10 Day Forecast & Weather Meeting

Happy Groundhogs Day! I think it is safe to say that any groundhog around the metro area likely saw his shadow today. So, six more weeks of winter? If so, the models sure don’t agree! After a cold start this morning it looks like more sunshine is on the way today. The latest model data has been pretty ugly for those who like active winter weather across the Pacific Northwest. Looks like the next 10 days will be marked by a big ridge of high pressure parked very close to the coast, which means not a ton of excitement in the weather department. We may see some moisture slip into the area later this week and into the weekend, but it will be relatively light and short lived. The headlines in most of the models remain the same, “no major storms heading this was over the next week to ten days.” Several of you most likely saw the big “tease” on the models last weekend, showing the potential for an arctic blast about the 10th of February. Well, for the time being that is all but gone.

Boy, the east coast is really getting hammered this winter aren’t they? I was just talking with a local Meteorologist and good friend about how this winter has looked more like an El Nino than a La Nina, especially January and February. This winter’s forecast, on a nationwide scale, will likely go down as one of the ugliest in years. Remember in October when almost all of the long range forecasts called for the Pac NW to experience a colder than normal winter while the east and southeast would be warmer than normal? Well, fast forward to today and look back. Record cold and snow from the Rockies eastward this winter has been the rule. Record cold and snow in Oklahoma, Georgia, Boston, New York, Chicago, etc. At least 8-10 major snow storms out there this winter. In fact, some locations saw their snowiest December and January on record. Not to mention snowiest single calendar days on record as well. But, there is a flip side to all of this. We don’t have $500 a month gas and $500 electricity bills either. At least not most of us.

We just can’t seem to get a good cold January or February around here. The last really significant snows in the month of February occurred more 15 yrs ago (Feb 1995 and again in Feb 1996). But even those were before the 15th of the month. The odds for low elevation snow in the metro area in the month of February fall from about 65% in the beginning of the month to as low as 10% by the end of the month, per historical record. In other words, February is a major transition month as the angle of the sun increases. With models now forecasting out to nearly mid-month, I am afraid that the chances for the metro area getting a big blast of cold and snow is quickly diminishing. Not to say that we can not get a decent March snow (aka 1951), but the odds are very much against it. Less than a 5% chance, roughly.

AMS Meeting February 12th

I want to remind everyone about the next meeting of the Oregon Chapter of the American Meteorological Society. It will be held on Saturday evening, February 12th in Clackamas. All are welcome to attend this free meeting. This is a dinner meeting and RSVP’s will be required ahead of time. The topic for this month’s meeting is, “Did The Iceland Volcano Impact Our 2010 Weather?” This topic will be presented by Oregon AMS Secretary Kyle Dittmer. Kyle’s presentations are always very interesting. For complete details, please see: http://www.ametsoc.org/chapters/oregon

Stay tuned!

Steve Pierce

Steve Pierce

Steve Pierce is widely known as Oregon and Washington's "go-to-guy" when it comes to fast, accurate historical meteorological research and forecasts. Steve is currently the President of the Oregon Chapter of the American Meteorological Society (AMS). Steve is also recognized as a regional weather commentator and blogger who can be heard on local radio stations and seen in print media outlets across the Pacific Northwest. His Weather Blog is hosted by the Columbian Newspaper in Vancouver. Check it out! He is a third generation resident of Vancouver, Washington and holds a degree in Communications. Both sets of Steve's grandparents migrated to Vancouver during World War II. One set traveled from Lenox, Iowa to work in the Kaiser Shipyards supporting the war effort. The other set came to Vancouver from Olympia, Washington to work as educators for the rapidly expanding Vancouver School District. When the war was over, both sets of grandparents decided to stay in Vancouver and continue raising their families, as did thousands of other families at the time. Those who are most familiar with Steve can attest to the fact that weather is his true passion. His love for "all things weather" began at the age of 7 when Mt. St. Helens erupted in 1980. He was fascinated with which direction the ash plumes were headed. Then came the very powerful windstorm of Friday, November 13, 1981, also referred to as the "Friday the 13th" storm. This was the strongest storm to hit the Portland / Vancouver area since the great Columbus Day Storm of 1962! At age 11, he was asked to publish an extended weather forecast for his elementary school's weekly newsletter. In the 1980's, at age 14, Steve was the youngest of KGW-TV's local "weather watchers" and would phone in his daily Vancouver weather stats to then television meteorologist Jim Little for use on-air. Steve has lived through all of the major Pacific Northwest weather events of the past 30 years, and then some. The most notable events include; the bitterly cold winter of 1978-1979, the record setting snow storms of January 1980, the summer heat wave of August 1981, the windstorms of November 1981 and December 1995, the severe arctic blast of February 1989, the record flood of February 1996, the historic ice storm of January 2004, the Vancouver tornado of January 2008 and the record setting snow storm of Christmas 2008. Not to mention every Mt. St. Helens volcanic eruption in between. With access to the most extensive set of historical weather records available to date, Steve has personally designed and integrated a proprietary system that gives him the ability to quickly locate and manipulate weather data as far back as the 1800's. As one local Meteorologist put it, "Steve has fast access to historical weather data that is needed for media, agriculture, business, personal, historical and other climatological needs. He can quickly manipulate the data in many different ways. His forecasts are also quite accurate, especially at longer lead times." Steve also provides local storm assessments, narratives and weather presentations to the general public, as requested. In his spare time, Steve enjoys spending time with his family, the outdoors, vacationing at his family's coastal cabin and just relaxing! By the way, do you like your weather on the "extreme" side? So does Steve! Whether it is collecting damage assessment data & photos after record setting 125 mph winds at the coast in December 2007, being one of the first on the scene after the January 2008 Vancouver tornado, or feeling (literally) the awesome power of 100 mph wind gusts at Oregon's Crown Point in January 2010, Steve has experienced it all! As Steve says, "don't just love weather, live weather!" Check out Steve's personal weather website at: http://www.piercevideo.com/weather.shtml

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