Monday, January 31, 2011

Cold mornings coming!

Some chilly nights in store for the next few….mornings. High pressure is building to our north that will bring east winds across the area later today, pulling in some cold air using the 50-60 mph winds blowing through the Gorge area by later tomorrow. This cold air will pile up in the valley and spill into the coastal areas lowering nighttime temperatures, along with the clear skies, into the upper 20s and low 30s thru Thursday morning. With east winds in the Coast Range and along the coast of 15-20 occasionally gusting to near 25, it will feel like the teens in the early morning hours, especially Wednesday around daybreak. As a side note, with the dew point in the 20s the air will be very dry during the day when the temperatures are up near 50, that puts the relative humidity down around 30%. This scenario could also cause a problem over in the valley, similar to last week, where the NWS issued an Air Stagnation Advisory as the air is trapped under an inversion.

Thursday the high pressure appears to push off to the east allowing an onshore flow to return as a weaker upper level disturbance moves across giving us a slight chance of rain through the weekend. Temperatures would also return to a more seasonable level, with highs in the mid 50s and lows around 40.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Cold front means cooler temperatures.

We have a weak cold front gradually moving east today, giving us periods of light rain. The front will pretty much stall over the area thru tomorrow but the system has little moisture so not a lot of rain resulting from it. The most significant effect from the system is the lowering snow levels, which are up around 7,000’ now, but, will be lowering to 3,000 by Sunday. It will also finally break the inversion that has caused the Air Stagnation Advisory over in the valley so that will finally end this afternoon. Your weather lesson for the day, an inversion means there is an area where, instead of the temperature lowering with height which is normal, there is an area where the temperature increases with height. This warmer air is more stable than cooler air so the air below the inversion just sits there, along with the pollutants. The inversion acts as a cap holding everything down, the clouds, moisture, cooler air, and anything else there.

Anyway, there could be a light dusting in the Cascade passes later tonight and tomorrow. Elsewhere, there is another system approaching the coast but should move into California later in the weekend. This could cause some showers in our area also. After that a high pressure ridge builds in over the area again giving us partly cloudy skies for Monday and Tuesday and possible into Wednesday. The long range models show the next system moving in Thursday.

Temperatures for the period, highs in the low 50s, lows near 40 except in the mid 30s with the partly cloudy skies Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday when frost is also possible.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Nice today but a rain chance returning by Friday.

Fog developed early last night and burned off early this morning. The valley will not be so lucky, there is a Dense Fog Advisory until noon today there! We will see more sun and warmer temperatures than them for a change. This is all a result of strong high pressure that has built over the area and will help keep the valley areas cool and cloudy for most of the day. East winds will likely keep the fog away for us tomorrow but the valley will see fog again tonight into tomorrow morning. Anyone traveling to the valley thru Friday should also be aware that there is an Air Stagnation Advisory over there as well.

So, back to us, we could see an upper level disturbance approach the coast tomorrow night and affect our weather Friday with another system keeping the threat of rain with us through the weekend. For next week…another ridge is advertised which would give us some sun again for the beginning of next week though the long range models show another system for the middle of next week.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Rain possible today but warm and dry by midweek.

Was that a nice weekend or what! As for the valley, they have a Dense Fog Advisory until 10am for visibilities between ¼ to ½ mile in many areas that should be slowly lifting later this morning. Also, if you are headed down south on Hwy 101, the Waldport Bridge is still closed while the police investigate a morning shooting.

So today we have a front brushing the area as it moves to our north, the radar shows some light showers to our northwest so about a 40% chance if one affecting our area later today and tonight. If you are driving in the early morning hours, the low tonight is expected to be around 34 so be alert for black ice, especially over the higher passes.
Tomorrow high pressure builds back in so the clear skies return and much milder temperature also with highs up near 60, with the clear skies though, morning lows will still be in the 30s. The fog will continue to be a problem for the valley areas and we could have pockets of morning fog also. Things remain dry through Friday but not as warm and then the long range models start drifting off into different directions but for now the weekend looks to be cooler and wetter.


Friday, January 21, 2011

Rain today, sunny tomorrow after morning fog.

After this system finally pushes through this evening, we will have lingering showers that diminish overnight. We can expect between 1 and 2” of rain from this system but this is still not enough to have a significant impact on current falling river levels. Over in the valley there are still some rivers that are near bankfull so they will be monitoring this rain event much more closely. By tomorrow high pressure will build in drying things out and giving us plenty of sunshine Saturday and Sunday though we could see fog develop overnight, burning off around 10am both mornings. The high pressure ridge will persist into next week keeping us dry and mild then the long range models suggest the next system will begin affecting our weather Thursday.


Thursday, January 20, 2011

Rain returning tonight but a nice weekend expected!

A warm front will flatten the high pressure that gave us the nice weather the last couple days and bring clouds and rain to the area again today. The chance of rain begins later today then rain is likely later tonight lasting onto Friday as the warm front sags into the area from the north. As this will be a warm front the snow level will remain well above our pass levels. High pressure builds back in over the weekend so we should see a mix of sun and clouds, but dry. As for next week, the models are still not settling on one solution so will continue with dry still Monday and Tuesday with another system likely by midweek.


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Nice weekend coming!

No Watches, Warning or Advisories this morning but we do have areas of dense fog and it’s frosty with areas of ice on the roads too so leave early and drive safely. The fog should burn off by 10am leaving mostly sunny conditions and light northeast winds. Tomorrow morning will be similar to this morning then the high pressure will weaken and allow a warm front to sag into the area from the north tomorrow afternoon. The rain continues Friday then tappers off Friday night into Saturday morning. After that, a pleasant weekend is expected with mild and dry conditions to linger into the start of next week. The long range models are showing an approaching system towards the middle of next week.


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Things calming this week!

Quite a bit of rainfall over the weekend, Timberline registered 9.51”, Lee’s Camp 5.7”, Tillamook 5.35, Oceanside 4.81 and Pacific City 3.78”. The rivers (except the Nestucca) all crested above flood stage which flooded the usual areas. The big headlines came from the slide with several big ones on Hwy 6 which is still closed and may open later today or tomorrow. Other Highways with problems in Tillamook County are: Hwy 22 near MP10.5 has a sinkhole restricting traffic through the area, and ODOT was working an active slide on Hwy 101 near Rockaway which was restricting traffic. The County Road Department has also been quite busy with the following roads still closed: Slab Creek Road MP3.5 - culvert collapse, Cape Lookout Rd near the trailhead – slide, Kilchis River Rd MP3.8 – slide. There are several areas that have restriction because of various issues, culverts, slides blocking on lane, etc. These road conditions are very dynamic and changing quickly. To see the latest conditions, go to the county website, and look at Road Conditions under Emergency Info. Don't forget about looking on, and posting on Gordon's Tillamook Weather Center if you have information about weather or raods to share!

So, the weather will not be as active the rest of the week. We have a weak upper level disturbance giving us light rain today then high pressure builds in tonight so tomorrow we will have mostly sunny conditions and Thursday we will see some sun again before a warm front will push it’s way across the top of the ridge to bring another chance of rain starting Thursday night into Friday. Another ridge of high pressure builds in over the weekend so cooler conditions but mostly dry. Temperature will continue to run near 50 for a high and lows down in the low to mid 40s.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Later Forecast numbers have many rivers reaching above flood level by morning.

New forecast levels recently released by the NWS River Forecast Office reflect today's higher rainfall amounts by elevating the forecasted crest as follows:

Nehalem River crest of 18.36, reaching flood level at between 5-8am and cresting at between 8-10pm.

- Expect widespread flooding of low lying farm lands and structures downstream of Foss Gauge to Nehalem. Street flooding in Nehalem begins, usually during high tide. Seaside Tides: High 6.0' at 8:47am, low 0.0' at 5:35pm, high 4.3' at 11:04

Wilson River crest of 13.65, reaching flood level at between 5-8am and cresting at between 7-9pm

- Expect widespread lowland and dairy land flooding begins. Sloughs begin to overflow. Minor flooding of Hwy 101 North Main area begins, especially during high tide. Garibaldi Tides: High 8.8' at 9:19am, low 0.0' at 4:39pm, high 6.3' at 11:36pm

Nestucca River is also now forecasted to exceed Action stage of 16.0', cresting at 16.74' at 4-6pm.

The NWS Portland has issued: in Tillamook County

- Flood Advisory for urban and small stream flooding of poor drainage areas until 12:15pm Sunday

- Flood Watch Watch thru Monday afternoon.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Did I tell ya it was gonna rain?

The rivers crested around midday yesterday, the Nehalem River crested at 12.03 and had dropped to 11.43 this morning. The Wilson, which reacts more rapidly, crested at 10.64 and has dropped to 8.39. We have more of these warm, wet, systems expected through the area over the next few day that will again drive up the rivers. We have one today that could give us another half-inch or so of rain, bring breezy conditions, before moving east later today. A stronger, wetter system with tropical origins (Pineapple Express) is expected Saturday into Sunday, with the models still somewhat conflicting on timing and main target zone. The NWS estimates that we could get another 2-3 inches of rain in the Coast Range, and 2-5 inches in the Cascades over the weekend. With the snow level up around 6000’ and the heavy rain potential, there is an increased flood potential for many areas this weekend. I think there is a chance that our rivers could get to bankfull or just above around Sunday. I also think that this will be an event that many other areas will be watching more closely because of their own rivers, from the valley to the Cascades.

Once we make it through this threat, wet and warm will start next week but the models still hint that a ridge of High Pressure will build in the middle of next week to help dry things out though it would also mean cooler conditions.

As we all know, during these heavy rain events where flooding is a potential, tides are a factor, so, I have included the times here for the highest tides using the Garibaldi Tables, for the weekend, and, they have been running above predictions because of the winds.

Saturday Hi 08:27am 8.4
Sunday Hi 09:19am 8.8
Monday Hi 10:09am 9.2

A High Wind Warning for the coastal beaches and headlands has just been issued and is in effect until 1pm today for southerly winds 30-40 gusting to 60.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

More heavy rain (flooding) possible for the weekend!

Weather issues keeping me busy. The Wilson River has already crested at 10.64’ and is currently down to 10.4 and falling. The Nehalem River at Foss is cresting right now, at 10.95. Now, that’s the good news. There is always more to the story…and that is…another wet day tomorrow then, as I mentioned in the morning report, we are expecting another strong system Saturday into Sunday. Some of the models are showing this system to be quite moist so there is a potential for us to see periods of moderate to heave rainfall from this system. As the rivers will still be relatively high from this week’s rain and snowmelt, there is still a possibility of flooding Saturday night into Monday. The National Weather Service (NWS) Portland has already issued a Hydrologic Outlook addressing the flooding potential for the weekend that would affect several rivers in Northwest Oregon and Southwest Washington, including the Nehalem and Wilson Rivers, which will likely also impact the Kilchis and Trask Rivers. Tonight’s models, and tomorrow’s, should give us a better picture. As experienced in the last storm, the models are not handling these systems as well as some of the earlier ones so hopefully tomorrow will give us a better picture of the expectations. I have a special weather briefing tomorrow afternoon with the NWS so you can expect a morning and afternoon report again tomorrow.

Keeping my finger’s crossed, see ya tomorrow….

Rivers still on the rise.

The snow level is up around 6000’ this morning and with the 1-3” of rain we got yesterday, the rivers are showing a significant flow increase. This morning the Wilson River is at 10.19, Action Stage is 10.5 and Flood Stage is 12’. It is currently forecasted to crest later this morning at 11.01. The only other river of concern is the Foss River in Nehalem, it is at 11.47 and Action Stage is 12.0, Flood Stage is 14’. It is forecasted to crest later this morning at 12.8’. This means I will be keeping both eyes on them this morning. With the decrease in rain rates this morning, maybe they will crest soon but I see another area of disturbed weather moving towards the area that would bring more rain around 10am. There are no watches or warning issued for any of our rivers at this time. It might be of interest that the Gray’s River in Washington near Rosburg is above flood stage and climbing

So the active weather pattern will continue into the weekend and into the start of next week with the next moist system arriving around late Saturday or early Sunday. With the river still relatively high, this will be another period to watch with the tides will still running higher than usual also.

It now appears we might get a break by the middle of next with high pressure building over the area to help dry us out. The only down side is that we would also be in a cooler airmass.

A quick check of the ODOT Tripcheck Website shows the only area of concern is Hwy 101 just south of Seaside. The webcam shows water has spilled out of the creek and onto the highway in that area and the highway is closed to low profile vehicles, otherwise, the road is open with speed restrictions for now.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Rapidly rising rivers!

I just had a conversation with the NWS River Forecast Center about our extremely active river flow. Lee’s Camp has only had a little over 2 inches of rain today, and, we have had about an inch or so down here, yet the rivers are showing a significant flow increase. Their thoughts were this may have been a combination of saturation, hardness (frozen still below the surface) and snow melt contributing to the rainfall runoff rates. Current forecasts have the next 12 hr rainfall rates decreasing over the previous 12 hours which would slow the rate of rise and even allow the rivers to crest soon. My only concern is looking at the satellite picture I see some enhanced cloud tops moving onto the coast which would suggest another period of occasional moderate rainfall which would aggravate the situation. He also indicated they were already running new models and the output would be available soon which would update a lot of the river forecasts. The 5 minute look and 10 minute discussion suggested a crest of bankfull around 7-10am tomorrow morning. While the flow rate increases have slowed a little in the last hour, future rain rates obviously will affect this. The most significant rise, as one might expect, has been in the Wilson River that has gone up over 2’ in the last 12 hours, showing a level of 7.32 at 3:30pm. Action Stage is 10.5 and Flood Stage is 12.0.

Bottom line, interest in the North Main area of Tillamook, and low lying areas in Nehalem need to be aware this is taking place. I don’t want my potential 5am call to catch everyone off guard.

Oh, and we are coming into a period of astronomically high tides. The charts show an 8.0 for Garibaldi at 6:45am in the morning, with the next largest high tide at 7:35 Friday morning.

I’ll be watching this tonight and will look at it first thing in the morning, barring any calls overnight from the NWS!

Rain, then rain, then more rain!

Well, we saw snow yesterday, briefly, which was fine for first responders, the road crews, and travelers. There is still some ice reported at the higher passes of Hwy 6 and 26 with near freezing temperatures spilling over from the valley. As for us, windy is the word this morning. The NWS Portland extended the High Wind Warning until 10am this morning, winds are currently running from the south 10-15 gusting to 20 with occasional gusts as high as 40 in some areas, with higher gusts to 50 at the beaches. So, the satellite and radar shows more rain, with occasional periods of moderate rain, moving into the area, with another system poised to affect tomorrow’s weather, and another Friday with more expected for the weekend and the beginning of next week. The extended forecast models are suggesting a return to cooler, but dryer, weather towards the middle of next week, we will see if this holds. For now, cloudy and rainy is the forecast with systems moving across the area every 12-24 hours - through the beginning of next week. Mild temperatures expected, highs in the low 50s, lows in the mid 40s.

The rivers are relatively low right now but their forecasts show a surge up to a couple feet below Action Stage Thursday into Friday. They are expected to surge with each system but fall between systems enough to handle the increased flows. I will continue to monitor this issue over the next few days.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Snow, Ice, Rain, somewhere!

Cool and dry this morning, temperatures in the mid 30s but with the strong east wind it feels like it’s the upper 20s. The models are still somewhat conflicting on this event, but, we have a high pressure area over the Rockies, pumping cold area in from the east, and a low pressure center, with an associated warm front, moving into the area from the southwest. The two combine over northwest Oregon and southwest Washington (somewhere) to give us an interesting mix of precipitation tonight. Right now we expect the rain to move in from the southwest after 10am this morning, bringing some low level snow across the Coast Range and into the valley north of Salem later today. It will remain breezy also with southeast winds 10-15 gusting to 25. As the warm front gets closer, starting around 10pm tonight, it will warm up the upper atmosphere first (called overrunning), so, the precipitation that had been falling as snow will now fall as rain, but, with the surface temperatures in some area still below freezing, the rain refreezes on contact, giving us freezing rain. The temperature will continue to slowly rise until by 4am Wednesday the freezing level rises above the pass levels at the Coast Range. The winds will still be breezy, now southerly 20-25 gusting to 30, higher at the beaches and headlands. Wednesday more rain, warmer with highs now in the low 50s and lows in the upper 40s, still breezy with south winds 10-15 gusting to 25. Thursday another system bring more rain into Friday, it stays warm, into the mid 50s during the day, and the active wet pattern continues into MLK Monday.

