mostly sunny skies and highs in the low to mid 90s.  Sunday, mostly sunny and a little cooler, high of 88. Lows all week will be in the 60s. During the week we could see a few isolated thunderstorms in central and eastern Oregon, so we will watch closely for added fire danger with lightning strikes likely.

  • Posted

10pm Tuesday…

We’re into summer now (at least weather-wise) and things are relatively slow for meteorologists in the Pacific Northwest. Of course we had the hot weather last week and now we’re back below normal with the temps in the 60s the past few days

Today we’ve seen showers roaming throughout the area as an upper-level low sits just offshore. It’s strange because we can’t see them well or show on TV. That’s because the NWS is doing some maintenance on their radar = no coverage over our area for a week. Better now than in January…

Looking ahead, expect the same partly cloudy sky tomorrow. Just a few showers may pop up in the cool air overhead. We have an upper-level low just offshore that should weaken and push inland Thursday. But a new trough is dropping down into the Eastern Pacific

So we get a dry day Thursday (or nearly dry), then the leading cold front with the next system gives us a wet day Friday. That’s the easy part of the forecast. Less than 0.25″ rain now through late Friday.

Then things get much trickier…the next upper-level low digs straight south, pushing up a hot ridge just east of us. This could push Eastern Oregon into the 90s by Sunday, while a lingering front and warm southerly flow keeps skies cloudier west of the Cascades. By Monday the pattern is quite “meridional”, meaning flow is south-north instead of west-east. A slight pattern shift west or east this weekend will make a huge difference down here where we live.

And models are pushing a LOT of moisture north. Check out the Saturday evening map of “precipitable water”. Up to 1.50″ or so.

This lingers through Monday. Expect mild/humid weather (regardless of rainfall totals) Saturday evening through Monday; we haven’t seen that yet this season.

How much rain? Very tough call right now. This much moisture around means someone in the region COULD get a big soaking, which would be nice! The 18z Euro ensembles (51 members averaged on this map) showed at least 0.50″ for ALL of western Oregon and SW Washington north of Eugene. About 1/3rd of the members produce more than 1″ rain in Portland…that would be nice, although it would mess up any weekend outdoor plans

We will see how this pans out, but I think the big message is that there is no stretch of guaranteed dry weather the next 7 days. Wait until after we get past this weekend to see if we’ll enter a warmer/drier pattern heading into the 2nd half of June.

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

Las Vegas generic

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This afternoon/evening we’ve seen a classic spring cold front pass through the region. Ahead of the front, in the warm airmass, temperatures soared into the 60s & 70s east of the Cascades. Ontario even hit 82!

But with the clouds and afternoon rain we didn’t make it much above 50 west of the mountains

Meanwhile, Government Camp hit 50 degrees at noon, but now it’s SNOWING and 24 degrees! Now that’s what we call a cold front kids…

The front is a dividing line between a warm spring airmass and a much colder airmass that’s pouring inland now. Snow levels have dipped to around 1,000′ in the Coast Range. We’ve been mentioning for days that there could be a dusting of snow on the Coast Range summits Monday morning and that will be the case. But there isn’t a lot of moisture behind this system; it’s more like a “continental” cold front you’d see in the middle of the USA. Just some scattered showers tonight and Monday. In fact take a look at the evening GRAF model precipitation forecast. Very little between now and Wednesday…almost all of that before noon tomorrow.

But we should be able to get 8-12″ Cascade snowfall (including what we’ve seen so far) by the time it dries out later tomorrow.

There was a strong surge of southwest or westerly wind with the cold front west of the Cascades. Peak gust of 35 mph at PDX along with other gusts in the 25-40 mph range gave us quite a few power outages. I see PGE has about 5,000 customers out. Of course the wind has died down now.

Central and Eastern Oregon (along with eastern Columbia River Gorge) is sure known for gusty southwest or westerly wind in the spring, but today was well beyond anything we normally see. Peak gusts 50-70 mph were widespread. I saw a 75 mph gust at Maryhill, and even Pendleton saw a gust to 73 mph!  Check out this picture of a dust storm in progress around Rufus (near John Day Dam) from the Sherman County sheriff's office

Warm weather, a dry March, and strong wind started at least two fires in the Bend area. One of those prompted Level 3 evacuations for at least a short time. There were at least 2 more in Wasco county as well.

What’s Ahead?

  • More drier than normal weather to wrap up March and begin April.
  • A few very light showers tomorrow, then warming Tuesday/Wednesday.
  • A combination of mostly sunny skies + offshore flow + warm airmass Wednesday COULD give us our first 70 of the year. Our evening GRAF model says 73! ECMWF implies a high around 70 as well. Then back to onshore flow and cooler temps (but still mild) April 1st.
  • Both GFS & ECMWF ensembles also imply the drier than normal conditions continue for at least another week.

So…the main message tonight? Make sure you schedule some outdoor time for Wednesday!

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

  • Posted

Just a few thoughts as we head toward the 10/11pm shows...

Cold air has moved in just as we expected. Everyone at/below freezing in metro area, plus dewpoints keep lowering. That means when precipitation picks up (soon), temperatures drop further.

Roads froze up as expected after sunset. That's a tough one to forecast but things turned out okay there.

Check out the radar at 8:50 (below)...two converging areas of precipitation. Looks like they are meeting over the metro area. It just started dumping on our Timbers Cam. We are still on track for 1-3" snow in metro area by daybreak

Cold air has moved down into the central Willamette Valley = freezing rain and spotty snow for many of you from Woodburn down to Albany. Cold air has slipped onto the northern Oregon and SW Washington coastline. Expect a trace to 2" snow plus patchy freezing rain out there.

Evening model are still VERY snowy with 2nd wave tomorrow evening and night. WRF-GFS still thinks up to a foot total snowfall by Saturday morning. This is the evening run...

That's all, see you on TV at 10/11pm! Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen