What strikes me tonight is how cold the airmass is pouring through the Gorge. Looks like this fresh episode of cold air blasting in from the east is slightly colder than the last. It’s probably one of the 3 coldest airmasses of the last 5 years (the other two were with the ice storms the last 2 winters). Of course the problem would be…what happens if moisture shows up?
We may find out within 4-5 days. Tonight models seem to be converging on a switch to milder and wet southwesterly flow at the beginning of the week. Each model is different but they are are pointing to some sort of system as early as Sunday and several more taking swipes at us Monday-Wednesday. Definitely too warm for snow too, it would only be freezing rain. The worst part is that this sort of pattern change is similar to the last two ice storms in that we don’t get a quick switch to onshore (warmer low level) flow. Usually several "waves" of rain need to pass by to get rid of the cold air eastside metro and Gorge. We’ll see how much moisture is on the way over the next few days. And of course it may only be cold enough for freezing rain on the eastside of town.
In the short term batten down the hatches eastside and keep the fireplace roaring! East winds will increase to the strongest so far this season as weather systems begin to approach and pull out more cold air through the Gorge.