Looking Ahead At Holiday Travel


Well we are a week away from Christmas Eve and a week and a day away from Christmas.  This will be a busy week not only for last minute shopping, but traveling as well.  So let’s break the forecast down day by day.

Today was a very weird day for the state as a whole.  We had the typical foggy, cool day in the Willamette Valley and Umpqua Basin, but a warm and sunny day on the coast and in Central Oregon.  So warm, several areas in both regions were within 2 to 5 degrees of the record high temp for the day.  In Newport it was 59 degrees today, and the record is 63. In North Bend, the high was 63 degrees and the record is 67. In Redmond, the temp this afternoon was 58, and the record high is 60.  What’s even more interesting is the fact that there was a 20+ degree temperature difference between the coast and valley!

For Sunday, we’ll see a storm pass to our north that will drag a cold front through the area overnight into the early morning hours.  While models are really breaking down the front, I’m going to keep a slight chance of a shower or two in the forecast through overnight into about noon on Sunday.  After that, there is a chance a small clearing will move in.  If that happens, we may actually catch some of that sunshine all the way in the Willamette Valley.  That being said, I am not expecting a huge warm up.  Because this is a cold front moving in, we will not have the upper level support to warm up much even with some sunshine. Even if we did, we will not have strong enough winds to mix the warm air down to the surface.  So perhaps gaining a couple degrees tomorrow, but other than that, not a huge change.

The beginning of the work week will look pretty familiar.  High pressure will move back in, once again setting up some pretty thick fog.  I am keeping temperatures a little higher in the early mornings for the next week.  I think the warmer air aloft mixed with the early arriving fog will keep us from dipping down too low.  That fog will also be the reason why I think we’ll stay fairly cool in the afternoons.  Temperatures will stay in the low 40’s inland, but a good break of sunshine along the coast will likely mean a jump back into the 50’s if not mid to upper 50’s.

For Wednesday a small wave of energy will try to move in. Right now models are keeping us completely dry, and I think that is the best scenario as there is only a small chance the wave will actually make it past the north end of the ridge.  Like most of our small disturbances this month, it will likely get shredded to pieces by the high.

The end of the week may be slightly different, but right now I’m not putting a whole lot of stock in the forecasted storm.  Another small disturbance is popping up in the models, with rain overnight Thursday into the early morning hours on Friday.  Because this is quite a ways away and we’ve struggled to get any rain in this month, I think if anything makes it in, it will be pretty isolated.


12Z 8 to 10 Day Outlook (GFS and ECMWF)


Finally as we head into Christmas weekend, it looks like yet another ridge and more fog.  The 8-10 day extended model forecast for both the GFS and ECMWF is sticking a nice sized ridge in place.  Remember the song “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer?” Santa called Rudolph to action because of the thick fog. If this ridge moves in, which is likely will because it has been here all month, it is likely we’ll see more thick fog for Santa to navigate through!

–Meteorologist, Megan Taylor

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