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October 2020 Weather Observations for the PNW


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Here's the snow thus far

By far the most impressive October storm I've witnessed here since 2012 when I bought property. Ended up with 9 inches of powder and is currently 22 degrees down from 24 at 9am. 

Just catching up to everything this morning. I think given that the user base of the forum has been somewhat of a close knit community for 15+ years, there is a bit of leeway given when it comes to be

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1 minute ago, Jesse said:

I don’t think anyone is arguing this fall has been colder than last. This fall has been pretty textbook strong La Niña with a very warm first half.

I think it’s hard to construe the fact that we have now flipped to an impressively cool pattern for the last part of October as a bad thing though. Not saying you are but some are.

I’m not saying this event isn’t somewhat impressive it is...but last year was just more impressive IMO. Had 5 sub 50 highs as well as 4 freezes and 11 sub 40 nights last year. 

Cold season stats  

Coldest low-30

Coldest high-42

Freezes-1

Monthly rainfall-6.68”

Cold season rainfall-9.85”

Snowfall-0.0”

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1 minute ago, TacomaWaWx said:

I’m not saying this event isn’t somewhat impressive it is...but last year was just more impressive IMO. Had 5 sub 50 highs as well as 4 freezes and 11 sub 40 nights last year. 

Yeah like I said no one is arguing this fall has been colder. Last fall was extremely impressive for cold late September thru late October.

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Just now, Jesse said:

Yeah like I said no one is arguing this fall has been colder.

Only thing last fall was lacking was rainfall. Other than that it was cool got some of my best sunrise/sunset photos of all time last fall. 

Cold season stats  

Coldest low-30

Coldest high-42

Freezes-1

Monthly rainfall-6.68”

Cold season rainfall-9.85”

Snowfall-0.0”

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1 minute ago, TacomaWaWx said:

Only thing last fall was lacking was rainfall. Other than that it was cool got some of my best sunrise/sunset photos of all time last fall. 

Love your profile picture. 

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19 minutes ago, Jesse said:

Chilly east wind has already started here. Down to 45, PDX is down to 47. Some sprinkles around too

This feels like a morning where we would be seeing scattered windswept flurries in a month or two.

Good weather post Jesse.

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I just looked at the Bellingham records for last October and the late month cold snap was not a Fraser outflow event.  There lowest max was 49 and there almost no wind.  Not the same and it was later (after the cutoff date for where these things are super rare).

Death To Warm Anomalies!

 

Winter 2020-21 stats

 

Total Snowfall = 0.0"

Day with 1" or more snow depth = 0

Total Hail = 0.0"

Coldest Low = 25

Lows 32 or below = 10

Highs 32 or below = 0

Lows 20 or below = 0

Highs 40 or below = 0

 

 

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4 minutes ago, snow_wizard said:

I just looked at the Bellingham records for last October and the late month cold snap was not a Fraser outflow event.  There lowest max was 49 and there almost no wind.  Not the same and it was later (after the cutoff date for where these things are super rare).

Yeah, I think it could be fair to argue the airmasses last fall tended to have more of a backdoor nature than the current one. I know that is one reason you are drooling over this pattern. Jim loves his northerly blasts. 🤤

 The configuration of this pattern is definitely a little more Niña ish.

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In retrospect I should have known that late month cold snap last October was not a good omen for the winter.  It wasn't a Fraser River event and it was during a Nino.  Totally reinforced my old adage that October cold snaps during a Nino don't work out well very often.

Death To Warm Anomalies!

 

Winter 2020-21 stats

 

Total Snowfall = 0.0"

Day with 1" or more snow depth = 0

Total Hail = 0.0"

Coldest Low = 25

Lows 32 or below = 10

Highs 32 or below = 0

Lows 20 or below = 0

Highs 40 or below = 0

 

 

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Nice to see the GFS trend a little colder in the home stretch with this airmass. The 12z gets 850s down to -4c over Portland tonight into tomorrow. Some runs yesterday only had them bottoming out at -1c.

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1 minute ago, Jesse said:

Yeah, I think it could be fair to argue the airmasses last fall tended to have more of a backdoor nature than the current one. I know that is one reason you are drooling over this pattern. Jim loves his northerly blasts. 🤤 

I most certainly do.  To this day 2002 doesn't impress me in the slightest.  Historically the northerly ones are a much better sign.

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Death To Warm Anomalies!

