Arctic Express Looming

Hello everyone. Well, I have looked at all the latest data over the past 48 hours and it now appears increasingly likely that the Pacific Northwest will see the arrival of a very cold air mass this coming week that has the potential to set new record temperatures across many areas. Computer guidance is coming into better agreement with the evolution of cold arctic air that is forecast to slide into the Pacific Northwest from Canada beginning Wednesday. The “BIG 3″ models (Canadian, Euro and GFS) are all in agreement once again. In fact, the Euro was downright nasty with the cold and snow it was showing. Only time will tell what the final outcome will be. But the odds are certainly increasing in my view, as of this (Sunday) morning. The timing of this change to much colder weather appears to be settling in on early Wednesday morning and lasting into next weekend. It is still to early to tell exactly how much low elevation snow will accompany this system and exactly how cold the air mass will be. But if the pattern evolves as presently forecasted, this has the potential to be the coldest air mass to invade Portland and Seattle, for this late in the season, since March 2nd 1989 when the Portland International Airport reached high temperature of just 35 degrees, setting a new record for the date. Most of the coldest daytime temperature records for the Portland International Airport are at or just under 40 degrees over the coming week. Portland’s record low temperatures for the upcoming week are mostly in the lower 20’s. The potential exists to challenge several of these records. The record highest single calendar day snowfall at the Portland International Airport (1940-2011) in the month of February is just over 6″ set on February 19th 1993. Other notable Portland February snowfalls (after February 19th) include 2.0″ on February 24th 1994 and 3.2” on February 28th 1962. The evolution of this system will be watched closely over the coming days for any deviation that could have a significant change in the overall outcome.

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:

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