Winter Is Over In The Lowlands


This winter has been the most boring and mild we have seen in about 10 years. By “mild” I mean a lack of extremes and weather action, not the actual temps.  I think the regular commenters on here most likely agree.

Other than some wet and windy systems coming up for the last 8 days of February, I don’t see anything too exciting in the foreseeable future.  Models the past 24 hours have warmed slightly again for this weekend and early next week, enough that I think ANY sticking snow below 1,000′ is unlikely.  I even think it’ll be tough to get sticking snow to 1,000′ in the West Hills early Saturday or late Monday night/Tuesday morning.  That is the last chance this month for lower elevation snow.

So I think it’s time to stick a fork in winter HERE IN THE LOWLANDS WEST OF THE CASCADES, although in reality our winter was probably really over back around the last week of January.  Generally, most real winter weather west of the Cascades occurs between November 15th and February 15th, especially the really cold and snowy/icy storms.

You see the details in the graphic below: 



Most windstorms west of the Cascades tend to occur November-February, but in the past we HAVE seen windstorms in March and October.  But the likelihood goes way down from here on out to spring.

A few questions you may have…

Should I take my studded tires off?  Definitely not if your travel takes you up into the hills or mountains.  In fact it’ll be very snowy in the Coast Range Friday night and Saturday morning.  It sure doesn’t hurt to leave them on for another couple of weeks; but that’s up to you.

Should I uncover my faucets?  Yes, no more significant freezing on the way.  If you didn’t put on your studs this year (like Wayne Garcia), you just saved about $120!

Wait, last year you said winter was over in mid February and then we saw several inches afterwards; why should I believe you now?  Good point, last year I said snow was unlikely below 1,000’…big screwup.  Notice I changed the wording this year to say wet morning snow is still possible (but still unlikely).  All the rest of last year’s “winter cancel post” was just fine.

For the geeks, I see the 00z GFS is around -5 to -6 with onshore flow Saturday morning and again late Monday/Tuesday, then it’s on to milder weather beyond that.  That means it was time to cancel winter.

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen


34 Responses to Winter Is Over In The Lowlands

  1. JJ97222 says:

    It is over let the daffodils sing oh but wait we still have Oregon spring break to get thru I remember snow flakes in Rock Away and following a plow thu the coast range home not to long ago. We are heading down to the beach next month so I hope it is in the 60s not the low 40s. Last spring break in the cold, Padre Island next year!

  2. Sapo says:

    Finally, you stick the fork in it. Good job. I don’t think we’re gonna get any more snow this year, not even a dusting.

  3. runrain says:

    Possible atmospheric river setting up late next week. So says the NWS. They also say that it may set up further north over Washington and we would only get a glancing blow. I would guess that we would then be cloudy at least but maybe on the warm side of things being that we would be on the south side of it?

  4. Jordan (Raleigh Hills, 420') says:

    thinking of checking out bald peak viewpoint (1600ft) in the Chelaham mtns tmrw night sat morning. when do you think it will have switched to all snow? any chance of seeing accumulations up there?

  5. W7ENK says:

    1234 PM PST WED FEB 21 2013


  6. Ben T says:

    I will take an overnight snowstorm that melts the next morning at this point.

  7. Micheal says:

    dug down about 18- 24 inches in the ground yesterday and never saw it as dry as it was that shallow. I hope the trees don’t get weakened.

  8. pappoose in scappoose says:

    LOOK! The Friday front is a BEAST!

    National Weather Service Portland or
    330 am PST Thursday Feb 21 2013

    This beast of a cold front will be headed our direction…

    • runrain says:

      And the funny thing is, this looks like a fairly average storm system for this time of year. It’s just that we are so action-starved for weather that it gets the moniker Beast. Maybe we should adopt the Weather Channel policy of naming storms. We can call this one….BEAST! We can call today’s front ACME, for example, and the one on Tuesday maybe CLIFF. Any other suggestions? FORK can be the 6th one. We need to stay in alphabetical order.

    • o.c.paul says:

      Uh oh, what will The Weather Channel say when they find out
      NWS is naming storms too! yikes

      And as regards the end of ‘Winter’ here-
      At least Janucoma and Februcoma are fading from memory.
      (pretty easy to forget, ‘nothing’)

      Now, I look forward to Snowvember 2013.

    • pappoose in scappoose says:

      CLIFF, might be a good name for the Tuesday event. We can make like a buncha Lemmings!

    • momof2kiddos says:

      Lol 🙂 awesome mental image.

    • runrain says:

      For M we will have to reserve the name MARK, W could be WISHCAST, L maybe LALALAND, Y can be YOU-IN, N can be NOSNOW, D for DOME. Next year, we will need to reserve B as BUST!!!

  9. Marc (East Vancouver) says:

    I think it’s always “unlikely” Portland sees snow.

    • pappoose in scappoose says:

      Few things in the world of weather are always, but my thoughts were the same. It was already unlikely!

  10. runrain says:

    Mark needs to come up with an actual, official FOX12 Weather Fork and show it being lowered gradually on top of the FOX 12 studios this time each year. Kinda like the ball at New Years Eve in Times Square.

  11. karlbonner1982 says:

    There are OTHER reasons why February 20 serves as an excellent marking point between winter and spring, and in this note I go into several of them:

    Note: ALWAYS keep in mind that Mother Nature’s seasonal cycle is a gradual and continuous process. Boundaries between Season X and Season Y are all arbitrary, and the astronomical definitions are simply attempts to “formalize” things with quantitative rigor. And weather and earth astronomy NEVER line up perfectly!

  12. orwxguy says:

    So, with winter receiving the fork, will we see 70 degrees anytime soon or even 65?

    • Timmy_Supercell (Klamath Falls @ 4200') says:

      70 can’t be too sure about… but 65 definitely in early March.

    • Josh in Sherwood says:

      Based on how we’ve received the shaft the last few years, I’d say mid to upper 50’s with rain and clouds. Hopefully we get some good convection to make it a little more bearable.

    • Timmy_Supercell (Klamath Falls @ 4200') says:

      Well since that convection is still in the cold cored time period… I’d say possibly even a couple burritos too..

    • pappoose in scappoose says:

      WRAPPED burritos! Hahaah!

    • snodaze says:

      wrapped HALF-EATEN burritos.

  13. Jeff Sears says:

    Booo, that sucks.

  14. Josh in Sherwood says:

    Here it comes folks. Mark sticking the forks in. Going on vacation next week. It’s the perfect storm. 8″ for everyone.

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