Snow Flurry-Storm WrapUp

December 18, 2010

I was up like many of you around 4-5am when the heaviest of the precipitation moved through.  In some parts of the metro area it DID briefly change to snow as evaporative cooling did it’s trick.  From what I see in the comments, that was right around the Gateway/I-205 area and way out westside.  That’s a bit closer than I expected in the first location.  A solid 6-8 degrees evaporative cooling is very impressive.

No official airport location had snow, just rain.  PDX only dropped to 37 and Hillsboro 35 at the coolest.  I’m real happy about those numbers (Thursday night’s post).  There was some talk in the comments yesterday about Clark County and areas northof the Columbia River being a favored location for snow.  So much mixing up there that I see some stations were even warmer than the airport.

In general this whole setup was maybe 3-5 degrees warmer than what we saw last December 29th.  The mesoscale models did VERY well with it too.

Now some well-deserved humble talk…that was too close of a situation for snow for a person to be saying “highly unlikely” or it just isn’t going to happen.  That would be me of course.  I still think models were too warm and I’d still make the same forecast again (no snow), but sometimes I think I skew a bit too far the “no snow” direction based on my job.  If deep down inside I figure it’s a 30/70 chance for snow/no snow, I’ll just say no snow to keep it from becoming a significant story because (rightfully so) it doesn’t deserve to be.  For example, how many kids/adults woke up to disappointment this morning after hearing an official forecast for snow early this morning turning to rain?  Hoping for 1″ or so at the top end maybe…

So I like Michael Goss’s comment in the previous posting…the final outcome was somewhere between the NWS forecast and mine.   I think meteorologically both were fine.  And thank God the sudden sighting of flurries happened under the cover of darkness!

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen