Precipitation Moving In…Snow For Some

Rain and snow is moving in this evening, and some of it is falling as snow, mainly in western Washington and Yamhill counties.   With no warming southerly breezes until after midnight, there’s no reason the hills (Vernonia, Buxton, Timber etc…) couldn’t get 2″ of snow before daybreak.  It still appears to be slightly too warm for snow in the lowest elevations here in the metro area, but only a few degrees too warm.

The Columbia River Gorge still looks setup for snow this evening and overnight.   Easterly flow is weak, but it’s keeping the low level cold airmass in place.  Check out the current temps; they’ll fall a notch or two when the precipitation arrives.

The Next 12 Hours

Portland Metro:  Rain showers, mixed with snow at times…we bottom out around 35 degrees before midnight, then stay between 35-40 degrees through daybreak…No Freezing Tonight.

Coast Range and far western Washington/Columbia Counties…northern Clark/Cowlitz County hills too:  Evening snow…up to 2″ accumulation possible anywhere west of Forest Grove, Banks, and hills around St. Helens and Scappoose.  Warming a few notches towards daybreak, so roads should improve by morning commute time.

Columbia River Gorge:  Snow spreads in, sticking to I-84 east of Multnomah Falls through the night.  Up to 2″ new snow.  Then a slow melt after daybreak.  In the Corbett area and hills east of Washougal, expect freezing rain this evening above about the 500′ elevation.  Up to 1/4″ ice accumulation by midnight.

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

83 Responses to Precipitation Moving In…Snow For Some

  1. stevied (North Portland) says:

    18z GFS very interesting. Hours 126-141 look like some VERY low snow levels. Seems very possible to at least see some snowflakes in the air in PDX with that setup. Sticking snow would be close. First run it has showed this much. EURO has hinted at it, though.

  2. PaulB/Eugene says:

    Thu 12:30

    Not much new to add…
    Ridging over or just off of western USA coast….should cool off again in lower levels as we get into next week…not quite as cold as as it was in the past week…but it will be noticeable. UKMET and ECMWF both show pattern late next week conducive to redeveloping cold soup in the Columbia Basin maybe some gorge winds once again.
    12 GFS ensemble mean shows increasing precip in last week of Dec.
    Lots of noise on the weather blogs nationwide about the big torch going on back east…with the persistent positive NAO, and expectation that the SE ridge is supposed to be semipermanent as we go through Jan and Feb…….European long range monthly forecast still has Western Canada, NW Corner of USA cold..mostly later towards Feb…CFS has had two runs in a row with arctic intrusion into PacNW in mid-late Jan…today it shows basically a cold regime from Jan 10 through at least Jan 20.
    Will have to wait and see…..meanwhile looking forward to skiing on some real snow come New Year’s Day.

  3. Nicole---Battleground says:

    Is there any chance of any more rain in the next couple days?

  4. Low of 35.3° this morning and 0.06″ of rain overnight.
    Currently 38.7° and cloudy.

  5. Cap - Hood River says:

    About an inch of snow on the ground in HR. We’ll take it.

  6. Punxsutawney (aka HIOPHIL) at work by Sunset High elev ~280 says:

    Looks like the CP anemometer froze up in the last hour. At least I’m hoping that’s all it is. Temp supports the posibility.

    • Mark Nelsen says:

      It did…heavier precipitation just did it in.

    • Punxsutawney (aka HIOPHIL) at work by Sunset High elev ~280 says:

      I’d like to make a joke about slipping on down there and chipping it free, but what happened to you last night is not funny. Good luck getting your car unstuck!

      Studs are ok, but cleated chains are the only way to go on wet ice when you are on steep hills.

    • Steve Pierce says:

      Obviously a “rookie” installation! 🙂

  7. For the first time in 2 1/2 weeks I’m waking up to well above freezing temps. Picked up .10″ of rain last night.

  8. Garron Beaverton says:


    Wow, I’ll bet once your knees stop knocking from the cold and the excitement, you’ll sleep well tonight!!! So glad I didin’t take the trip I’d thought about doing after reading those last couple of comments, very happy if everyone made it home safely, and thanks for the report.

  9. Josh in Puyallup says:

    the 06z looks fun in the long range. 5+ inches of rain.

  10. Mark Nelsen says:

    I didn’t make it home! Those brand new snow tires (withOUT studs) were useless on the ice so I did a “controlled slow move” into a ditch coming down a steep hill. Left the car sitting there with two wheels on pavement and two in the ditch. Too risky that I might slide off the other side and down the hill. Walked 1 mile home at 12:30am. Not an animal, car, or human in sight. Very weird, but a nice extra workout. I’ll get the car tomorrow.

