By Gordon McCraw, Meteorologist for the Tillamook County Pioneer
Friday, January 27, 2023
A weak front brought us some light, occasionally moderate rain this morning as it moved thru the area, then there was a weak low pressure area moving southeastward thru Washington that gave us a few showers this afternoon. Tonight, we see cloudy skies with light winds, only a slight chance of a shower still, the lows back down around 40.
Next, we expect some Arctic air to dive down into the Rockies, east of our area. A high pressure ridge to our west builds northeastward causing some easterly winds across our area that ends up pulling in some of this cold air into our region. The temperature/moisture difference causes a front to form that brings an increasing chance of showers into the area starting in the early morning hours tomorrow. We also see the snow level falling as the colder air spills into our region, pulling the snow level from around 2500’ tomorrow morning, to around 1500’ later tomorrow afternoon. The winds will be light, for now, so tomorrow’s high temperature makes it up to around 46.
Tomorrow evening is when things get more interesting with showers persisting, but the breezy easterly winds 15-20 gusting to 35, pull in that cold air, pushing the temperatures and snow level down to around 700’ tomorrow evening then to around 200’ later tomorrow night. With the low temperature expected to fall to around 26, this gives us a chance of lower level snow. The forecasting issue is . . . the shower activity should be slowly diminishing starting around sunset tomorrow, becoming more widely scattered then ending tomorrow night so we have a race between the lowering temperatures and the diminishing moisture. Either way, you can expect that the Coast Range passes will be seeing snow with some snow possible in the higher areas of Hwy 101 as well, maybe even some flurries down to sea level. The other concern will be the bitterly cold windchill, with the gusty winds, it will feel like it is in the teens.
The ridge of high pressure will dominate the weather for Sunday and Monday. We can expect Monday’s wind to still be on the breezy side with easterly winds 14-18 gusting to near 30, the high will strain to hit 40, then Sunday’s low temperature drops to near 24. Monday will also be sunny with the high near 44, we see a few clouds moving in Monday night, lows near 29.
By Tuesday the cold temperatures start to moderate with the afternoon high near 46, but then the models show a weak disturbance riding over the ridge which brings a slight chance of rain Tuesday night, the low near 32 so snow in the passes, as well as some low level snow, is once again possible.
Wednesday, we see a better chance of rain, the snow level is climbing from around 1300’ early that morning, to 1800’ around noon, continuing to 2500’ later in the afternoon, the high temperature up around 49 degrees. Still a chance of rain Wednesday night, lows near 37.
Thursday the ridge is now off to the east and we have a Pacific front approaching, giving us rainy and breezy conditions, along with warmer temperatures, the highs up near 50.
Remember also, with all these mixed winds over the coastal waters, it will likely increase the risk of sneaker waves, which are always a concern at our beaches.