White Christmas in PDX?

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.

27 Responses to White Christmas in PDX?

  1. Ryan says:

    Tyler,
    We are in the same wood as it where. I live up the hill from the Fire Dist. 5 Station on Andresen & 63rd. Last night at 10 I was about 5 degrees cooler but this morning yielded a low of 22 which was actually 1 degree warmer then yesterday. Fortunately this morning the streets were nice and clear. Although according to Mark’s latest forcast it appears that we can’t buy a snowstorm. Apparently our cold air isn’t enough to sustain a cold event. So dissapointing!

  2. Ian says:

    i remember in 1990 it may not have snowed ON christmas day, but there was plenty of snow on the ground. i have video of me and my family leaving my grandparents house on NE Marine Drive in the snow, and arriving in Longview, WA in snow. all day there was snow on the ground. in my mind, THAT is a white christmas. and a better one than no snow on the ground and a few flurries.

  3. Tyler says:

    Ryan..>Vancouver…
    Hey Ryan, you must live fairly close to me. I’m about 2 miles west of the mall off of St Johns. I recorded 22.4 this morning for a low. It looked like it snowed here as well. Right now I am running 6 degrees colder than last night at TEN. So, maybe that means we are going into the teens tonight? Don’t know though, dewpoint is at 24 degrees, so can’t drop too low tonight.
    Tyler

  4. Tyler says:

    Ryan..>Vancouver…
    Hey Ryan, you must live fairly close to me. I’m about 2 miles west of the mall off of St Johns. I recorded 22.4 this morning for a low. It looked like it snowed here as well. Right now I am running 6 degrees colder than last night at TEN. So, maybe that means we are going into the teens tonight? Don’t know though, dewpoint is at 24 degrees, so can’t drop too low tonight.
    Tyler

  5. Rich says:

    I’m new to Mark’s blog and glad he has this space. I agree with Ryan about his preference on weather persons (is that politically correct enough?), he is right on. It’s just too bad Mark is on the tabloid news program, he deserves much better. His information is a real breath of fresh air after listening to the rest of the ch12 news articles. But don’t tell him that, I’d like to see him stay in Portland broadcasting.
    Sounds like the internet weather web sites are taking a beating, maybe rightfully so. It’s worth mentioning though, acuweather had this cold spell forecasted 10-14 days out. They also had a little moisture (snow) along with it though. I just like comparing all of the different forecasts available. I’ve noticed that generally when they align, no matter how far out, they are very close.

  6. Andrew says:

    Has anyone ever really looked at accuweather.com? I have come to the conclusion that their 15 day forcast is the exact opposite of what will happen. If 15 days out it is supposed to warm up into the 50’s, they will forcasts it to be in the 20’s. If 15 days out it is supposed to be cold, they forcast a major warm up. I am not sure how their website stays up running, you would think they would not get to many visitors when their forcasts is insanly wrong.

  7. Ryan says:

    Charmed,
    In one of Mark Nelson’s previous blog posts he noted that weather from websites such as Accuweather are just raw forcast data. They haven’t been interpreted by a human forcaster; hence the reason they are often incorrect. the weather channel on the other hand is just consistently inaccurate. You will see much groaning from other blog comments on this site.

  8. max says:

    “How come Weather.com and Accuweather always make wrong predictions???? they said it is going to snow for like three days and then changed it to sunny!! i am begining to not trust them!!”
    I believe Mark mentioned that those are the results of raw data that hasn’t been looked over by a human. Anyways, it’s darn cold out here at the west end of the gorge and wouldn’t mind a little snow. Freezing rain on the other hand…ugh

  9. max says:

    “How come Weather.com and Accuweather always make wrong predictions???? they said it is going to snow for like three days and then changed it to sunny!! i am begining to not trust them!!”
    I believe Mark mentioned that those are the results of raw data that hasn’t been looked over by a human. Anyways, it’s darn cold out here at the west end of the gorge and wouldn’t mind a little snow. Freezing rain on the other hand…ugh

  10. Mr. Viddy says:

    Alas, there will be no white Christmas in PDX this year, we may see a brief flurry of snow around the new year but it won’t stick. It would be a real hoot to have some genuine snow on Christmas but my bet is no.

  11. Brandon Vogt says:

    I know that it is not going to snow in the portland area this christmas.. but what are the chances that it will snow this season??? and will this be a below average season (tempurature wise)
    it would be nice if you talk about this on the news because alot of people that I know are wondering the same thing.. fox12 is the only channel that i trust for weather.
    Thank You.. Brandon Vogt.. Hillsboro

  12. Brandon Vogt says:

    i know that it is not going to snow here in the portland metro area this christmas… but what are the chances of it snowing this season??? and will this be a below average season (tempuature wise)??? if you can can you please talk about it on the news because alot of people that i know are wondering the same thing… and fox12 is the only channel that i trust for weather.
    Thank you, Brandon Vogt.. Hillsboro

  13. Brandon Vogt says:

    i know that it is not going to snow here in the portland metro area this christmas… but what are the chances of it snowing this season??? and will this be a below average season (tempuature wise)??? if you can can you please talk about it on the news because alot of people that i know are wondering the same thing… and fox12 is the only channel that i trust for weather.
    Thank you, Brandon Vogt.. Hillsboro

  14. Charmed says:

    How come Weather.com and Accuweather always make wrong predictions???? they said it is going to snow for like three days and then changed it to sunny!! i am begining to not trust them!!

  15. Charmed says:

    How come Weather.com and Accuweather always make wrong predictions???? they said it is going to snow for like three days and then changed it to sunny!! i am begining to not trust them!!

  16. Andrew says:

    Don’t trust those long term forcasts, if you read back through them you will see that many also said that we would be at above average rainfall for the first half of december and we have almost had no rain at all. The long term forcasts can change a few minutes after they are posted.

  17. Andrew says:

    Don’t trust those long term forcasts, if you read back through them you will see that many also said that we would be at above average rainfall for the first half of december and we have almost had no rain at all. The long term forcasts can change a few minutes after they are posted.

  18. Robyn says:

    I have been looking at various 2005/2006 winter weather predictions for the Porland Metro Area, and most all agree that we will be hit by two major snow events with a good possibility in the spring for some flooding. These predictions are based on previous years’ weather patterns leading up to winter. Any thoughts on this? Also, could you let us know more information about the ‘system’ forcast to bring some precipitation this coming midweek? I will be happy if you mention snow 🙂 Thanks.

  19. Jeff James says:

    I live out here in Gresham, south of town at about 500ft elevation. Wind is howling tonight & temp is already down to 30degrees at 515pm. High here was only 35 today.

  20. Garry Kinney says:

    Hi to everyone…..wanted to let you know that Mark is not responsible for making it snow, or rain or for hot weather or cold weather. 🙂 A forecast beyone 5 days is hard even for the best computer models…..I know Mark would like to see some interesting weather too. But long term predictions are guesses not predictions.

  21. Ryan says:

    I woke up this morning to a very fridge 21 degrees around 6am by Vancouver Mall this morning. It almost looked like it snowed with all the frost. The neighborhood streets and 63rd had spotty ice/frost patches on the road but the main roads such as Andresen seemed nice and clear. I was surprised to see such a low temprature this morning. One great sight is to see the ponds around the Andresen/SR500 interchange frozen up.

  22. Dan Zeit says:

    One thing nobody has been talking about much lately is the chance for a flood. But here is why I believe one might happen. 1.,the ground is frozen pretty solid right now. So if a pineapple express breaks through this ridge,for the first day most of the rain will just runoff into the streams and rivers. 2.,there is a fair amount of snow at elevations of 1500 ft,to 3000 ft. So let,s hope our first rainy system is a light one. Also we still might get a jet stream retrograde. These seem to occur with some measure of regularity after ridges like the one we have right now have been in place for such a long time. Lastly the only three meteorologists I pay attention to on portland tv are in order of accuracy are,1.,Mark Nelson KPTV,2.,Rod Hill KATU,3.,Matt Zaffino KGW. The rest just read the forecast from the NWS.

  23. Tyler says:

    Interesting drive home from work tonight. There was no fog, but a little frost there. About a mile from work there was very thick freezing fog and the roads were white. That lasted about a mile. Then, as I came out of the fog, I noticed very tiny ice crystals falling out of the sky. It seems the fog was freezing in the air and sipmly falling to the ground. Haven’t seen this since my trip to Alaska. Either way, the ground is white here with a temperature of 28 degrees. Looking into a light it’s like little tiny glass shards are falling. The roads are getting icy quikly; could be another ugly commute tomorrow.
    Tyler

  24. Joe says:

    It is great that Strom team 12 has a blog now! LET IT SNOW! On Christmas maybe. It is also great that the realtime is able to update fast. So you know where rain is now not 1 hour ago.

  25. Joe says:

    It is great that Strom team 12 has a blog now! LET IT SNOW! On Christmas maybe. It is also great that the realtime is able to update fast. So you know where rain is now not 1 hour ago.

  26. Joel Humphrey says:

    hey, are we gonna have snow here in vancouver at all in the end of 2005 and in 2006? let me know. I really want to have snow this year. IT WOULD BE THE BEST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! reply like ASAP! and you can make me happy if you read this one night on the 10 o’clock news. let me know when so I can hear it. THANKS. FOX 12 ROCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thanks for the breaking news and all the great info that comes first!!! Your viewer,
    JOEL HUMPHREY

  27. Andrew says:

    One thing to remember though about that link to NOAA’s website is that is for the airport. That is only saying the past dates that the lowest possible elevation has gotten snow fall. Where as up here in the hills we may have a much greater chance of seeing some of the white stuff. The way i look at it is, if the airport gets an inch of snow, us in the hills above 500 feet or so will often see 5+inches or maybe even more. In fact two years ago during the big snow storm, downtown got like 3-4 inches if i remember right, but up here at 850 feet we had closer to a foot, 10 inches.

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