No, it’s not just you, this is more rain than normal!

March 31, 2012

If you’re new to western Oregon, you just experienced the Pineapple Express!  It’s when warm tropical moisture streams right into western Oregon, providing what seems to be never ending rain.

Eugene picked up 2.55 inches of rain over the past 72 hours!

March, 2012 will go down as the 6th wettest March on record, and those records go back to the late 1800s. We’ve also seen nine more inches of rain so far this year, compared to this time last year.

Typically in March we see about five inches of rain.  This year, we’ve seen almost 10!

I’ll post the full March summary on Monday.

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It may be raining on the Spring Break parade…but at least the slopes are getting fresh powder!

March 27, 2012

After a break from the rain Monday, on-shore flow returned Monday night and so did the rain. A long trough of low pressure is sitting just off shore, which is strengthening the storms that are developing across the pacific.  The jet stream will carry each of these storms right here into western Oregon.

The first storm is a cold front that will swing through Tuesday night.  We’ll see showers on and off ahead of the storm with the heaviest precipitation overnight. Breezy conditions will continue this afternoon as well with gusts to 35 mph along the coast and in central Oregon.Highs will be in the mid 50s.

The freezing level will drop from 4,000 feet Tuesday to 3,000 feet Wednesday. Friday it’ll briefly climb to 6,000 feet, but then back down to 2,500 feet Saturday.  Willamette Pass will pick up about two inches Tuesday with another inch Wednesday and even more Thursday.  The ski report is looking pretty good for Spring Break!

If you’re not headed to the slopes, showers will be isolated Wednesday, so this will be your best chance at a dry break.

A stronger front will move in Thursday.  This will bring with heavy rain which will last through Friday.

Saturday and Sunday the jet stream will dip further south and we’ll see a deep area of low pressure overhead.  Scattered showers will stick with us both days, which will change to snow above 2,500 feet.

At this point, Monday is looking dry.


More Rain, High Winds and Mountain Snow on the Way

March 13, 2012

Meteorologist Melissa Frey’s Weather Discussion:

The high winds and snow have tapered off, but we’re not out of the woods just yet…the rest of this week it’s not going to be a question of whether or not it’s going to rain, but rather which variety of rain we’ll see each day.

A deep long trough of low pressure will continue to support storms moving through about every 24 hours all week.

Monday night’s storm is now east of the Cascades.  It brought in winds as high as 87mph at the coast and 51 mph in Eugene and then dropped five to eight inches of snow at the coast, and one to three inches in the valley.  By the time this storm is done tonight in the Cascades, they’ll see over a foot of fresh snow. (The full list of snow and wind reports are below)

Showers will taper off today and we’ll see dry conditions tonight through Wednesday morning.  Highs will be in the mid 40s with lows in the mid 30s tonight.

We’ll see another storm Wednesday, this will bring in light rain for the second half of the day.  Temperatures will be slightly warmer with this one because it’s coming more from the south than the north. The coast will see another round of high winds, not as high as Monday, but gusts to 60 mph are expected.

The next storm hits Thursday, this one packed an even bigger punch.  We’ll see another round of high winds for the coast and heavy rain for all of western Oregon.

We should catch a dry break Friday morning before the next storm rolls in Friday night.

This one will bring with it another arctic air mass which will once again drop freezing levels to at least 1,000 feet. for Saturday and Sunday.

Have a great rest of your day,
Meteorologist Melissa Frey
Follow me on Facebook and Twitter.

Here’s the full list of wind and snow reports from the National Weather Service:

LOCATION SUSTAINED GUST REPORT TIME
 --------------------------------------------------------------------- 
 LINCOLN CITY,OR (TAFT HS)........NA          87     0230 PM PDT 03/12
 PACIFIC CITY,OR..................44          87     0125 PM PDT 03/12
 GARIBALDI,OR NOS TIDE GAGE.......57          82     1054 AM PDT 03/12
 CAPE FOULWEATHER,OR..............44          81     1133 AM PDT 03/12
 CAPE MEARES,OR...................48          80     1145 AM PDT 03/12
 CLATSOP SPIT,OR..................57          79     0900 AM PDT 03/12
 LINCOLN CITY,OR..................38          77     0136 PM PDT 03/12
 NEWPORT,OR (YAQUINA BRIDGE)......53          77     0412 PM PDT 03/12
 GARIBALDI,OR NOS TIDE GAGE.......52          76     0206 PM PDT 03/12
 MT. HEBO,OR......................NA          76     0150 PM PDT 03/12
 CAPE DISAPPOINTMENT,WA...........60          75     0845 AM PDT 03/12
 MEGLER TOWER,WA..................50          72     0925 AM PDT 03/12
 BUOY 29..32 MI W OF ASTORIA,OR...52          67     0750 AM PDT 03/12
 BUOY 89..85 MI WNW OF TILLAMOOK..49          67     0350 AM PDT 03/12
 CANNON BEACH,OR..................NA          63     0957 AM PDT 03/12
 NEWPORT,OR JETTY (C-MAN).........46          61     0148 PM PDT 03/12
 TILLAMOOK,OR.....................NA          60     0205 PM PDT 03/12
 FLORENCE,OR......................40          60     0340 AM PDT 03/12
 OCEANSIDE,OR.....................NA          60     1248 PM PDT 03/12
 HATFIELD SCIENCE CTR NEWPORT,OR..NA          59     0125 PM PDT 03/12
 NEWPORT,OR AIRPORT...............44          58     0235 PM PDT 03/12
 ROCKAWAY BEACH,OR................NA          56     0645 AM PDT 03/12
 OCEAN PARK,WA....................NA          56     0910 AM PDT 03/12
 TIERRA DEL MAR,OR................NA          53     0104 PM PDT 03/12
 SEASIDE,OR.......................NA          52     0405 PM PDT 03/12
 ASTORIA,OR AIRPORT...............NA          51     1032 AM PDT 03/12
 YACHATS,OR.......................NA          51     0520 AM PDT 03/12
 TILLAMOOK,OR AIRPORT.............NA          51     0155 PM PDT 03/12
 LONG BEACH,WA....................NA          46     0745 AM PDT 03/12
 MARYS PEAK,OR....................55          83     0330 PM PDT 03/12
 NASELLE RIDGE,PACIFIC COUNTY.....47          83     1020 AM PDT 03/12
 HUCKLEBERRY,WA...................NA          54     0711 AM PDT 03/12
 CEDAR CREEK RAWS,OR..............NA          46     1110 AM PDT 03/12
 BLODGETT,OR......................NA          40     0858 AM PDT 03/12
 SALEM,OR.........................NA          68     0109 PM PDT 03/12
 SALEM,OR AIRPORT.................NA          56     1119 AM PDT 03/12
 EUGENE,OR AIRPORT................NA          51     1254 PM PDT 03/12
 FOREST GROVE,OR..................NA          51     0809 AM PDT 03/12
 MCMINNVILLE,OR AIRPORT...........NA          50     0957 AM PDT 03/12
 PORTLAND,OR AIRPORT..............NA          48     1053 AM PDT 03/12
 EUGENE,OR AIRPORT................NA          48     1118 AM PDT 03/12
 MCMINNVILLE,OR AIRPORT...........NA          47     0453 AM PDT 03/12
 SW PORTLAND,OR...................NA          45     1202 PM PDT 03/12
 LONGVIEW,WA NOS TIDE GAGE........NA          44     1048 AM PDT 03/12
 KELSO,WA.........................NA          43     0812 AM PDT 03/12
 HILLSBORO,OR AIRPORT.............NA          41     0927 AM PDT 03/12
 SCAPPOOSE,OR.....................NA          41     0525 AM PDT 03/12
 AURORA,OR........................NA          37     0632 AM PDT 03/12
 OAKRIDGE,OR......................NA          40     0107 PM PDT 03/12

 

