Snow Outlook: No Need For Sleds In The City

Here’s our “snow forecast” for the next 24 hours here in the metro area:


As you can see I’m not real excited for any signficant snow here in the lowest elevations.  I envision the morning commute as mainly clear, but snowy spots on the side roads up in the hills (close to and above 1,000′).  This is a classic “get excited for snow and then the letdown” event.

If you’re a kid (or teacher) looking for a snow day, that appears unlikely unless your school is higher up like Skyline, Yacolt, Vernonia, Sandy, or Corbett.  Even in those areas, I bet a 2 hour delay is far more likely.

Here is the 00z RPM snow forecast just out:


11pm update…

Busy evening, that cluster of showers pushed sticking snow all the way down to the Valley floor, a good indication that ANYONE could see a dusting tonight as showers continue streaming inland.  I adjusted the forecast above just slightly, but still feel we won’t see widespread accumulations.  Will PQR (the Portland Forecast Office) see measurable snow?  I think it’s unlikely; we’ll see.  Official Portland snow accumulation measurements are taken there, near NE Sandy and 122nd in Parkrose.

Why don’t I expect more snow than those amounts above?

1. There isn’t a ton of moisture moving inland the next 10 hours.  Maybe .20″ at best, which means 1-2″ in the higher hills where everything will stick.

2.  Onshore flow is keeping the lowest 1,000′ of the atmosphere above freezing.  That won’t change during the night as southwesterly wind continues.  Sure, with clearing in between showers your backyard temp could drop as low as 30, but as soon as a shower with its mixing winds moves overhead the temp pops back up to around 35 degrees.  Sticking snow is just about guaranteed near/above 1,000′ with the KPTV Tower temps showing the freezing level is right near that level.  It’ll stay there the rest of the night before rising a bit tomorrow.

I should point out that if we get an unexpected cluster of showers, it could easily stick anywhere.  But I see no reason to think that will occur.

Tomorrow night looks interesting with steady precipitation spreading inland with the next system.  It will likely start as just about all snow, then transition to rain all areas below 1,500′ by daybreak Thursday.  I think we could see an inch or two (after midnight) on the higher hills before we change over.  We have tomorrow to worry about that though.

After that, lots of mountain snow and cold valley rain, but I don’t see us getting near snow again as we head into Christmas Week. 

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

240 Responses to Snow Outlook: No Need For Sleds In The City

  1. Jade says:

    Ginourmous sticking snowflakes in the Gateway/Hazelwood area earlier. So pretty! No idea about elevation lol

  2. W7ENK says:

    I sense another “Location/Accumulation/Elevation” post coming from Mark… any minute now, I can feel it! 😆

  3. rogue says:

    Any thoughts on the possibility of snow this evening or tomorrow morning?

  4. runrain says:

    Looks like another solid band heading into Beaverton.

  5. Jeff Raetz says:

    1/4 of an inch here in se pdx – 250ft

  6. runrain says:

    Wow. That was fun! Started my run in a graupel shower which started to accumulate and then it turned to snow and came down heavy for about half an hour. So I started my run on wet pavement and finished on snow-covered streets! About an inch on the grass and bark dust here in Happy Valley 500 feet.

  7. Max in Fairview says:

    Nothing like a strong snow shower to cover everything up quickly. Still looks a bit bare though.

  8. WhiteEagle - Garden Home / SW Portland says:

    Grand total of 0.5″ here

  9. W7ENK says:

    Just got word from someone in my neighborhood that is was snowing hard and just barely starting to stick about 30 mins ago under the dome. I guess that will go down as either a T(race) or D(usting) in the snowfall category tonight.

  10. Don Troutdale 230ft says:

    Heavy snow for about 45min. 32.5 roads covered.

  11. Ended up with 2.5″ of snow overnight. Was 30.3 with flurries when I left the house around 8am.

  12. Curt in Eugene (around 1000 ft) says:

    Snowed all morning, 5 inches on the ground.

  13. W7ENK says:

    Lots and lots and lots of BIG FAT snowflakes in Downtown Portland!! 😀

  14. lurkyloo says:

    Purty fat flakes. My dog is barking at the snow 🙂

  15. Garron near Washington Square says:

    Still coming down, though the flakes have increased in intensity and size, NOT always a good situation to continue sticking to the pavement. Sometimes it is an indication that the overall airmass is warming up, and actually helps to melt the snow. For now, MODERATE snow coming down, and 32.3 to 33.4 where it’s been holding for about the last 20 minutes. Driveway still not officially white, might take a brief drive around the hood …

  16. dothgrin says:

    1/2 inch and nice and white in Aloha right now!

  17. Muxpux (Castle Rock 175') says:

    Woke up to a dusting here, radar looks like more is on the way!

  18. I like this webcam at OSU. “Animal Teaching”. Is that where all Beavers are taught to hate Ducks? 🙂

  19. This mostly been a bummer here being blocked by the O-MTN. Really need a nw flow be much better for snow.

  20. alohabb says:

    Wonder if conditions are more favorable for sniw tonight/tomorrow?

  21. Garron near Washington Square says:

    I’m sure there’s no need to panic just yet. I’ve gone from light slush on the lawn, to roof coating to driveway coating in the last 7-10 minutes. Albeit will probably not last that much longer due to the popcorn nature of these cells, but it sure is pretty! When I drove over Sylvan this morning (6AM) there was less coverage than I have now, so I bet you MIGHT be able to eek out a sled run up there by now?

    • Garron near Washington Square says:

      And I was impressed that the model gave the Milwaukie dome a slight edge on TTD for today, .02, vs .01″.

  22. rainman says:

    sticking snow from forest grove to gaston. cars in the ditch on springhill rd. probably be more. temperature is dropping, snow is continuing

  23. germantownsummit1000' says:

    1+”, 30.2, snowing lightly…


  24. Greg says:

    Light snow in SW Beaverton now at 300 ft. It’s sticking to roofs and barkdust but not grass or streets. Temp at 33 degrees. Pretty typical snow shower for my area. It’s good to see flakes in the air, at least. I’m guessing if I drove up to the top of Cooper Mt. I’d see something stick – Mesowest temps seem to hit freezing around 600-700 feet.

    Funny thing with the tower temps: it looks like the lower sensor “stalled out” just below freezing while the upper two sensors descended a bit further as the night progressed.

    Oh, now the snow is even lighter. Wasn’t there a word coined on the blog a couple of years a go for snow-mist? “Snist” or something like that?

    • Greg says:

      And just that fast, it’s back to Authentic Flakage. It’s actually starting to stick to all non-road surfaces. Neighbors up the street – probably a mere 10 feet higher elevation – have more accumulation than I do. That must be pico-climates in action!

      • Ryan says:

        Noticed that in milwaukie this morning. Decent amount in grass at 300′ but nothing at the bottom of the hill around 100′

    • pappoose in scappoose says:

      Think you’re talking about “snizzle”

      Throw out some dark barkdust. We must preserve as many snowflakes as possible. Hahaah!

    • Greg says:

      Made it down to 32 degrees.

    • pappoose in scappoose says:

      This’ll work. Hahaah!

  25. WhiteEagle - Garden Home / SW Portland says:

    Steady light-moderate snow here in Garden Home!!! Roofs, barkdust, car tops solidly white; roads still wet.

  26. Cap - HR says:

    moderate snow falling

  27. paulbeugene says:

    32.2F/31.4 dpt, snow 1″ on ground (514′ elev)

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