Cold Weekend Ahead!

December 6, 2013

Skies are trying to clear out tonight, and eventually they will towards morning.  So another chilly night, some mid teens to lower 20s in the metro area.

But it appears that Saturday night will give us a perfect meteorological setup for the coldest night for most of us since 1998, maybe since 1990 in some spots.

1. Clear sky

2. Coldest air mass in at least 4 years

3. Low dewpoints = very dry air

4. Perfectly calm wind just above everywhere as east wind disappears in the Gorge.

5. Snow cover in some spots, especially Vancouver and then south of Salem.

Everything is just coming together just right for extreme cold.  Here are the temps I expect in our area.  Due to calm wind, I think PDX (airport) shouldn’t have any problem dropping quite low like much of the metro area.  In the past, PDX has often had trouble getting extremely cold because many times during a cold spell at least some east wind is blowing…stirring up the air just enough to take the edge off the cold.


Bend sat around 10 degrees all day long with heavy snow at times.  When that frigid airmass dries out enough for clear skies tomorrow night, the snow cover will allow those temps to REALLY drop!

By the way, the last time PDX hit 10 degrees (or colder) was a 9 degree reading on February 5th, 1989…23 years!  During the 2009 cold wave we hit 12, 13, & 14.

Eugene last went below 10 degrees in 2009, below 5 degrees in December, 1990.  And the last time it went below zero at Eugene was during the cold spell in December 1972.  It dropped to -12!

Stay warm this weekend!

Here are the snow totals today…for archive purposes (next fall’s winter weather meeting)




Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

Noon Friday: Snow Showers Ending, 1/2″ Official Total

December 6, 2013

Looks like the chance of any more signficant snow in the metro area has dissipated.  If you waited and stayed home from work to see how much snow would fall (a good choice in Vancouver and NE Portland), and your roads are clear now, everything looks good and you can resume “normal life”.  I know my earlier statement at 6:45am was a little dramatic, but another 1/2″ and roads would have been far worse.  Better to be cautious and wait rather than be stuck on roads for hours.

Between 7-9am, roads did become very messy and the commute almost ground to a halt across the north side of the metro area…all from a dusting to 1.5″ of snow.  Heaviest appeared to be north of the Columbia River in Vancouver.

Officially 1″ fell at PDX and 0.5″ at the Portland NWS Forecast Office in Parkrose.  For once, the official location had more than other spots.  Often it is the other way around.

For those of you that entered the first snowflake contest at the AMS winter weather meeting back in October, it appears first snow fell at PDX at 5:05am.  Here is the METAR, -SN is the code for light snow:

KPDX 061305Z 09017G24KT 9SM -SN OVC029 M02/M11 A3014 AO2 SNB04 P0000 T10221111

That 1/2″ total will be the official number for Portland, that’s where records are now kept (since 1996).

The snow storm lived up to it’s billing on the central Oregon coastline and south valley.  I see lots of 2-5″ totals from Albany south, and 7-8″ in the Corvallis area.

Now comes the cold.  Easterly wind gusts will peak in the next few hours, then back off overnight.  Probably enough wind to keep most of us in the teens (yes, ONLY in the teens).  Then tomorrow night with clear skies, snow-covered areas could drop into the single digits.

Stay Warm!

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen



Snow Totals: How Much Did You Get?

December 6, 2013

This post is for you to put in your snow totals.  Here’s how it works

If you have 1/2″ or more…

1. Depth

2. Location

This time we don’t care about elevation so don’t bother with that since we are all cold enough to get it.


1/2″  Corbett

PLEASE DON’T POST ANY OTHER COMMENTS HERE OR THEY WILL BE DELETED.  Continue discussing weather on previous posts.

If you didn’t receive anything and feel cheated, go ahead and put zero if you see someone didn’t already mention your town/city/area.

If you have never commented on this blog, the comment is held in moderation until I approve, so be patient!  It’ll eventually show up.

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

Forecast Bust in Progress: Snow Day in Metro Area!

December 6, 2013


If you are about to head out the door to work or send the kids to school…don’t!

It appears all of our models may have been wrong since the main snow band seems to be setting up a good 50 miles farther north than we expected.  Snow is falling through a good chunk  of the metro area and there’s no reason to think anyone couldn’t get a quick inch in the next few hours.

Way too risky to head out into a morning commute as roads start to turn icy/snowy in many areas, you may get stuck on the road.

After the disastrous December 2009 evening commute when we said it would do very little, I promised myself I wouldn’t hesitate next time it appeared we were way off.  I think this may that time.

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen