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Friday, March 1, 2024
March 1, 2024

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Weather Eye: More rain for weekend before temperatures drop


Another warm Pacific weather system rolled through overnight, and we will see only scattered showers today with another batch of rain arriving Sunday. After Sunday’s storm, we turn cooler and say goodbye to highs in the 60s.

As colder air aloft settles in the Northwest next week, snow will be falling to pass levels at times. The upper ski areas will start over with building a snowpack. Although we will have lower snow levels next week, precipitation amounts at this time do not look favorable for moderate to heavy snows in the mountains. But hey, we’ll see what develops. I know many are eying Thanksgiving for the ski areas to open.

Now that we know we are dealing with an El Nino weather pattern, the odds of milder and drier weather are in the cards. Looking at long range forecast models, I now think we will be much drier than average mid-November through mid-December. The storm track will reside through California reaching northward into southern Oregon and south-central Oregon at times.

The atmospheric river that hit us Wednesday dropped much less rain than expected. Vancouver had only about two-thirds of an inch of rain as of 4 p.m. Friday. Our foothill locations received twice that or more, however. Tom Dixion in the Amboy area measured 1.68 inches early Thursday.

Satellite imaging showed an impressive plume of moisture two days ago, but the weather front was fast moving causing it to underperform. But that’s OK, we don’t need excessive rains lasting for hours and hours or days and days. Concerns about serious flooding are abated.

The local chapter of the American Meteorology met last week at OMSI and several forecasters presented their winter predictions. I’ll share a few with you in my next column. Most winter forecasts I have read factor in past years with El Ninio and broad-brush the winter months with drier and warmer weather. However, even in these past years with El Nino we have had several surprises uncommon to its presence.

Stay tuned and we will dive into winter shortly. Meanwhile enjoy your weekend and pray or do a snow dance for the snow to fall on the mountain slopes.