No Frost, But Snow in the Hills This Morning!

Check out this picture…snow sticking down to around 1,000′ along Highway 26 at Brightwood this morning.  Some heavy showers are moving through Clackamas County, dragging the snow level down very low there.  Brrr!

At least the cloud cover and showers kept the entire metro area above freezing last night.  I don’t see the frost point reached at any of the usual cold spots.

83 Responses to No Frost, But Snow in the Hills This Morning!

  1. Karl Bonner says:

    That photo is astounding, not only were there flakes falling at 1000 feet but there was actually a slight mushy accumulation! That means that there were flakes, at least slushy ones, down to 800-900 feet or perhaps even a bit lower!

    This has got to be the lowest elevation snow we’ve ever gotten in May, at least to my knowledge.

  2. wendy-silverlake,WA says:

    Anybody else feel like they are living in Florida with the afternoon hail storms going on. Nice bright sunny days, then instant hail storm, then back to pretty skies again. Really puts a damper on outdoor activities.

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

    As of 4:00 PM

    Upper Air Analysis
    850mb: -2c
    500mb: -33c to -34c

    Thermodynamic Fields:
    SBCAPE: 250J/kg – 500J/kg Columbia Gorge
    MLCAPE: 250J/kg Northern Willamette Valley, PDX/VUO metro areas
    MUCAPE: 100J/kg – 500J/kg Columbia Gorge
    LIFTED INDEX: -1 to -2
    LOW-LEVEL LAPSE RATES: 8 to 8.5C/km
    LCL HEIGHT: 900-1000
    LFC HEIGHT: 1000
    PWAT VALUE: .40″

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

    Here’s our only hope….. These 3 cells

    C’mon !

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

    I am watching 2 cells N-NW of Vancouver.

    Let’s see if these pulse up any.

  6. dabears (Hillsboro-Tanasbourne) says:

    Flight’s delayed due to weather. Awesome.

  7. pgiorgio says:

    For those traveling down I-5 east of Salem there are some cells developing right now headed south southeast. It looks like there are storms developing now just not in the Portland area.

    • pgiorgio says:

      Got a text from my friend Dan traveling down I-5 near Salem of multiple lighting flashes in the sky and heavy rain.

  8. Mr Data says:

    I see a cell that was to the W and NW but is now OH.

    59F a few minutes ago and now dropping.

    58F now.

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

    Hearing lightning on AM radio…. Perhaps the Salem area? Some decent red over them.

  10. W7ENK says:

    There’s been an awful lot of sun today. Temp’s been as high as … well, 55.2°F right now. There’ve been quite a few cells that have passed nearby, but I have yet to see a drop of anything fall from the sky right here in Milwaukie. So far, today has been completely dry at my location.

    • *in Tigard* location, location, location. I’ve had hail three times today. It’s getting old. Thunder would be a great way to spruce it up. Hope you see something too!

    • Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

      Most locations are 6-9F above the convective temp(44 F), but there has not been much convection developing. Radar trends past 20 minutes have weakened. Despite some instability, negative LI values, and steep lapse rates cells are struggling. Lack of moisture are my thoughts. I do see some blob of clouds over the Puget Sound moving south towards us ….. hmmmm….

    • Runrain says:

      Looks to me like the energy and moisture are winding down. Glad at least those of you on the westside got some action today.

    • I don’t think its over yet but we are lacking sufficient moisture..Line of showers trying to make it to the I-5 corridor.

    • W7ENK says:

      Very light to moderate rain right now, but no hail in it…

    • Stevetheweathernut says:


  11. Should be a fun day at my Grandson’s track meet! (Lakeridge HS)…

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

    As of 1:30 PM

    Upper Air Analysis
    850mb: -3c to -4c
    500mb: -35c

    Thermodynamic Fields:
    SBCAPE: 250J/kg – Pockets of 500J/kg Central/Southern Willamette Valley
    MLCAPE: 250J/kg Central/Southern Willamette Valley
    MUCAPE: 100J/kg – Pockets of 500J/kg Central/Southern Willamette Valley
    LOW-LEVEL LAPSE RATES: 8 to 8.5C/km
    LCL HEIGHT: 750-900
    LFC HEIGHT: 800-1000

    • Jim in N. Tabor says:

      Are we still looking at 30% chance for T-storms in PDX or better now ?

    • Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

      I could be wrong, but I think the moisture content is a bit to dry. I’m noticing the cells are struggling on radar. 15-25% chance storms.

    • Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

      Meaning to say they pulse up a bit, and die back off. The storm earlier near Oregon City died off rapidly.

    • Jim in N. Tabor says:

      Thanks Rob. My neighbor said he heard there was going to be severe T-storms but he gets confused quite easily so what he heard was probably for a different part of the country. I told him I would check with the experts.

    • Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

      No problem…. You know I think if we had better moisture and stronger wind shear 35-40+kts we could have had some severe storms here today. Slight risk of course, but nope not the case.

  13. Garron says:

    wish i was in Mololla right about now! Hope we get a few of these blow up showers here.

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

    T-storm in progress south of Oregon City and just east of Canby.

    Zoomed radar

    I sure hope the best instability isn’t going to be south of PDX….

  15. Garron says:

    Hey, what’s the best site for time lapse radar? Anything interesting on the horizon??? Thanks

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

    Just heard a lightning strike on AM radio… It was either from the cell south of Oregon City, or SE of Newberg.

  17. Mike (Orchards 255') says:

    New cell near Oregon City

  18. yevpolo1990 says:

    seems to me the most intense showers will stay just west of Portland, like the 53dbz cell which will come over me any minute now…

  19. Mr Data says:

    No below 40F for the last two nights but maybe tonight different?

    50F now and woke up to a heavy shower at 12:30 and the raingauge says only 0.004. 😛

  20. dabears (Hillsboro-Tanasbourne) says:

    I’ve got a flight out of PDX at 4:30 this afternoon. Wonder if it’s going to be delayed with all this weather.

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

    As of Noon

    The following parameters are for locations from Salem north to about Kelso.

    Upper Air Analysis
    850mb: -3c to -4c
    500mb: -35c

    Thermodynamic Fields:
    SBCAPE: 250J/kg
    MUCAPE: 100J/kg
    LIFTED INDEX: 0 to -1
    LOW-LEVEL LAPSE RATES: 8 to 8.5C/km
    LCL HEIGHT: 750-900
    LFC HEIGHT: 800-1000

    Things are starting to come together, but it does look a bit dry in the atmosphere to me. I am sticking with a 30% chance t-storms.

    • PaulO says:

      Sat. loop looks like a pretty good slug of moisture heading down from the NNE might coincide with the afternoon heating to fire some things off.

      Thanks for the update, keep us posted!

  22. pappoose in scappoose says:

    Small hail shower just passed through, headed your way boys and girls, hope it grows up for you.

  23. SeaChange says:

    Small hail here in Garden Home, in far SW Portland. Some of the bigger ones were the size of peas.

    Looking at the radar, the cell that produced the hail sure didn’t look that impressive…it will be interesting to see what some of the bigger cells will be able to produce this afternoon!

  24. Andrea says:

    Hey Weather bloggers! Make sure to wish Mr. Mark Nelsen a Happy Birthday on Thursday!! Let him know he is greatly appreciated!

  25. Sandi (Wilsonville) says:

    Small hail coming down now in Wilsonville.

  26. *in Tigard*
    A little hail shower. Slightly larger than the size of hail I saw yesterday. Solid enough not to melt too quickly, too which is different than yesterday.

  27. Mike (Orchards 255') says:

    Shortwave dropping down from the north today could trigger some good convective weather this afternoon. Instability parameters look descent for a few good t-storms.

    With enough clearing overnight, could we be flirting with freezing temps??

  28. Tyler says:

    I’m up at Wind River (appropriately named) with a temp of 38 now, winds to 30 mph and snow in the hills. Seems more like January!

  29. Battle Ground Brian says:

    12z GFS — Bah!!! a setback

    +5 is the highest 850mb reading through the period.

    Now I see why Mark said last nite “I will ignore the big ridge in the long term”. Now that ridge is gone…

    Good thinking Mark!!

    • Jesse-Orchards says:

      I like!

      The great thing about the upcoming weather is that it looks really pleasant, with lots of sunshine, just cool. Usually we’re getting our first taste of 80s around this time, we haven’t even been above the low 70s yet!

  30. cgavic says:

    and 33 degs.

  31. cliff g says:

    We’ve got snow!

    snowing in sandy this morning and at least a heavy trace of snow on the ground.

    haven’t measured.

    I’ve never seen snow this late in the season.

    in the lower elevations.

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

    Back much sooner, but only for a moment.

    Real good sun breaks and what looks like lots of sun shine off to my W-NW. Remember, the convective temp is only 44F today! This could be one heck of a day! Check those LCL-LFC heights!

    Be back shortly

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

    Be back 11:00 – 11:30 PM. Hopefully Thermodynamic Fields start looking interesting, and VIS imagery shows a ton of sun breaks.

    I will have a full report then.


  34. Mark Nelsen says:

    Viewer emailed it’s snowing in Sandy too at 8am.

    • Jesse-Orchards says:

      That’s crazy.

    • Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

      Insane. …. Early morning Snow shocker leads to widespread convection after 3:00 PM in the PDX/VUO metro areas with 2 severe warned storms. Oh sorry, I was day dreaming.

  35. Runrain says:

    Ok, how about some boomers today and some nickel sized hail! One last blast before we head into more reasonable weather.

  36. Farmer Steve says:

    38.4 this morning and clear sunny skies over us in Hillsboro so as Rob says sun breaks, sun breaks, sun breaks keep fingers crossed although I need extended dry to work fields……

  37. Jesse-Orchards says:

    Hit 36 here right after midnight last night, clouded up since then and remained that way. Tonight is definitely looking better for a widespread frost/freeze.

    When was the last time snow fell to 1,000 in Western Oregon in May? I’m thinking early 1960s?

    • Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

      Ohhh Justin? you got your ears on? 10-4.

    • Jesse-Orchards says:

      Did a quick browsing of the data, and it looks like the last time an airmass was cold enough to bring snow that low in May was 5-5-1965, so 45 years ago to the day.

    • Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

      Nice guess. Pretty much what you were thinking.

  38. pappoose in scappoose says:

    Been solid sun here since 6:30, low was near 35.

  39. Rob Waltemate says:

    Reminds me of May in 2008.

    • Jesse-Orchards says:

      I don’t remember snow this low in May of 2008. Though it did come down very low late April of that year, around the 20th.

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

    Good morning.. A December like 40.3F at my house. Cloudy, light rain showers, drippy morning, but BUT had a sun break a moment ago.

    Okay sports fans….

    12z SLE sounding hot off the press!

    Some instability is projected to develop
    Lifted Index around Zero
    No CAP inversion from surface to about 550mb
    Shear improved slightly
    Moisture content in the atmosphere looks kind of weak only PWAT values .42″
    Convective Temp of only 44F
    Max Temp: 48F (Would be bit lower than the forecast high temp
    Lapse Rates 7.2 – 7.7C/km modestly steep

    Soundings are quite accurate, but things can change depending on the amount of sun breaks and surface heating. If we can get this cold muck out of here it could be interesting later, but drier air is a bit of a concern..

    As of 7:00 AM

    Upper Air Analysis
    850mb: -5c
    500mb: -35c

    Thermodynamic Fields:
    MUCAPE: 100J/kg North/Central Oregon Cascades and Foothills. Northern Oregon Coast.
    MID-LEVEL LAPSE RATES: 7.5 – 8C/km

    It’s encouraging to already see lapse rates this steep and some weak elevated instability around the area. It shouldn’t take much to see SBCAPE values of 250-500J/kg developing later. I still believe chances of t-storms are 30%. I know it is a broken record, but as always sun breaks, sun breaks, sun breaks!

    • W7ENK says:

      Now, if it stays cloudy like it is now, will we even reach 50°F today?

    • Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

      That’s the wild card. Cloudiness, and surface heating. As of 8:02 AM it doesn’t look good certainly, but the May sun is mighty warm.

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

    Oh wow a super early surprise post.. Thanks. Crazy to see that snow.

    • Mark Nelsen says:

      Wednesday AM is volunteer morning for me at kid’s school: 8:30am! It’s just like in that silly promotional spot we run…I rub my eyes, walk over to the espresso machine, make a coffee, and go stare at the weather maps. I like what I see for the next 7 days…WARMER, except the quick trough on the ECMWF Monday-Tuesday.

    • Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

      Very encouraging. So it’s still showing the split with brunt of energy diving well south I assume?

    • Jesse-Orchards says:

      It’d be tough to get any colder from here on out! Warmer is the only way we can really go.

    • Mark Nelsen says:

      Yeah, I figure May is the “reverse” of November…it can still get warm the first part of November, but by late in the month Summer and warm weather are a memory. Similar in May. I don’t ever remember talking about snow below 4,000′ in late May. Except for June 10th two years ago when snow fell everywhere down to around 2,000′ over and east of the Cascades.

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