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

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



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

  1. Andrew says:

    Where is Rob? Is he alive?

  2. Mike Holmes says:

    This is so not fair! No snow for us here in Washington NOT FAIR!!!!!!!! Each year we become more and more OVERDUE for a regionwide wind or snowstorm and each winter is like this. Marginal events and pretty much nothing at all! What happened to the big winters we had in the 1990s and early 2000s?!

  3. Taylor says:

    Temperature struggling to move down still at 24 degrees right now. Cloud cover probably doesn’t help and neither does the east wind. Might make it to the teens but might not make it either.

  4. chris says:

    Anyone know why these clouds are not clearing up here in Puget sound country out by Tacoma?

  5. Just a trace in BG. Much like a couple years ago, there was about 2-3″ of snow near Duluth (I-5 and SR 502). The roads this morning were a mess, but were mainly dry except in the middle of the road tonight. Side roads are still icy in areas too.

    Currently 24.7 after a high of 30. Peak wind of 22 mph this morning just before 11.

  6. Model Rider says:

    Still snowing in Redmond. Hasn’t stopped for 14 hours now. Unbelievably cold and snowy. I’m scared lol

  7. Dave in South Salem (500') says:

    Many accidents here. Almost all involving cars hitting other parked cars. or in the case of a neighbor, a tree. Snow slightly melted then refroze into a wet,icy sheen. Flakes were still falling until ten minutes ago.

  8. Sapo says:

    The radar shows a band of precipitation over the ocean west of Washington. Is this something that could come to us?

  9. snodaze says:

    I’d consider the forecast nailed. — not a bust whatsoever for PDX metro IMO… Deformation bands are hard to handle at any point in time… At least the RPM caught it with about 1/2 inch everywhere on one or two of the later runs. — What can you do given the general development of the system?

    • David B. says:

      Some situations may be hard to predict but that doesn’t matter — the official forecast did not mention impactful accumulating snow, and accumulating snow did happen. One model did indicate accumulating snow, but the forecasters decided to dismiss it as an outlier and not include any mention of the possibility in the official forecast.

      So it was indeed a bust.

    • snodaze says:

      impact… ? give me a break. — Mark needs to account for stupid people too now? — lol.

      Not a bust… pure and simple.. — you were warned.

      It was a deformation band.

    • snodaze says:

      Meh…. I didn’t mean to belittle you David B. What I was really suggesting is that 1/2″ of snow can be “more” impactful than 12″ of snow. — If you get that. (it creates more “stupid” people) — But truth be told… 12″ of snow on the ground creates more “smart” people… — So Maybe it is “impactful”…. maybe there’s a partial truth to your argument?… I.C. now… +1 — But still not a bust. 🙂 we were warned. — night. — Where’s Rob b.t.w… haven’t seen him for a day or two… — Would like to have him offer his input…?

    • you get a foot of snow on the ground, people know its bad and stay home. you get barely a dusting and people assume “its not much snow, ill be fine” but this dry snow on dry pavement turns slick FAST and people end up in trouble.

    • Brad says:

      I’d consider snodaze’s logic a bust. The forecast didn’t call for snow…and just look at Mark’s final post last night…all of the graphics called for no snow. We woke up today to a completely different picture…and even Mark acknowledged the miss.

  10. Marcustheweathernut says:

    Any thoughts on snow Sunday night??? I herd rumors ?

    • Sapo says:

      The chances of snow shown by models Sunday night are currently nonexistent. Most models, to an extent, show a tiny bit of precipitation forming near Washington Sunday night, but nothing to the extent of what the NAM was showing a few runs ago, with a solid patch of precipitation coming right into us. What will most likely happen will that some slight precipitation will form, but it will rapidly dissipate before reaching us. Tuesday is another slight chance of snow, with models showing minor chances for extremely minor precipitation somewhere along the timeframe of Tuesday-Tuesday night

    • shawnpippin says:

      The latest NAM run is showing snow Sunday afternoon, a decent amount of precipitation too. Something to keep an eye on.

    • Sapo says:

      For where? The 18z NAM isn’t favorable for snow on Sunday.

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

    3 inches on the ground here. Been snowing almost steadily since 9am.

  12. David B. says:

    Yesterday I noticed the owners of a home a block away had neglected to disconnect their garden hoses and cover their spigots, and had suffered the expected consequences. Rang a neighbor’s doorbell so either the owner got contacted or the city got called to shut their water off. Not a fun mistake to make.

  13. Taylor says:

    NWS is forecasting a low of 9 tonight in Clackamas I doubt it how we are to get from 26 to 9?

    • David B. says:

      Happens all the time in more inland areas when it’s calm. But yeah, sounds like a stretch for tonight.

  14. CorbettTez says:

    Hey Mark….who is in charge of maintaining the wind sensor on the Corbett School? It’s been virtually nonexistent for nearly a month now, throughout the last and current “wind events” – always nice to check and see just how hard the winds are blowing out here. Thanks for all you do! 🙂

  15. Andrew (Near Silver Falls 1600') says:

    Got up to 28 today up here by the falls after an early morning low of 18. At last measurement I had a solid 1″ of snow.

  16. Sapo says:

    Models have been hinting at some precipitation forming slightly off the coast of Washington Sunday Night…The NAM was the first to pick this up, but now other models are going with the trend. As it is now, though, there is slight precipitation that dissipates far before it reaches Portland. Models have also shown possible LIGHT precipitation Tuesday…Does anyone have a thought whether we will see snow?

    • WEATHERDAN says:

      When you have a cold air mass this cold and this deep it is sometimes hard for the warmer more moist airmass to push it out the way quickly. Therefore I think we have a good chance to see some snow here late Tuesday.

    • Sapo says:

      Thanks! I hope we can at least get some more snow before going into another warmer/rain period for awhile.

  17. vernonia1 says:

    Yikes!!! NWS had my low at 3 for tonight & I was hoping it was a typo. Now they are calling for 0 to be my low…..too dang cold!

    • JohnD says:

      That is pretty exciting really. For me I plan
      to go home, sit in front of the fire and drink
      too much beer while lamenting our virtual zero
      event–as everyonge else (seemingly) rejoices
      in theirs. At least tomorrow it will be fun to
      drive down to the valley to sight see!

  18. So maybe the whining paid off. Is it true that the low pressure center is stalled just about over Salem? It’s still coming down here. What are the prospects of it just sitting here for another couple of hours? 😉

  19. Jethro (Canby ~187') says:

    Whew, skated thru with this one unscathed. Sent my truck driver to Salem early this morning and he got out before the mess, then sent him to Beaverton/Hillsboro after the mess. Worked perfect!

    Report from the south end of the dome: Nothing to show from the few flurries we had south of Canby. Never had anything to even consider a ‘trace’.

  20. Lurkyloo says:

    Mark, I’m glad you posted that this morning! I didn’t think it was over-dramatic and I appreciated your sentiment of wanting people to stay safe. I heeded your advice and I’m sure a lot of people maybe avoided getting stuck in snow or traffic. You did the right thing! I bet PaulD would have stayed home and avoided that headache if you’d only posted 15 minutes earlier! Harsh that you were even awake at 6:45 … you must be in Autobot mode this time of year.

    • pdxduck says:

      I agree that it wasn’t an over-dramatic post, and I think it was great for you to warn people to stay home. Thanks for getting the word out quickly! Nevertheless, I had to drive to work this morning, and headed out from SE Portland to NE Portland at about 8am and roads everywhere, especially in NE, were quickly becoming a complete disaster. The snow was getting packed down into ice and I saw many cars spinning out and several crashes with fairly significant auto damage.

  21. WEATHERDAN says:

    Just shy of 2:00 PM and snowing hard in Salem. The hardest so far today with big flakes. 27 degrees with a stiff North wind. NWS says the bulk of the snow should wind down by this evening. Peace.

    • Jake-(Gresham) says:

      Yeah I’d argue that this cold arctic outbreak was for you guys down in the South valley in terms of snow (Salem, Eugene, ect.). I’d say it’s about time you guys got snow instead of us here in Portland or Seattle. Granted, I would’ve preferred a massive snowstorm for the whole Willamette valley but we all know that’s not common around these parts.

    • W7ENK says:

      I disagree. Central and South Willamette Valley had a massive snow more recently than Portland — March 2012 rings a bell.

      Here it is:

      Per usual, Portland got the shaft on that one.

      And that was only 2 months after this:

      Portland got the shaft just to the North. Scappoose had 12-18″ but Downtown Portland and poins South has a light dusting to nothing at all.

      I definitely think it’s our turn now!

    • WEATHERDAN says:

      2:16 PM 28 degrees right now still snowing moderately. 28 seems to be our high so far today. I suspect that it will be. When it clears out later tonight it should drop rapidly. Until then it should start to drop slowly after 4:00 PM. Peace.

