Freezing Rain & Wind Update: Wednesday AM

9am…

Just a quick update,

Models have all slowed down arrival of precipitation for Thursday to the midday-afternoon period.  That and they have even lighter precipitation.

If this is correct, as of now, the chance for freezing rain or ice pellets is very low for northwest Oregon Thursday, it’ll be a bit too warm for that at midday and into the afternoon.  And in the Gorge it’s possible the dry east wind keeps precipitation from reaching the ground anyway.  Check out the precipitation forecast ending at 4pm tomorrow on the WRF-GFS…sprinkles or a little more, that’s it:

or_pcp24_36_0000

So, if you’re worried about freezing rain for the Thursday morning commute, DON’T WORRY for now.  At this point it appears unlikely.

As for wind…wow, it’s REAL windy out in the Gorge.  Vista House wind sensor stopped reporting at 12:30am due to a power outage in the Corbett area.  The Corbett sensor is also dead, I think due to a PC issue.  But, Biddle Butte across the river has gusted to 70 mph.  We’ve only had that sensor for a year or so, but I think that might be the highest we have seen in that spot.  And notice how the wind ramped up quite a bit AFTER the Vista House wind sensor reported the 81mph. 

If you are planning on walking down to Vista House it’s possible you get kicked out since today would be a normal construction day with work people around.  I don’t know.  I suppose the 2nd best spot then would be Portland Women’s Forum Viewpoint just to the west.  I might stop by there around 11:30am since I have a haircut around noon.  Grey Prius with a deer-size dent on the hood for me.

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

111 Responses to Freezing Rain & Wind Update: Wednesday AM

  1. *BoringOregon* says:

    Wow, so the last time I read the weather blog there was a huge storm coming. What happen to that? well I woke up today with no power about 11am, and now winds are really picking up out there maybe 20 to 30 mph!!

  2. Dave in SW PDX (235') says:

    Hopefully NCEP restores the North Pacific Region viewing option for the GFS output; it’s harder to see what’s upstream without it.

    34.6°, DP 24°, wind E11G23, max. gust today E27

  3. Rich says:

    I’m leaving for Redmond tomorrow morning around 10:30a. What kind of road conditions should I expect?

  4. Marcus says:

    Real close to the real cold arctic cold:)

  5. Jeff Raetz says:

    http://classic.wunderground.com/weatherstation/WXDailyHistory.asp?ID=KORPORTL110

    ————————————————————————————
    Averages/extremes to date for the year 2012
    ————————————————————————————
    Average temperature 53.1°F
    Average humidity 77%
    Average dewpoint 44.7°F
    Average barometer 29.994 in.
    Average windspeed 2.1 mph
    Average gustspeed 3.7 mph
    Average direction 209° (SSW)
    Rainfall for year = 61.315 in
    Maximum rain per minute 0.480 in on day 01 at time 00:59 month 5
    Maximum temperature 100.5°F on day 04 at time 16:36 month 8
    Minimum temperature 24.4°F on day 07 at time 06:06 month 3
    Maximum humidity = 100% on day 28 at time 06:17 month 12
    Minimum humidity = 11% on day 06 at time 16:39 month 10
    Maximum dewpoint = 66.5°F on day 06 at time 18:28 month 8
    Minimum dewpoint = 11.0°F on day 11 at time 17:52 month 1
    Maximum pressure = 30.586 in. on day 27 at time 06:39 month 1
    Minimum pressure = 29.122 in. on day 20 at time 23:00 month 1
    Maximum windspeed 19.6 mph from 180°( S ) on day 12 at time 11:20 month 3
    Maximum gust speed 32.2 mph from 203°(SSW) on day 03 at time 14:52 month 5
    Maximum heat index 97.6°F on day 16 at time 15:39 month 8

    Total Growing T-Sum= 7831.2°F
    Growing degrees days :1021.7 GDD
    Corn growing degrees days :6210.7 GDD
    Total windrun = 17774.8miles

    *Records since October 2008*

  6. Jeff Raetz says:

    http://classic.wunderground.com/weatherstation/WXDailyHistory.asp?ID=KORPORTL110

    ———————————————————————————————
    Averages\Extremes for the month of December 2012

    ———————————————————————————————
    Average temperature = 41.3°F
    Average humidity = 92%
    Average dewpoint = 39.0°F
    Average barometer = 29.933 in.
    Average windspeed = 2.1 mph
    Average gustspeed = 3.8 mph
    Average direction = 162° (SSE)
    Rainfall for month = 8.913 in. (Wettest December on record ) Average December is 4.75”)
    Rainfall for year = 61.315 in. (Wettest year on record)
    Maximum rain per minute = 0.020 in on day 16 at time 19:40
    Maximum temperature = 56.5°F on day 04 at time 13:16
    Minimum temperature = 26.9°F on day 31 at time 06:14 (Highest low in December on record)
    Maximum humidity = 100% on day 28 at time 06:17
    Minimum humidity = 57% on day 30 at time 15:04
    Maximum dewpoint = 54.5°F on day 04 at time 12:47
    Minimum dewpoint = 25.2°F on day 31 at time 0:44
    Maximum pressure = 30.42 in. on day 31 at time 23:53
    Minimum pressure = 29.13 in. on day 16 at time 19:02
    Maximum windspeed = 16.1 mph from 180°( S ) on day 17 at time 01:36
    Maximum gust speed = 31.1 mph from 180°( S ) on day 17 at time 01:37
    Maximum heat index = 56.5°F on day 04 at time 13:16

    Avg daily max temp :46.1°F
    Avg daily min temp :37.0°F
    Total windrun = 1553.9miles
    Frost days= 4

    Record low wind chill temperature = 20.6 on day 31 at time 21:57
    Record daily rain = 1.34” on day 04
    Record rain in 1 hour = .32” on day 16 at time 21:22
    Warmest day (6am to 6pm) = 53.4 on day 04
    Coldest night (6pm to 6am) = 31.1 on day 31
    Coldest day (6am to 6pm) = 32.6 on day 31
    Warmest night (6pm to 6am) = 50.0 on day 01

    ———————————–
    Daily rain totals
    ———————————–
    00.55 in. on day 1
    00.44 in. on day 2
    00.36 in. on day 3
    01.34 in. on day 4
    00.10 in. on day 6
    00.26 in. on day 7
    00.10 in. on day 8
    00.06 in. on day 9
    00.01 in. on day 10
    00.24 in. on day 11
    00.03 in. on day 12
    00.29 in. on day 14
    00.29 in. on day 15
    01.00 in. on day 16
    00.37 in. on day 17
    00.33 in. on day 18
    00.35 in. on day 19
    01.04 in. on day 20
    00.06 in. on day 21
    00.14 in. on day 22
    00.54 in. on day 23
    00.02 in. on day 24
    00.81 in. on day 25
    00.13 in. on day 26
    00.02 in. on day 27
    00.02 in. on day 29

    **Records since October 2008**

  7. paulbeugene says:

    29.6f at my house in EUG but am in Hawaii today. Nice when the 6z comes out at midnight local time…chances for cold looking a bit better but would like higher heights over AK…we may get there

  8. 00z MM5-NAM seems to want to give us a bit more moisture
    24 hour total precip model

    I did check the Sounding and it’s too warm for any type of frozen precip, but east of I-205 I wouldn’t rule that out just yet, especially if the east wind keeps raging and we maintain a PDX-DLS of -5mb or stronger.

  9. Marcus says:

    I’m really liking the trend on these models. Ben from what I understand the ECMWF ensembles are most reliable. But I could be wrong check with mark,Rob,Paul b ect I hope that helps:)

  10. Get up really early or stay out all nite tonite. But keep a look out for the scarey Quadrantids!

  11. Ben T says:

    What’s generally more reliable: weather models or weather ensembles?

  12. Ben T. says:

    AFD Ending Sentence- More cold and unsettled
    weather is expected next week as a low sets up in the Gulf of Alaska
    and swings several disturbances over the region.

    I like cold and unsettled weather that sets up in the Gulf of Alaska?

  13. Derek Hodges says:


    Here is my “report” from the vista house earlier. It was insane. I was up there last year when winds hit 105mph and this was clearly stronger.

  14. Ben T says:

    GEFS TS 18z ensemble just came out. Still very cold temps but the -19 o C + temperatures moved to a couple days after what the 12z said.

  15. Winds picking up gusting well over 40mph again… Noticing now that OTH-GEG Cross Cascade gradient has slipped past -15mb that there is now downslope added to the gap wind. Tonight we may(and probably will see) a 2nd peak, probably -11 to -12mb. The ridge isn’t going anywhere tonight, looks stronger, more closed off, and with the low off to the southwest that might do the job.

    Far stronger here now every gust is over 40mph now. Just one after the other.. 42.2, 43.7, 45.2, etc… I may hit 50+ tonight.

    • It’s roaring so loud now… and my 8 month old Kitten is an east wind storm freak. Seriously she won’t stop sitting by the back door watching the wind and leaves blow by for hours and hours. She isn’t even eating as much as usual more interested in that instead. lol

    • Lurkyloo says:

      Sounds like you have a mini-me with the kitten!

      I’m over this wind! Sat outside for a minute today and bunch of dust whipped up all in my face. I had grit it my mouth for crying out loud.

    • Lurkyloo says:

      *in* my mouf :)

    • wwm says:

      gap wind huh? I guess that explains why we have a lot of wind up here within the last 6 hours or so, normally I don’t see a lot (at least since we moved) and it is actually blowing pretty good out there right now.
      Temp never got out of the 20’s today, back down to 24*

    • Mark Nelsen says:

      I’ve noticed when PDX’s wind is straight E instead of ESE or SE, it’s usually an indicator of some downsloping mixing in.

  16. Good luck getting moisture…

    http://sat.wrh.noaa.gov/satellite/loopsat.php?wfo=pqr&area=nw&type=wv&size=4

    Check out WV Loop. The ridge looks stronger than ever. Massive brick wall as the system offshore isn’t only slowing down, but it is being deflected. I’m not even sure any of it or its moisture survives into western Oregon at this point. It might stretch out or be shredded altogether.

  17. Marcus says:

    Wow had a gust to 25 out in la center nice! 18z GFS operational run and ensembles look colder I like it alot:)

  18. fridayjoefriday says:

    At 4137 feet aka Marys Peak the temp @ 3:10 pm was 44 degrees.
    Here’s a link to the weather station.

    http://mesowest.utah.edu/cgi-bin/droman/meso_base.cgi?stn=BPMAR

  19. germantownsummit1000' says:

    Not to be outdone again, W7 has 9 comments (so far) on this one post.

    I don’t think the chicken-related ones should count, though.

    …and “evaportative” is a new one on me ;-)

  20. Mark says:

    It will be interesting to start watching the tower temps invert, where the warmest air will be at the tallest tower – just how warm and how far above the 1800ft level is a question?… But without any moisture, or it arriving in the afternoon, just a lovely cold rain for most in the west metro area.

  21. Ben T says:

    Well, part of my prediction of an arctic blast coming either January 3rd or January 10th will be wrong. Come on models! Shape up for the 10th. Just if that cold air mass on the GFS would shift far west then we might be in business.

  22. Mat the Salmon Killer says:

    I like the look of the 12z euro and now the 18z gfs. I’ve seen it hinting at this scenario for about a week now and now it seems to be coming together kind of. The general trend is there and that’s a good start. I dont think we’ll be out of the woods for cold and snow this winter. Its coming and coming soon relatively. I can say I’ve had snow on ground now for 12 days and doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. My temp here is 15.6 now after a high of 18 earlier. Also been snowing off and on all day. Weird with no weather system around. O im in Redmond btw. Suppose to be a low of 5 tonight so really cold here. Mets here have got a forecast right once thus far this winter. They called for sunny skies and a high of 30 today. Wow. They’re off. And daily. Anyways lets talk about those ensembles and operational eh Rob? Swift, dont bother please.

    • W7ENK says:

      One degree of latitude (N-S) is approximately 69.11 miles, universally from pole to pole. However, one degree of longitude varies with latitude. At the equator , one degree of longitide (E-W) equals 69.172 miles, but they converge at the poles, so there’s an equation.

      Number of miles in 1° of lon = (69.11) x (COS of lat)

      I can’t actually do math to save my life, so if someone else wanted to take a stab at that?

  23. Garron near Washington Square says:

    Erik,

    Just another solution that might help you out. If you add just the right amount of vodka to the water . Nothing better than a drunken chicken fight! On second thought, I had that same issue when a neighbor of mine left me an outdoor cat to take care of. Unfortunately the cat developed quite a drinking problem, threw his career away as “Bob the weather cat” after that, and I had to pay for it to go to treatment after he stole a car and robbed a liquor store at claw point. Really a shame. lol, Well, part of that story is true anyway…Good luck!

  24. Suddenly this is looking a bit interesting….
    18z GFS FCST HR 180

    • Marcus says:

      I like the look of that:)

    • Jordan (Raleigh Hills, 420') says:

      For the past few runs of GFS have consistently shown this system. Glad to see it is trending colder too. Looks like we may have a shot at a decent snow for PDX the end of next week :)

    • We only need that ridge 5 degrees further west and we’re in business. It’s quite amplified nosing well up through Alaska.

    • Mat the Salmon Killer says:

      Ouch Rob, that’s about 350 miles I think. A degree is 70 miles right? Hopefully it shifts west a little and not too far. I feel good about it tho.

  25. Garron near Washington Square says:

    Deer dent? I guess you have to order that custom as I don’t recall the standard Prius coming stock with that. Sorry to hear that, but at least it wasn’t an elk. About 1 in 3 times I go up your way I see a herd(s) of elk jumping over the road, so I am always extra cautious up there.

    Yeah, I was wondering if Vista house was allowing anyone to walk down there. But, Women’ forum is a great second. I’d also recommend the old burned out hotel just an 1/4 of a mile up on Larch Mtn road. It’s got some pretty good and windy spots by the railing, and great picture taking vantage points!

    I’ve had a 28 mph wind last night, and a gust to 32 so far here.

    • Jordan (Raleigh Hills, 420') says:

      I’d say this makes me pretty hopeful now. Glad to see the NWS is on board with some cold coming in a week or 2. thanks for sharing.

    • Jordan (Raleigh Hills, 420') says:

      Also the discussion follows:

      8-14 DAY OUTLOOK FOR JAN 10 – 16 2013

      THE SPREAD AMONG ENSEMBLE MEMBERS FOR THE MEAN 500-HPA HEIGHTS PREDICTED FOR THE 8-14 DAY PERIODS IS QUITE LOW FOR A WEEK-TWO FORECAST. THE MAIN DIFFICULTY EXPECTED FOR TODAY’S FORECAST CONCERNS THE EASTWARD EXTENT OF COLD AIR
      ASSOCIATED WITH THE DEEPENING TROUGH OVER THE WESTERN CONUS. ABOVE NORMAL TEMPERATURES ARE LIKELY TO PERSIST IN THE EAST AHEAD OF THE TROUGH, WHILE THE CHANCES FOR BELOW NORMAL TEMPERATURES ARE SUBSTANTIALLY ELEVATED IN THE WEST. A SHARP TEMPERATURE GRADIENT WITH POTENTIAL FOR STORM DEVELOPMENT IS LIKELY FOR THE CENTRAL PART OF THE COUNTRY, WITH THE DETAILS DEPENDING ON SHORT WAVES THAT ARE BEYOND THE RANGE OF RELIABLE PREDICTION AT THIS TIME. HENCE, A RELATIVE LARGE AREA OF THE EASTERN CONUS IS UNDER ELEVATED CHANCES FOR ABOVE MEDIAN PRECIPITATION AMOUNTS NEAR AND AHEAD OF AN EXPECTED FRONTAL BOUNDARY. THE CHANCES OF BELOW MEDIAN PRECIPITATION ARE ELEVATED FOR MUCH OF THE SOUTHERN ROCKIES AND SOUTHWEST IN THE ANTICIPATED COLD AIR NEAR AND TO THE WEST OF THE TROUGH. ABOVE NORMAL TEMPERATURES AND ABOVE MEDIAN PRECIPITATION AMOUNTS ARE FAVORED FOR SOUTHERN ALASKA IN EXPECTED ANOMALOUSLY SOUTHERLY UPPER LEVEL FLOW ASSOCIATED WITH THE RIDGE PREDICTED OVER THE GULF OF ALASKA.

      http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/predictions/610day/fxus06.html

    • Ben T says:

      Can anyone put that in laymens terms?

    • Strong signal for a southeastern US Ridge and rising heights over Great Lakes region. Decent signal for warming and rising heights into Alaska which tells us there will be an offshore ridge nosing up through Alaska and a cold trough over the western US. Perhaps an arctic blast coming, but most likely the brunt goes into Montana and northern Plains.

      With that being said I’m pretty sure a modified shot would surge down through British Columbia/Alberta into eastern Washington. That’s IF the CPC outlook is correct. A long ways to go when you’re talking about 8-14 day predictions, but some signs are starting to show up that you want to pay attention to.

    • Ben T says:

      True and the fact that it has been showing cold for quite some time now is promising I would think.

    • David B. says:

      Well, the forecast I posted on the 27th of last month WAS for an arctic blast some time between the 10th and the 24th… lookin’ good, I’d say.

  26. pitcher19 says:

    Just got back from NEAR Crown Point. We wanted to walk in but some other people were chased out so we went to the State Park that was just by the Larch Mtn Rd. KPTVhaD just pulled in with Jamie Wilson and a cameraman and did a short interview with us and will be on at 5 and 6 tonight. Winds were definitely calmer (from what I’m seeing with the sensor) with gusts to 72mph. on my hand-held and 32f. It was still fun for the kids but was hoping to get on triple digits or close to it. Got some good pics and videos though.

  27. The power it back on at Crown Point and lookie there, G 83mph. I bet when Biddle Butte hit 75mph that it was well over 100-110mph along the stairs! wow….

  28. PDX Weather Nut says:

    That’s very disappointing. Real winter precip is so rare here.

  29. Marcus says:

    Anything worth looking at on the 12z ECMWF?

    • Thomyee says:

      The mean ridge on the 12z ECMWF is farther west. Not much but enough to show a pattern that may turn into something.

    • Thomyee says:

      Actually, more amplified, not necessarily more west. Still better than 0z.

  30. Is the cold snap going to last through next week?? Any predictions?? Thank you!

    • David B. says:

      No, it’s not supposed to last. Latest forecasts call for milder and showery (but not rainy) weather.

  31. Sandi (Wilsonville) says:

    Albeit very light, our wind has shifted to from the South. Low of 24°F last night. Brrr.

    http://mesowest.utah.edu/cgi-bin/droman/meso_base.cgi?stn=KUAO&product=&time=LOCAL

  32. Dean 1200ft Biddle Butte says:

    Biddle Butte had a 75mph gust at 2:40 am last night. Previous highest gust was 69mph.

    We moved up here summer of 2011 and still aren’t used to this wind. The 100ft fir trees have no east facing branches.

  33. W7ENK says:

    Strange observation here, and a question:

    My overnight temperature sat at 33 degrees almost all night long, though it briefly dipped to 32 just after midnight. Sure, it’s the wind that’s keeping my temp up, but why then are (what’s left of) the puddles — and anything else with standing water — frozen solid, and have been for three days now, despite reaching into the upper 30s to 40 in the early afternoons? Water shouldn’t freeze at 33 degrees, and wind chill is only a qualitative measure of apparent temperature on human skin, not an actual, effectual temperature on anything physical. So, what’s going on here? Why the solid, continuous ice in the absence of actual freezing temperatures?

    • alohabb says:

      Solids take time to thaw depending on ambient temps, and solar exposure..so with temps barely to 40 then back to 32 , not enough time to thaw.

    • Dave in South Salem (500') says:

      I had a hi low yesterday of 41-24 and this morning it was 24 again. Same frost on the north facing roof on my neighbor’s house never melted yesterday

    • W7ENK says:

      I’m only talking relatively small amounts of water, and none of it has even thawed around the edges. You’d think that a roughly 20 oz. slug of water kept above 33 degrees for many, many hours straight would at least melt a little around the edges, but no, it’s solid!

      My main concern is, I’m taking care of my neighbor’s chickens while he’s on the East Coast, and even though it’s technically been above freezing for much of the time, I can’t keep their water in a consumable form for them. I fill it at night before going to bed, it’s frozen solid in the morning. I chunk the ice out and refill it in the morning before leaving for work, it’s frozen solid again when I get home in the afternoon — all the while it’s been above freezing (albeit barely) pretty much this whole time! It’s frustrating, and I don’t know what to do… I almost thought my thermometer was reading wrong when it said 33.3F this morning while my entire yard, puddles along the side of the street, mud in my driveway, downspout catch basins, water dishes for the amnimals, etc… were all solid ice as if it were actually down into the teens. Baffling and frustrating, I just hope the chickens don’t become dehydrated! :(

    • W7ENK says:

      *animals :oops:

    • They sell heated water bowls at any farm store for less than 20 bucks. I have one you could have but I’m in Antelope so that doesn’t do any good.

    • W7ENK says:

      Hmmm, yeah, that’s a bit of a drive. :(

      That would work, but I don’t have access to his house, so I don’t know where I would plug it in. I suppose I could always run a long extension cord across the street from my house? No that sounds like a bad idea… :lol: I’ll have to look and see if there’s an outside outlet; I don’t believe there is though.

    • Lurkyloo says:

      What if you got some of those hand-warmer packets and activated them and put them under the water bowl? I have no idea if this would work or not. Just a thought. I think they’re fairly cheap.

    • Jordan (Raleigh Hills, 420') says:

      Hmmm. I have seen this happen a few times before. I’d say two things are going on. One, the temperature near the ground near the ice is likely much colder than the 2m temperature you feel… I’ve seen frost form at 35F with calm winds. Think of it as a very very small microclimate. Two, the phase change of water ice to liquid water in an endothermic reaction, removing heat from the surrounding air and objects. If the temperature near the ice is somewhat close to freezing, a small bit of melting could cause a decent temperature drop within inches of the ice to keep most areas solid… Furthermore, with such dry air in place right now, the liquid stage of ice is probably fairly unstable. Whatever small amounts do melt evaporate quickly I am sure (especially with any amount of wind). And of course, evaporation is also an endothermic reaction, again preventing the temperature from rising much…. If you really want to know, take some temperature and dewpoint / humidity readings (precision probably needed to the .0 or .00) within a few inches of the ice and make observations of its change in size/mass and any phase changes. A few points to ponder on?

    • W7ENK says:

      Thanks Jordan, that makes sense for the most part, but evaportative cooling at the surface shouldn’t be too big a factor when the wind is blowing 20-30 mph, I wouldn’t think. As soon as that endothermic energy gets released into free air (evaporative cooling effect), the wind carries it away, so technically the temperature on the surface is still above freezing. Rapid evaporation of any liquid due to the low dewpoints might be a factor, but you’d think the edges of the ice would round out or something, and I don’t see that occurring.

      I wish I had one of those laser thermometers so I could see what the surface temperature of the ice actually is. It very well could be 20F or below. Interesting science in action, nonetheless!

    • David B. says:

      If the dew point is low enough, the cooling from evaporating moisture from any ice can keep it from melting (though the amount of ice will dwindle gradually due to evaporation). I noticed that phenomenon when I lived in Portland and there was a cold, dry east wind with a low dew point and chilly but not subfreezing high temperatures.

    • Tyler Mode in Battle Ground says:

      I was gonna write about this yesterday. With no cloud cover, frost and ice can stick around in the shade with temps in the upper 30’s and low 40’s. however, even if you inch above freezing on a cloudy day, a lot of times everything in the shade will melt.

    • W7ENK says:

      Thanks all. To me, the logic and the science just seem counter-intuitive I guess, but it makes total sense. One of those things I’ve just never really thought about before.

      At any rate, I still need to figure out how to keep my neighbor’s chickens hydrated. Wichita Hardware has heated water bowls for $40 bucks. A little steep, but my neighbor just replied and said he’d pay me back.

    • frank in Gresham says:

      You can always keep the chickens warm in a large stock pot with veggies and dumplings!

    • W7ENK says:

      Trust me, I’ve thought about that already…

    • gidrons says:

      I agree with Frank…eat the chickens.
      I suspect your thermometer is wrong.
      Is there a hose you can let drip?
      With a car battery, dc heater, or ac heater and inverter, and a solar panel you could heat the water…but it would be easier to eat the chickens.
      Or you could add some vodka to their water to lower the freezing point
      Or you could break into your friends house to reach an outlet…
      or you could break into your friends house and put the chickens in there..
      just eat the chickens.

    • chiefWright (marquam) says:

      Yep, if you’ve got a low dewpoint, sublimation/evaporation will go a long way keeping ice solid when the ambient temperature is well above freezing.

      Think of it as a balance between the warmer air convection pushing heat into the ice, but the sublimation/evaporation (caused by that same very dry air) pulling the heat right back out again.

      The specific heat of water is 1 BTU/lb/degF, but its heat of fusion is 144 BTU/lb. And that’s just solid to liquid. Then there’s the evaporative cooling on top of that. So that’s a lot of heat released as the ice sublimates/evaporates, which helps keep it frozen. The thing missing is how much heat the warm air convection can muster, but it’s not much since the temperature gradient is so low.

    • frank in Gresham says:

      gidrons and the vodka idea are close. It would work. However, I would do the chicken and dumplings AND then take vodka shots. Much better use of the spirit.

    • oldwxwatcher says:

      Interesting topic. I happen to have a laser thermometer. I also have a cement bowl-type birdbath in a shaded area of my back yard. The water in it is frozen and has been that way for a few days. I took the thermometer and measured the ice surface temperature at 1430 today. It was 28° and the cement itself measured 32°. At the same time my Vantage Pro2, mounted at a 5-foot height on a PVC pipe about 15 feet away, was indicating an air temperature of 38.2°. East winds were pretty steady in the 18-20 mph range with gusts to 32 mph. This is in east Portland near 122nd & Glisan.

      Not certain what this proves but it’s interesting to play with.

    • W7ENK says:

      Actually @gidrons, I checked the 3 nearest Wundermap stations right before I left for reference, and they were all within about a half a degree on either side of my temperature, so I’m fairly certain my thermometer is correct.

      I like some of your other ideas, though my vodka’s not chicken-cheap, B&E really isn’t my game, although I did think for a brief, hazy, half-asleep morning moment about putting the chickens inside my storage… and then promptly discounted that idea as absurd, mostly because I didn’t want to have to deal with the mess this afternoon.

      I could do the battery/inverter thing, I have a spare 100Ah AGM that’s fully charged sitting in my radio room. That should run all day, maybe?

      @cheif, when you put it that way, it almost makes frozen precipitation seem so easy to achieve… but then why do we always miss out?? Interesting numbers, I’ll have to poke around with that science a bit, thanks!

      @oldwxwatcher, that is interesting! I think I could pick one up at the Made In China store (Harbor Freight) for pretty cheap, not sure how well or for how long it’ll work though.

      So far, the consensus is for chicken dinner tonight… I may have to fire up the BBQ and host a blog party! :lol:

    • oldwxwatcher says:

      Actually, I did use a Harbor Freight/Cen-Tech thermometer for this test. It’s their model #96451 and has a pistol grip. A friend gave it to me for a birthday present a couple of years ago and I’ve never had a problem with it. Harbor Freight seems to put it on sale quite often.

    • David B. says:

      @Tyler: That’s clearly radiational cooling at work. I’ve noticed that, too. Dry cool weather can let frosty pockets form and persist from day to day, even if it gets above freezing in the day.

      The phenomenon was really noticeable in northern New Mexico, where I lived as a teen: snow would melt pretty quickly in the the mild afternoon temperatures anywhere the sun could hit it, but would last all winter on the north sides of the houses.

  34. W7ENK says:

    Good, I don’t really care much for freezing rain. That stuff is just too dangerous to appreciate, specially during the work week!

    And Mark, you still haven’t fixed the deer dent? Your insurance must be jackin’ you around… typical.

  35. Mark says:

    Mark – Was it really a deer that dented the Prius? Sounds like a good story in there somewhere…

  36. David B. says:

    Another sparkling clear morning of sun and frost. A nice break from the persistent rain of the past 2½ months. Would have been happy to see it last a week, but that does not appear to be in the cards. Oh, well.

  37. Ryan says:

    Long range outlook?

  38. alohabb says:

    D’oh!

    As Homer would say.

  39. wwm says:

    I’m curious isn’t there a way for some sort of back-up power source to be used on any of those sensors? maybe solar lol, wind would probably tear that apart in the first 5 min. but what about battery?
    I wonder how they keep them going in Alaska (the windy areas)?

  40. runrain says:

    How can they possibly work in this wind?

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