Spring Outlook 2018

By Rod Hill on 20-Mar-18 07:47.

Spring begins with sunshine and 60 degree temperatures for the Rose City, but quickly turns wet and chilly with snow levels near 1,500 feet Thursday, Friday and Saturday. 

Despite the bumpy start, the Spring Outlook for the months of April, May and June looks promising for pleasant weather. Look for temperatures to average near normal to slightly below.  The bigger headline is the continuation of a below normal rainfall pattern.  Keep in mind, that normal spring precipitation for Portland is actually very pleasant with 2 out of 3 days typically being dry. 

You may recall March and April of 2017 dumped soaking rains that equaled nearly a foot of water.  The surplus moisture of more than 5.00" soaked the ground into mid-May.  If the outlook is correct, this spring of 2018 will see plenty of dry days to mow the lawn and enjoy the beauty of the Northwest. 

Meteorologist Rod Hill

 

Mild February, early spring possible

By Rod Hill on 03-Feb-18 17:45.

The outlook from the National Weather Service calls for above normal temperatures for Portland during the month of February.  The outlook for rainfall is less confident but leans toward drier than normal precipitation.  Forecast models also point towards warm and drier than normal weather through the first 20 days of the month. 

Don't forget the Oregon hedgehog saw no shadow, predicting an early spring!

Rod Hill

 

 

 

Total Lunar Eclipse

By Rod Hill on 29-Jan-18 14:25.

Triple treat for January’s second full moon

January’s second full moon will be a triple treat: it will be this month’s second full moon; the second perigee full moon; and best of all, there will be a total lunar eclipse! 

The ‘Super Blue Blood Moon’

The full Moon on January 31st will have its own special show, a total lunar eclipse! The full moon will slide through the dark shadow of the Earth, and for 76 minutes the only light hitting the Moon will be the reddish glow from Earth's sunrise and sunset, resulting in a total lunar eclipse. The totality begins at 4:51 a.m.  with the point of the greatest eclipse occurring at 5:29 a.m..  Astronomical Twilight begins at 5:51 a.m., thus the sky glow emerges above the eastern horizon.  This will diminish some of the redness of the totality on the moon, as well as low above the horizon..  The eclipse’s total phase will last for 76 minutes, ends at 6:07 a.m.. The Moon will be just 20 degrees above the eastern horizon at the instant of the greatest eclipse. Finally, the partial eclipse ends at 7:11a.m.  The sunrise from the east is at 7:33 a.m. followed by moonset in the west at 7:37 a.m. 

Unlike solar eclipses in which the Sun's rays can damage the eyes, lunar eclipses are safe to watch with the naked eye. Lunar eclipses are unique in that no one can predict what color the Moon will turn during totality. Binoculars and telescopes will enhance the view.

The combination of a perigee full moon (or super moon), a blue moon, and a total lunar eclipse is indeed a rarity: the last one occurred December 30, 1982 – not visible in North America.  For observers in Pacific Northwest, it is the first time all three of these phenomena will line up since March 31, 1866.

Information courtesy of Jim Todd - OMSI

Rod Hill's Winter Outlook 2017-2018

By Rod Hill on 25-Oct-17 20:20.

Like many forecasters that attempt long-range, seasonal forecast, I rely heavily on the projected Enso Cycle, which is a reference to projected water temperatures in the equatorial region of the Pacific Ocean.  A forecast for a period of NEUTRAL conditions, LA NINA or EL NINO plays a significant role in weather prediction.  NOAA's projection on October 17th, favors a 55-65% of a developing La Nina this Fall and Winter seasons. The outlook does leave the door open for present NEUTRAL conditions to continue.  

Other weather patterns I have examined for my prediction include winter's following hot summers in terms of 90 degree heat, years following 50" water seasons and winters following big snow seasons.  Last season's long list of big weather events has made my research for 2017-2018 my most difficult call, since I began seasonal outlook prediction back in 2001.  

Rod's Winter / Seasonal Outlook 2017-2018

 

  1.   Total Precipitation:  32 - 39"  /Odds favor by 67% a normal to below normal year.                           

        Would be 11-20" drier than last season.  Normal Water Year at PDX is 36 inches. 

  2.   Valley Temperatures:  1-3 degrees below normal  / Coldest months Dec. & Feb. 

  3.   Valley Snow:  No Confidence / data shows a 50% of a quiet year or a big season. 

        (My Hunch is that we slightly favor a quiet snow year with a trace to 2" of total snow)  

4.     Mt. Hood Snowpack:  A Great Season, 105% of Average or Higher!  

        Timberline 600-700" of total snowfall, Meadows at least 600", both amounts would better last year's 95% of normal  snowpack.

5.    Wind Storms:  No Reason to expect more than a few 50 mph gusts events

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My forecast accuracy for seasonal prediction dating back to 2001 is 66%.  Last winter I correctly predicted at least 5-6" of valley snow and called for a heightened chance of one big storm.  Although I called for an above normal water year, I did not see our 51" of moisture that came raining down. Industry standard for seasonal forecasting is closer to 55%.

Meteorologist Rod Hill

       

                                                         

        

 

 

       

                                                                             

        

 

Saturday Flooding Concerns

By Rod Hill on 20-Oct-17 10:40.

Forecast models show a long stretch of steady, heavy rainfall arriving Friday overnight and continuing into early Sunday morning.  New rainfall on top of what fell Thursday could equal 7" or more over the mountains (snow levels will rise back above 7,000 feet), 3-4" or more at the coast and at least 2.00" over Portland.  Some valley locations could see more than 3.00" of new rainfall over a 30-hour period!  

Intense rain rates with very heavy rainfall Saturday night will bring the greatest risk of street flooding, rising streams and increase the risk of landslides, especially in areas of the Gorge impacted by the Eagle Creek fire. 

Stay alert for possible high water.

Rod Hill

Mt. Hood First Snowfall

By Rod Hill on 19-Sep-17 09:46.

Mt. Hood picks up the first snowfall of the early fall season!  Timberline Lodge at 6,000' reports .27" of total moisture from Sunday night through Monday night.  Surface reports show 2-3" of wet snow on the ground.  Temperatures will hold near 32 degrees through Thursday morning, meaning new snow accumulations will be possible, but snow melt will likely occur as flakes try to stack up.  

(Below are resort observations Tuesday morning)

Mt. Hood Tuesday Morning

Snow levels near 5,000' through Wednesday night will mean all rain over HWY 26 and Government Camp.  Snowfall on the upper mountain will melt away this weekend as dry, warm weather returns.  Stay updated on my Mt. Hood Weather Page.

-Rod Hill

Hot back half of summer

By Rod Hill on 26-Aug-17 10:13.

Portland likely to see 90 degree heat this weekend with temps Sunday rising to near 100 degrees. As of Saturday morning, August 26th, PDX has hit 90 or better 15 days. With forecast models showing possible 90 degree heat through next Tuesday and again Labor Day weekend and another possible heat stretch around September 10th, the number of hot days may rise into the mid 20s, which would put the summer of 2017 on the list of hottest summers. Obviously, my projection of no more than 14 hot days (reaching 90 or better) is turning out to be way off! I simply did not see reason to expect what may be 12 sizzling days in the month of August. The most 90 degree days on record at PDX for August is 13 back in 1967. This month may challenge the record. Also, if Portland hits 90 or higher 25 times, this summer will be second to the hot year of 2015 when PDX hit 90, 29 times. Rod Hill

Rare heavy mid-May snowstorm

By Rod Hill on 17-May-17 10:35.

A rare snowy morning in May at Timberline Lodge. Not rare because of the snow, but rare because of the depth. According to auto-snow weather stations at 6,000’, Timberline has 28” of new snow over the past 36 hours! The Monday night - Tuesday night snowstorm hit Mt. Hood like a mid-winter dump and is quite rare for so late in the season. Snow levels during the storm dropped to just above 3,000 feet, bringing traction tires or chain requirements over Cascade passes. Today’s snow level will rise to 5,000’, bringing melting snow on HWY 26 at Government and improving travel conditions overall. Timberline has picked up more than 600” of snow this season, nearly 100” more than the winter of 2015-2016. Historical records for mid-May snowstorms are difficult to find, because most snowpack measurements end for the season on May 1st and this forecaster also stops logging the snowpack as May begins. Rod Hill

Trying to reach 70 degrees.

By Rod Hill on 21-Apr-17 07:38.

After a chilly 30 something start, much of the Willamette Valley and southwest Washington will warm to near 70 degrees this afternoon. Sunny skies and developing east winds will bring the warmth. Compared to April of 2016, we have been forced to hold our patience this spring for the arrival of warm weather. One year ago, Portland begin April with 76 degrees to start the month and saw temperatures rise to 89 degrees on the 19th. This year, 2017 has produced two 63 degrees, but nothing warmer as of this morning. This afternoon's high will be the warmest of the year to date and may reach 70. Today's record high is 82 degrees and the climate average is 62 degrees. The last time PDX touched 70 was October 8th. Enjoy today's sunshine, because showers return Saturday morning. Rod Hill (April 21, 2017)

February all-time record for rain in jeopardy

By Rod Hill on 20-Feb-17 08:15.

Heavy rain on this Monday morning, February 20th, has pushed total rainfall at PDX over 9.00" for the month and into 2nd place on the all-time February wet record list! Less than an inch of water is needed to break the all-time February rainfall record of 10.03" set back in 1996. It is likely that we will break the record, in fact we may do so this week. Total rainfall for the Water Year, starting October 1st and ending September 30th is now over 32.00 inches. Normal for the 12 month period is 36.03 inches. The surplus at this time is more than 11" to date, which is roughly 3 months of extra rain since October. Rod Hill