Storm #3 Wraps Up; Now On To A Thaw

February 8, 2014


Here are some of your snow totals; I got in a hurry so I missed quite a few of them…sorry!  It’s obvious that we forecast too high on snow accumulation this time.  Most of the metro area had 1-3″  Far west side (Forest Grove) and north (Felida) had 5-7″!

BMAC Snow Coast Valley Metro

Now radar is looking pretty dry and I don’t see any organized weather system for tomorrow.  As a result, we begin a slow thaw.  This is what I’m thinking as of 11pm:



There will not be any warming southerly wind tomorrow, but just a few more degrees of gradual warming of our cool low-level airmass.  As a result at best I see 33 at Troutdale, 35 at PDX, and 36-39 in most of the rest of the metro area.  With no east wind returning tomorrow night and some light showers moving in, temperatures should remain above freezing.

That means lots of snow still left around Monday morning, but temps above freezing; a sloppy mess.  The Columbia River Gorge will remain frozen through Monday morning.  Time for the drive home!

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

4:30pm Saturday: Freezing Rain & Sleet Moving In

February 8, 2014

As expected, warmer air is pushing in a couple thousand feet above our heads in the metro area this evening, so many of us are seeing the snow change to ice pellets and/or freezing rain.  Remember freezing rain is liquid, ice pellets are snowflakes that melted into raindrops and then refroze into little chunks of ice.  It almost sounds like small hail when it hits your window or your head.  We’ve had some very heavy bands of precipitation move through in the past hour or so too:



  • Expect road conditions to go downhill between now and midnight as many metro area roads start to get a glazing of ice…on top of the packed snow.  Tonight’s road conditions will probably be the worst we have seen.
  • Temperatures hold steady or drop a degree or two; any roads (mainly south metro) that thawed a little today will refreeze after sunset.
  • Another 2-4″ snow is possible across the north and west metro where the cold air is thicker.
  • East wind is just about the strongest we’ve seen out of all 3 storms out in the Gorge, it’ll back off quite a bit after midnight like it did yesterday evening.

Thanks for all your snow totals.  It looks like the storm has underperformed except out near Banks and Forest Grove.  Around 6″ new out there.  Most of us have only seen 1.5″ to 3″.   The switch to ice pellets and freezing rain hasn’t helped much.

Look at the current temps, how about that 56 in Roseburg!  Big ice storm in progress in the southern valley; thanks Paul for the 3/4″ ice report.  That’s got to be a real big issue with trees and power lines falling.



Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

Snow Totals: Storm #3 Saturday

February 8, 2014

Time to tell us how much snow you have.  We are looking for 3 bits of info…

1. Location (City or area)


3. How much you have on the ground now

4. If you have only had freezing rain or rain today, I would love to know that too.

Leave all other discussion on previous posts.


Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

Storm #3: 6 Hours Early!

February 8, 2014

10am Saturday…

Just woke up and checked out radar; here we go!  Storm #3 is moving in WAY ahead of schedule today with heavy snow across the metro area already before 10am.  It appears the atmosphere is still cold enough to support snow (for now) north of Salem.  A new winter storm warning is up now through tomorrow morning for most of the Willamette Valley and now an Ice Storm Warning for the central/south Willamette Valley due to very thick ice accumulations.

  • Expect 4-7″ new snow in most of the metro area today/this evening.
  • Most of the precipitation should stay as snow in the metro area
  • Some freezing rain is possible in the metro area by evening, definitely possible during the overnight hours

Heavy freezing rain will develop in the Willamette Valley and snow will change to freezing rain from Salem up into the far southeast suburbs of the metro area during the afternoon.  Lots of thick ice developing and power outages!

Note the WRF-GFS forecast of snowfall in the metro area today…a much juicier storm than the last two over the metro area:



Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen