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

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

134 Responses to 4:30pm Saturday: Freezing Rain & Sleet Moving In

  1. Chris s says:

    Mark, I would like to know why your so confident we will warm up down here in Salem tomorrow. I looked back at the temps in roseburg during the January 2004 event, and they were in the 50’s for 3 straight days before we even cracked 40. I am sure your right, but just curious?

  2. Model Rider says:

    Not that it matters at this point but maybe just maybe that snowfall in the Columbia Basin may aid in further cooling of the east winds if that storm in N. Ca. were to creep up this way. Just sayin and being optimistic. Need a lesson Erik?

  3. AlexQS says:

    What do the experts think of this:

    This system is heading across Northern California, but it sure looks like it’s trying make it’s way northward.

    Will it possibly get all the way to Portland??

    • Austin-East Vancouver says:

      I believe that storm system is part of the pineapple express and if it was to come north which I believe its going to stay in Cali it would warm or atmosphere up much faster but I’m no expert lol

    • AlohaWeather says:

      If it did come North the pressure gradients would probably still keep the east wind blowing. Therefore it would be more freezing rain. Getting the cold air out of the lowest 1000′ won’t be easy to achieve.

    • Austin-East Vancouver says:

      I’ll stick with my answer plus it doesn’t matter that system is staying in Cali;)

    • AlexQS says:


  4. Wendy-Silverlake says:

    We ended up with an additional 5 inches today and it’s still coming down. Not bad since it wasn’t suppose to make it north.

  5. alohabb says:

    No moisture on radar…could we be done with this? On to thawing??

    • agmet says:

      No notice temps in Eugene are still at Freezing and dew pt is still 30 need a South wind Maybe for some tomorrow mid morning maybe but nothing has gone the way anyone expects it too

    • AlexQS says:

      Finally down to 31 in Molalla. Just started raining again.

  6. Taylor says:

    Trees are making an awful sound outside. They’ve survived before in 2004 and 2008 when we had ice storms. We will see if they make it this time.

  7. Lurkyloo says:

    Just walked the 4 blocks to Plaid. Wow! Treacherous out there. 1/4 inch of ice (at least) on all the trees. A layer of ice over the snow. I had those studded-shoe things on, otherwise I’d have been on my arse more than once. I really hope everyone stays off the roads. VERY dangerous! Heard melty dripping outside a while ago, too. That’s not good if it re-freezes. Be safe, blog friends!

  8. Model Rider says:

    Mark, Rob, or anyone, looks like the next system is closing in on Oregon fast. Is this going to be a factor tomorrow? Because right now its 11 in Redmond. And if low goes south again, which looks like it will for sure, more easterlies?

    • PeteCJ says:

      Mark says he thinks all of the moisture stays in Northern California with that system.

    • boydo3 N Albany says:

      You may see some wrap around moisture over there. I’m wondering if you get a freezing rain event in a day or two.
      My son who is a chef at Black Butte ranch, says there must be 2′ on the ground in Sisters.

    • boydo3 N Albany says:

      Just got a text…freezing rain in Sisters

    • Model Rider says:

      Strange. I’m still at 11.6. In Redmond. Wraparound would be nice. One last hmmmppp before this is over. That system sure looks close tho

  9. Just had a burst of heavy snow as that last heavy shower moved through. 28.8 now.

    So have seen 8.5″ of snow the last few days, then a layer of ice, and now a dusting of snow on top of all of that lol.

  10. BoringOregon says:

    It is frezzing rain so hard, its making the power lines make noise!

  11. Longview - 400 ft says:

    Well tonight, now that the snow has ended here, I have 4 1/2 inches tonight.
    The total for the weekend has been 12 & half inches of greatness.

    This whole weekend weather deal reminds me a little of 2008.

    • pappoose in scappoose says:

      Had the same thought (2008) while I was clearing snow from the roof/plowing the driveway today. Was the last time I had to work this hard moving snow.

  12. Boomer in Vancouver says:

    I’m looking for opinions. I’ve got to take my mother to the airport at 4:00 AM and have a 4 wheel drive. Do I chain up or just go without?

    • alohabb says:

      If your not comfortable driving then don’t go..odds are flight would be delayed

    • poolsidemike says:

      it really is more about how confident of a driver you are in bad weather. As a firefighter, I have been watching people drive in this stuff for last 3 days….all i can say is “a bad snow driver in a great snow car (truck) with 4 wheel drive and/or chains is worse than a good snow driver in a marginal car.” My point is that the driver’s skill and confidence(and most important is being smart and careful!) is as important, if not more, than the car.
      Remember that 4 wheel drive on ice only gives you two more tires to slip on. Sticking on main sanded streets and going slow and steady you should be ok.
      Good luck!

    • braniff1 says:

      Be sure and check on her flight. Some morning ones are already cancelled. Go to http://www.flypdx.com and click on Arrivals and Departures in the left side column.

    • Boomer in Vancouver says:


    • ECT says:

      We also have a flight leaving at 6 AM.. Worried that we won’t be able to get there! We’re in NE Portland and would be going side roads all the way, no 4WD. Fingers crossed that it all gets delayed or they let us switch to a later flight.

    • laffingdevil says:

      Get her a cab

    • AlexQS says:

      I noticed today when I was out that, dang -it’s slick! I was half tempted to put chains on my awd Subaru.

      Dad sent me through that skid-car training course at PIR when I was a teenager. I’ve driven in every kind of weather Portland OR has had in last 25 years, and always in only FWD Hondas, vw and the like. Driving past trucks in the ditch, etc.

      It is about the driver. I’ve been looking for excuses to go places since Thursday, and I love the AWD of our Subaru, but today I considered putting chains on. I just slowly went home and stayed instead of chaining up to go out again.

  13. Taylor says:

    30 degrees in Happy Valley. Not sure if we will get above freezing tonight or the NWS is right and we will not moderate until tomorrow evening. Quite a bit of icing outside. Streetlight was flickering for awhile although I don’t think it has anything to do with the power. Just messing with the street lamp.

  14. poolsidemike says:

    weird….just drove from Tigard to central Beaverton to pick up daughter from work….despite an hour of freezing rain and sleet, the roads were actually pretty good (I do have a 4 wheel drive pick up truck and have been driving in snow/ice for many years!) Way better than I expected. That’s the problem though….as traffic volume slows and the temp drops even a couple degrees, i think it will turn to ice QUICK! Don’t go out if you can avoid it!
    Expect to start seeing those onimous blue/green flashes in the sky soon as transformers start to blow, trees start to fall on power lines, etc.!

  15. Model Rider says:

    Strange that gfs is showing another arctic blast in Lala land. It would be sweet of it came to fruition. 3 in one year would be historic.

  16. David B. says:

    The dome has been breached! The Greater Seattle Area Anti-Snow Dome has been breached! 🙂

  17. alohabb says:

    DANGIT!!!! ONLY 1 BEER LEFT IN FRIDGE…That just ruined my night.

    • Model Rider says:

      If I can drive to store after almost 3 feet fell u can make it after a foot. Come on man, priorities!!!

    • alohabb says:

      LOL..I’ve got a neighbor that owes me a few..so it’s time to cash in! I really didn’t want to have to bust in this bottle of Dom from ’64

    • Model Rider says:

      Or buck up and get to the store. Ur in Portland area in thinking so there is probably a store not too far away.

  18. All Freezing rain here. Temp been hovering around 30° the past several hours. On, off again east wind gusts to 20.

    Hope we don’t mimic Jan 2004.

  19. WX NINJA says:

    Sleet and ZR here in Camas. Starting to get a coating of ice out there and the east wind is still going.

  20. Sapo says:


    The system on the Oregon/California border looks interesting…According to models it will go straight, but it looks to be lifting northward? Is that possible?

  21. Sapo says:

    Everything coated with ice, sleet/freezing rain all freezing rain. Coming down somewhat lightly, very slippery streets with an icy coating…Dangerous out there!

  22. W7ENK says:

    ZR continuing, significant icing now, walking back from the store was slippery!! Trees and cars are glazed, roads are slicking over, snow is crusted over, icicles hanging from everything, perhaps 1/4″ thickness on surfaces.

    Had back-to-back power bumps about an hour ago, fairly widespread I’m guessing as it sounds like many from all over reported seeing it. Probably on a main BPA transmission line. Not sure how much longer we will have power. I’m glad I have two large batteries and an inverter, I can still watch movies by candlelight if I have to. At least I have plenty of cold beer! :mrgreen:

    • boydo3 N Albany says:

      I’m pretty much snowed in. Lots of ice on snow on the roads and we live on the top of the hill. AND I failed to stock up on the suds before this all started. No walking to the store (too far away)…but I do have a nice bottle of brandy in the cabinet.
      Our power just went out but popped back on. Batteries charged and fire lit. Ready and waiting..

    • dharmabum says:

      It’s sure nice to have multi-talented bloggers, not only a weather expert, but also a electrical grid transmission expert, thanks again W& whoever you are.

    • boringlarry SE of Sandy1600 ft says:

      Dharma, Eric…w7…. works for pge, and knows his stuff…

  23. Jack in Corbett says:

    Mark, did they get the anemometer fixed at Vista House?

  24. alohabb says:

    1/4″ ice here..tree limbs coated. This is not good. still coming down.

  25. TheWeatherSpace.com Kevin Martin says:

    No offense, but you never predicted an Ice Storm. I did – Last night – http://www.theweatherspace.com/2014/02/08/ice-storm-warning-12/

    • Timmy_Supercell (Klamath Falls @ 4200') says:

      Oh hey Melvin Kartin is back!! lol

      We did predict freezing rain for long enough, doesn’t that automatically equal ice? Does it not?

    • boringlarry SE of Sandy1600 ft says:

      …Mr. Martin…. .. your nothing but an arrogant information rendering alarmist…people have been forecasting freezing rain for days around here…your self serving “meteorologist” observations are worthless and do nothing but to serve your own self promotional deviant delusions of grandeur…

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