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Suburban malls in the middle of America have been hit hard due the financial woes of anchor tenants like Macy's and JCPenney and the slow death spiral at Sears.

  • Posted

6pm Wednesday...

Today was a great late October day; early fog/clouds then afternoon sunshine.  Temperatures peaked out around 60 in the metro area, perfectly normal for October 23rd.

Looking at all the maps/charts/models this afternoon, the most obvious feature is a persistent upper-level ridge near the West Coast of North America for at least the next 7-10 days.  One weak weather system slides through the ridge Friday for clouds and a few sprinkles/shower, but that’s about it.  Take a look at the current pattern at 500 millibars (around 18,000′)

Mark Jet Stream

Behind that weak system, the ridge pops up again but farther west.  This gives us cool northerly flow again; like we have seen twice so far this fall season.  Although this time the core of cold air is farther east.  The view Saturday…

Mark Jet Stream2

This setup in the cool season (we’re just about there) typically features very dry air coming down from the north or east.  Low relative humidity = not much cloud cover or valley fog.  So this weekend will feature abundant sunshine and a “cool-ish” feel.  That’s perfect pumpkin patch weather.  Our wet ground will be drying out nicely.

That ridge is probably going to remain near or just west of the West Coast through next week.   And it’s quite a block in the atmosphere.  Look at the high/warm anomalies stretching north to the Arctic Monday afternoon (red/pink colors).  On the backside see those low/cold anomalies from Hudson Bay all the way down to Baja California!


Jumping ahead to NEXT Friday (the 1st), the ridge is still there.  Maybe a bit farther west


These last two images are from the EPS (ECMWF ensembles), but other models are similar.  The screaming message here is that we’re going to be quite dry for the next 10 days.  We’ll probably see a gusty east wind develop after Saturday as well.  That plus dry air should keep fog to a minimum.  Take a look at the WRF-GFS cross-section that covers Saturday afternoon (right side) to next Wednesday afternoon.  Lots of easterly flow, especially early in the period.

This will be our first drier than average October in 6 years.

October Rain Stats

It’s interesting that during the Autumn of 2013 we saw a similar rainfall setup; a very wet September then a dry October.  That also happens to be the last time we were in ENSO-neutral conditions leading into the winter.  That refers to no El Nino or La Nina in the tropical Pacific.   Speaking of…I’m working on some winter thoughts this evening.  I should be able to get a post done for that by early next week.

Enjoy this last weekend of October!

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

  • Posted

9:30pm Sunday...

Today was a scorcher, officially 94 at PDX

Todays Observed Highs OrWa 2017

That 94 is the warmest since the early June heat

Hottest Days This Year

For the geeks out there, the afternoon sounding over Salem showed an 850mb temp of +17.2; it's amazing we made it into the low-mid 90s.  According to my chart from 1999-2009, even the warmest east wind events at +17 have not been able to produce a high temp higher than 90 in Portland in August.  Today was day #7 at/above 90 degrees in Portland, a little more than halfway to our typical 13 day allotment each summer

90 Degree Days Summer Heat

Very little changes the next two days, in fact models warm those 850mb temps another 1-3 degrees.  Marine layer along coastline remains very thin so there won't be much inland push. The result should be two more days in the lower 90s in the metro area.  Overnight lows remain very warm in the Portland "urban heat island".  The majority of each night will be spent in the 70s with just some mid-upper 60s after 3am.  Outlying areas will be warmer than normal, but at least down into the upper 50s or 60 degrees.

We are right on the edge of the usual summertime western USA hot upper-level ridge.  And once again there is a "hot" upper-level ridge across southern Alaska as well.  Here's the ECMWF ensemble forecast of 500mb heights plus anomaly (in color) for Monday:


Notice there is a weak upper-level low offshore, by Thursday the low has deepened and is moving toward the West Coast.


The result is a much deeper marine layer Thursday, maybe even some spots of drizzle and high temps back into the 70s.  As that low moves overhead Saturday (next image) a few showers may show up, similar to what we just saw Friday.  PDX picked up .04" that day.


If you have a wedding or outdoor event Saturday, don't freak out yet.  It might just be scattered AM showers, but too far out to see exactly what's going to happen.  Regardless, the ridge seems to bounce back and Sunday-Monday sunshine and normal temperatures return.

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen