Ice Storm Coming?

December 15, 2005

Cold the big story again tonight…a high of 33 at PDX under mostly sunny skies?   That’s cold!  PDX-DLS pressure gradient has eased slightly to 8.0 millibars this evening, so it’s windy eastside, but not extreme.  But just wait…a fresh surge of cold air slops over the Rockies and into Eastern WA/OR Friday night and Saturday as low pressure begins approaching from the west.  This should push the cross-Cascade gradient into the 12-14 millibar range as with past ice storm setups.  That would support damaging wind gusts possibly over 80 mph at the west end of the Gorge with temperatures this cold. 

ALL evening models show a trend to wetter/warmer after Saturday.  It’s a very similar pattern to the last 2 ice storms.  Moisture arrives later Sunday or as late as early Monday.  Either way it’ll be too warm above for snow, and should be cold enough for ice as far south as Salem in the valley.  The pattern also supports a VERY slow warmup as no south wind is forecast in the valley until Wednesday or maybe even Thursday.  Arrrghhh!  I WAS planning on having next week off.  I guess it’ll be fun in the weather center instead.  We’ll keep you updated with more details…until then stay warm!

As for Christmas?  We’ll be mild, and maybe wet.