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)

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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