Wet, Wild Weather, Then A Valley Snow Tease?
For those of you who like your weather on the wet, wild and even white side, you may just like this update. Do I have your attention yet? As many of you know, we are not under the influence of either El Nino or La Nina this year which means pretty much anything goes this winter. Looking at all of the latest model data, it sure looks like mother nature is going to tease us. First, we will see an active jet stream pointed right at the Pacific Northwest this weekend. The storm slated for Sunday has the potential to bring strong winds across parts of Oregon and Washington. The question is, where? This mornings NAM model brings the storm in just north of Portland and that could also bring the potential for some kind of “wind event” to Portland. It is just a “potential” at this point. The more trustworthy GFS model brings the storm in to the south near Eugene and then east of the Cascades. But it also deepens it to nearly 980mb which is pretty low. That would keep the strongest winds well to the south of Portland. History has shown that as we get closer to the event, models usually curve the center of the storm further to the north. That may bode well for those of you who are looking for a good wind event in Portland. Let’s not get too excited (or worried) just yet as there is plenty of time for models to remove this feature entirely. The panic meter is only on a 2 out of 10 right now. However, we are now getting within 96 hours and there is some model consistency beginning to emerge. More on this in later updates.
Valley Snow Tease? For those of you who like your weather on the snowy side, you may like this next part. After our wet and wild weather this weekend and into next week, longer range models are slowly beginning to toss out the idea of a colder air mass building to our north over Canada and possibly spilling south into the Pacific Northwest sometime between the 10th and 13th of December. That could set the stage for low elevation snow in and around Portland but this is simply too far out to put any guarantee on at this point. Oddly enough, this is almost the same timeframe as was prog’d back in December of 2008. That was the general setup for the big Christmas snowstorms that hit the area that year. Now hold on a second. Let’s not geek-out too soon here. The potential simply exists. That does not mean that any of this is a guarantee at this point. Hence my “tease” wording. I will keep updating if I see any of this coming closer to fruition.
One final note — all of the winter weather forecasts from the 20th annual Oregon AMS Winter Weather Forecast Conference at OMSI on November 17th have now been posted online. I highly recommend you check out these forecasts. It could end up being a “December to remember?” For all the forecasts, please click: http://www.ametsoc.org/chapters/oregon/Minutes/2012/2012_11_17_Meeting/2012_11_17_Minutes.html
That is the latest for now! Stay tuned!
Steve Pierce, President
Oregon Chapter of the American Meteorological Society (AMS)