Spots of Freezing Rain This A.M.

A quick look at what’s going on this morning (from half-asleep eyes):

1.  No snow…temps are too warm above, note the hills around town have moved well up away from freezing.

2.  Very little precipitation of any type so far.

3.  Little to no “wet-bulbing” going on with such light precipitation, temps and dewpoints are gradually rising (especially dewpoints) in just about all areas.  About half of us in the metro area even appear to have passed the possibility for significant icing as the temp has moved above freezing.

Add these together and it now appears a signficant icing of the Metro area for the morning commute is unlikely.  Definitely localized icy areas though, but even those will just last a few hours.

Be careful on sidewalks and a few side streets, but in general I think we are in pretty good shape; could have been much worse!

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

332 Responses to Spots of Freezing Rain This A.M.

  1. eflow says:

    Just for fun…So I’m trying to think of a good conceivable situation where pdx could get 60+” of snow from one storm…I believe it is possible but what would one need? An extremely cold air mass east of the cascades and probably resting over pdx for a week or more that is continuously being re-inforced…a pineapple up over the top of it without eroding a depth of cold air sufficient to snow at the valley floor and giving essentially 6+ inches of qpf at a 10:1 ratio. Can you think of any other scenarios? A low spinning offshore for a long time pulling cold air out and ushering warm moist air up over the top of it… I like this thinking 🙂

    • W7ENK says:

      We would need a Pineapple express that originated in NE Russia, followed the Aleutian Chain then dropped down along the PNW coast, centerer on PDX. That might do it?

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

    Talk about crazy model confusion. I can’t believe the incredible inconsistency between the models… Forget run to run flip/flopping, it’s just plain weird to see the GFS say 1 thing, then the EURO disagree, then Canadian says we’re cold, then it changed its mind, then the next they reverse… The models just have no clue how to handle this pattern change because it’s more complex compared to usual probably due to the extreme block that is going to setup over Alaska coupled with the coldest air mass in Canada in 20+ years. I bet by Friday we’ll know and see models more consistent for whatever solution they agree upon.

    • Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

      00Z EURO stinks, but it has an even colder air mass in BC not far from the BC/WA border. Major bitterness.

  3. Brian says:

    Comparing the WRF-GFS for yesterday and today’s 00Z. I see the High Pressure more pronounced in southern Alaska. This should push the slider off our coast farther south should this trend continue right? Thus allowing for more cold to enter….let us hope

  4. PortBlazerFan says:

    This set up for big snow than pineapple express next week is very bad. I can’t help but remember 1996. I love the snow but we don’t need pineapple express right after big snow. Anyone that lives on a flood plain or close to a river/creek should watch the models and forecasts very closely if this scenario plays out.

    • Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

      December 26th, 1996 was awful. A terrific ice storm in my area. We lost 2 trees and every other tree had significant damage to it. I vividly remember myself and my Father cautiously walking or “skating” down the driveway as I told him and my Mum that we needed to move the car in case one of the trees were to split or fall on it. No sooner did we get to the car the tree split and almost hit my Father. It barely grazed the Car though…. THEN due to the increasing ice amount on the power lines they began to arc in our Elm Tree. Small fires would erupt, then go away. This kept occurring for hours. That became much worse once the power lines sagged over each other cautious tremendous booms and explosions to the point it shook the windows. Well this in turn caught the tree on fire and the Fire Department was called out. THEN the main power line to the house snapped and was dangling on the back yard. Our power was out for 6 days. I remember the morning of the 26th standing on my front porch and listening to the incredible sounds of trees snapping, limbs crashing, and loud booms and transformers were blowing out all over the place. It was in a sense surreal.

    • PortBlazerFan says:

      very intense story….Things like that is why I dread ZR storms. When I used to live in Sellwood back in Dec 1996 my neighbors had these huge fur trees and every time we had an Ice storm some of the ice covered branches would break off sometimes hitting his house and power lines knocking out power to the entire block. Most ZR storms are memorable for the wrong reasons.

  5. PaulB/Eugene says:

    ECWMF, UKMET going for the cutoff AK block in NW AK…not good for snow/cold next week…wait til next run.

    • EA_TTD says:

      Paul, Have you seen such model inconsistencies such as this before? Every time a pattern tries to emerge, the game changes with the next run. The only thing certain is that there is a massive block in Alaska. How can you teleconnect to anything when the wires keep frying???

    • Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

      Well put… It’s bonkers.

    • PaulB/Eugene says:

      Models scattered…next thing we know there is a 946 mb bomb forecast 80 miles west of Newport. Might get better luck from calling Jim Bosley or Jack Cappell from the dusty old rotary phone in the basement . It is basically all about the pesky subtropical low N of Hawaii, the AK block and what they decide to do…and oh yes not to forget the permanent ridge over the vineyards of Greenland.

  6. Ashley Watson says:

    Hey folks again,

    I know that I can be irritating at times, heck i irritate myself but i just have to say that all this model riding can make a person go crazy. Our emotions go up and they go down and up and down and so on….. Mark nelson did you ever feel this way? Sometimes I get so depressed when we don’t get the snow and cold. I have tried to ween myself off looking at the models but I am so addicted. I just hope so much the next one will be better. and then it is and I get hopeful then the next one is crap and I get depressed really depressed. Does anyone else on this blog feel the same way?? my wife gets on me all the time and tells me I need to tone it down but i can’t. ever since I was 10 and I first heard the words “high” and “low” i was hooked on weather. I had to read books on it. I had to watch all three major networks and the weather channel to see what each one would say about the forecast. I know this isn’t normal but what does a man do. I actually get depressed when most of the winter it rains or is warm and dry. Most people like warm and dry weather. I like all 4 seasons and when winter doesn’t behave like winter i get depressed. I have tried to talk to people about this but they think it’s funny or that i am just ecentric but I would sure like to be free from this obsession. I almost feel it’s as bad as being addicted to porn or drugs or being an alcoholic. I mean I really enjoy basketball but i am not obssesed with it. Why can’t the weather be the same thing??? I guess this is a cry for help!!!!

    • kcteach-Gresham-500' says:

      Why is your name Ashley when you have a wife?

    • cap - Hood River says:

      Spend some time in the mountains. You’ll get the taste for Winter that you’re missing, and the obsession will subside.

    • EA_TTD says:

      Or Minnesota…specifically the northern half. Was there for Christmas and saw all the snow I wanted and then some. Cold too!

    • Tornado Aly says:

      I knew a guy named Ashley once, it can be both a male and female name. I’m the same way as you, Ashley, maybe not as depressed, but I’m down because of all the rain we’ve had last month, and no action to really speak of except COLD. Not even a windstorm! But, hey, it’s only early Jan, we have the rest of this month and the first part of Feb for our chance of something. I’ve been bugging my husband to move to the midwest, say Missouri or something. LOL. Even east of the Cascades has four seasons.

    • W7ENK says:

      Ashley is traditionally a male name, as is Kelly. But not Susan or Barbara, FWIW. Except in that one Johnny Cash song…
      My name is SUE! How do you DO???o_O

      All that aside, @Ashley, I agree with cap. Head to the mountains when you need a fix. It’ll do you wonders! That’s what I did New Years Eve – my friend’s son and I were both nic’n for some snowy cold fun, and we sure got it! Timberline = 120 inches and 3 degrees… sweet satisfaction! 😀

    • Mark Nelsen says:

      I used to be like that, even as recently as 10 years ago. Two things…one is to find other things you love to do in the winter, like snow sports in the mountains. The other, which isn’t really an option for most of us, is to move to an area that has more winter weather. Just having several inches of frozen snow on the ground for 7 days with highs in the 20s (this past week) was enough for me to say “okay, an arctic blast would be nice, but I feel like I’ve really seen winter”. That plus some freezing rain twice already last month and late November really helps me. It’s just more wintery even at just the west end of the Gorge. Like I said, most don’t have the option to move though. It would kill me (weatherwise) to be stuck back in the lowlands again.

    • PortBlazerFan says:

      I feel your fustration…One day the models say snow and in the 20’s then the next day they say 50’s and lots of rain. The models give you hope like a candy bar then they take it away sooner than you can take your first bite. I’m with everyone else, you would probably feel better after being up at Mt. Hood. If this winter continues like this I might take a trip to Mt. Hood myself before winter is over.

  7. Tag9: I messed up, so please, login with any user name you want, leave the password blank, thanks, and sorry

  8. Marc (East Vancouver) says:

    It’s nice to speculate but you all know Mark won’t begin to mention this for another 36-48 hours. He is anti-media hype for winter storms and rightfully so. Too much on the line to be the first to forecast something so extreme.

    • Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

      I agree. We can merely speculate until we see a good 2-3 days of model/ensemble agreement.

    • EA_TTD says:

      I’m sure Mark may mention the ‘possibility’ for snow next week on Friday if the models lock in but the alarm bells won’t be sounded until Monday…just a guess. Mr. Nelsen, would that be accurate?

    • Marc (East Vancouver) says:

      EA, I would agree with that. I would say Mark is extremely conservative on his forecasts in the 3-7 day range. Usually, he is on the money in the 1-2 day range though.

    • Mark Nelsen says:

      I didn’t used to be. In the 1990s I think I drove Jim Little nuts. But not so much responsibility either back then.

  9. bgb41 says:

    00Z GFS @ Troutdale

    Ok everyone..Place your bets!!

  10. flurball says:

    Great post Sarah.

  11. stevied (North Portland) says:

    WRF-GFS shows snow in PDX on Tuesday afternoon (less than 6 days from now)

    • TAGinGresham says:

      Yes!!! But I don’t know what the heck the problem is. I tried again last night, didn’t put in a password, and it showed the rooms, I clicked on the one you guys were in, and it sent me back to the login page. I also got an activation email, so I did it, it said I was activated so I thought I was good, tried it again, and same thing. Hopefully by the time we are on the verge of snow, I will be able to join. 😦

    • TAGinGresham says:

      Nevermind, I’m in!!!

  12. flurball says:

    I’ll agree too but also don’t get excited about the possible next freshett that might look to be on the horizon too. You can’t if it’s in your blood. Live for today and hope for tomorrow and enjoy the ride while it presents itself.

  13. TAGinGresham says:

    Would anybody mind posting the names of the different models/ensembles that are looked at, and the times they come out? I just want to know what comes when, and maybe understand that part of it better. Thanks!

  14. flurball says:

    Larry, you didn’t look a day over 29 when I saw you:)

    Did your mom leave you news paper clippings in her will?

  15. Anthony Bertolo - Hillsboro says:

    I think you guys might be getting too excited over lala-land. Remember, the models have shut down chances of a good shot at snow for the most part of the last few days. Not saying it’s not possible, just saying we can’t get all worked up over this one run when the last 5 have been crap.

    • jackfrost (beaverton) says:


    • Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

      To be fair possible snow within 6-7 days isn’t exactly la-la land now. But as I said just a bit ago as nice as 00Z was this is still only 1 run. We need this new trend to show model consistency. I am optimistic however.

  16. flurball says:

    And really far off if it can be believed………and it can’t, almost 5 inches of rain per Metrostar after several days of bitter cold and almost a foot of snow, Anyone old enough to remember the Xmas day flood of 1964? Don’t blast me, I’m not forecasting or believing it but that would be a possible scenario IF you took it at face value.

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

    The sooner the block over Alaska and southern ridge near 48-50 N, 140 W phase, the sooner the westerlies are cut off and the 500 Mb flow becomes favorably out of the north-northeast. As we saw with 00Z GFS this was definitely the case. The earliest I could see a phasing occur would be FCST HR 78-96 just as the weekend trough moves east of us. It is something to watch.

  18. PaulB/Eugene says:

    GEM and NOGAPS runs tonight are TOXIC. Don’t look at them.

    • Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

      A total reversal of the GFS. Major flip/flopping amongst the model camps now. COULD we be seeing the GFS(maybe EURO later too) taking charge with the pattern change recognition.

  19. wendy-silverlake,WA says:

    Okay, so I’m guessing that there is a bunch of moisture heading south? It looks dry up this way on the 00z for us up here. Am I reading things correctly?

    • wendy-silverlake,WA says:

      Repeat of last year where we watched you guys getting the snow and we were left high and dry?

  20. flurball says:

    Bob is busy looking at those blood pressure spikes…….er………..tower temps 🙂

  21. …I think we need Bob to put it all in perspective… 🙂

  22. wendy-silverlake,WA says:

    I don’t think I’m looking in the same place you all are. I see low 30’s and dry for the most part. Can you post a link or something to show this.

  23. Ben Randall says:

    I would say the coast even has a shot at snow from 00z gfs

  24. stevied (North Portland) says:

    This model riding is becoming painful… so much back and forth. Liking the 00z… as it shows the possible beginning of an epic snow event beginning in just 5 and 1/2 days! Lots of model riding left. Not sure how it could improve much from this run, though.

    • Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

      It could in terms of colder and much more so. If the block and southern ridge where to phase more efficiently we could get an even bigger arctic blast.

  25. geo says:

    Thank God all this is after the 10th. I can make it up to sea-tac safely with my daughter.

    • Andrew says:

      Same, i am flying out of Sea-tac this friday to Arizona for the BCS National Champtionship Game and flying back in Tuesday morning.

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

    It’s hard not to get all giddy and pumped up after seeing 00Z looking so sweet, but I have to unfortunately remind myself that this too is only 1 run. However is ensembles look good and 00Z EURO backs it up, then I think you can be optimistic. Still a longgg ways to go, but seeing 00Z suggest snow is possible within 6-7 days is encouraging.

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