Proceeding According to Plan

I’m not working tonight, but inbetween family duties…weathergeekness calls!  Amazing how well the models are handling the first system, basically falling apart over Western Oregon this evening.  So no reason to doubt steady freezing rain or ice pellets arriving as Drew said around sunset Sunday from Salem-Longview (earlier south).  We can’t rule out snow briefly at the beginning, but ice pellets are far more likely.  Significant snow accumulation is likely east of Multnomah Falls in the Gorge.

By the way, the peak wind at PDX today was East 52 mph, which is the strongest wind gust in 4 winters (at the airport).  The wind will die down some tomorrow everywhere away from the Gorge, but pick up in the Gorge dramatically by morning.  This seems to happen with every ice storm.  A non-scientific way of thinking of it is that as warm air moves in above, that moving layer of air through the Gorge is squeezed down into a smaller area.

I am a bit concerned about the amount of moisture coming…it’s looking wetter than last January’s storm and slightly colder.  But not nearly as cold as 2 years ago.  So we think it’ll stay solidly frozen across the entire metro area through Tuesday AM.  And even by Tuesday PM, freezing rain may still be an issue right near/in the Gorge.  By the end of that time there could be some pretty good glaze accumulation east of I-205.

One more note, Drew Jackson, our weekend meteorologist is one of only 3 forecasters in Portland who grew up in the area (I would be #2).  He knows the weather patterns here well, so pay attention to him when he’s on…he does a great job keeping on top of things.  In fact we almost always come up with the same forecasts in situations like this.

A wet and/or mild Christmas is now guaranteed, so enjoy the "silver thaw" while it lasts.

I’ll begin updating this regularly once the storm starts…Mark

38 Responses to Proceeding According to Plan

  1. Tom Lawyer says:

    Started snowing around 2:30 in Scappoose.
    Hope it keeps snowing.
    Be careful.
    Visit the Scappoose Community Website

  2. Mokihana says:

    I left home at about 12:30 to run into Damascus for some stuff; everything was fine except for a huge traffic tie-up coming into town from the mountain. Headed out to Burns Feed Store on Orient Drive, and by the time I came out of the store 15 minutes later the freezing rain had hit. I headed for home; our long steep driveway was all white, but I made it up okay. Soon afterwards, snow started to fall mixed in with the freezing rain, then turned to total snow. It’s beautiful! We don’t get the East wind up here at the house, for which I’m very thankful.

  3. Ryan says:

    The wind is howling here around Vancouver mall. All the gusts aren’t allowing the snow to settle down. It seem slike its about 60/40 snow/sleet mix. I’m now down to 30.1 degrees which is a drop of 5 degrees inside an hour.

  4. Selma says:

    Oh my god it is snowing here it is 29.5 degrees here in Raleigh Hills/Metzger i am so happy!!!! i thought it isnt going to Snow at all but it is!!

  5. The snow is coming down – but nothing wet got here first so it is just blowing around in flurries. Our chickens have been “couped up” for a few days now….I wonder if that is where that expression came from….Their waters have to be replaced at least once a day – as they freeze completely. I want to take them electric blankets ( Like in ” Click Clack Moo “…one of my son’s favorite books ) Maybe they would appreciate a TV or at least a disco ball….my husband doesn’t ever take me seriously… but it is cold out there and I want our girls to feel loved. I am laughing at my husband right now because he insists he is going to BBQ for dinner. I show it is about 29 degrees out….we have a covered porch out here in Corbett – but it is still windy enough to move furniture around….too cold to BBQ for me….at least while we have electricity!

  6. Max says:

    Snowing hard and near blizzard conditions in Fairview, OR.

  7. Jana in Camas says:

    It’s 3:00 pm or so on Prune Hill. We are building a home on Livingston Mountain (still in Camas and where the Doppler radar is located) and it is the windiest I’ve ever seen it anywhere – and that includes in Cabo when we were there two summers ago during a Cat 2 hurricane. The trees are seriously leaning and there is no power out there at all. Here in town we have light snow flying around and it’s very windy. I’d much rather have the snow than the ice, but looks like this is only short lived, turning to freezing rain. I trust you guys – you were the only ones who were right last time (and I really had my hopes up for snow, too!). 🙂

  8. Ayatt H. says:

    IT’s snowing inportland metro. I live in beaverton, and wow! i never expected it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    it is snow mixed in with some ice pellets!

  9. iprum says:


  10. Sean says:

    Up here east of Brightwood, just got power back on after about 3 hours. Started snowing at around noon, it’s a very dry snow that is falling currently. Have a temp of 25deg as of 2:30pm. Have about a half inch of snow so far and still light to moderate snow. Still very windy, so lots of blowing snow also.
    Should be interesting! Gotta love winter weather in Oregon.

  11. Sarah N. says:

    Now it’s full-on snow here at PDX! Woohoo!!!!

  12. Dawn W says:

    I am in southeast Salem between Cordon Road and Lancaster Dr. The snow has stopped for the moment. I sent in a couple of pictures of our backyard. I work out near Sprague High School so tomorrow morning should be interesting.

  13. Ryan says:

    I just looked outside at about at about 2:14 and I’m seeing a snow/sleet mix falling lightly here by Vancouver Mall. It is sticking to the damp/frosty parts of our street and the temprature is dropping fast! It was 35.4 at about 1:45 and it is now 33.5 at 2:14. So in about a half an hour we droppped almost 2 degrees. The winds are still howling at about 15mph sustained too. It’s exciting.

  14. Sarah N. says:

    Quite a bit of ice pellets starting to fall right now with a few snow flurries mixed in near PDX. This stuff is starting now!

  15. Grant L. says:

    Its snowing in McMinnville, a light dusting eveywhere. Its getting heavier.

  16. iprum says:


  17. Andrew says:

    This first band of moisture is bringing a good amount of snowfall to us up here in portlands west hills, sticking to the streets. 31.9 degrees

  18. Marty says:

    It is snowing in Dallas and is sticking! I believe it’s been snowing for about an hour now. Good thing I went to the store yesterday so we’re good to go. Let’s hope the power stays on. Mark, you are the best!! You nail these storms every time! Keep up the great work and enjoy your vacation! 🙂

  19. rosesarered says:

    It is sleeting/snowing heavily here in SE Portland/Woodstock as of 1:30.

  20. debbie olson says:

    The weather is definatly exciting but my big concern is Tuesday morning. My son is sceduled for surgery and we are supposed to be at Emanual at 930 on Tuesday morning. What do you suppose will be happening at that point? I don’t know hoew I will get to the hospital if its icey!

  21. Steve says:

    I am up at 675′ in West Salem and we have full on snow here with big flakes and pretty windy. Started out as sleet, then a snow/sleet mix, and not all blowing snow. Pretty fun stuff, its starting to stick in the street.

  22. Bob Mahoney says:

    It is currently snowing in Dallas, OR at the 500 foot elevation. It started around 1:30 PM and is sticking to the ground.

  23. Ben says:

    We are starting to get snow here in Beaverton at 1:30pm. I figured that we would get snow before any freezong rain due to the fact that the airmass overhead is below freezing from sea level to at least 7000 feet as shown by the temp at Mt. Hood Meadows which has been around 15 degrees all day. Still don’t believe that there is an inversion happening thus with strong east wind warm-up should be very slow, maybe 2-3 days of this…simlilar to what we had two years ago…should be fun.

  24. grslocum says:


  25. CanbyGirl says:

    The freezing rain and snow mix has arrived in Canby…. starting to cover the ground.

  26. Boring Larry says:

    Sleet and 32 degrees at 1:10 PM at our location

  27. Andrew says:

    It seems like there could be more moisture coming at us then expected. A couple models are now starting to say 1-2 inches of snow this afternoon for the portland area and then 1/2-1″ of ice during the night and tomorrow. If that were to hold true, we could have a very serious situation monday.

  28. Todd Helton says:

    12:30 p.m. Sunday – Sleet has begun in Salem. Current temp at my house 35.6F. We’re in it for the long haul. Couple of days of supplies, so we’re good. Hopefully, the power stays on….

  29. Boring Larry says:

    We live where Boring meets Eagle Creek, in a canyon carved by Deep Creek, elevation 560 feet….the wind never blows down here, usually it blows right over the top of the canyon…However, since yesterday morning it has been mixing in down to the surface here….bringing our temps up from 16 to a balmy 29. Nice ice displays along the creek…..

  30. Rich says:

    I judge the storms by the wind intensity blowing from the gorge before the arrival of said storm. Out here in Camas at 700 ft. elevation, we are at the door of the freezer, and somebody left it open!!
    Every single time we get a bad storm, something out in my yard blows over. Last December we lost 40 feet of fence! Bad storm followed.
    Previously, BBQ grill moved across the patio, bad storm follows.
    Dog house blows out into the yard, bad storm followed.
    This morning at 7:15AM we had a 52 MPH gust. BBQ blew over and smashed the wooden handle and dented the front of the grill,……We’ll see.

  31. max says:

    Wind is really gusting hard here near the Gorge this morning.

  32. Ann S. says:

    Mark — I’ve been watching you do weather for years, precisely because you grew up here. No matter what the computer models say, it takes a special “feel” for the area to pick the correct forecast. When you put a possible ice storm into your forecast before anyone else in town, I knew you would be right about it. Sorry about your vacation, but we’ll keep our tv’s turned to you for our updates! Thanks!

  33. Debbie says:

    Mark, you and Drew are the only forecasters who are not budging! The rest are certain that this will be short-lived and be gone by Monday afternoon! Living in Fairview, I know that this is not usually the case for those of us living in East County. It’s been quite windy here for several days but it’s definitely getting even windier! I have not lost power in the four years I’ve lived in Fairview, but this may be the time I do as it’s already flickered a few times. Your experience with our local climate shows- keep up the good work and stay warm!

  34. Tyler Janke says:

    I work at the Rose Garden, I wonder if the Blazer game will be cancelled?

  35. Kathi says:

    Just wondering why the “instant weather” program doesn’t show a Winter Storm Watch for Washington County. According to the actual warning, it includes Hillsboro. I guess since I am such a sucker for inclement weather, I get disappointed when my area seems “left out”.
    Keep up the good work with this blog, though… I am totally addicted!!

  36. Tyler says:

    It’s good to at least get some exciting weather, I just hope this system holds together like forecast so we can get some decent ice. Would be great to see some snow, even for a few minutes. Temperature is 29 here in Vancouver with winds ranging from 5 mph on up to 20 mph gusts at times. Nothing like the 52 mph at PDX, but still gusty.
    So far, Mark and Drew are the only consistant forecast for this storm. Great job again.

  37. John_in_Corbett says:

    Seems like the winds are dying down a bit…

  38. Dan Zeit says:

    This weather situation we are now beginning to enter is similar to 1968-1969 and 1964-1965. In 64-65 we had a sharp cold snap,with lowland snow. {1000-3000}ft. We had a fast warmup melting the snow,and with all the frozen ground,the rain all ranoff into rivers and streams for the first crucial 24 hours. This was our infamous “Christmas Flood”. This was followed by a new cold snap and more snow by New Year,s day. In December 1968 we had a cold snap around the 15th-20th,followed by a major snowstorm on the 22nd. Then a big warmup,with a mild and week that followed. Then an arctic front dropped down on us just before New Year,s giving us a foot of snow and highs in the teens. Now we have a long cold spell upon us. With the potential for snow,sleet,and freezing rain. Followed by a warmer period of rain lasting over a week. What,s fascinating about this is that the gfs meteogram is indicating a sharp cooldown with possible snow around the 29th-31st time frame. Will history repeat itself?

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