Advisories, Watched, Warnings

High Wind Watch from this afternoon thru Wednesday morning for southerly winds along the beaches and headland 30-40 gusting to 60. This should be upgraded to a High Wind Warning soon!

Winter Weather Advisory for the Coast Range from 1pm this afternoon thru midnight tonight for 1-3” of snow and 1/10 to ¼” of ice through the passes. The snow level as low as 300’ before rising well above the pass level by 4am.

Ice and snow accumulation will cause significant driving hazards, including on Hwy 6, 26, and 30, these hazards extend into the valley and I-5. Drive carefully, take your time, and check the weather and road conditions prior to leaving.


Monday, January 10, 2011

Afternoon Update

Well, the models continue to push the low pressure system further north than previously forecasted which is better for us, unless you were hoping for the snow. It is getting harder and harder to get snow down to the lowland levels, and for the higher elevations and over into Portland, in addition to the snow as a concern, this would lend itself to a greater chance of freezing rain after a brief period of snow. So with all that said, it is now shaping up to look something like this – the rain should now start sometime between 2-4pm tomorrow. After the sun goes down, the temperature drops and we may see periods of a rain/snow mix until around 10pm. After 10pm it gets even trickier as the potential for freezing rain goes up until around 4am Wednesday. Tomorrow’s low is currently forecasted to be 33. Let’s assume this is correct, or it could be even a few degrees warmer. There are areas in the county that we know are always nearly 5 degrees cooler than everywhere else. This would put them at freezing and in these areas black ice would be of concern. After that the warm front would push out the colder temperatures and we would have rain only. Obviously is we had areas of ice, it would still be present for a period after the transition to rain. The only other thing worth mentioning is the winds. During the evening and early morning hours as the low tracks close to the coast, and the warm front pushes through, the winds along the coast could be 35 gusting to 50-60 for a period. As I type this the NWS Portland has issued a High Wind Watch for the north and central coast for south winds 30-40 gusting to 60 at the beaches ands highlands. This should be followed shortly by a Gale watch or Warning for the waters as well.

That takes care of the lowlands, now let’s talk higher elevations and the passes. There may still be a Winter Storm Watch issued later for the Coast Range. I would expect the snow to start there by 4pm tomorrow and continue until transitioning to freezing rain after around 10pm. This will continue until around 4am when the temperatures warm up and the freezing level rises to above the pass level. Overall the passes should see a trace of snow starting at the lower levels to 1-2” at the top of the pass before switching over to freezing rain. The forecast for accumulation of ice at the upper levels is 2-4 tenths of an inch.

I can’t type fast enough! The NWS has just issued the Winter Storm Watch for the Coast Range effective from Tuesday afternoon thru late Tuesday night. For those that also receive my Nixle alerts, they will follow shortly.

If your travel plans include the valley Tuesday or Wednesday, they are looking at snow starting between 2-4pm tomorrow, then transitioning to freezing rain at 10pm which switches to all rain by 4am Wednesday. Tomorrow commute could be a lot of fun for a lot of folks over there! And the Cascades and their passes, a foot of snow and ½” of ice Tuesday and Wednesday….not fun!

Next update – tomorrow morning…

Still looking like snow for Tuesday night.

Icy roads in the area this morning and at about 7am ODOT reported Hwy 6 had bare pavement with 4” roadside and temperature was 29. Hwy 26 had packed snow on the road, 10” roadside with temp of 28. Tomorrow morning the temperature should be down below freezing again so be cautious driving overnight into the morning hours tomorrow. Speaking of tomorrow, all eyes and ears are watching what develops tomorrow evening. We have a developing low pressure system to our southwest that is modeled to track into Oregon and pass north of Portland. The models had earlier been mixed on the tracks, a track south of Portland would mean more snow between Salem and Portland while a track north of Portland would mean less snow. The models are all on the same page now and show the track passing north of Portland and actually a little faster than previously shown. So what does this mean for us? Well, an increasing chance of rain after about 10am tomorrow with the snow level up around 2000’. With a strong east winds developing the snow level will be dropping during the day, falling to around 500’ in the afternoon. As the sun goes down the temperatures will follow and the snow level will fall even lower, likely down to the lowlands after 4pm. Overnight into Wednesday morning the warm front will push through, pushing the temperatures up above freezing in the lowlands, turning the snow back to rain, and the snow level starts to rise until above even the pass levels by the afternoon. There will still be snow, and slush at the higher elevations, but melting. Several other systems are expected through the area between Thursday and Sunday so the active, and wet, weather pattern continues all week.

For now a Winter Storm Watch is in effect from Tuesday afternoon thru late Tuesday night for the Portland area including the Hood and Columbia River Valley areas.

There is a Small Craft Advisory for our coastal waters but I expect Gale Watch/Warning will be issued for these areas later today or tonight, associated with the winds and seas accompanying the low moving northeast into the area.

I have a special weather briefing scheduled this afternoon with the National Weather Service to discuss the pending weather and will issue an update afterwards if there are any significant changes, but for now, back to work, or at work, which is a change from last week. Not at 100% yet, but, 80% never felt so good!

And no, no forecast on tonight’s game.


Sunday, January 9, 2011

Snow likely midweek

Currently the temperatures are running around 40 for the area, with the snow level somewhere around 1000'. We can expect fewer showers this afternoon then colder air begins to slide into northwest Oregon tonight and tomorrow so we will be cooler but dry. Tuesday afternoon the chance of precipitation begins to increase and we could see low level snow Tuesday night into Wednesday morning with freezing temperatures throughout the area. This has the potential to equal the December 2008 snow event, especially over in the valley. The models are still not consistant on this event so there is still some uncertainty as to exactly where and for how long the snow will last but it is safe to say that travel in all the passes will become more difficult around midweek with low snow levels likely.

If you are traveling in or out of the area after Monday, you will want to study the roads and weather closely before you head out!


Friday, January 7, 2011

Icy roads, snow, sleet...must be winter!

Dicey travel through the passes this weekend, and, potential for black ice is also high for lower elevations during the nighttime hours starting Saturday through the beginning of next week. A cold front is expected through the area today then we can expect lingering showers all weekend, and, the snow levels will drop, lowering to near 1000’ by Saturday afternoon, and gradually lowering through the start of next week. If you plan to travel into or through the valley this weekend, check the weather and road conditions closely before you go, there is likely to be areas of snow, sleet, freezing rain, or all three, over there somewhere, and yes, in the passes! Now this takes care of the weekend, let’s now talk about next week. The models show a strong-cold high pressure area setting up to our north which will funnel a series of cold, moist systems over our area starting Tuesday with several more passing through by Thursday. If this pans out, this could lead to a significant snow event for many folks. This is still 4-6 days out yet so…subject to change without notice but….this would mean a trace of snow on the beach, Winter Storm Warnings for the Coast Range passes, a significant snow/ice event for the valley, and Blizzard Warnings for the Cascades. I will be watching closely how this develops over the weekend.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Another nice cool and dry day for Tillamook!

Other than it being on the cold side, some really nice days to start 2011. The upper level ridge responsible for the good weather will keep us cool and dry one more day before weakening and allowing a front to affect the area starting Tuesday night. It looks like the main part of a warm front will pass us to the north so we should just see some light precipitation over the area late Tuesday into Wednesday. Given the nighttime conditions and the persistent freezing temperatures, especially above 1000-1500’, a brief period of some light sleet or freezing rain in the higher passes is not out of the question Wednesday in the early morning hours with the approaching warm front until the temperatures finally warm up after sunrise. Next, the associated cold front stalls off the coast Thursday and though there is some model disagreement, it appears it finally pushes through Friday which would leave showers for the weekend. Temperature wise, one more night of freezing nighttime temperatures, then, daytime highs 45-50 and nighttime lows 35-40 through the weekend.