LOCATION SNOW DURATION REPORT TIME
 ---------------------------------------------------------------------
 TILLAMOOK,OR...............8.5          8 HR        0115 AM PDT 03/13
 NEWPORT,OR.................6.0          6 HR        0102 AM PDT 03/13
 FLORENCE,OR................5.0          4 HR        1205 AM PDT 03/13
 WILSON RIVER, OR...........5.0          24 HR       0402 AM PDT 03/13
 LIVINGSTON MTN CAMAS,WA....5.5          4 HR        0206 AM PDT 03/13
 HAPPY VALLEY, OR...........5.0          6 HR        0609 AM PDT 03/13  
 BORING,OR..................4.0          UNKNOWN     0433 AM PDT 03/13
 CANBY,OR...................2.5          3 HR        0159 AM PDT 03/13
 HAPPY VALLEY,OR............2.0          UNKNOWN     0136 AM PDT 03/13
 LONGVIEW,WA AT 1150 FT.....2.0          UNKNOWN     1257 AM PDT 03/13
 CAMAS,WA...................2.0          1 HR        1110 PM PDT 03/12
 WASHOUGAL,WA...............2.0          UKN         0427 AM PDT 03/13
 MILWAUKIE,OR...............1.2          UNKNOWN     0317 AM PDT 03/12
 WILSONVILLE,OR.............1.1          UNKNOWN     0414 AM PDT 03/13
 SALEM,OR...................1.0          1 HR        1225 AM PDT 03/13
 GRESHAM,OR.................1.0          5 HR        0317 AM PDT 03/13
 JUNE LAKE, WA.............21.0          24 HR       0500 AM PDT 03/13
 SPENCER MEADOWS, WA.......19.0          24 HR       0400 AM PDT 03/13
 SHEEP CANYON, WA..........17.0          24 HR       0500 AM PDT 03/13
 SURPRISE LAKES, WA........15.0          24 HR       0500 AM PDT 03/13
 BENNETT PASS, MT HOOD, OR..9.0          24 HR       0335 AM PDT 03/13
 MT HOOD MEADOWS, OR........7.0          24 HR       0400 AM PDT 03/13
 GOVERNMENT CAMP, OR........7.0          24 HR       0400 AM PDT 03/13
 TIMBERLINE LODGE, OR.......6.0          24 HR       0404 AM PDT 03/13
 MCKENZIE, OR...............6.0          24 HR       0500 AM PDT 03/13
 ROARING RIVER, OR..........6.0          6 HR        0500 AM PDT 03/13
 WILLAMETTE PASS, OR........6.0          24 HR       0404 AM PDT 03/13
 TOMBSTONE, OR..............3.0          22 HR       0121 AM PDT 03/13
 CLACKAMAS LAKE, OR.........3.0          24 HR       0500 AM PDT 03/13
 WHITE RIVER, OR............2.0          24 HR       0404 AM PDT 03/13       

From Winter to Spring and Back Again

March 9, 2012

Meteorologist Melissa Frey’s Weather Discussion:

When the heat was turned on yesterday, there was no stopping it!  The high temperature in Eugene was 67 degrees!  That’s 12 degrees above average! The last time we hit 67 was 126 days ago on November 2nd.

It was also impressive that we got that warm after starting out at just 27 degrees, just one degree higher than the record low.

The ridge of high pressure that allowed for the warm sunny weather is now sliding east.  This opened the door to a weak cold front that will come in tonight.

We’ll see rain showers Friday night which will continue off an on Saturday.  This first storm isn’t all that impressive, but will set the stage for a long series of winter weather.

The next storm after this one moves in Saturday night/Sunday morning.  We’ll see rain, breezy conditions and cooler air ahead of this well developed cold front.  Also overhead, a long wave deep trough will pull down another round of arctic air, which will drop freezing levels to at least 2,000 feet Sunday and down to 1,500 feet Monday.

It doesn’t end there.  Cold air and soggy conditions will stick with us through Thursday.  A second cold front will move through Monday night and a third Wednesday.  The upper level flow at 500mb will rebound slightly Tuesday and Wednesday which will raise freezing levels, but only to about 4,000 feet. This means the passes will see good chances for snow Saturday night through Thursday.

Is looks like our La Nina winter is pulling though…but later than expected.

Have a great weekend,

Meteorologist Melissa Frey
Follow me on Facebook and Twitter.


Mild Weather Continues For Now, But Winter’s Not Over Just Yet

February 21, 2012

Melissa Frey’s Forecast Discussion:

Temperatures only dropped to 49 degrees in Eugene last night!  We had a nice surge of warm air from the west behind yesterday’s warm front and clouds overnight to keep it here.

A ridge of high pressure is parked just off shore and is continuing to rotate in small storms.  It’s sort of like a ferris wheel: clockwise flow around the high pressure picks up storms in the pacific and drops them into western Washington and Oregon.

Another warm front is moving through today, keeping our temps mild this afternoon (mid 50s), clouds overhead and light rain showers for the day.

This warm air is also being felt in the Cascades.  The freezing level will climb to 7,500 feet this afternoon, spreading rain all the way up to the passes.  The National Weather Center has issued an Avalanche Warning for the north Oregon Cascades and Washington Cascades.

