Thursday, February 11, 2010

Winter Returns...With a Twist

Over on Oregon Live there is an article about the return of winter storms to the North West.

The winter of our warm content will hit a small speed bump this week, as a series of storms sweep in off the Pacific, bringing rain to the valleys and much needed snow to the Cascades.

During this most typical of El Niño winters, every little bit helps when it comes to precipitation and especially building the snowpack before the gradual summer melt-off. Still, don't expect the kind of lashing rains and three foot snow dumps we should have been seeing in January and the first ten days of February.

El Niño -- the warming of the equatorial Pacific Ocean surface off the coast of South America that occurs about every two to six years -- tends to spell drier and warmer winters in the Pacific Northwest, wetter storms in the Southwest and colder winters in the South. "

As Februarys go, it's not going to be that bad," said forecaster Chris Collins of the National Weather Service in Portland. "We're going to see a system come through about every 24 hours for the next several days, but the jet stream is not aimed at us so the brunt of these storms will brush us and head to the north into Washington."

Check out the full explanation at