A Cold Friday; Big Snow in Cascades

Mountain snow has been even heavier than expected; Automated sensors show about 22″ new at Mt. Hood Meadows since yesterday morning and possibly 26″ up at Timberline!  That’s 2 feet already with more to go! 

The snow level did drop a bit further overnight, and the freezing level right now is around 1800′ over Portland based on the top of our transmission tower (1900′) at 31.8 degrees this morning.  That’s a very chilly airmass.  When you get heavy showers at that temp, sticking snow can push a good 1,000′ lower.   In fact take a look at the 10am ODOT cameras at Shorty’s Corner (1200′) just east of Sandy and Quartz Creek (1,100′) in the Coast Range.  Both had or have snow on the side of the road. 

For the rest of today, sticking snow should generally remain well above 1,000′ with the minimal daytime heating.  But anyone could see flakes mixed in the rain or just plain flakes with such a chilly atmosphere.  There are no travel concerns in the lower elevations through this evening here in Western Oregon.

Tonight there is a little “fly in the ointment” as they say.  First thing I noticed on the satellite looper this morning is that low pressure center offshore is farther south than models showed it placed.  It’s a minor but important detail. 

I’ll be at work a bit early this afternoon, eagerly awaiting our 18z RPM run to see if it shows the low coming inland farther south as the two UW mesoscale models show.  More later…

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

107 Responses to A Cold Friday; Big Snow in Cascades

  1. april b. says:

    Does anyone know if there is snow now or expected this weekend at Bagby Hot Springs?

  2. Ryan (Walnut Grove) says:

    Just cold rain in the Couve & 39 degrees here by 205 & Mill Plain.

  3. Josh (Gresham) says:

    ‎34.9 in Gresham, just had a couple of showers move through, second one was almost all snow 310′ moisture is just streaming in frorm the northwest too

  4. Garron says:

    Drove upto the top of Wier road at the west end of Beaverton, sw end of Murray blvd. THe top of the hill is about 1,000′.

    Wet snow flakes at my elevation 250-300′, became all snow about 800′, and sticking at the top of Wier road to the trees, and the sides of the road. About a quarter of an inch at best. Beginning to stick to the pavement just a lil.

    Current temp near Washington square hanging tough at 35.2.

    • chris s says:

      According to google earth, that road tops out just shy of 700ft. ? 🙂 Guess thats a good thing, snow level is lower than you thought in the heavier showers.

  5. EmzinTigard says:

    Snow level must be about 700′.. drove to the top of Ascension, a road here in Tigard, & the snow is on the ground, street, cars & so on..

  6. Shawn in Scppoose says:

    Why isnt the new radar showing better coverage of the snow? like say with this past shower, it should have showed a mix in beaverton area. Are they still working with it? Anyhow know.

    • Mark Nelsen says:

      Those products aren’t available to the general public (or tv stations yet), plus, once it’s below the lowest radar beam (maybe 2-3,000′ over the metro area), it’ll just show as snow anyway. The melting from snowflakes to raindrops is occurring down below.

      The snow/rain graphics you’ve seen on TV and the internet (and still see now) are either based on observations or modeling/terrain. The radar is not actually SEEING the different types of precipitation.

    • Shawn in Scppoose says:

      Thanks for explaining that Mark 🙂

  7. WhiteEagle - Garden Home/SW Portland says:

    Wet silver dollar snowflakes here in Garden Home, about 10 minutes ago. Temp 36.1F. Rain has decreased and only a few wet snowflakes mixed in now. Nothing ever accumulated. Pretty much what I expected from the forecast…

  8. Seems that the steady precip rates is cooling the atmosphere perhaps a bit more than expected. Any thoughts?

    • WhiteEagle - Garden Home/SW Portland says:

      Yup…exactly, Rob…went from 40F to 36F slowly, due to the latent heat absorption, I’m sure…

    • Josh (Gresham) says:

      36.0, just had first flakes of the year…. Came down pretty good for a few minutes, cooling faster than forecasted

  9. Runrain says:

    All snow now in Happy Valley at 500′.

  10. 39.0 here with light south winds.

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