Our models have not been doing well, our RPM has been particularly useless, so has the NAM. That ECMWF is doing quite a bit better so I’m following it again. That means one more round of snow/ice later tomorrow afternoon and evening. This time we get a warmer nose of air up around 2,000′ which means many more areas west of the Cascades could get some thick ice accumulation from freezing rain.
- This round of storms is probably the biggest for snow depth in the central/south Willamette Valley since the big 1968-1969 winter. Many spots from Albany to Eugene have 10, 12, or even 18″ of snow on the ground!
- Snow has pretty much ended with storm #2, snow showers will continue in the far eastern suburbs and west slopes of the Cascades through the night though
- Mainly dry Saturday morning through midday
- Snow and ice pellets/freezing rain arrives mid afternoon and continues through the evening
- Salem to Eugene will likely be mostly freezing rain…a pretty decent ice storm is on the way for the top of your building snowpack!
- Freezing rain also seems most likely in the south and southeast parts of the metro area. Molalla, Canby, Wilsonville, Colton, Estacada are some examples
- Temperatures will get close to freezing tomorrow, but then fall back to upper 20s or 30 tomorrow night.
Sunday will see gradual improvement with temperatures rising into the mid 30s. Then the big warming comes Sunday night as a gusty southerly wind arrives in the Willamette Valley. The Columbia River Gorge will remain frozen through Monday morning.
There is one other way this cold weather is historic. The high temperature yesterday was 23 in Portland. Sure, that seems really cold right? But far colder than I thought. In Portland there has never been a day in February beyond the 5th where the high temperature didn’t at least hit 30 degrees. We totally blew away that number yesterday…and today. Basically it’s pretty much unheard of to not make it to right around freezing any day this time of year. There was ONE day in early March 1960 where the high was 29 degrees, but that’s it. That was also a situation with heavy snow and gusty east wind.
Time to head home; roads look empty so a good time to go. Back at it for round #3 tomorrow afternoon.
Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen