A Hair Raising Scare

snapshotSome heavy showers developed late today and moved through the region.  Lots of lightning strikes offshore again during the afternoon.  There were no cloud to ground lightning strikes in the Portland Metro Area this evening either, but there WERE some cloud to cloud flashes.

Speaking of lightning, a student from OES (Lori Rumker) was in here interviewing me about meteorology and relayed a great story.  She was at soccer practice on the field in SW Portland around 4:30pm.  Suddenly all the player’s hair started sticking up…or at least the smaller hairs were standing up.  This went on for maybe 20 seconds or so.  They were in a dangerous situation!  Anyone familiar with lightning knows this is a sign that lightning may be about to strike in your location.  There is a famous picture of hikers on top of a mountain in California; hair standing on end.  Within a minute or so lightning hit.

The main story with the upcoming weather is cold and snow.  Looks to me that the snow level may dip as low as 1,500′ on Friday as a wave of showers follows Friday morning’s cold front.  It dries out Friday night as the coldest air moves in.  The total snowfall from tonight + tomorrow night’s system + the colder system Friday should easily make it to 18″ in the highe elevations…very impressive for mid November.

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

175 Responses to A Hair Raising Scare

  1. cliff says:

    it does feel like december out there right now.

    however, the last time we had el nino, it did exactly this……early snow….the ski lifts open early….money, money, money…

    december hits, and the jetstream flip flops. It clears up, inversion, mountains lose snow.

    we live at 1,100 feet. high of 41 degs.

  2. papaholcomb says:

    I just have to say that I , like Brandy have been watching you rblog for quite awhile. It has gotten to the point that I don’t hardly even watch the network weather reports anymore as you guys that blog on here seem to be more in touch with what actually is happening in real time. I remember during the snow storms last winter sitting up until the wee hours of the morning just hitting the refresh button on my computer so I could see the latest from you guys, and I have to say you guys were pretty much spot on, along with Mark of course! Keep up the good work and thanks for sharing your knowledge.

  3. brandy says:

    i didn’t think it was going to accumalte or anything.i just ment that i was watching for a couple of years now, and i have seen your info on here before i think you do a pretty good job. i don’t know why i haven’t posted before now i just liked reading it. temp here is 47.7 and raining

  4. brandy says:

    thanks rob “wrath” you always have good info!

    • Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

      Thank you and you’re welcome. Good info is only as if it’s accurate, so hoping it is! I’m not implying you’ll be able to build a snow man(or snow woman), or that you’ll be able to go sledding, rather just that you’ll have a nice wintry teaser snow on the grass/cars perhaps, but roads covered? I’m doubting that.

  5. november snow hint
    foothill joy lowland rain storm
    hot spring snow camping

  6. brandy says:

    hi cherie i live outside of dallas elev 787 ft do you think i will get snow?

    • Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

      Hi, Brandy welcome to the Blog.

      At 787ft I think you stand a good chance of sticking snow. At the least wet snow with accumulations on grassy surfaces/cars.

  7. The 12z wants to add a little moisture Sat AM. I think that should be good enough for maybe a dusting down to 100′ and possibly non-sticking flakes even lower than that. Temp should be around 33 or so at the end of the moisture. Close call, but just think, it’s not even December yet.

  8. 2 Dolla Bill says:

    Hopefully it snows down to 1,000 feet tomorrow.

  9. 2 Dolla Bill (Maybe I should have a nervous breakdown for attention on the blog) says:

    There was a little bit of mixing last night on top of Skyline Blvd.

  10. Currently 39.3° and some partial clearing.

  11. brandy says:

    hello, ihave been watching your blog for about 2 yrs now. i just wanted to say that i love this blog. i am of course still learning but i love the weather! mostly SNOW!

    • Cherie in Vernonia says:

      Welcome Brandy! Where do you live. Let us know so we can ask you for reports :0)

      Hope to see you around more often

  12. Gidrons says:

    12z gfs takes Tuesday’s low farther north

    • Jethro (Canby) says:

      Yeah, I don’t like the 12z. Doesn’t look near as fun…

    • Gidrons says:

      although lala land shows high pressure/omega block setting up. Placement is everything on those. Of course its still lala land, just slightly more accurate than the farmers’ almanac

  13. stilllearning says:

    I might be totally crazy, but last night my husband and I let our dog out to go to the bathroom and thought we saw some “chunky rain” – nothing to get too excited about, but it was a little thick looking. We were down to about 37 at the top of Oregon City. Did anyone else see this around 10:15 last night?

    • Chucktate says:

      I also noticed the same. I live up on Mt Scott and it was definitely trying its hardest to snow. I could smell it in the air too. I just moved up here this summer, so I am pretty excited to see what differences there will be, compared to living lower.

  14. JHills says:

    Just checking out the pass cams at ODOT looks like the sticking snow level is just above 1500 feet – Detroit shows some wet snow on the grass and rooftops at 1600 ft but nothing but wet roads at Zig Zag on 26 at 1415 ft.

  15. Snow-Zone/Monmouth-Elv200' says:

    39F my low.

  16. Gresham says:

    It snowed in Vancouver on the evening of Veteran’s Day 1978.

  17. Timmy_Supercell (Hillsboro) says:

    OMG Funnel cloud! j/k

    Good morning folks, looks to be a chilly week so far. Temperatures possibly in the low to mid 40’s, for highs! Not too sure about snow on the Valley floor, but there may be at least a wet mix around 500′. Wouldn’t be surprised to see that before the weekend.

  18. Yes, 06z cools things down overall

  19. timmy - scappoose says:

    06z looks good, lots of powder, and i mean powder for the mountains. some hills around town may get a good show. and then a brief warm up/dry out before another front around tuesday followed by a DEEP trough. more mountain powder. still no sign of el nino (except for of course in the ocean temps)

  20. Eternal Yamcha (SE MIlwaukie) says:

    …Is…. Is that wave of energy spinning? Did we have a low spin up and move onshore?

    • Eternal Yamcha (SE MIlwaukie) says:

      Of course it is. I didn’t check the GFS recently and it said there’d be something weak moving over us.

      Still, kinda neat to see.

  21. Karl Bonner says:

    Geeky temperature question for any of the experts: what would you consider to be the coldest high temps for the Portland/Vancouver area that you’d ever expect to SEE ON A FORECAST for the 2nd week of Nov.? (Be careful that you aren’t using flukes as your standard! For example The Dalles had a high of only 43F on October 13, but since nobody would EVER have expected a high that cold ahead of time, the forecasts didn’t pick up on it.)

    I’m thinking that 35-38 would be about the coldest forecastable highs for this time of year if we had a solid Arctic blast arriving. The 11/1985 experience seems to prove that below-freezing highs west of Cascade Locks cannot be ruled out after about the 20th of the month.

  22. boydo3 says:

    So far no El Nino signature. Keep it coming!

  23. Yevgeniy says:

    umm guys, hilsboro airport is at 36 degrees, and there is moisture coming…
    is this a sign of something unexpected?!
    and it looks like steady moisture!

  24. Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

    Well it looks like 978mb into southern/central Vancouver Island. Gradient doesn’t get overly impressive here. This wouldn’t be a wind storm. As you all know so many things have to line up, but at least a few are now according with this 00z WRF-GFS run with placement and track. Now we need future model runs to deepen this sucker and see a strong exit jet say 130-150kts.

    • dude maybe i will see a funnel cloud?! I have seen 5 so far in the past 5 days!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

      The air mass the rest of the weak may support one.. Looks like more cold core convection on the way.

      Good night everyone.
      May the 06z bring a 968mb low into Forks.

    • I agree…Looks more like a potential Western WA event…Would like to see it a tad bit deeper (Less than 970 mb), and a little closer to the coast…It could be fun to watch upcoming model runs tho!…

      A 940 mb low in the gulf is pretty impressive!

  25. Snow-Zone/Monmouth-Elv200' says:

    It has been raining here moderately for most of the 9 O’ Clock hour. 41.7F

  26. Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

    10:00 AM Tuesday
    Waves closes off into a developing low pressure area. Look at the placement. 41.6 N, 134.7 W.

  27. Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

    00z WRF-GFS

    Check out the wave initialization placement for the low on Tuesday/Wednesday!

    Roughly 40 N, 140 W. This is really close to the sweet spot.

    • Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

      The 1st low as it swings up towards the Queen Charlotte Islands it serves to open the door for the 2nd carving the trough out and pushing its axis eastward.

  28. Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:


  29. Boogie says:

    Snow ?!?!?!? We had enough of that last December.

  30. 00z GFS Says 500′ snow level with a little moisture hanging around Saturday, with temps most the day in the 30’s possibly dipping into the low 20’s Saturday night!

    • With that said, GFS does generally add moisture where it shouldn’t be. Flow is supportive of light moisture but don’t be surprised if we just get a cold dry Saturday. Either way, -8C 850mb temps and 522 thickness.

      Brings that low in a more favorable spot Tuesday / Wednesday as well. Not looking like a wind storm yet but has potential

    • Snow-Zone/Monmouth-Elv200' says:

      Dude that has me stoked! 😮

    • Timmy_Supercell (Hillsboro) says:

      That would be fun! I wonder if this will actually be our first snow of the season… 🙂 🙂 🙂

  31. Currently 39.1 and 0.38″ of rain today.

  32. Timmy_Supercell (Hillsboro) says:

    Well I took a dare and sent my funnel cloud report to the NWS earlier and I’ll see what they say. If they say its a scud cloud, then I will be more than happy to say “lessen learned” to myself.

    • Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

      Personally I think it was scud as I don’t think that particular cell had very good organization. Just my opinion. I wonder what if anything the NWS says about it though.

    • Timmy_Supercell (Hillsboro) says:

      It did produce a ton of pea sized hail in numerous locations though.

  33. Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

    I wasn’t expecting to see this!

    Snowing in Quillayute!

  34. Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

    This info coming via the weather e-mail list.

    Earlier KEX radio callers were reporting snow in the west hills, sticking in grass and sides of the road.

    • Snow-Zone/Monmouth-Elv200' says:

      hmmm… I wish. Did this happen early this morning? We need pics to verify these claims or something.

      Moderate shower moving through now, temp warmed back up to 43.5F after being at 42.5F.

    • Mark Nelsen says:

      It probably did…for a few minutes. Due to heavy precipitation and hail cooling the air some snow must have come in with the hail. The TV Tower temps (1000 up to 1900′) never dropped below 39 degrees.

    • Dang, and to think I was right there and just didn’t pay any attention. Up here at Dornbechers it didn’t seem too cold.

  35. Forget about the upcoming cooler weather…I like the models consistant tendency towards active (stormy) weather next week…The deep lows in the GOA may steer a potential intense wave towards us….

    Cool 43.3F

  36. Snow-Zone/Monmouth-Elv200' says:

    Clear skies overhead 43.5F and falling….

  37. Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

    Temp sure fell quickly now thanks to that shower. Down to 43.1F with my weather station indicating it should continue to fall further.

  38. Heard that there was plenty of hail in Central Beav when that cell passed through.

    • Timmy_Supercell (Hillsboro) says:

      Yeah I had quite a bit of it in Hillsboro. My parking lot looked like a small stream in 2 minutes.

  39. Timmy_Supercell (Hillsboro) says:

    nicksix: The number you see is part of Photobucket username… “Mesocyclone20090604”

  40. Aleta-West Gresham says:

    Hey Rob, it looks like something is about to hit us. It has gotten really dark the last few minutes and on the radar it looks like heavy rain is headed this way. wind is starting to pick up here as well.

    • Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

      Hi, Aleta.. Moderate shower here on your doorstep now. Nothing too significant though at least.

  41. kyle--- east vancouver says:

    large pea size hail here and it just keeps falling

  42. Dark to the south of here…Radar itself does not look that impressive (so far)…


    • Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

      That slow moving cell kind of split, but now it’s pulsed up west of Camas and another area pulsed up west of Oregon City.

  43. I can’t believe how dark it just got down here. I’m in an office and it feels like it is the middle of the night!

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