    • Longview - 400 ft says:

      Glad you are safe and at home!!!!!!

    • Kyle says:

      A few days ago Santa’s Sleigh broke down in Salem and he is stranded.

    • sds123 says:

      Nothing like new metal studs or vee-bar chains when roads are icy and things get dicy!

    • Laura in Corbett says:

      Call us Mark if you need us, Jake has big truck and chains.

    • pappoose in scappoose says:

      Hahaah! I’ve been trying to resist the urge to tell you, I put studded tires on as soon as allowed. And I LEAVE em on as long as allowed. Lots of slick roads out here ALL Winter. And you can’t beat studs.

    • W7ENK says:

      Yikes! Glad you’re okay, Mark!!

      Yeah, nothing works on that glaze ice crap… chains are the only thing that will offer traction, but even then it gets a little harrowing.

      I promise you Mark, if you use those new tires on snow, packed snow, melted and refrozen snow, icy frosty roads, or anything else but glaze ice with a layer of wet water on top, you’ll be satisfied with their performance. The only times I’ve had to add chains were on glaze ice, and once going over Willamette Pass, but only then because it was dumping snow so hard and it was piling up so fast it started dragging on the underside of my car.

      Hopefully, your car is still there… and in one piece!

    • Glad you made it home ok Mark! Getting up that hill to Corbett must be a nightmare at times in the winter!!!

    • pappoose in scappoose says:

      You might say it wasn’t fit for man or beast out there last night. Reminds me of riding around in the snow on a motorcycle. Had some old electrical cable and tied it around the tire every six inches or so. Worked pretty well for just riding around the land of gravelly plains…but was a bit bumpy! (can’t keep a weather fan out of the weather)

    • Cap - Hood River says:

      Yikes. Sorry to hear that, Mark. The studs wouldn’t have helped much in the ice.

    • El Donut says:

      How “brand new”?

      If they were something like Bridgestone Blizzaks, there is a couple hundred mile “break-in” period to wear away the “mold release” lubricant applied during their manufacturing (actually true of any tire, just much more critical when you’re trying to grip on snow/ice) before maximum traction is achieved.

    • Austin-Felida says:

      i cnt come and ever pick u up but if u want to exercise together. like cardio so ur ready wen ur car goes in the ditch again and u can make it all the way home without breaking a sweat. haha

  11. ryanintd says:

    Real fun driving through the Gorge tonight. I-84 was covered in ice from just past Bridal Veil exit to past The Dalles.

  12. Kyle says:

    I was recently looking up 1984-85 for the Sweet Field airport in Eugene and found out it was a more disgusting pattern then now with 17 inches of liquid sunshine for November alone: YIKES!

    The highest 24 hour total was a little over 3 inches.

    I haven’t read the blog since Mark posted his comment about almost barfing up his dinner on last Friday’s update on the model runs but I just want to say that was the most funniest post I ever saw.

    And you know what is even funnier?

    That I logged in just as Mark was updating Friday night and the page looked like a 12 inch blizzard just hit. LOL.

    I bet if mankind were to make computers more powerful then God himself we STILL wouldn’t be able to forecast more the 3 days out with Mark sometimes puking up his dinner on bad runs.

    • Kyle says:

      I forgot to number it.

      2. I haven’t read the blog since Mark posted his comment about almost barfing up his dinner on last Friday’s update on the model runs but I just want to say that was the most funniest post I ever saw.

      And you know what is even funnier?

      That I logged in just as Mark was updating Friday night and the page looked like a 12 inch blizzard just hit. LOL.

      I bet if mankind were to make computers more powerful then God himself we STILL wouldn’t be able to forecast more the 3 days out with Mark sometimes puking up his dinner on bad runs.

  13. bgb41 says:

    12/14/2011 Oregon (All) Temperature Summary

    High:52 at BANDON( 79 ft) & Port Orford (US(90 ft)
    Low: 44 at BROOKINGS(79 ft)

    High:24 at DW1028 Ajax(2090 ft)
    Low: -1 at CABIN LAKE (4560 ft )

    Largest Diurnal Change: 40 degrees
    KLAMATH NWR (42/2 ) (4531 ft )

    Heaviest Rainfall:
    0.78″ at RED MOUND(1753ft)
    0.48″ at Brookings Airpor(459ft)

  14. Mark Nelsen says:

    Evaporative cooling still working in the east wind areas…PDX is now down to 35, Troutdale at 34. It’ll be interesting to see if Vista House anemometer freezes up in the next hour before the precipitation cuts off too.

  15. Up to 33.8 from 33 @5pm

  16. Forest Grover says:

    Still a chilly 34 degrees and a light mix of rain and snow. We’ve been at this temp for over 6 hours. Broke past freezing a little after noon.

  17. Karl Bonner says:

    As of 8:45pm nearly half an inch of snow in The Dalles already! Much heavier than I was expecting.

  18. PaulB/Eugene says:

    GFS has us right back into cool dry offshore pattern by middle of next week…-3 to -6C 850mb temps…right back into the low-mid 20s for at least a couple nights…and high temps next several days are not going to be all that balmy in inversiony places such as Eugene…at least things look a bit more interesting with time.

    • Derek Hodges says:

      I do think the period around the 20-23rd, as the 00z gfs has shown tonight, may still be interesting. More so though, I am watching the end of the month or early January for a better chance of some kind of blast. Not sure if you follow the LRC at all but it supports this idea.

    • NR says:

      about the time we were expecting to get out of this slop the ridge rebuilds and starts the timer all over again. I think now we can assume that any pattern change won’t occur until after Christmas, at least.

    • Mark Nelsen says:

      The 00z Canadian is horrible…strong ridging or split through 10 days at least. Wouldn’t this pattern be incredible in April? Lots of 70s and a few 80s?

    • Benjamin (West Salem) says:

      Next Thursday and Friday look rather decent on tonight’s ECMWF with some cooler temperatures and some precip moving down from the north. I don’t know what you experts think, but I think it looks at least somewhat exciting.

    • NR says:

      Brookings would be in the low 90s.

    • Mark Nelsen says:

      That 00z ECMWF sure looks cold Thursday-Christmas Day! Shot of cool air out of Canada over the inland Pacific Northwest with strong high pressure and easterly wind. Clear and cold for Santa? I’d prefer that over fog and gray.

    • Kyle says:

      For the late comers who are reading this. Santa’s sleigh broke down in Salem. (God I had a hard time getting that word out!)

  19. Currently 37.1° and very light rain.

  20. B1900 Pilot says:

    Rain at 400′ out in the Bethany area of NW Portland. An occasional melting flake thrown in just to spite us all.

    I wonder if this counts as a Kyle Dittmer snow event? :^)

    Just kidding, of course.

  21. Up to 40 here from 38 earlier.

  22. Mountain Man says:

    What a disappointment! I thought for sure I was going to see snow. Here up in the foot hills at 1,150 ft about half way in-between Washougal and Stevenson just real light rain. It’s 31 degrees but with almost no wind to refreeze the surface I can’t even get freezing rain except on a few boards on some sawhorses out back that have some slushy ice on them. I’m several miles east of the Multnomah Falls snow line that keeps being mentioned by the mets and nothing. At least I got three inches back in November and was able to build a snow man with my kids so I am not as deprived as most of you.

  23. PaulB/Eugene says:

    38.1F here in Eugene…rain… so far 0.03″ ending the main part of the dry spell.

    Avg temp in first 13 days at my house 33.6. If we have average Dec temps for the remainder of the month we will end up around 37-38 for average, enough to crack top 10 in cold Decembers…without any arctic air involved…although I suspect we may end up still having low temps below normal during the next week or so…just quite as cold as they have been.

  24. chiefWright says:

    Rain, and pretty warm down here. Also a steady and mild S. breeze.

  25. MasterNate says:

    40 in Molalla. Not a flake in sight. I hope January and February make up for the dullsville December.

  26. …33.4 and occasional sprinkles of a mixed sort going on up here, which is making my furnace real happy, it’s the warmest i’ve been this time of night for quite awhile!…

  27. Arkafana says:

    In Hillsboro, OR, 200ft elevation the snow and rain are now fighting to decide. First it’s slush, then rain, then slush again!

  28. 35.2 and cloudy here. Winds are calm. It was sprinkling earlier and there were some ice pellets mixed in.

  29. Light rain, little slush mixed in. A couple miles from the airport (Cornelius Pass, close to Baseline). 37.

  30. Pippin says:

    Out here in Cornelius, Elevation 220ft. Temp: 34.0 Dew Point 31.9 Temp on the fall maybe we’ll see some mix out there tonight…

  31. W7ENK says:

    Just rain, here… 😦

  32. Longview - 400 ft says:

    A light mist that made everything wet.

    Currently 37

  33. *BoringOregon* says:

    Just rain here, 40

  34. john says:

    here in puyallup its 36.3 and dropping waiting for precip i wonder if it will be snow here fingers crossed

  35. Mark says:

    Rain here at Scholls/Murray BLVD, 38.1º

  36. muxpux (Castle Rock, WA 175') says:

    36.4 patiently waiting for the precip…

  37. gidrons says:

    Wife said light rain in hills above Scappoose

  38. 39°….Td 33…few sprinkles here with light ENE wind..

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