Free-Range Weather

Cage-Free Weather Commentary


Beware the Atmospheric River!

Atmospheric River Animation :: Courtesy ESRL

Mother Nature will unleash a torrent of water at the Pacific Northwest this weekend. Portland could get up to 4″ of rain by Monday morning, a huge amount for September, typically one of the city’s driest months of the year. In fact, dozens of September rainfall records could fall due to this unusually juicy storm.

As for the “atmospheric river” (literally a narrow band of fast moving, super soggy air; in the United States, ARs take aim at the West Coast) that will make for an über-drippy Northwest weekend, it’s not really that visible on today’s satellite images. Or at least it’s not as apparent as in the images from this excellent Weather Channel post from Dr. Greg Forbes, explaining an AR event from 2010.

NOAA’s Earth System Research Laboratory AR page is worth a visit.

The river of moisture in the air (if that doesn’t sound too weird) has moisture from Typhoon Pabuk (named after a Laotian fish) as well as the usual Pacific Ocean moisture. It’s going to get very windy, too.


Sisters Folk Festival Weather

2013 Sisters Folk Festival PosterGreat music and sublime weather usually hold hands at the Sisters Folk Festival, traditionally held the second weekend of September. This year the weather won’t break the happy routine, as the weekend will have sunny skies with highs in the upper 70s/low 80s after a chilly start to the festival this evening. It’s 64 with a nasty little west wind as I write this; it will feel good to be in a warm tent listening to great folk, country and blues music tonight!

Warm days and cool-ish evenings are pretty much de rigueur in Central Oregon this time of year. Yesterday’s heavy rain, lightning and thunder are now a forgotten anomaly. Let’s hear some music!


May Weather Forecast


Praise the Lord and pass the sunblock! The Climate Prediction Center’s May temperature and precipitation forecasts are out, and, if true, promise warm, sunny weather for we Pacific Northwesterners. I’d swear that the “A” for above normal temperatures is parked squarely over my town, Sisters, Oregon.  It’s like Christmas in May!

Predicting the weather a month ahead is a risky business, but The Weather Channel and the CPC have now said that they’re expecting the same type of weather pattern so the prediction looks solid.  The southern Midwest and deep South should be cooler than normal, which should be a nice cool patch before the summer heat and humidity sets in.



SeventyAfter five months of 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s and 60s, we finally hit 70 degrees yesterday in Sisters, Oregon. Our average high for the date is 60. Today we could hit 80, but I think we’ll top out in the upper 70s. Sounds like a great day to play 18!