Incredible Rain Totals on Mt. Hood

Here are the numbers…wow.  Timberline Lodge has been seeing 1/4 to 1/3″ rainfall per hour for the last 24 hours!

Leading up to the big flood on the Sandy River last January, we saw totals up around 9″ at Timberline Lodge. Please let us know if you start to see flooding in your area.

Back here in Portland, only around 1″ so far, so no flooding expected, especially with the rain ending this evening.

11pm Update:  Here are the new numbers as of 10pm…

Can’t believe we haven’t seen flood problems up along the upper Sandy River, but our news people say nothing’s going on up there.  Let me know if that’s not the case. 

The NWS has the Hood and Clackamas Rivers under a Flood Watch due to all the mountain rain.  The 12 hour break (the next 12 hours) in rain up there should help quite a bit.

Not much to talk about in the longer range maps tonight.  Weak systems attempt to pass through a mild West Coast Ridge the first few days of 2012.  So no significant weather through at least the middle of next week.

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

106 Responses to Incredible Rain Totals on Mt. Hood

  1. David in Otis says:

    saw some stray albino donkeys this a.m. on the way to work of to the west over the ocean.

  2. 2″!!!

    It only took until 8:02 pm on December 29th to reach 2″ of precip for the month.

  3. EmzinTigard says:

    -33 in Fairbanks, AK.. Brr!!

  4. pappoose in scappoose says:

    As Mike in Orchards has commented:

    National Weather Service Portland or
    210 PM PST Thursday Dec 29 2011

    Increasing offshore flow and gusty east winds will develop Saturday and Sunday. Likens

    I like the East winds, cold or not.
    Hope we get a body bracing/paralyzing bitter cold blast down the gorge this winter! (I know, this won’t be it)

  5. alohabb says:

    Any good strong wind gusts tonight for PDX???

  6. Wendy-Silver Lake says:

    Looks like snow for me on Friday night/Saturday morning. Hopefully it sticks around long enough for Saturday night. It’s always fun to light off fireworks in the snow.

    • muxpux (Castle Rock, WA 175') says:

      how high up are you again?im not far from you as the crow flies but i am not sure exactly where your located…

    • Emily Waldman says:

      I’m 400 ft up on Columbia Heights or as accuweather says Longview Heights! We shall early Sat. am!

  7. 18Z looks great from in the 1/10 or 1/11 time frame through the end of the run. That’s 6 runs in a row showing potential of varying degrees in that time frame.

    • Jethro (Canby ~187') says:

      The ends of the GFS runs just always look so make-believe to me… I guess that’s part of why they call it la-la-land. I have a hard time believing we would get snow from a low racing in off the Pacific the way today’s 18z shows — would end up being a south wind event, if anything.

      Of course, the pattern change that precipitated the December 2008 snowstorm first showed up in la-la-land, so you never know…

  8. Joshua in Lake Oswego says:

    What’s up with the rain? It looks it’s going to end shortly here. Is there more coming? I’m sure there is, but I don’t see it right now on the radar. I’m one of the few crazy ones here that loves a good soaking!

  9. PaulB/Eugene says:

    12z Euro has a very snowy look at end of run, sub 516 500 low over SEA at hr 348

    • Ben (Beaverton 775 ft.) says:

      Wow!! Let’s hope that verifies! Could you post a pic of the run?

    • Derek Hodges says:

      Question, how does it look for me in Utah since I will be back at school? At least as far as raw numbers go. Thanks in advance

    • goducks09 says:

      Wouldn’t that strong of a low over Seattle equal warm southerly winds here?

    • W7ENK says:

      I think he’s referring to the low-ness of the 500 mb heights over Seattle – at 516dm??

    • PaulB/Eugene says:

      -5C 850 temps UTAH

      beyond hr 288 850 temps at PDX between about -7C and -10C with precip

      SEA between about -8 and -12C….main blob of arctic air still building to N…YWL 850mb temp about -28C

      This is still in lala land so broad concepts matter…not so much the fine details..but is not impressive that the GFS and ECMWF continue to show this in consecutive runs…see 18Z GFS

      1 month run of ECMWF from 00Z shows SW Canada cold almost the whole month beyond about day 10…with main arctic impact mid Jan here….with “battle zone” between arctic and nonartic (front, moisture, etc) over the Pac NW…could be interesting….but this was not a Jan 1950 by any means…

    • goducks09 says:

      Oh, duh. It must be time to go home! Thanks for clarifying

  10. ‎12-28-2011 stats

    I finished with 1.12″ of rain today and a max gust of 31mph! –

    My parents finished with .79″ of rain today and a max gust of 40.3mph! –

  11. W7ENK says:

    Hey, look’it this!

    Yeah, it goes WAAAAAY out to 1/13, but still… 🙂

    Talk about one stop shopping!!

  12. PaulB/Eugene says:

    10:30AM Thu

    Deluge Part II this afternoon and tonight…pass cams will be sorry looking tomorrow AM before snow returns

    Ski days 12/31 and 1/1….

    Still looks like cold blast over E USA…but not much snow with it…

    Still looking like higher risk of colder weather beyond about day 12-13….for the lower 48…looking at ensembles..looks like anywhere from Great Lakes west to PacNW at risk…just a matter of where the ridge goes….ECMWF extended shows this, GFS as well…GFS ensembles not quite as pretty as GEM (Canadian).
    Two waves of stratospheric warming…one currently over NE Siberia and AK…will spread toward Greenland over time, with new wave developing day 10 over Siberia, working its way E toward arctic AK and Canada….corresponding with basically a prolonged spell of cold weather for continental NoAM from day 10 to 30 or so…should be interesting to see this unfold….don’t know who will get all the cold yet.
    CFS says no arctic til about 1/31…a la 89

    • W7ENK says:

      1/31 would be just fine with me… it’s my birthday! I’ve never had snow on my birthday, at least not since the 3″ on day I was born. I’ve seen snow mixed in the rain on occasion, but never actual snow, and certainly no accumulation. It would be nice. 🙂

  13. Ryan (Walnut Grove) says:

    I like the overall trend with the GFS… Progressing cold air forward (albeit towards the end of the run) and no warming on shore or southerly winds. Unfortunately, with no cold air east of the Cascades the gorge effect won’t have much play in PDX weather. It does drop the snow level down into 1000′ range by 1/12 and eventually at the very end of the run the valley floor. Of this is all lala land so a large grain of salt to go with.

    As mentioned by Paul the EURO seems to be on board with colder air in the same time frame.

    In the near term snow levels dropping Saturday with a chance for chunky rain or snow/rain mix to the floor if moisture hangs around.

    Looks like weather is finally getting exciting again.

  14. PaulB/Eugene says:

    ECMWF 00Z extended to 360 also has arctic air over NW..PDX 850mb temps down to about -13C near the end of run

    • This is encouraging. I have a hard time reading the ECMWF so I’ll take your word for it. Some model consistency would be great especially this far out. Also, Paul, I believe this is right about where you’ve been pegging our Arctic Outbreak all year. If this comes to fruition, you sure nailed it. Still a ways to go yet though but the trend is definately there.

    • Ben (Beaverton 775 ft.) says:

      Paul, I realize you have to pay for it, but where is a good place to find the long range ECMWF?

    • PaulB/Eugene says:

      The ECMWF extended runs are on Accuweather Pro site…don’t know why the ECMWF people are so smug with themselves that they should charge people for their model runs…

    • Ben (Beaverton 775 ft.) says:

      Thanks Paul…that’s what I thought.

    • Because people are paying for it. lol

    • Ben (Beaverton 775 ft.) says:

      Accuweather does offer their Pro Site on free trial for a month…maybe something to look into?

    • pappoose in scappoose says:

      Thanks for the updates Paul. Your weather knowledge and access to more info, is a combination that can’t be beat. Live long and prosper. (and please keep up the good work) Hahaah!

  15. Garron Beaverton says:

    So I got my electric heating bill…INSERT EXPLETIVE HERE!!!
    It was double last years bill going from $2.17 p/day, to $4.59.
    The interesting part is that they use the HIO location for their “average daily temp”, and it was only-2 D/F from last year @ 38, vs. 40 D/F. I guess I just bundled up better last year and didn’t use the heat quite as much?

    I like to keep the house about 62, I don’t like it 70+ inside. The girlfriend complains that it’s a little too cool, but then I tell her if she goes and cooks me something to eat,that’ll warm her up! I’m just kidding of course, I hope that if she reads this blog she knows that, or I’ll be a starving dead man!!!!

  16. The 12Z is looking quite tasty toward the end of the run. From about 1/10 or 1/11 through the end of the run. this is now five runs in a row that have showed varying degrees of potential in that time frame. I know it’s way out in La La land but I think it at least gives us a bit of hope that this winter may not be a complete bust afterall. Plus it gives us something to watch in the models at least.

    • stevied (North Portland ) says:

      Yeah… 12z is some decent eye candy for lala land. Almost a perfect snow setup situation for Portland.

    • W7ENK says:

      Like I said yesterday, it has to start somewhere… 🙂

      I’m finding the consistency encouraging! Though, this last few weeks may have lowered my threshold?

    • Ryan (Walnut Grove) says:

      If only we had a good pool of cold air east of the Cascades… If the Pendleton GFS was showing 850mb temps at -13 or colder we could count on the Gorge to bring snow levels to the valley floor in the metro area.

      Unfortunately, Pendleton gets no colder than -10 during the same time frame. So there isn’t much of anything to draw on out the gorge.

    • It’s the trend to be looking at. All the finer details are going to change wildly over the next 10-12 days. What the models are showing is such an improvement over the garbage of the last month and a half it’s hard not to get excited.

  17. alohabb says:

    Strong winds today with heavy rain?

  18. pappoose in scappoose says:

    354 AM PST THU DEC 29 2011

    … Winter Weather Advisory in effect from 2 PM Friday to midnight
    PST Friday night for the Coast Range and Cascade foothills…
    The National Weather Service in Portland has issued a Winter
    Weather Advisory for snow… which is in effect from 2 PM Friday
    to midnight PST Friday night.
    * Timing… cold air following a strong frontal system will bring
    snowy conditions to the Coast Range and Cascade foothills
    beginning Friday afternoon through around midnight Friday night.
    * Snow levels… snow levels will drop to 2000 to 2500 ft late
    Friday afternoon then fall to around 1500 ft Friday night.
    * Snow accumulations… 3 to 6 inches are possible from Post frontal snow showers.

    • pappoose in scappoose says:

      (December 29, 2011 8:08am PST)

  19. pappoose in scappoose says:

    Having fun watching the storms come in. Yesterdays low looked like it was trying to wrap up and come in somewhat south of predictions.
    Happy, Happy…another day…another storm…

  20. PDX Weather Nut says:

    Yikes! 8.5″ @ Timberline puts a huge dent in the snowpack. 😦

    • Ryan (Walnut Grove) says:

      If only that was snow @ .10″ predictable water = 1″ of snow they could have had upwards of 85″ by now.

      Oh well.

  21. W7ENK says:

    One nice thing about these warmer temperatures? My heat only came on once last night, and that was just a few minutes before the “get your butt outta bed” alarm went off!

  22. bgb41 says:

    12/28/2011 Oregon (All) Temperature Summary

    High:67 at PROVOLT SEED ORC(1180 ft)
    Low: 55 at CW9205 Lexington(1558 ft)

    High:32 at ALAKES Haines(7979 ft)
    Low: 29 at WOLF CREEK (5700 ft ) & HARL BUTTE (6071 ft )

    Largest Diurnal Change: 27 degrees
    LAKE OWHEE AND O (61/34 ) (2400 ft )

    Heaviest Rainfall:
    6.79″ at LOG CREEK(2800ft)
    6.10″ at NORTH FORK(3120ft)
    6.09″ at GOODWIN PEAK(1800ft)
    5.60″ at BLAZED ALDER(3650ft)
    5.40″ at RED HILL(4400ft)
    5.00″ at JUMP OFF JOE(3500ft)
    4.83″ at RED MOUND(1753ft)

  23. Marc (East Vancouver) says:

    Seems that it got much warmer than Mark expected today. Felt great to leave the furnace off for much of the day.

    • Mark nelsen says:

      That must be the warm bias in my forecasts that Jesse loves to mention. Oh wait, I was too cool…

      But I was only 3 degrees off (57 vs. 54), so only a little off.

    • Mark nelsen says:

      It’s really me…iPad not logged in right.

  24. Things are looking to get real chilly NYE. Might get interesting. Kind of reminds me of a similar setup in 2005 or 06, can’t quite remember. We had a warm, very wet system, then we got hit with one half day of decent (as in, maybe an inch or two on the east side) snow and then…. nothing. Snow melted in no time.

    We wont be getting that much snow (if any). But the GFS says we’ll get close. I’ve only been looking at the models though, what has the discussions been like about the 31st time frame?

  25. W7ENK says:

    Ladies and Gentlemen, the Portland area is now under Areal Flood Advisory, not to be confused with Afake Flood Advisory. You are encouraged to take appropriate action immediately… 😆

    • Mark Nelsen says:

      Their wording is strange because it’s just a flood watch for the Clackamas and Hood Rivers.

    • W7ENK says:

      “Areal” is just an awkward word… it’s a conjugation of “area”, changing it into an adjective, but it always hits my brain wrong. For some odd reason, my internal dictionary translates an “Areal Flood” as flooding from the top, down — as in beginning overhead, and then filling in toward the ground… Which I suppose is kind of the case in an abstract sort of way? I guess that would be an “Aerial Flood”, in which case we’d be in deep trouble! 😆

  26. Muxpux (Castle Rock 175') says:

    3.37″ 48 hr total, was about 2.5″ 24 hrs, but with the drying that has dropped to 2.2″ or so

    • Longview - 400 ft says:

      Hello there, did you move from Longview, by the lake, to Castle Rock?

    • Muxpux (Castle Rock 175') says:

      Me and my girlfriend broke up so I’m staying with my parents. 😦

    • Kyle says:

      That sucks. 😦 Howe you can come over it and move on.

      I mean hope you can come over it and move on.

    • muxpux (Castle Rock, WA 175') says:

      its all good. we still talk, still holding out hope we can work it out, but not trying to dwell on it too much, i got a lot of things personally i gotta work on first. education, job, slow down my drinking, etc…

      been a fun 13 years living in the fast lane, time to let off the gas and bring it down a notch.

    • Longview - 400 ft says:

      Thank you for the update. Good to see wisdom on your part helping you out.
      I wish you all the best. Sounds like she really cares about you if you do not mind me saying.

  27. I would love another 1989 cold snap.

  28. WEATHERDAN says:

    I’m rooting for a long stretch of 90,s next summer. After the last 2 years I’m ready for a summer like we had in 2009. And oh by the way this is not normal Pac NW weather. Normal this time of year is about .2 per day. Not 2 inches per day. And about 45 not 55 degrees. I too have lived all of my 57 years in Oregon, and this weather is something you generally see only 1 or 2 times each winter thank God. Give me a dry but foggy day anytime over this slop.

    • Jethro (Molalla ~320') says:

      Well, to each their own. As far as whether or not this is normal — this type of weather system is more common for this region than one that produces widespread sticking snow on the valley floor. I agree that temps of 55+ are not considered ‘average’, but they are not uncommon when we get into these zonal patterns. Friday’s system should be more ‘normal’ for the region — cool rain in the valley and snow in the mountains — I’ll take that over the fog, but I still prefer the double-nickle.

  29. boringlarry says:

    2.19 since midnight
    2.76 since yesterday….

  30. Rainfall Today 12.28.11

    1.19 inches since midnight

    1.17 inches yesterday

    John Rinier
    in the “Grove” (Forest Grove)
    Weather Spotter – WN-37
    Website –
    MesoWest Site (AS436)N7NKE –

  31. Karl Bonner says:


    (ahem…) Anyway, so over an inch since 6pm yesterday evening. I wonder if the local creeks see any flooding anytime soon?

    I bet some of the higher parts of our watershed saw at least 2″ from this storm, perhaps even close to 3″.

  32. Hour 60 on the NAM looks tasty! We need a string of days like that.

  33. No snow says:

    Mark, are you ready to throw in the towel yet on our little wager? Maybe you would like to double down?


  34. 55F, 30 mph gusts out of the south, and .85″ of rain on the day. It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood!

    • chris s says:

      It boggles my mind how someone could like this type of weather system. Lets see, raining in the mountains, eating away what little snow they had, which means an economic hit for the ski areas, ski shops, etc. Possible flooding concerns along certain rivers, which again is another economic impact for some. I understand everyone has different weather they like, but I guess i have a hard time understanding why you would root for pineapple express, or something very similar that we are having right now. ???

