Forecasters predict colder, wetter winter
After two winters that were warmer and drier than average, this winter will be colder and wetter, with possible windstorms, flooding, and snowing in the Willamette Valley that could shut Portland down.
That was the consensus of five meteorologists who gave their predictions during the 28th Annual Winter Weather Forecast Conference held by the Oregon Chapter of the American Meteorological Society on Saturday. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, it was streamed live on the organization's Facebook page instead of being held at OMSI as usual.
All five meteorologists agreed the region has entered into a La Niña period of below-average sea surface temperatures across the east-central Equatorial Pacific. This historically results in colder and wetter winters, they said, although their specific predictions varied. All agreed that more snow will fall in the mountains than during the last two winters, but they disagreed on whether Portland would see a little, a moderate or a heavy amount of snow. Some said it will be colder than normal all winter long, while others predicted November and December will be warmer than January, February and March, which will be stormier.
The forecasters were: Pete Parsons with the Oregon Department of Forestry; Shawn Weagle with the National Weather Service in Portland; Oregon State University meteorology student Tanis Leach; Kyle Dittmer with the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission; and KPTV meteorologist Mark Nelsen.
A replay is available below and at facebook.com/OregonAMS.
The Oregon AMS chapter was founded in 1947 and is the single largest local chapter in the country, with approximately 180 members. The Oregon AMS chapter normally hosts meetings from September to May that are free and open to all ages of the general public. The Oregon AMS welcomes the public to become chapter members for just $10 per year. More information can be found at ametsoc.org/chapters/oregon.
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