9pm: Snow Storm Wrapping Up

February 6, 2014

It’s been a fun afternoon, if were at home playing in or watching the snow.  Disastrous if you were stuck in traffic for hours.  Or a little long if you participated in 8 straight hours of live storm coverage on TV.

Looking at the radar the solid band of heavy snow has shifted to the north and is falling apart.  We should just see lighter snow the rest of the evening.  Still an inch or two additional is possible.  It looks like the lightest has been Salem to Woodburn and then up to the east side of the Portland metro area.  You folks only had a trace to 2″.  Everyone else had more; appears that 2-4″ totals have been most common for most of us in the metro area.  The heaviest has been up in Northern Clark county and Columbia county with 5, 6, 7, or even 9″

What happens now?


Another surface low pressure area moves across southern Oregon tomorrow afternoon, throwing more moisture up over the cold air entrenched over northern Oregon.  The heaviest snow/freezing rain will stay south of the Portland metro area, thus our forecast of 2-4″ for the metro area.   Believe it or not, the central/south valley should see MORE snow tomorrow, although with a thinning low level airmass I think there is a very good chance of widespread freezing rain mixed in from Salem south to Eugene.  Possibly even as far north as the extreme SE part of the Portland metro area (Colton, Molalla, Estacada).

Beyond tomorrow evening’s 2-4″, I don’t see a big chance for widespread snow or freezing rain in the metro area the rest of the weekend.  Although we might squeeze out a little more snow later in the day Saturday.  It’ll be a very slow warmup Saturday and Sunday, but enough to improve road conditions dramatically.  A few sunbreaks and 30-35 degrees can do wonders in early-mid February.  The Columbia River Gorge will remain frozen until at least Sunday night.

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen


2:45pm Update: Heavier Snow Moving In

February 6, 2014

We’re in continous coverage now on FOX12…a busy day!  Snow has been relatively light for most of the metro area so far, but a heavier band of snow is moving into the north Willamette Valley right now.  Basically everything is going according to plan.  Those of you that have seen nothing so far (Woodburn, Molalla, Silverton) will finally get some snow.


That means the snow should start adding up quickly between now and 7pm.   Looks like parts of the south valley are already up around 10″!  I still think 2-5″ is a good total for the metro area.  I am a little concerned looking at the visible satellite pic that there is going to be quite a dumping, maybe more than this forecast.


You can clearly see the solid clouds (with heavier snowfall) north of the low pressure center…west of the coastline.

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

Share Your Snow Totals

February 6, 2014

All right… let’s hear it!  How much snow do you have on the ground where you’re at?

All we need is your city and your measurements.  Don’t worry about elevation.

Sound off!

Snowstorm Today! 9am Update

February 6, 2014
Just looked at all the latest models, radar etc…it’s going to be a LONG day at work.  Which means for all the rest of you it should be a fun afternoon and evening!
Right now:  Steady snow is south of Salem and a band of steady light snow across Vancouver and into the west end of the Gorge.  It’s 15 degrees at my house with snow blowing around.  It’s also 24, windy, and snowing at Newport…more like Maine out there today.  You can track radar all day here:  http://weather.cod.edu/satrad/nexrad/index.php?type=RTX-N0Q-1-6
A snowstorm should be on the way for this afternoon for most of Northwest Oregon, including the Portland metro area.  Models are in even better agreement that a slug of moderate to heavy snow will arrive soon after the noon hour here in the metro area. Looks like somewhere between 2-5″ snow by the time it’s wrapping up this evening.  This will be a very cold snowstorm for us with temps hovering in the low to mid 20s; none of that 32 degree slushy snow stuff.  That means the liquid de-icer will be useless from what I’ve seen in the past.  And since for some weird reason ODOT still doesn’t use salt in the metro area (but other parts of Oregon now?), freeways will turn icy too.  So don’t get stuck on the way to or from work!
This will be our biggest (only?) February snowstorm since 1995.  It’ll only take about 2″ to do that.  Our forecast snow totals and timing of warnings is below.  The most severe weather will be in the west end of the Gorge with the strong wind creating blizzard conditions.
Albany (4am THU-4am FRI)
Salem north into Clark Co. (10am THU-4am FRI)
Central Gorge/Hood River (10am THU-4am FRI)
North and Central Oregon Coast (7am THU-MIDNIGHT)
Kelso/Longview/Cowlitz Co. (10am THU-4am FRI)
Western Columbia River Gorge including Multnomah Falls, Corbett, Cascade Locks (10am THU-4am FRI)
By the way, here are the snow accumulation graphics from the UW’s model (WRF-GFS) and our RPM model:
Note that both of these only include today’s snowstorm.  There will likely be at least a little more during the day Friday.  More on that AFTER we get through this.

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen