One last “Snow Day”

Snapshot_29One last tough forecast as we wrap up meteorological winter tonight.  Cold showers still streaming onshore this evening.  We are now in the coldest airmass of this cold/wet episode.  850mb temps bottom out around -8 deg. C. in the next few hours and then rise to -4 or so by tomorrow afternoon.  A line of showers moved over southern Columbia county and Clark County for an hour or so this evening, giving a nice dusting in those spots.  With such a cold airmass overhead, any other significant showers overnight should drop a dusting or more.  I see the top of our transmission tower in the West Hills (it’s the one that’s farthest north in that array up there) is down below 29 degrees at 1800′.  That’s cold!
So we have colder air, but less moisture the next 10 hours, compared to this morning.
With that in mind, I figure a trace to 1" anywhere in the metro area is a good bet.  A bit of melting snow that freezes on roads can make a mess as well.
Overrunning slightly warmer air tomorrow midday-afternoon should give us more stratiform rainfall (solid light rain).  The snow level will be very slow to rise, so unless we get heavy precip, I think most likely we’ll see an inch or more 1,000′ or so and maybe 2-3" up above 1,500′ by late tomorrow before the snow level finally reaches 2000′ by tomorrow evening.
A building upper-level ridge Friday brings us plenty of warmer rain, then the ridge shoves the rain north of us later Saturday and Sunday.  The 00z GFS has some light precip over us Sunday, but that is unlikely with such a strong ridge.  +6 deg. 850mb temps in early March CAN send temps well into the 60’s.  Assuming we get to at least partly cloudy skies, 63 shouldn’t be too hard to hit.  Hard to believe after the cold temps lately, but it’s a bit overdue…Mark

86 Responses to One last “Snow Day”

  1. Cherie_in_Vernonia says:

    Is it supposed to rain tonight?

  2. SnowFlake says:

    well said Brian in Tigard!!

  3. Jesse says:

    Well all in all I thought it was a great winter around here. It snowed and stuck 6 separate times at my house(the last being last night) giving me a winter 2006-07 total of about 5 1/2 inches. Also I got to see the greatest windstorm in my adult memory. when the ’95 storm hit, I was only in 4th grade. Couple that with the rainiest November in PDX history and a good healthy mountain snowpack, and it was a very good winter for extreme weather here in Oregon/ SW Washington.
    And Derek, all the times you’ve been jipped, I think it will take at least two seasons for you to get tired of massive snowfall amounts 🙂

  4. Derek-West Gresham says:

    I know it will never be the same but I really like the climate there. I used to spend a lot of time there. Lake effect snow, which is going on right now, is awesome.

  5. Brian- Tigard says:

    I agree Winterhawk with your anaylsis. This is a great place to live and when we do get these more exciting events it makes it all that much better to live here. I must admit the extremes are what got me into weather several years back. I think it’s fun to discuss the possibilities of what might be. Having thousands of miles of ocean out there makes it all that more difficult to forecast here in the great northwest. What’s even better is being able to discuss it on this blog- everybody has an opinion and brings something to the table so to speak. Many thanks to Mark Nelsen and FOX 12 for allowing this blog. I know I have certainly learned more about weather from the many people who post on here. Here’s looking forward to more active weather in the spring, and a prayer for those who lost their lives today in the southeast due to the weather.
    God Bless,

  6. timmy - scappoose says:

    deep Winterhawk… *Sniff* :p

  7. J.R. says:

    Well next time I will post on here is when a snow flake lands in my yard I will probably be at another location but still in the portland area….. I can never leave my blazers

  8. winterhawk says:

    Yeah, it certainly isn’t Anchorage. That was another world, especially with the lack of light. I loved the summer I spent there though.
    I guess when you’re younger you haven’t quite developed the allegiance to a certain area. This is home to me for a lot more reasons than just the weather. The weather is a bonus when we end up with extremes as weather is a passion of mine. Just like it is a passion of yours. The difference is the perspective that develops over the years. Winters come, winters go. Every few years we’ll have a benchmark event. January ’04, etc… But you slowly realize that perspective is lost in the moment. Time passes, and things smooth out. Eventually, you realize very few events truly impact the big picture.

  9. Derek-West Gresham says:

    I remember I was there two years ago on Spring break and it was 65 degrees and cloudy at noon and by 4 pm it was 34 and heavy rain/snow/sleet. It eventually started snowing and there was snow when I woke up, and off and on snow the next day. A few days later it warmed back up so its a dynamic climate.

  10. Derek-West Gresham says:

    Well I dont think thats a fair comparison. 🙂
    I’ve been there in the winter before and its not so bad. Usually you will have little spells with snow for a week or two but after that it might warm up to the sixties or something and it all melts. Its not a never ending dreary snowy mess.

  11. winterhawk says:

    Just a thought Derek, but there is something to be said for the context in which snow occurs. I spent two winters just outside of Anchorage back in the late 80’s. It was hella exciting for the first few weeks, but believe it or not, the snow became rather annoying and lost any of the excitement of true weather anomaly like we get around here. After all, the anticipation and attempt to predict it is half the fun IMO. It became such a chore after a while that I actually started to dread it. It’s fun around here because it rarely lasts long enough to become much of a nuisance. There, your entire outdoor life revolved around it and severely limited your ability to do a lot of recreational activities. Anyway… The bottom line is that the phrase “the grass is always greener” can certainly apply in a situation like this. Food for thought…

  12. Derek-West Gresham says:

    Provo averages 60 inches of snow a year!! A lot of the time it melts in between events though and they have a lot of inbetween excitement so it will be fun

  13. ChuckyD81 says:

    If the coast range weren’t in the way you would have even more influence from the ocean…I seriously doubt you would have much more snow than you do now. Guess we’ll never know b/c the coast range is evidently there to stay…go fig. I know how you feel though. In a given winter back home in SC I probably had MORE setups for a potential snow event…however climatologically speaking we got almost 10in. of snow less per year. Frustrating for the snow lover in me!
    Those talking about the severe wx back east…
    How come noone wanted to chat about that earlier?

  14. winterhawk says:

    Sounds like some folks are having pity parties today. Yay Spring!!! 🙂

  15. SnowFlake says:

    new interactive map on is so good… the link below goes right to the tornado-affected areas…or at least some of it…

  16. SnowFlake says:

    East coast is getting CLOBBERED folks… 14 confirmed dead right now from tornados…

  17. Andrew---Ellensburg, Wa and Portrland, Or says:

    Sad news out of the midwest today. As many as 15 people have been killed by the tornado outbreak so far, many of them being children in a high school that was hit.
    An apparent tornado damaged a high school in Enterprise, Alabama as a violent storm front moved across the state. State officials confirm 8 people are dead in Enterprise, and 5 in Miller’s Ferry.
    Enterprise High School was damaged when a possible tornado moved through the southeast Alabama town, and police were trying to determine if any students were trapped inside, according to state Representative Terry Spicer of Elba. Spicer says he’s been talking with local officials, who reported that there was significant damage to the school, with the gym’s roof heavily damaged.
    Martha Rodriquez, a 15-year-old sophomore at the high school, said she had left the school about five minutes before the storm hit. When she returned, she said that “a hall at the school collapsed, and there were kids inside.” She said the stadium was destroyed and there were cars tipped over in the parking lot and trees were ripped out.
    At Miller’s Ferry in west Alabama, trailer homes were flipped over and trees downed by a storm that caused “extensive damage,” according to Bernadine Williams in the Wilcox County Emergency Management Agency office.
    Paul Duval, meteorologist with National Weather Service in Tallahassee, Florida, said the school appears to have been right in the path and there were early reports of students being trapped at the high school. Duval said it’s going to be a long night because the storm will continue moving throughout the area.

  18. Andrew---Ellensburg, Wa and Portrland, Or says:

    It’s true Icekeeg. Even though up here in ellensburg, we don’t get snow totals like some areas down in utah and what not, we get a very decent amount. When i lived down in portland i would get excited for every little snow event, even if chances were low of any accumulation. Now i get lots of mini snow events (1-4 inches) and a decent amount of 4-8 inch storms. I no longer really get excited for them since it happens so often. Like tomorrow i should see 1-2+ inches before the warm-up, but am not all too excited for it. I think it is more “exciting” if you live in an area that does not normally see much snow. So that when it happens, it is truely an experience to remember.

  19. IceKeeg - Close-in SE PDX says:

    Sorry Derek! Even on the westside even though it didn’t stick, I saw the giant flakes Monday night, Tuesday morning saw the mix (and the beautiful scene up on Sylvan), Wednesday morning got some great flakes again… I’m surprised more wasn’t at least in the air for you over in your location.
    Question: I’m pretty certain if I moved to a snowier climate, a lot of the excitement of actually getting a snow event would be lost, as much as I’d like to think otherwise. The first couple snows of the season might be fun, but then it would just be routine. Unless you’re into a lot of winter recreation/sports, are you concerned at all that after awhile it just won’t be the same – you know, the less you have of something the more you crave it?

  20. Derek-West Gresham says:

    zip at all Alex, it never happened here. It only looked like snow on that one morning and it didnt stick and I hate this freaking retarted place! And I bet everybody else on here pretty much saw more because my place is cursed and sick and I hate it. Only a few more months, but that is probably the last snow in Portland I never saw cause I will be gone. I am hoping for a huge winter next year, its a given I will see a lot.

  21. alex says:

    same here derek theres zip on the ground…

  22. Derek-West Gresham says:

    This event left me with a grand total of 0.0 inches, what fun!! I cant wait to move to Utah and away from this horrible place, if that dang coast range werent there I would have a lot of snow on the ground.

  23. Mat says:

    Disappointing winter snow wise in my eyes. With La Nina setting in though, next winter could be really great.
    Leaving for Buffalo tonight. I’m sure I’ll get my fair share there. Later all.

  24. Andrew---Ellensburg, Wa and Portrland, Or says:

    MAJOR tornado outbreak in midwest right now. Several deaths.
    CAULFIELD, Mo. (AP) – A tornado struck southern Missouri, killing a 7-year-old girl and damaging homes and businesses Thursday, and another apparent twister struck an Alabama high school, authorities said.
    Students were inside Enterprise High School at the time, and there were early reports of injuries, state and weather officials said. Police were trying to determine if any students were trapped, state Rep. Terry Spicer said.
    The school “appears to have been right in the path,” said Paul Duval, meteorologist with National Weather Service in Tallahassee, Fla., which monitors southeast Alabama.
    “What we have learned so far is that there are injuries both in downtown Enterprise and the high school,” he said.
    In Missouri, Howell County Sheriff Robbie Crites identified the young victim as Elizabeth Croney. Her mother, father and two brothers were injured when a tornado hit their mobile home in a rural wooded area near West Plains, Crites said.
    In Caulfield, Rick Jarvis heard the storm ripping through his gas station around dawn. His home next door suffered just minor damage, but the twister shredded the business, ripping down its roof and back wall.
    “It sounded like a herd of horses tearing up stuff. When I came out, it was done,” said Jarvis, 48.
    At least four mobile homes, two houses and two service stations in Caulfield were damaged when the twisters hit around 6:30 a.m., and a tornado also touched down near an elementary school in Caulfield. Two more tornadoes were also reported in the area, said Mike Wade, a dispatcher at the Howell County Sheriff’s Office.
    The burst of tornadoes was part of a larger line of thunderstorm and snowstorms that stretched from Minnesota to Louisiana. In Nebraska, strong wind and heavy snow caused whiteout conditions in eastern Nebraska that forced the shutdown of 75 miles of Interstate 80.
    Tornado watches issued Thursday morning across Alabama led several school systems to close or dismiss students early. It wasn’t immediately clear whether Enterprise was one of them.
    Spicer said local officials reported there was significant damage to the school, with the gym’s roof heavily damaged.
    In Kansas’ Linn County, along the Missouri state line, a tornado Wednesday night destroyed a power substation, and roofs and siding were torn from buildings, Linn County Emergency Management Director David Yates said. He said some minor injuries were reported.
    The storm also ripped out poles and electric lines, but power was expected to be restored by the end of the day, said Paul Norris, operations manager for Heartland Rural Electric Cooperative.

  25. Tyler in Vancouver says:

    Even with a cold end, February ended up 1.3 degrees above average. A total of 4.11″ of precip fell, which was 91% of average.
    Here are some other stats:
    Highest High: 59.5, 17th
    Lowest Low: 21.9, 1st
    Highest Wind : SSE 33, 27th
    Most Precip: 0.60″, 24
    Mean Temp: 43.3
    Snow: 1.13″
    Cloudy: 24 Days
    Precip: 23 Days
    32-: 4
    Hail: 3
    Winter Precip: 5
    Fog: 5

  26. Tyler in Vancouver says:

    Wow…tropical heat wave out here in Hazel Dell, 44 degrees. Warmest since the weekend, and it’s still headed up.

  27. Camas Mom says:

    I have call this a GREAT winter! Lots of activity, very cold and not so much rain it felt like. Now we can bring on spring, planting and flowers (and hopefully a pool for me). Next winter I would like to see even more snow and honestly I’d rather have it all in one event so we could get some serious sledding, etc. happening.
    Snow is melting, and precip stopped for now. When I went out at 10:00 the road was worse than it had been at 7:00! Lots of snow on the road, etc. In Autumn Hills, above Kirk and I at around 1800-2000 feet they still have snow and no melting it looks like.
    Good day!

  28. JohnD says:

    Yeah I thought this fall-winter season had pretty good intrigue–much better than a lot of years–at least most of the recent years. Flirts with snow in November and December and a bonafide significant snowstorm in January!–Love it when a weather event actually tests our infrastructure snow removal, etc. abilities! Lots of east winds. And while we never did get a huge arctic blast, still at one point you could almost walk on the frozen pond at Laurelhurst Park! ALSO for one period we had MEASURABLE snow on the ground for 8 days at our home near Reynolds H.S.!! Lots of frosty mornings too. We did have the mild period just before this recent cool stretch. But all in all not bad. So I say bring on the spring. The seasonal changes are wonderful. And we all will be just as anticipating next fall as we were this one. Some are already talking La Nina. And we know what that can mean!!

  29. wendy-silverlake says:

    I was thinking this has been a pretty good winter. True it didn’t snow as often, and the totals weren’t quite as much as usual, but it did stick around longer. We usually get about 18 inches of snow. This year we only had about 12(most in the last few days), but we had snow on the ground for about 35 days. So if you figure it there was snow on the ground for a whole month of winter. Not to bad in my opinion. I am rooting for spring now, just so the new buds don’t get destroyed any more, but it would be nice to get one more snow storm to up the winter totals just a bit more. All in all, it’s been a very exciting winter.

  30. IceKeeg - Close-in SE PDX says:

    I personally think this has been a great winter for weather watchers. Lots going on besides snow and even though most of us only measured our total snow in the three to five inch range over the course of the winter, there seemed to be more days that snow fell in some form this year than recently in the past. For instance, in this most recent event – even though most people couldn’t keep it on the ground for very long, we basically have seen snow falling at some point every day since Monday night. Except for that overlong dry spell earlier this month and late January, this has been a pretty satisfying winter for me.

  31. Tornado Aly says:

    How long have you lived in this area, Jerry? This area usually only gets one good snow event per year, sometimes only a dusting for the year. I was really happy with the January snow event, we haven’t seen one that like in a few years! All in all, I think it was a normal, decent winter here, and looking forward to spring!

  32. Now we have to be more concerned with flooding, being that there is so much snow at lower elevations and warmer temps to come.

  33. Andrew---Ellensburg, Wa and Portrland, Or says:

    Looks like the coast range got some good snow. 16 inches on the ground along 26.
    MP 40.77
    Severe Weather Hazard
    Weather Condition: Snow Flurries
    Road Surface: Packed Snow
    Chain Restrictions: Carry Chains or Traction Tires
    Current Temp: 31 F
    New Snow: 1 in.
    Roadside Snow: 16 in.
    Last Updated: 03/01/2007 07:03 am

  34. Jerry says:

    In terms of measureable snow @ PDX it may seem like this winter was better then previous, but last march 8th I had 6+ inches of snow or more and it was MARCH 8TH! I live @ 640ft, I should have seen more but that damn coast range EATS everything. This winter sucks .

  35. Jerry says:

    I am offcially done with winter. NO MORE. I am sooo disapointed with the lack of wintery precip this winter I may move. I am however amazed @ the windstorms and rains we had. Not enough though to offset the 4239074235907 disapoints I seen this winter. One measly snow event is all we’ve had and it only snowed for a 3-5 hours. It was good while it lasted, if I would have known it was the last one I would have stayed in the snow the whole time lol

  36. kirk says:

    I hate to leave for work because when I get home later winter will be over. Still snowing here but temp is slowly inching upward….34.7 now…For the year we had 18″ of snow which is the same total as last year. I hope we double that next winter. Too bad we cant skip spring and go right to summer!!

  37. Tornado Aly says:

    Was that the day we reached like 105? I hated that day too

  38. kirk says:

    Wow I thaught we were done its snowing pretty good now!!

  39. Jerry says:

    Was looking @ some old archives. Check out this one I remember this day. I didnt like it to much because I didnt have AC!!
    Hmm… It is 80 degrees outside, and it is 4am. If the clouds break early tomorrow, what does that mean?
    Posted by: Anthony Bertolo | Saturday, July 22, 2006 at 04:05 AM

  40. Sean (Lebanon, Indiana) says:

    My tornado watch doesn’t expire until 7pm this evening.. Looks like two lines of storms will affect where I’m at. Nice dry slot forming over Central Ill, temps rising quickly in that area. Going to be a rough afternoon into evening..

  41. ChuckyD81 says:

    Looks like a big severe wx day from the east!
    SPC has a PDS Tornado Watch out for most of Georgia, and portions of Eastern Alabama…and even a little sliver of Western South Carolina, my home state.
    That’s pretty early in the year to had a PDS watch out. Storms are already happening so it’s not exactly breaking news.
    Will be interesting to see the storm reports at the end of the day.

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