White Christmas!

Snapshot Merry Christmas!  Here we are again…it's Christmas in Portland and it snowed…who would have thought it could happen in two back to back years!

That nice little band of solid snow that dropped through the Portland Metro area this afternoon dropped anywhere from 1/2" to 4".  Officially .8" fell at the NWS office on NE 122nd Ave.  There is still 10" on the ground there, and 5" at PDX.  That 5" at PDX still blows away any previous snow on the ground measurements for Dec. 25th.  The next largest amount was a trace.  So now you can once again tell your kids about the White Christmas of 2008.  Oh, and now it's the 2nd snowiest month in PDX snow history, outranked only by January of 1950.

I didn't work yesterday, but when I left Tuesday night, I expected 1-3" of snow Christmas Eve morning before an afternoon warm up.  Others were very skeptical, but the south wind did the trick again, pushing PDX to 39.

It also appeared a surface low would come quite close to us on it's way SE for today.  That did happen, although the low center was farther offshore.  We still had one nice wrap-around band come through the area this afternoon which pretty much saved it from being a forecast bust.  I had figured maybe 2-4", which was high for most of us.

So now it's on the westerly flow after leftover snow showers tonight.  The flow through the Columbia River Gorge is light westerly right now, so we'll have no problem warming the airmass tomorrow for a quick changeover to afternoon rain.  Yes, we'll see a mix just about anywhere in the morning, but then it's on to a cold Friday afternoon rain.  Increasing southerly wind with a warm front tomorrow evening actually pushes our temperature up and by Saturday AM we may be well into the 40s.  Oh man…I can't imagine what kind of noise that snow on the metal roof will make when it slides off.  I'll try not to stand under it.  That's if I don't get speared by the 4 ft. icicles hanging off the gutters…apparently I need to get better insulation in my attic because my snow was melting on the roof pretty well yesterday even with a temp in the mid 20s.

Speaking of the home front…I got an additional 3" yesterday morning, then 6" again from yesterday afternoon through this afternoon.  That brings the snow depth to an amazing 26"!  I have never lived in a place that had so much snow on the ground.  My winter total (the last 11 days) is up to 42.5".  Now if we could just do the same thing again the last week of January AFTER I buy some sort of snow blower, that'll be cool.  But for now it's back to lots of rain and south wind.  We'll keep a close eye on developing low pressure systems…hopefully no big windstorms on the way…Mark Nelsen

371 Responses to White Christmas!

  1. byrc says:

    This is also an interesting link (http://maps.grida.no/go/graphic/national_carbon_dioxide_co2_emissions_per_capita), that shows carbon output, as opposed to oil consumption. This debunks the old and tired myth of, “Sure the United States uses more, but we still emit less carbon, due to emission control”

  2. byrc says:

    To Cap:
    I understand your resistance, and you do present a logical argument, but I think it is a tad exaggerated. I fail to see how those numbers you present will be created. How will gas hit eight dollars a gallon? If we became more frugal with our use of fossil fuels, prices would drop. This is simple supply and demand, and also a main reason gas prices are low today (second only to the weak world economy). Secondly, if more investment was placed into alternative fuels, we could utilize cheaper, cleaner fuels which would again lower the burden on the end user.
    As far as the United States shouldering the burden. Might I remind you that the United States is by far the leading consumer of fossil fuels (citation: http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/ene_oil_con-energy-oil-consumption) and the United States is the only developed nation to not ratify the Kyoto Protocol (citation: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Kyoto_Protocol_participation_map_2005.png). Even China and India have signed, and both have made great efforts in reducing their output of carbon. Hell, the United States is the only nation in the world who has responded with a ‘No’ to the protocol. The United States must act, must enter the twenty-first century and join the world in further exploring this issue, and further acting upon solutions.

  3. Steve Pierce (Vancouver, WA.) says:

    *** POTENTIAL WINDSTORM ALERT ***
    0z MM5-WRF looking interesting tonight for sure. It now send storm #1 (at 970mb) into northern Vanc Is. and then tosses a monster 960-965mb low into central Vancouver island. That is a far cry from the 996mb landfall at Astoria that the NAM has for the same timeframe. The trend with the 0Z MM5-WRF is clearly deeper for both storms. I also see it shows decent post warm frontal wind ahead of the cold front, then it slams high winds into the valley (sustained at 30+ knots) about 12-1am Friday morning for about 4 hours. Either way, the timing seems to be moving up a bit.
    Stay tuned!
    http://www.atmos.washington.edu/~ovens/loops/wxloop.cgi?mm5d2_x_wssfc+///3
    SP

  4. Atmospheric Wrath aka Gradient Keeper - Elevation 300' -Far S.E. Portland- says:

    Hmmmm 00z WRF-GFS looks like the low is undergoing cyclogenesis a bit too far north now… The extended WRF-GFS will have better details…
    Nice to see, no wait.. It ISN’T nice to see the models are back to their usual form in toying with our emotions… I guess it is way too much to ask to have back to back weather events within a few weeks here.
    Maybe tomorrow’s 12z runs will push things south again.

  5. Jet Stream Jethro / Molalla says:

    00z GFS — Hour 84: http://www.nco.ncep.noaa.gov/pmb/nwprod/analysis/namer/gfs/00/images/gfs_ten_084l.gif
    Friday at 8AM… not what I would consider to be a *windstorm* for PDX, but will definitely be windy. Puget Sound area could see some good gusts.

  6. Steve in Salem says:

    Well this could be fun. I am going to Seaside on Thursady and heading home on Saturday… If I can get home on Saturday..Any guesses at windspeed in the Seaside area???

  7. ChuckyD81 says:

    What’s this “windstorm” stuff everyone keeps talking about?

  8. Boring Larry in Cherryville el.918 says:

    …that was a nice little squall that moved thru then!!!!!glad it ended, i dont need anymore shoveling for awhile…

  9. Atmospheric Wrath aka Gradient Keeper - Elevation 300' -Far S.E. Portland- says:

    Hmmmm
    00z WRF-GFS is running. Looks like it wants to move the initial low further north between the Queen Charlotte Islands and Vancouver Island. Wondering if the 500mb trough isn’t going to dig favorably enough to set the stage for the 2nd system now….
    Oh the suspense of it all!

  10. Atmospheric Wrath aka Gradient Keeper - Elevation 300' -Far S.E. Portland- says:

    Forks to southern Vancouver Island seems possible if a more familiar NE track took place. Seattle NWS AFD did say the low may move further south though….

  11. Chris says:

    Rob…If the low does deepen to 980 mb it won’t follow a track that brings it inland near Hoquiam. The only reason the nam brings it ashore there is that it is not deepening it. I do believe the low will deepen more than the nam shows…and head toward Vancouver island.

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