Have you enjoyed the warm month so far? Portland has recorded a stretch of several 60 degree or higher temps on the map this month. In fact, 23 days have been well above average sending February 2015 to one of the warmest on record in Portland. In fact, our average monthly temperature is 49.1 degrees (that’s a whopping 5.4 degrees above normal) with only one more day left to go in the month.
Over the past week we have finally begun to see a change in the overall weather pattern. Moisture and cold air are finally converging on the Pacific Northwest, allowing a little light snow to fall in the Cascades down to pass level. Snow accumulations have been slow to get going and unfortunately a larger or more prolonged snow event is not looking likely anytime soon for the mountains.
If is sounds like El Nino, you would be correct. Most of the Pacific storm systems are headed well north or south of the area. However, it is interesting to note that Portland is near normal when you look at overall precipitation totals for the entire winter (October through February).
One thing that we have noticed this winter across the state is that very little snow is falling below 7,000ft. We are nearly 100% of average for our precipitation totals, but again the mountain snow pack is suffering tremendously. Things are shaping up to be one of the worst seasons for snow in the Cascades in decades.
Looking ahead, the overall pattern will continue to be very benign with a ridge of high pressure trying to make a comeback accompanied by a few weak disturbances making their way across the region from time to time. Winter 2014/15 still has a month left, but it is growing more and more likely that Portland will escape without seeing any snow this season. We have been treated to several winter’s worth of snow over the past 6-7 years, so our luck was bound to run out sooner or later.
If you are heading to the mountain resorts this weekend, expect some fresh powder on the ground with sunshine returning just in time for the weekend.
KOIN 6 Weather Team