Another storm will follow that same path early Wednesday.  This one is a bit larger and brings better chances for rain for the coast and valley.  Freezing levels below the passes behind this storm, so it’ll be back to snow for the ski resorts.

That ridge will slide east Thursday and Friday, which will move us from the north side of the ridge to south side of the ridge.  This means dry, partly sunny skies are on tap for Thursday and Friday morning.

The models are waffling on the details for this weekend.  All indications are that we’ll see another round of winter weather Saturday and Sunday as a cold area of low pressure moves in from the northwest.

Questions still remain though on how cold the air will get and how much moisture will be available.

Chances are good for heavy snow in mountains above 2,000 feet.  We could also see light accumulations between 1,000 and 2,000 feet and a few flurries to the valley floor Sunday.  Stay tuned as we continue to refine this forecast over the coming days!


Winter’s Last Gasp?

February 17, 2012

So if you hear the buzz around town, it goes something like this: “Is that all?”  They’re of course talking about our rather mild La Nina winter/non-winter of 2011-2012.  So far we’ve had just a handful (even less than that in the valley) of winter events. Mountains are starting to get back the snow lost in December but still no arctic cold snap acr0ss the state. Most of us think of an “arctic blast” as highs struggling to get into the 30s, and lows maybe in the low teens in the valley, well below zero in the mountains and Central Oregon.

 

So far this winter (which I am calling from Nov. 2011- Current), we’ve only bottomed out into the teens once in Eugene, a low of 19 on Jan. 16th. The coldest afternoon so far has been back in December, when we saw a high of 34. That’s it. Nada more. A couple of mornings in the 20s, but very short lived. Most of the really cold time has been with an arctic high sitting north of us bringing cold, DRY Canadian air with no chance for some valley snow.

 

Now I’m a glass half-full guy. Always have been. Think it’s what keeps me sane in this business and honestly in life. There’s always a chance you just have to keep truckin’ along. SO- that said, here’s some potential, and it’s just that, potential for a nice late winter blast by next weekend.  Below is the GFS model for 1000-500 mb thickness value for Feb. 25, late Saturday afternoon:

 

So here’s what I’m looking at: 1) A cold upper low just to our northeast, 2) Counter-clockwise winds pulling in moisture off the ocean, 3) thickness values across Western Oregon between 522 dm and 526 dm. The general rule for freezing levels at 500 mb is the “540 line” or where the rain-snow change over line is, which we’ve talked about.  The thickness of the atmosphere tells you how cold the column of air is and thus how easy it is so to speak to pull refrigerated air close to the surface (with snow) because it’s more dense.

 

Now, this is still 8-9 days out and a LOT can change in that time, but it bears watching over the next week. If, and this is a big if, we can get those ingredients in place, we might just have a nice last hurrah for winter as we round into early spring. We’ll see …

 

~ Justin Stapleton

 


Becoming More Active…

February 8, 2012

The Weather is about to get a lot more active than it’s been so far this month.

Here’s a break down of each storm headed our way:

A cold front moved through Tuesday, bringing in clouds for most of the day and some light rain late in the day. (Eugene picked up 0.01″) That storm is now marching through Washington, and a new storm is moving through Oregon.

The Cascades picked up some fresh snow overnight, Mt Bachelor reported 3″ and there was almost an inch at Willamette Pass.

A warm front is just barely clipping the western half of the state and is moving from south to north.  It brought moderate rain to the Eugene area starting at about 6 a.m. and by 8 a.m. we had over a tenth of an inch.

As the front moves north, the rain will taper off and the clouds will start to break up.  The chance for showers will remain through about 4 a.m. Thursday, but the heaviest rain will be done by lunch time.

For at least 24 hours, from Thursday morning to Friday morning we’ll see dry conditions, mostly sunny skies and warm temperatures.  Highs in Eugene will be close to 60.

A weak front is lined up for Friday, which will bring in scattered showers to all of western Oregon.

Saturday and the first part of Sunday are looking dry, but the next storm is lined up for Sunday night.  Once this storm moves in, there will be several to follow.

Monday we’ll see just showers, but Tuesday is looking pretty wet and colder than we’ve been.  Freezing levels will likely be between 3,000 and 4,000 feet Saturday through Tuesday.

Have a great Wednesday,
Meteorologist Melissa Frey

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