 

Winter 2020-21 stats

 

Total Snowfall = 0.0"

Day with 1" or more snow depth = 0

Total Hail = 0.0"

Coldest Low = 25

Lows 32 or below = 10

Highs 32 or below = 0

Lows 20 or below = 0

Highs 40 or below = 0

 

 

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2 minutes ago, snow_wizard said:

I most certainly do.  To this day 2002 doesn't impress me in the slightest.  Historically the northerly ones are a much better sign.

It was very impressive for what it was. I think it’s kind of silly to judge the impressiveness on an airmass based on what happened 2-3 months later. 

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1 minute ago, Jesse said:

Nice to see the GFS trend a little colder in the home stretch with this airmass. The 12z gets 850s down to -4c over Portland tonight into tomorrow. Some runs yesterday only had them bottoming out at -1c.

Seems to be the norm the last few years.  Cold snaps usually verify colder in the end than the runs leading up to it.  With this one the 540 thickness line is now progged well SW of previous runs.

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Death To Warm Anomalies!

 

Winter 2020-21 stats

 

Total Snowfall = 0.0"

Day with 1" or more snow depth = 0

Total Hail = 0.0"

Coldest Low = 25

Lows 32 or below = 10

Highs 32 or below = 0

Lows 20 or below = 0

Highs 40 or below = 0

 

 

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Just now, Jesse said:

It was very impressive for what it was. I think it’s kind of silly to judge the impressiveness on an airmass based on what happened 2-3 months later.

It sucked here.  It was windy the whole time.

Death To Warm Anomalies!

 

Winter 2020-21 stats

 

Total Snowfall = 0.0"

Day with 1" or more snow depth = 0

Total Hail = 0.0"

Coldest Low = 25

Lows 32 or below = 10

Highs 32 or below = 0

Lows 20 or below = 0

Highs 40 or below = 0

 

 

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Just now, snow_wizard said:

It sucked here.  It was windy the whole time.

All time monthly record lows in Oregon. Tiger was swimming with dolphins in the Bahamas at the time I believe.

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3 minutes ago, snow_wizard said:

It sucked here.  It was windy the whole time.

The micro-level weather at your house does not predict the weather on a large scale 3 months later.   It just doesn't.   

You are way too in the weeds to convince yourself of one thing or another.    There is no reason to think this winter won't deliver something good... we will just have to wait and see.

 

**REPORTED CONDITIONS AND ANOMALIES ARE NOT MEANT TO IMPLY ANYTHING ON A REGIONAL LEVEL UNLESS SPECIFICALLY STATED**

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Jesse makes a good point about me loving cold shots from the north.  Ones from the east are terrible here.  Usually no snow even when they happen in winter and it's usually unable to decouple for really cold mins.  Blasts from the north are colder, snowier, and usually fantastic for max cooling here.  Today we have puffy clouds racing from the north, brisk north winds, and mid 40s for temps.  Life is good!

  • Snow 1

Death To Warm Anomalies!

 

Winter 2020-21 stats

 

Total Snowfall = 0.0"

Day with 1" or more snow depth = 0

Total Hail = 0.0"

Coldest Low = 25

Lows 32 or below = 10

Highs 32 or below = 0

Lows 20 or below = 0

Highs 40 or below = 0

 

 

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2 minutes ago, TT-SEA said:

The micro-level weather at your house does not predict the weather on a large scale 3 months later.   It just doesn't.   

You are way too in the weeds to convince yourself of one thing or another.    There is no reason to think this winter won't deliver something good... we will just have to wait and see.

 

You kind of misunderstood.  I just didn't care for the way the October 2002 cold snap played for observed weather IMBY.  That's aside from what it led to.

Death To Warm Anomalies!

 

Winter 2020-21 stats

 

Total Snowfall = 0.0"

Day with 1" or more snow depth = 0

Total Hail = 0.0"

Coldest Low = 25

Lows 32 or below = 10

Highs 32 or below = 0

Lows 20 or below = 0

Highs 40 or below = 0

 

 

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9 hours ago, snow_wizard said:

I wanted to comment on the post I saw about us not wanting a 1988-89 type winter in the current era.  What does that even mean?  In actuality 1988 and 1942 have a lot going for them as analogs and both had similar top tier cold outbreaks.  One difference is the October cold snap this year is more impressive than either of those years.  Other than that there a lot of similar context.

Andrew loves zonal flow. I think he’d prefer a 2007/08 outcome over a 1988/89 outcome.

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It actually looks like Halloween could be on the crisp side with northerly gradients developing and thicknesses sagging a bit.

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Death To Warm Anomalies!

 

Winter 2020-21 stats

 

Total Snowfall = 0.0"

Day with 1" or more snow depth = 0

Total Hail = 0.0"

Coldest Low = 25

Lows 32 or below = 10

Highs 32 or below = 0

Lows 20 or below = 0

Highs 40 or below = 0

 

 

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1 minute ago, Phil said:

Andrew loves zonal flow. I think he’d prefer a 2007/08 outcome over a 1988/89 outcome.

Yuck.  That's actually kind of a selfish view on his part, but I guess many of us can be guilty of that at times.

Death To Warm Anomalies!

 

Winter 2020-21 stats

 

Total Snowfall = 0.0"

Day with 1" or more snow depth = 0

Total Hail = 0.0"

Coldest Low = 25

Lows 32 or below = 10

Highs 32 or below = 0

Lows 20 or below = 0

Highs 40 or below = 0

 

 

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Jim, give us your take on December 2013.

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Snowfall                                  Precip

2020-21: 0                         2020-21: 3.38"

2019-20: 23.5"                   2019-20: 58.54"

2018-19: 63.5"                   2018-19: 66.33"

2017-18: 30.3"                   2017-18: 59.83"

2016-17: 49.2"                   2016-17: 97.58"

2015-16: 11.75"                 2015-16: 68.67"

2014-15: 3.5"
2013-14: 11.75"                  2013-14: 62.30
2012-13: 16.75"                 2012-13: 78.45  

2011-12: 98.5"                   2011-12: 92.67"

 

It's always sunny at Winters Hill! 

 

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Just now, MR.SNOWMIZER said:

By far the most impressive October storm I've witnessed here since 2012 when I bought property. Ended up with 9 inches of powder and is currently 22 degrees down from 24 at 9am. 

20201023_170547.jpg

20201023_170541.jpg

20201023_170527.jpg

20201023_152539.jpg

This really is an extraordinary event for this early.  I liked the fact I would have had a good 3 inches of snow last night had this been winter.  The details were textbook.

Death To Warm Anomalies!

 

Winter 2020-21 stats

 

Total Snowfall = 0.0"

Day with 1" or more snow depth = 0

Total Hail = 0.0"

Coldest Low = 25

Lows 32 or below = 10

Highs 32 or below = 0

Lows 20 or below = 0

Highs 40 or below = 0

 

 

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9 hours ago, BLI snowman said:

Actually 2017. They led 1-0 in that one.

Should’ve specified. It’s their first 2-1 lead in the series since 1988.

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3 minutes ago, Phil said:

Andrew loves zonal flow. I think he’d prefer a 2007/08 outcome over a 1988/89 outcome.

I would prefer not to have to wait until winter is over for anything to happen. I would probably take 88-89 though. That was a historic blast.

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Snowfall                                  Precip

2020-21: 0                         2020-21: 3.38"

2019-20: 23.5"                   2019-20: 58.54"

2018-19: 63.5"                   2018-19: 66.33"

2017-18: 30.3"                   2017-18: 59.83"

2016-17: 49.2"                   2016-17: 97.58"

2015-16: 11.75"                 2015-16: 68.67"

2014-15: 3.5"
2013-14: 11.75"                  2013-14: 62.30
2012-13: 16.75"                 2012-13: 78.45  

2011-12: 98.5"                   2011-12: 92.67"

 

It's always sunny at Winters Hill! 

 

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1 minute ago, SilverFallsAndrew said:

Jim, give us your take on December 2013.

I kind of liked it in spite of not getting much snow.  The cold was very impressive.  It was kind of a Fraser River / backdoor hybrid.  I remember it wasn't all that cold in Southern BC in relation to how cold it was in WA and OR.  We normally do way better for snow here when southern BC is super cold.

Death To Warm Anomalies!

 

Winter 2020-21 stats

 

Total Snowfall = 0.0"

Day with 1" or more snow depth = 0

Total Hail = 0.0"

Coldest Low = 25

Lows 32 or below = 10

Highs 32 or below = 0

Lows 20 or below = 0

Highs 40 or below = 0

 

 

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1 minute ago, SilverFallsAndrew said:

I would prefer not to have to wait until winter is over for anything to happen. I would probably take 88-89 though. That was a historic blast.

That winter was epic actually.  It helped that we had snow in January from a lesser cold snap and then of course the big March snowstorm.  I know Dewey loved the February event and it seared itself into his brain.

Death To Warm Anomalies!

 

Winter 2020-21 stats

 

Total Snowfall = 0.0"

Day with 1" or more snow depth = 0

Total Hail = 0.0"

Coldest Low = 25

Lows 32 or below = 10

Highs 32 or below = 0

Lows 20 or below = 0

Highs 40 or below = 0

 

 

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59 minutes ago, TT-SEA said:

12Z GEM is much more active... but the GEM was comically wrong for this weekend when it was 5-7 days out so not sure if it means anything.  

You’d sort of expect the GEM to struggle with a WHEM MJO transit, though. 

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38 minutes ago, Jesse said:

Yeah like I said no one is arguing this fall has been colder. Last fall was extremely impressive for cold late September thru late October.

This is a very legit debate...last October vs this one.  I was actually shocked when I saw how unimpressive Bellingham was last year when I just checked.  The cold did not come from BC for the most part in the late month event.  The details of this one are more classic IMO.  More 1949ish.

Death To Warm Anomalies!

 

Winter 2020-21 stats

 

Total Snowfall = 0.0"

Day with 1" or more snow depth = 0

Total Hail = 0.0"

Coldest Low = 25

Lows 32 or below = 10

Highs 32 or below = 0

Lows 20 or below = 0

Highs 40 or below = 0

 

 

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44 minutes ago, Jesse said:

I think it’s hard to construe the fact that we have now flipped to an impressively cool pattern for the last part of October as a bad thing though. Not saying you are but some are.

It’s not a bad sign or a good sign because it’s not indicative of anything linearly-relevant to the pattern progression over the next 4 months. 

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2 minutes ago, snow_wizard said:

This is a very legit debate...last October vs this one.  I was actually shocked when I saw how unimpressive Bellingham was last year when I just checked.  The cold did not come from BC for the most part in the late month event.  The details of this one are more classic IMO.  More 1949ish.

No it’s not a debate. Give me a break. Do you have amnesia?

Snowfall                                  Precip

2020-21: 0                         2020-21: 3.38"

2019-20: 23.5"                   2019-20: 58.54"

2018-19: 63.5"                   2018-19: 66.33"

2017-18: 30.3"                   2017-18: 59.83"

2016-17: 49.2"                   2016-17: 97.58"

2015-16: 11.75"                 2015-16: 68.67"

2014-15: 3.5"
2013-14: 11.75"                  2013-14: 62.30
2012-13: 16.75"                 2012-13: 78.45  

2011-12: 98.5"                   2011-12: 92.67"

 

It's always sunny at Winters Hill! 

 

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30 minutes ago, snow_wizard said:

I just looked at the Bellingham records for last October and the late month cold snap was not a Fraser outflow event.  There lowest max was 49 and there almost no wind.  Not the same and it was later (after the cutoff date for where these things are super rare).

So that makes it a less impressive airmass? 2019 looks colder on NCEP/NCAR reanalysis. 

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5 minutes ago, Phil said:

It’s not a bad sign or a good sign because it’s not indicative of anything linearly-relevant to the pattern progression over the next 4 months. 

Yeah, only you are allowed to talk about that sort of thing.

How’s the +IOO Barnstormer cycle looking over the -FRI domain of the WEPAC in terms of this year’s incarnation of our epic January pattern, btw? 

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One thing to think about is the second very impressive cold wave to hit the West this season.  The September event was just too far east to give us much benefit, but it was also a very impressive blocking setup.  Might be a theme, and you can't complain this one was further west!

Death To Warm Anomalies!

 

Winter 2020-21 stats

 

Total Snowfall = 0.0"

Day with 1" or more snow depth = 0

Total Hail = 0.0"

Coldest Low = 25

Lows 32 or below = 10

Highs 32 or below = 0

Lows 20 or below = 0

Highs 40 or below = 0

 

 

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Let me clarify. Are we talking one event or the month as a whole?

Snowfall                                  Precip

2020-21: 0                         2020-21: 3.38"

2019-20: 23.5"                   2019-20: 58.54"

2018-19: 63.5"                   2018-19: 66.33"

2017-18: 30.3"                   2017-18: 59.83"

2016-17: 49.2"                   2016-17: 97.58"

2015-16: 11.75"                 2015-16: 68.67"

2014-15: 3.5"
2013-14: 11.75"                  2013-14: 62.30
2012-13: 16.75"                 2012-13: 78.45  

2011-12: 98.5"                   2011-12: 92.67"

 

It's always sunny at Winters Hill! 

 

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1 hour ago, SilverFallsAndrew said:

The late September event last year was more impressive. 

The late September event was nuts. Late October was interesting, because the front went through with the wind switching to the NNE. Then it started snowing. We didn't have much accumulation. This all happened in the afternoon.

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29 minutes ago, snow_wizard said:

In retrospect I should have known that late month cold snap last October was not a good omen for the winter.  It wasn't a Fraser River event and it was during a Nino.  Totally reinforced my old adage that October cold snaps during a Nino don't work out well very often.

The sample size is too small to draw conclusions like that. Seasonal transitions are insanely complicated. There isn’t any statistically meaningful correlation between regionally-manifesting subseasonal variability during the middle of autumn and that of the following winter.  

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9 minutes ago, SilverFallsAndrew said:

No it’s not a debate. Give me a break. Do you have amnesia?

Just saying last year wasn't a Fraser River outbreak.  The Bellingham records prove that.  The late month event was also later.  This one is extremely rare for its earliness.  I think places like Spokane will be a lot colder with this one.  The ECMWF metograms showed that.  I'm not stupid you know.

  • Popcorn 1

Death To Warm Anomalies!

 

Winter 2020-21 stats

 

Total Snowfall = 0.0"

Day with 1" or more snow depth = 0

Total Hail = 0.0"

Coldest Low = 25

Lows 32 or below = 10

Highs 32 or below = 0

Lows 20 or below = 0

Highs 40 or below = 0

 

 

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21 minutes ago, MR.SNOWMIZER said:

By far the most impressive October storm I've witnessed here since 2012 when I bought property. Ended up with 9 inches of powder and is currently 22 degrees down from 24 at 9am. 

20201023_170547.jpg

20201023_170541.jpg

20201023_170527.jpg

20201023_152539.jpg

Man that looks like heaven.

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18 minutes ago, SilverFallsAndrew said:

I would prefer not to have to wait until winter is over for anything to happen. I would probably take 88-89 though. That was a historic blast.

Good, that’s the correct opinion. 

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18 minutes ago, Phil said:

Andrew loves zonal flow. I think he’d prefer a 2007/08 outcome over a 1988/89 outcome.

I remember in Bellingham, and probably everywhere else, 2007-2008 was like losing a game at the on the one yard line.  So close to greatness, but didn't get there.

Now that I live in Leavenworth, I would love a 2008-2008 repeat.  They had 128 inches of snow that year, including 66 in December and 40 in January.  1988-89, on the other hand, they only had 57 inches.

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1 minute ago, Snowdrift said:

The late September event was nuts. Late October was interesting, because the front went through with the wind switching to the NNE. Then it started snowing. We didn't have much accumulation. This all happened in the afternoon.

Indeed.  The September event was insane.  The mountain next to where I go gold mining had snow on it for a month following that.  Ironically it had more snow on it in late September than late October.

  • Snow 1

Death To Warm Anomalies!

 

Winter 2020-21 stats

 

Total Snowfall = 0.0"

Day with 1" or more snow depth = 0

Total Hail = 0.0"

Coldest Low = 25

Lows 32 or below = 10

Highs 32 or below = 0

Lows 20 or below = 0

Highs 40 or below = 0

 

 

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19 minutes ago, snow_wizard said:

That winter was epic actually.  It helped that we had snow in January from a lesser cold snap and then of course the big March snowstorm.  I know Dewey loved the February event and it seared itself into his brain.

January 89' had a Nino feel to it. It was pretty lame. The rest of the winter was nice.

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6 minutes ago, Brian_in_Leavenworth said:

I remember in Bellingham, and probably everywhere else, 2007-2008 was like losing a game at the on the one yard line.  So close to greatness, but didn't get there.

Now that I live in Leavenworth, I would love a 2008-2008 repeat.  They had 128 inches of snow that year, including 66 in December and 40 in January.  1988-89, on the other hand, they only had 57 inches.

07-08 was pretty crazy. Priest River, Idaho picked up 240 inches of snow that winter. Coeur d'Alene, Idaho picked up a measly 172 inches.

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