    • Mark Nelsen says:

      It’s nothing personal, but people that are into weather (the weather geeks) generally like extremes. Doesn’t matter if it’s extreme heat, cold, wind, rain, snow, or ice…

    • I’ve lived here all my life, and this is the kind of weather I expect in the winter. It’s part of why I live here. Of course I would prefer sunshine in the winter, but that usually comes with a trade-off of fog in my part of the valley, and in turn, low visibility and icy roads. If I’m going to have 98% humidity, I’ll take it at 55 degrees instead of at 28 degrees, thank you.

      What is harder for me to understand is why people live in the PDX area and then wish-cast for snow with every batch of cold showers that comes through. If that’s what you want, then move to a different climate… or at least a few miles closer to the gorge like Mark did.

      As for the economic concerns you mention, they come with just about any type of weather other than what we saw the first three weeks of this month. If you like exciting weather, then you better be prepared for the after-effects, whether it’s flooding, accidents on icy roads, wind damage, or buildings collapsing from snow loads. Otherwise you just better root for sunshine and 45 degrees everyday with no fog and no freezing temps at night.

    • I’m with Jethro….Only problem is, winds are too light………………

      55°….0.80″ rain…

    • pappoose in scappoose says:

      I thought Jethro was just joking around. Doesn’t matter. I WAY prefer this weather, to the endless days of fog/mold/muck we’ve been in.

    • chris s says:

      So sunshine everyday in December ? you say you have lived here all your life, so have I. I dont expect it to snow in the valley every winter, but I certaintly dont root for a pineapple express, because again there is nothing good that comes from that kind of weather pattern. You say the sunshine in december had no ecomic impact, I think many would argue against that. Yes all extreme weather does bring certain negative aspects, but valley rain and mountain snows of a more typical northwest winter have much better positive aspects. One could say that if you want pineapple express or sunny weather, than maybe you should move to a different climate. As for the snow wishcasters, I think people get frustrated that we tend to have really good winters around here every 4-5 years, and it gets peoples hopes up that we will see 10-12 inches of snow every winter, not gonna happen. I totally respect your opinion and outlook on weather, just had a hard time understanding rooting for the pineapples is all. 🙂

    • Yeah, you have some good points there, Chris. I guess my love for a good pineapple express or south wind storm is just one of those things I can’t explain — I don’t know why I like it, I just do. If I could, I would live on the Oregon coast just for this kind of weather — but they get their share of fog, too; so it wouldn’t quite be a perfect world for me, but it would be close.

    • chris s says:

      I guess a perfect winter would be early season pineapple, followed by a good windstorm. Than a month a good mountain snowfall, followed by artic outbreak for valley for a week, than a snowstorm transition. We can totally skip the freezing rain part of the transition though. And finally a sunny and dry end to february ought to do it. 🙂 something for everyone every winter.

    • Brandan says:

      That was an excellent debate. Well done to both sides for arguing relavent points as well as maintaining positive attitudes. That’s why I come here. That’s how you learn something new.

    • Garron Beaverton says:

      Generally insurance companies make bank on weather extremes, and I’m quite sure that the ski resorts have insurance for this particular reason, just like grocery stores raise prices to cover theft and damage, so any way you look at it, there’s money being made and skiing not being a necessity of life, I guess I won’t lose any sleep if those over charging entertainment empires have one bad season or two.

    • W7ENK says:

      @Garron, you must not have a 14 year old crawling up your backside asking when you’re going to take him skiing again… o_O

  35. Jory (Sandy) says:

    Very windy here in Sandy.

  36. Dave in SW PDX (235') says:

    Those are impressive precip totals for the Cascades. Imagine the equivalent snowfall if it had been cold enough to support snow up there – probably 4-6 feet!

  37. Cliff Gavic 1,100 ft says:

    Incredible wind gusts up here in sandy

  38. Timmy_Supercell (Klamath Falls @ 4200') says:

    Ouch, that can’t be good for the mountains…. 6.87″ of RAINNNN will cause havoc in future times

  39. Joshua in Lake Oswego says:

    If only it could have been all snow at Timberline. They would be buried up there!

  40. Timmy_Supercell (Klamath Falls @ 4200') says:


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