Hail and Possible Funnel Cloud Today

April 6, 2011

As I was heading to work around 2pm I was thinking today was a bit disappointing so far…then things changed.  We had two areas of heavy showers move through the Metro Area.  First from 3:30-4:00pm from Lake Oswego to Clackamas a heavy hail shower brought traffic to a standstill in spots.  There may have been a funnel cloud as well.  We received several pictures, and both viewers say there was some rotation.  Radar showed some weak shear, nothing that would scream “FUNNEL CLOUD!”, but could explain the brief rotation.

The 2nd batch of showers moved from NE Vancouver through Orchards and into the Hockinson area.  That one dropped a ton of hail and some snow too.  The picture above is from Steve Pierce.  It’s rare to see so much hail accumulate in our area, a testament to the very cold air up above.

Speaking of cold air, it’s down to 37 here at the station, and the top of our transmission tower (1,800′) is at 32 degrees.  Sticking snow is down around 1,000-1,500′ right now.  If you’re looking for a white start to Thursday though you’ll probably be disappointed.  Precipitation should taper off the next few hours.

Thursday we’ll see a bright day (after brief morning clouds), then showers develop mainly over the hills and mountains.  This time they’ll drift from north to south since we’ll be on the back side of the cold upper-low.

Still a nice, dry, and mostly sunny day on tap for Friday…get ready for some AVERAGE TEMPS!

Then it’s back to more rain over the weekend.

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

Early April Snow In The Hills

April 6, 2011

It’s snowing in the hills this morning, probably not sticking much below 1,500′, but I’ve got flakes flying here at home around the 1,000′ elevation.

Another cold pool of air moving into the Pacific Northwest this morning behind last night’s cold front.  Timberline and Mt. Hood Meadows are in the TEENS and lower 20s this morning too!  The airmass cools a bit more this evening after dark, so snow could be seen in the air almost to sea level before the precipitation shuts down for the night.  In fact check out our RPM model…when I see white showing up on some of the Willamette Valley hills, that means a very low sticking snow level, maybe even below 1,000′ briefly this evening on the east side of the Valley (maybe Mill City, Stayton, Lebanon, Sandy & Estacada?). 

There is a bright spot in the forecast…tomorrow won’t be very wet.  Just a few afternoon showers pop up.  Then Friday should be totally dry and a bit warmer.  We could actually approach 60 degrees!  Wow…an average early April temperature would be nice!

Then it’s back to one more very cold trough by next Monday with snow levels down around 1,500′ or lower.  Still no sign of a big pattern change.

Watch for hail and afternoon thunder today too with the unstable atmosphere overhead.

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen