White Christmas in PDX?

December 13, 2005

So is there any chance we’ll see a white Christmas in Portland.  It seems like everyone asks me that in these last 2 weeks before Christmas.  The latest was the nice lady at the sandwich shop.  Actually I think I really threw her off tonight by going away from my usual Very Berry Turkey sandwich and ordering a meatball thing instead.  But don’t worry, I’ll go back the usual tomorrow.  Anyway, I digress…

Remember that it’s EXTREMELY tough to get snow down to sea level west of the Cascades in Oregon anytime in the winter.  Really our only threat is from mid-November-late February at the lowest elevations.  So trying to get snow on any one date (Dec. 24 or 25) is just about impossible.  We’ve been close a few times.  Remember the 2" on Dec. 24th 1998?  How about that horribly cold & icy 1983 Christmas?

Here’s a great link from the National Weather Service on Portland Christmas Snow

http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/pqr/pdxclimate/PG84.html

As for our forecast…the good news is high pressure is overhead and offshore flow has begun this evening so I think tonight will be the last night with widespread fog for quite awhile.  Solid sun through the foreseeable future.  Bad news is for you poor battered souls in and near the west end of the Gorge.  I moved out of the wind 1.5 years ago, I can hear it roar a half mile away, but nothing more than 25 mph at home…good move.  But for the rest of you, it looks like a steady increase to strong wind by tomorrow afternoon.  It will stay with us for at least a week this time, maybe longer.  And chilly again too.  Several runs of the GFS keep trying to send moisture into the ridge late this weekend, but I trust the ECMWF model much more.  It continues solid ridging through the 22nd.