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Thread: PacNW El Nino

  1. #1
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    PacNW El Nino

    A guy made an interesting comment on another forum and I thought I’d inquire if any mags have any insight.

    We had the strongest inversion I’ve ever witnessed yesterday here in central Oregon. Temps were 0 F at my house sitting at about 3,600 feet above sea level. In a 45 minute window while I ascended to the base at Mt. Bachelor the ambient rose to 30 F at 5,700 ft.

    So, amateur weather geek guy attributes that to global warming as he claims that the maritime air socked on to the mountain is warmer than it should be due to El Niño.

    I’m not necessarily disagreeing, but I’m curious if anyone knows that the southern oscillation warming actually effects water temps that would generate our typical NNW patterns coming out of the northern Pacific and the Gulf of Alaska?

    Do those of you that have lived/observed PacNW weather for a decade or two feel that the storm systems are coming through warmer while the continental polar air will sit underneath it in the valleys and on the plains? It’s an interesting theory and would seem to explain how the models missed the events the last couple of days.

  2. #2
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    So his hypothesis is that climate change is causing more drastic inversions via warmer "maritime" air?

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fishskisurf View Post
    So his hypothesis is that climate change is causing more drastic inversions via warmer "maritime" air?
    Correct. My assumption is that he’s pointing at the data from the El Niño southern oscillation research. That is largely from buoys sending temperature data from the Pacific Ocean over the equator.

    Looking at some NOAA pages, they do claim that the northern Pacific gets cooler in a La Niña, so perhaps he’s correct. I took some lower level weather and climate classes at uni two decades ago and I remember that the way water currents move ocean water isn’t exactly intuitive, so I didn’t know if there’s actually a proven correlation between El Niño and warmer water in the northern Pacific.

  4. #4
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    We have over running warm air and strong inversions all the time. I’ve had single digit temperatures at my house in Wenatchee and driven to Mission and had near freezing temperatures many times. Is it getting worse, I don’t know, it’s more unpredictable for sure.


    Sent from my iPhone using TGR Forums

  5. #5
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    The inversion you describe is commonly the result of a shallow cold front, most notably when, surprise surprise, a shallow layer of polar air moves into lower latitudes (current conditions.)
    Mt Bachelor webcams show mostly sunny conditions with few stratiform clouds, indicating high pressure. High-pressure aloft will strengthen the inversion by warming the air as it descends.
    These conditions will likely persist until the next front moves through the region Tues-Wed and mixes down to the surface. You'll be in the 40's by mid-week.
    Not ENSO, not climate change, just normal seasonal weather.


    15F/km inversion isn't particularly notable. Look up Peter Sinks, UT.

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