    • chris s says:

      Jake, we usually always score down here in Salem in these events, and like Erik was saying we got dumped on in March 2012 as well.

    • Dave in South Salem (500') says:

      It sure wasn’t looking good this morning with dry hearing about snow in Portland and Albany, but the tables have turned for sure.

    • Jake-(Gresham) says:

      Okay yeah I’m not happy. There I said it.


  22. Michael says:

    it’s 2pm and snowing hard again in NE Salem have about 1/4 inch in the front yard

  23. David B. says:

    My guess is that next week in the Seattle are we’ll see from a trace to 2 inches of snow as the first incoming system overrides the cold air initially. A brief period of sleet, freezing rain, or mixed precip is also a good bet. But it won’t last; it will transition to rain after a few hours as the marine air wins out relatively quickly.

    This is based simply on my observations that outflow events usually end with some overrunning if a marine front comes in to displace them, even when they’re forecast not to. In such cases, the overrunning tends to still happen, but is limited in duration.

  24. runrain says:

    For those that got no snow, I will offer a new song tonite. Just to keep our sense of humor in tact. If nothing else, you can laugh at me!

  25. WEATHERDAN says:

    28 and snowing at 1:00 PM in South Salem. A little over 1 inch on the ground. North wind beginning to pick up. This is a good time to say don’t always believe the models over your gut instinct. Yesterday radar showed the moisture coming in North of where the models showed it would. Our ancestors predicted weather days out just by looking at the skies and using their past experience to guide them. The models all call for a rapid warmup and rain on Tuesday. My gut instinct tells me no. Yes it will warm up, just not as fast as some models say. My feeling is highs 20-25 with lows 5-10 over the weekend. On Monday a low of 10-15 with a high of about 30 and sunny skies. On Tuesday we should see a low of 20-25 and a high of 30-35 with increasing clouds. On Tuesday night we should see some snow from the system dropping down from the North. This should change to freezing rain on Wednesday and eventually later in the day to just rain. In Portland we may see this process delayed to Thursday. But because this cold is so deep and we are not looking at a big storm coming at us from the Southwest I think it will be a more gradual process. We shall find out. Peace.

  26. Jake-(Gresham) says:

    29F here.

    A slight breeze has started up. The East wind is starting I believe.

    • Taylor says:

      Its been here for several hours in Clackamas really has picked though in the last hour.

    • Jake-(Gresham) says:

      Really? It’s only been breezy here on and off and only now can I say it’s looking to pick up a little bit.

  27. W7ENK says:

    Downtown Portland: 28 degrees with a decent East wind, moderate high and mid level clouds with some sun peeking through. All the snow from this morning is now gone, except for what the wind piled up against curbs and corners, probably sublimated into the dry air. Roads are bare and dry. So much for optimal radiational cooling! Lows for Portland proper will stay in the double digits this time around.

  28. Ben T says:


  29. The snow is still all over in East Vancouver. The temp according to my weather station has still to rise above 25F at 12:47 p.m. My fear is that it is becoming white ice instead, and that would mean that it would be become worse if the temp does not rise above freezing for a few hours. . . .

  30. Taylor says:

    28 degrees right now my guess is we may not get to 30 today or at the very least won’t get above freezing.

  31. boydo3 N Albany says:

    Still snowing here. Probably 3-4″ on the ground but can’t be sure. Strong N wind and stuck at 24 deg. Wind chill around zero according to my Davis weather station.
    Feed your birds! They love those cheap suet cakes…

  32. Model Rider says:

    Still coming down over in central Oregon where I’ve received 4″ and haven’t cracked 11 degrees yet. Looks like another few hours of snow here.

  33. WEATHERDAN says:

    The vort max seems to be stalled right over the mid valley. Radar is showing wrap around moisture headed back to PDX from the NE. Snowing in Salem and 27 degrees presently. 1 inch on the ground presently. I expect when all is said and done we will wind up with around 2 inches. Salem might see single digits for the first time since December of 1990 when we dropped to 7 degrees. If Tuesday storm comes at night and drops down from the North like it’s supposed to then I think as deep and as cold as this air mass is then we stand a good chance of starting out as snow changing to ZR on Wednesday. That gives us a good 5 days with cold and snow. This has already been the best winter since 2008-2009. And being that’s only December 6th and with a forecast of a real wild winter by several forecasters I doubt if this is it for the winter. If this had been an epic storm then maybe. But this storm while a nice little snowstorm and cold snap it is not a record breaker. So there is probably more to this winter. Peace.

    • Model Rider says:

      Eugene broke a record low maximum for the day yesterday and I’m sure there will be record lows all over the place the next few nights. So yes, a record arctic blast.

    • JohnD says:

      Pretty epic for Eugene though. Huge snow
      totals there today–up to a foot and it will
      be sticking around a few days at least. So you
      win some and you lose some. Eugene got
      basically zero in 2008 when we received all the
      Here’s hoping for MORE to come–INCLUDING PDX!

    • Dave in South Salem (500') says:

      I thought it was over here, but its not. Just several dustings really, no additional accumulation. The streets are getting sprayed pretty well and not enough moisture to ruin it but I sure wouldn’t want to be driving around at night.

    • Josh Smith Stayton OR elev (500 ft ) says:

      really coming down in stayton, thought i was gonna be under a baby dome this morning, but im really impressed with the amount i have gotten, currently snowing and 29 degrees, about 2.5 inches, maybe more in spots

      everything is white !!!!!!!

  34. Paul D says:

    Mark: unfortunately, based on your Thursday evening blog, my daughter & I headed from Hillsboro at 06:30 this morning and tried to get to Seattle. We got to exit 52 on I5 North, and they had the freeway closed. It took 2.5 hours to come back home (80 miles). What a horrible morning. A couple days ago I posted that based on my desire to go to Seattle today, it would snow in Portland. Looks like I was right 🙂 No hard feelings. You did your best on the forecast, and I gambled and lost. I will still keep coming here for the BEST weather forecasting in the Portland area!

    • W7ENK says:

      Why would they have closed I-5 at Centralia? I didn’t think they got any snow up that way, and certainly not anything that would warrant closing the Interstate… o_O

    • Paul D says:

      Exit 52 is near Castle Rock. We were 20+ miles from Centralia. There was a bit of a hill just past the exit, and I saw a UPS double-trailer stopped taking up two lanes, and the hill was completely white, so I guess they decided to make us exit instead of going around in the one unblocked lane.

      It was snowing from Hillsboro through Vancouver, but it wasn’t anything to stop us. When we got near Kelso, it was perfectly clear and we were doing the speed limit. Then we got around milepost 48 and it was white – like someone flipped on the snow switch!

    • W7ENK says:

      Ah, my bad. My eyes sent 52 but my brain received 82.

      Optical checksum failure. x_x

    • Paul D says:


    • GTS1K' says:

      Buck up, Erik – you can take solace in the fact that you’re *almost* always right…

  35. alohabb says:

    Wheres the wind ? Thought we had amd advisory today??

    • Taylor says:

      Winds are really gusty here in Clackamas.

    • W7ENK says:

      Decently windy in downtown. There’s something about the facade on the new Federal building that makes it howl or whistle when there’s an East wind. It’s screaming pretty good today, I can hear it through my window here 2 blocks away!

  36. SW says:

    Rob, Paul and Model Rider, Kenney and … –

    I Hope Rob has not stopped giving us Model analysis. I enjoy reading all the analysis from everyone on the blog. I appreciate the effort everyone put’s into this.

    It seems like at this point either (based upon some history)
    A) Winter is over
    B) We could get an even bigger outbreak later on.


    • Lauraholic says:

      my gut feeling is we will have a storm when the warm moist air heads this way.. this cold air is pretty set!

      My gut is better than the models. =)

  37. Heatblizzard says:

    The neighbors to our north believe it or not are trying to burn their compost! The smoke is starting to make me sick. 😦

    Half inch of snow then a bit of sunshine. Since August every time the sun comes out the neighbors automatically think it’s time to start burning. At least now it’s just one neighbor doing it.

    By the way I’ve been meaning to say this for quite some time.

    If you bloggers are trying to test my patience to see if I get mad then I want you to know the joke is on you! You can tell you’re master that the plot has been foiled. You all might as well go tell you’re master to beat you for failure and get it over with.

    • W7ENK says:

      People don’t burn compost Kyle, at least not intentionally. If their compost is on fire, call the Fire Department!

      Slash/brush piles on the otherhand…

  38. schmit44 says:

    My .00001″ snowfall total has now sublimed into gas due to 45mph winds

  39. Ryan says:

    Fun stuff! Now onto the next storm!

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