Freezing Rain Advisory For Wednesday Morning

Noon Tuesday…


The NWS has just issued a Freezing Rain Advisory for the Willamette Valley and Western Columbia River Gorge.  It’ll be sleet/snow farther into the Gorge beyond Multnomah Falls tomorrow morning/midday as precipitation arrives.

Here are the highlights…


  • There will likely be a brief period of freezing rain (glaze ice) anywhere between the Coast Range and Cascades at the lower elevations Wednesday morning.
  • It will not last long (a few hours at most) away from the Columbia River Gorge.
  • It only takes 5 minutes of freezing rain to turn a dry road into an ice rink.
  • The afternoon commute should be fine with temps well above freezing
  • The Gorge won’t thaw until late afternoon or evening, that includes the far eastside metro (Troutdale/Camas)
  • Snow is almost impossible to get since it’ll be well above freezing higher up.


  • Timing of precipitation start is still a big question mark.
  • Some of our models are showing NO precipitation of any sort until around 10am.
  • If so, the morning commute MAY be just dry, then freezing rain starts at the end of the commute
  • If so, this is a real headache for school administrators who must decide whether they want to bring kids to school and then take the risk of having kids in school while it’s icy outside.
  • If the precipitation waits until beyond 10am to start, roads might be mostly okay since midday temps will be 30 or higher.  During the day, you need it to stay at/below 30 to keep roads frozen.

So what has changed since I posted about this event yesterday evening? 

Precipitation arrival appears to be delayed on just about all models.  The WRF-GFS and GFS are especially late, showing it starting after 10am.  If that happens, it’s getting pretty late to get widespread icing on roads as I mentioned above.    This is a real pain for forecasting and making plans.  For example, my wife is headed to work in Tualatin at 8-9am, does she just sit it out at home even though it’s probably dry at that time?  Or does she head to work and hope that it’s thawed by 4pm?  Lots of you will need to make choices like that tomorrow morning. 

I sure wouldn’t want to be a person making decisions on school delays/closures.  In the Willamette Valley and areas away from the Gorge, if the radar is still looking very dry at 7am, it’s probably fine to send kids to school because it’ll be melted by 2-4pm.  But near the Gorge and in the Gorge, do you bring kids to school and then try to get them home at 3pm on extremely ice roads?  Big risk there.  It would be a much easier decision if the precipitation just starts at 5am wouldn’t it?  Hopefully the evening run of models will speed up the precipitation to earlier in the morning or delay it until noon or later.

The very cold and dry air mass coming through the Gorge is quite impressive this morning;  even a little colder than yesterday.  I can see I-84 becoming a real mess midday east of Troutdale as the freezing rain first hits, just like we saw a couple of weeks ago.  I’d avoid anywhere from Troutdale to Hood River late morning onward.

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

84 Responses to Freezing Rain Advisory For Wednesday Morning

  1. SNOW! says:

    Temperature dropping slowly on bull mountain. was 41 at 5:00, now fluctuating between 32 and 33. Hopefully it will get down into the 20’s and stay there when the moisture arrives, but clouds are moving overhead so that might cap the temperatures at 32. 😦

  2. Darlene in Boring says:

    So based on the last KPTV FB post, no freezing rain for east county?

  3. —————ALERT————-
    Hurricane Force Winds now ripping through the western Gorge!
    Corbett NEW Peak Gust: 75mph @5:37 PM. They might hit 80mph yet.

    Vista House is likely 90-100mph and 110mph+ along the south entrance stairs.

  4. TTD-DLS has now surged over -10mb as I had forecast this morning.
    -10.3mb … Pretty strong
    Yes, this is an absolute “pat on the back” post and I’m pretty much awesome, so there. Thanks. Appreciate it everyone. You’re welcome.

    So, Freezing rain, or no? Some of us agree there will be, some do not. I agree that agreeing with disagreeing over this disagreement is agreeable and something we can disagree on if everyone agrees to its agreement. Everyone could be right, and could be wrong, and might be in between or close to both simultaneously at the same relative time.

    It’ll be a close call…. COULD MIGHT PERHAPS ALMOST MAYBE

    I’m trying to simplify my responses and make sure the content is both easy to understand and less confusing. How am I doing?

  5. Marcus says:

    I stand corrected temp is dropping like a rock down to 35 it was 42 an hour ago!

  6. alohabb says:

    Freezing rain idea looks to be slowly fading away?

  7. Don Troutdale 230ft says:


  8. Hey, what’s the deal? We have this non-stop boring weather and nobody on the blog has gone ballistic?! No suicide threats, no screaming profanities, no ganging up on anybody…c’mon, who’s gonna step up?

  9. cgavic says:

    From 1,100 ft in sandy, Oregon, it’s safe to say the s/SW winds have brought warmer air to sandy.

    On the north sides of the homes here, all weekend and yesterday, there was heavy frost on the sidewalks and streets in our subdivision. At night, the temp dropped to 22 degs.

    By noon today, up here, the frost and somewhat slick streets in the shade have all melted.

    I would safely assume the only area that will be affected will be the infamous Columbia river gorge/troutdale. And low lying areas in the metro area.

    We have melted the ice, and its much warmer.

    • runrain says:

      Had that here too in Happy Valley, although temps this afternoon were slightly cooler than they’ve been. It’s very odd and I’m thinking it must be due to the increased clouds, more moisture in the air or something. The frost has been lasting all day otherwise on those northern sun protected sides. Anybody have an explanation?

    • Diffuse sunlight due to refraction. Clouds have a way of doing that. Allows the infrared to get around corners. Just my guess. 🙂

    • runrain says:

      I think you just might have something there, Boydo.

    • Mark Nelsen says:

      Yep, frost will survive under clear skies even into the lower 40s in the shade, but when clouds move in it’ll melt quickly even at 35.

    • Darlene in Boring says:

      Observed the same thing here in Boring, yet we only reached 41…same as yesterday but things stayed frosty in shady areas and northern sides. I was kinda wondering what the difference was. Temp has been steadily dropping since 4:30 and the sky seems to be clearing some.

  10. Temp: 35.6
    Dewpoint: 14
    Wind: E @ 20.2mph
    Peak Gust: 42.8mph @ 11:15 AM
    Sky: Mostly Sunny

    TTD-DLS: -9.8mb nearing my forecast of over -10mb.

    IR Loop is less than impressive.
    Front is being stretched apart in a S-N orientation. I see hardly any eastward progress and it is 225-250 miles offshore. The ridge over the Columbia Basin and eastern Washington is in no hurry of breaking down and moving off to the east. I’m wondering if models once again are too aggressive in trying to do so, meaning delaying precip until 10 AM or later makes sense.

    23z Mesoanalysis shows the 925mb cold pool is currently -6c over the Columbia Basin and eastern Washington. This is about 5 degrees colder up around 2500′ than at this time yesterday.

    Lots of clearing period this evening before clouds thicken up, so I think we’ll all quickly drop below freezing tonight. Tomorrow morning or perhaps even afternoon could be an icy nightmare, that is if moisture develops, and if we’re below freezing. With solid clouds tomorrow morning and likely continued offshore flow it’s possible.

    • runrain says:

      Yes, some clearing so I now believe we’ll get below freezing. But moisture? I wonder if it will be nonexistant.

    • Erik says:

      all ready 2 degrees colder in SE PDX then this same time yesterday. dropping fast!

    • WhiteEagle - Garden Home / SW Portland says:

      I bet most of the precip is actually along and behind the front as it sort of lumbers across us. Then we depend on frontogenesis and deformation to keep steady precip going later in the day. The front itself is pretty pathetic moisture-wise, but it does have a nice 850mb contrast with it. And remember, Dec 29, 2009 started at 1pm 😉

  11. Marcus says:

    Wow 50F @ the upper sensor as of 2pm! That would be a zero percent chance of snow!

  12. Tyler Mode in Battle Ground says:

    NAM shows precip in around 8 AM, GFS says 11. Who will be right? This one is tough! It seems since 2008 there hasn’t really been one slam dunk easy to forecast snow/freezing rain event. They’ve all been on the edge (like normal).

  13. Tyler Mode in Battle Ground says:

    Salem is out of the fog! Temp is up to 36 as well. I bet people are outside just sitting in the sun. I couldn’t imagine 10 solid days with no sun!

    • Tyler Mode in Battle Ground says:

      Well, I take that back, looks like on the 17th or 18th they had a 2-3 hour window where things broke up…..

    • chris s says:

      Ya Tyler we broke out a bit a few days ago, but i never actually saw the sun shining down, more of just a few breaks in the low clouds. Today is the first day down here in Salem that we have seen the actual sun since the 10th of the month!!!!

  14. PaulO says:

    From the Latest NWS Discussion:


  15. WX Ninja says:

    I think it’s funny how time and time again many people on this blog question Mark’s forecast yet he is very accurate in these types of set ups. Apparently many don’t remember their history otherwise they would know to trust him….

  16. *BoringOregon* says:

    Look forward to this forecast, my mum has a flight going out early morning tomorrow. I thank I’m with W7ENK though, it’s way to warm out right now it says it’s 40 out. And if we don’t see any clearing tonight. I don’t thank we will see anything but I would wan’t some thing to happen I love seeing cars spinning out on the hills, bridges get your cams out and record stuff if u see it and send to to the weather channel’s top 5 videos !!

    • Mule-Estacada says:

      You like seeing cars with small children and the elderly spinning out on hills and bridges? Maybe it will be your mum spinning out and we can all sit back And enjoy her terror as her car is out of control, I have my lawn chair ready, can’t wait!!

    • *BoringOregon* says:

      Well I hope there is no kids in the car and I hope you would be smart to not to drive with kids in the car on icy roads !

    • EY (Oak Grove) says:

      Dude, Mule… You’re kidding right? That’s a downright dickish thing to say to someone. He isn’t saying that he hopes people get injured, he’s saying that he’s glad that some semblance of winter precipitation is forecasted. I’m sure if it were snow, he would have been far, far happier. People around these parts don’t really like ice for good reason.

      But specifically bringing someone’s loved one into it and advocating for their harm? That’s insanely low and… Yeah, dickish.

  17. Marcus says:

    We all know that whenever there is an advisory or warning they don’t come to pass so we can all rest and not worry about ice in metro area. People in the Gorge of course will! Not enough moisture to give us evap cooling! I will eat crow I guess if I’m wrong:)

  18. Danny in Troutdale says:

    I started college back in the fall after being out of High School for two years. I have the same feeling right now that I did back then when I didn’t know if I would get something done in time for class and just hoping that it would be cancelled.

    Good thing I go to MHCC. I might have the best chance 🙂

    P.S. If anyone wants to write me an augmentative essay on stem cells you can email it to me before 10pm tonight 🙂

    • Danny in Troutdale says:

      *Argumentative* I don’t know why my computer corrected it like that.

    • JohnD says:

      Good luck with that.I wrote my MA thesis on
      the psychology of aesthetic awareness. Now I’m
      a purchaser for an industrial firm and a
      weather addict. Go figure. We lived in
      Troutdale for 16 years before moving back to
      the inner city in 2012. It was neat actually having
      experienced blizzard conditions a few times
      while we were there–still not enough for me;
      and nothing like the old days–the old timers
      would say–including incredible ice storms
      that rarely seem to materialize any more
      there–at least right in Troutdale. Anyway,
      weather models be damned. I’m not giving up
      on winter until the clock strikes February 28–and if it is anything at all like last year,
      maybe not even then!

  19. W7ENK says:

    Temperatures are pretty uniformly 38-44 degrees around the Portland Metro area this hour. With clouds rolling in later, they should cap our cooling by trapping in much of today’s insolation, and without clear skies allowing that energy to radiate away, I just don’t see us cooling off enough for ice to be a problem tomorrow. I think there will be a lot of wishcasting going on tonight, but by Noon tomorrow, all we’ll realize this was just the latest in our ridiculous string of almost-but-not-quite near-miss brushes with wintry precip. Areas in the immediate Gorge outflow like Gresham and points East will get ice, but if you’re not seeing strong East winds right now (it’s dead calm in Downtown Portland), then it’s a no go for ice.

    This garbage gets really old, it’s time for a warm spring!

    • Ryan says:

      Still 31 here in tualitan…

    • runrain says:

      I agree, especially with the winds picking up now and the mixing of the atmosphere. Add to that the front really looks like its shearing apart. Not only will there probably be no freezing precipitation, there might not even be ANY precipitation! Sure looks like a gorge only event if there is any moisture.

      • Ryan says:

        Not sure what area you are seeing as 44 degrees? Or even 38 for that matter. Metro temps are ranging from a high of 37 in downtown PDX to 30 in Wilsonville.

    • W7ENK says:

      Live station data on Wundermap:

      38 at Downtown Portland
      39 at Lake O/Burlingame
      39 at Forest Grove
      40 at NE PDX (Concordia)
      41 at Hillsboro
      41 at Tualatin
      40 at Wilsonville
      44 at Lents (SE PDX)
      45 at NoPo
      45 at Beaverton


      • Ryan says:

        I don’t buy those one bit. Never trusted weather underground. It’s definitely 31 where I’m at in Tualatin. Same as yesterday when this probably said it was 41. Does it say Salem is 50 too?

    • W7ENK says:

      Trust it or not, that’s what the stations are saying, I don’t make this stuff up. You couldn’t possibly believe that they’re ALL wrong? That would be absurd.

      Let’s zoom in a bit on the Tualatin area…

      I see:

      42, 42, 41, 40, 43, 45, 3x49s!

      I suppose ALL those stations around the Tualatin-Sherwood area are reporting wrong, too?

    • Benjamin (West Salem) says:

      It’s true that it “warmed up” a little today , but it’s already down to 32 here in Salem with clouds. I’m confident at least you guys up in the metro area will all see frozen precip. Also look at the dew points in the mid 20s currently. The problem will probably be the amount of moisture, not temps. My opinion of course.

  20. Alan says:

    I see some south wind mixing in with the east. Not good for those of us who want frozen precip!

  21. runrain says:

    The only good place for ice is in a margarita.

  22. Looks to me that the front is shearing apart. In which case only a few sprinkles or dry as Mark was alluding to.

  23. Marcus says:

    Hit the 40F mark I don’t see this being a big ice event hard to believe that the temp will drop to or below freezing with the cloud cover, even with the low dew points I’m no expert but just giving my 2 or 3 cents worth:)

    • Brandan (Damascus - 675ft) says:

      Watch the DP’s not so much the temp. Precip is finally going to be heavy enough for some good evaporative cooling.

  24. W7ENK says:

    Yup, tomorrow morning might be a nightmare commute!

    • W7ENK says:

      Honestly, I hope the precip holds off until afternoon, I really don’t like ice. Snow, absolutely, but not ice!

  25. Jenn says:

    already have some freezing fog here, slight winds and only 30*

    • Lurkyloo says:

      Yeah, I say yuck also. I don’t have studded tires, but I do have studded shoe-thingies (those things that you strap on to your shoes and they have studs on the bottom). At least I can creep very slowly to Plaid Pantry if I need to.

  26. Ben T says:

    So there’s about a 0.005 percent chance of snow tomorrow?

    • W7ENK says:

      No. There is absolutely zero chance of snow tomorrow, except for areas up into the Gorge. That does not include Portland Metro or Longview.

    • Mark Reschke says:

      Eh, probably more like 15%, but the trend is apparently eroding or — keeping close — to that possibility.

      Mark might be able to shed more light in the AM hours, but I am seeing this diminish to a pockets of ice on the west-side, while this even appears to be turning into a Troutdale east event.

      At least we have something to discuss once more!

      Too bad the long range models hold no hope for an arctic blast. Ten more days or so with this type of trending and it’s over (that is, Winter will be officially dead in the Portland-Metro area)…

    • W7ENK says:

      With a freezing level starting at 10,000 ft? Those are some resilient snowflakes you’re expecting, I wish we could get more of those kind every winter! 😆

    • David B. says:

      I once saw snow fall in 50-degree temperatures. It was early May in northern New Mexico, and the strong sunshine had created a thin warm layer near the ground that wasn’t thick enough to melt the flakes when the shower came over. Within a minute, the temperature plummeted into the thirties as the cloud came in front of the sun and the downdraft from the shower hit.

      Nothing like those conditions are even remotely forecast to happen tomorrow, however.

  27. Tyler Mode in Battle Ground says:

    The east wind is really whipping in the
    Gorge! Haven’t seen the spray like this before

  28. germantownsummit1000' says:


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