Much Better Driving Sunday Afternoon…On the Main Roads

I just got in to work at 5pm Sunday; it only took me about 5 minutes longer than normal!  But that’s because my commute is mainly on I-84 and U.S. 26 (Corbett to Beaverton, 37 miles).  The good news is that freeways are in excellent shape, mainly wet with just some leftover junk in spots, generally the far left lane.  I was able to go normal (or a little above) speed with the light traffic.

photo

The other main roads I drove on were just okay, but still lots of slop left.  Once you get on a side road though…what a sloppy slushy mess!  We are located on  Greenbrier Parkway just off Hwy 26 and it was the worst part of my entire commute; even worse than the solid snow/ice at home.  Thick slush/ice pack breaking up; I was all over the place even in my 4Runner.  This is what it looks like, probably quite similar to the street outside your home if you don’t live on a main road and don’t have a plow running by.

photo2

Luckily the forecast of no precipitation (or very little) worked out great.  Other than spots of drizzle we’ve been dry for about 18 hours in the metro area.

By the way, my commute home at midnight last night was really weird, even fewer cars than I have seen while commuting at the same time during previous snow/ice storms.  That surprised me since it was a Saturday night; apparently people who party don’t like to drive on ice and snow.  In fact from around Gateway to my exit east of  Troutdale, I never had a vehicle in sight either ahead of me or behind.  It really is nice to just move back and forth across a 3 lane freeway with no one else around.  And ODOT crews had it down to just a thin ice/snow layer, so no big bumps or snow chunks…very smooth driving about 40-45 mph the whole way.

Temps just barely climbed above freezing and combined with a sunbreak or two, cleared those main highways/roads a bit.  PDX hit 33 today, so far.

PLOT_Temps_MetrotoCentralCoast

Looks like dry weather will continue through at least sunrise Monday.  But I haven’t looked at the rest of the forecast so I don’t have any other comments on that.  More later when I pull myself together and stare at maps/models.

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

59 Responses to Much Better Driving Sunday Afternoon…On the Main Roads

  1. Taylor says:

    Right at the freezing mark here in Clackamas. Snow will refreeze and ice will probably form on wet roads tonight.

  2. alohabb says:

    Roads turning into ice rink! Check out the semi that went off the road I-5 and 205

    http://tripcheck.com/popups/Cam.asp?curRegion=14&camera=563

  3. geo says:

    Also noticed that dewpoint at 24.

  4. geo says:

    Walked outside here in sw Gresham things are freezing up now and is clear with an easterly breeze blowing.

  5. Taylor says:

    According to Weatherbug station near the area we are getting a little easterly breeze now. Might be contributing to temperatures dropping a bit.

  6. AlexQS says:

    Radar activity picked up a little

    It’s barely registering, and my guess is that it evaporates before it hits the ground. No rain when I look out the window. Getting foggy though

  7. Seahawks Fan - NE Vancouver says:

    Everything is primed for an ice rink tonight! 31 degrees and ice everywhere. Good thing I don’t have work in the morning.

  8. Taylor says:

    Heading back towards the freezing mark. I guess you can cool down even though the atmosphere has moderated.

  9. Sapo says:

    Roads very icy and slick here in Tigard, temp down to 31.1 and dropping, very clear. NOAA says precipitation starting late tonight and tomorrow morning…Conditions definitely supportive of freezing rain here…Could be interesting and dangerous tomorrow morning.

  10. W7ENK says:

    Main roads are fine, but side roads are still a mess in Milwaukie. Everything was still dripping until about an hour ago, it has since stopped and the ground is slicking over quite nicely.

    • alohabb says:

      That is the greatest pic ever!!!!

    • Jake-(Gresham) says:

      LoL!

      Currently 33F here so everything’s pretty much thawing at a snail pace so I can relate to your frustration. My sister has to go to college tomorrow in Troutdale and our neighborhood is a mess still.

  11. Jeff Raetz says:

    Awesome video of our freezing rain / snow melt!

  12. Jason Hougak says:

    Funny how one little week of winter weather and everyone is ready for spring and summer… Boo hoo. Think of the Midwest and east coast. The tough wild west mentality is gone, maybe those east coasters are tougher after all. I worked long hours thawing pipes with water soaking me and freezing. I’d love it to be like that everyday here. You who are crying about boring weather and now crying about bad weather need some help? Winter is winter and summer is summer. It will get here, so let winter rule however it wants. Sorry, I’m just sick of whiners!

    • poolsidemike says:

      amen to that brother! It absolutely floors me how fickle people are. I guess “the grass is always greener” is alive and well on this blog. Go winter!

    • JohnD says:

      Go winter, yeah. I ‘m down with that. It has been a great week. Even made national news! Bring it (more) on!

    • Jake-(Gresham) says:

      I personally wish we had an arctic reload and 10 inches of snow with it… but that’s just me.

    • John Liu says:

      I’d like more winter. Preferably snow; rain is fine too. I just could do without the very cold & dry/boring weather. That gets old fast.

    • Diana - Mt Scott says:

      More winter! I agree, it’s just getting started. More snow, more cold, more rain!

  13. Andrew (Beaverton, OR) says:

    Just drove from the west hills near council crest to beaverton near murrary and 26. Car temp was reading 31 at slyvan and 32 here at my place in beaverton. Highway 26 was smooth sailing, but Cedar Hills Blvd and the side roads are starting to refreeze. Getting very slick out there. Also, for anyone heading out on the roads tonight be VERY careful when you take an off-ramp from the highway as they are still mostly snow covered and now incredibly icy.

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

    The trend is not my friend. Down to 34 from 37 3 hours ago. If the current ruts freeze, nobody is going anywhere in my neck of the woods

  15. Jason Hougak says:

    Climate prediction center now has us 40 percent below normal for temperature and 30 percent above average for precipitation from Feb. 17-24th. Come on 3rd arctic blast!!! My birthday is the 17th. In 1993 we got hammered by the monster of all February storms getting over 18 inches in Boring, Oregon. We didn’t have school for over a week. What a birthday present.

    • David B. says:

      A third arctic blast would be truly epic. I do not believe I have seen a thing in the 25 years or so I’ve lived in various places west of the Cascades.

      My birthday is today. Last night’s forecast bust up here in Seattle was a great surprise present.

    • David B. says:

      “seen SUCH a thing”

  16. Fog starting in Forest Grove. Our temp is 34 and our dewpoint is 34. I guess is good cause it means the temp won’t drop much more. But fog will be bad for morning driving.

  17. JERAT416 says:

    I’ll take 10″ of rain this week with a snow level of 3,000 feet the whole time!

  18. I just have to say that your weather team called these storms spot on !!! It was excellent forecasting and fantastic coverage. I enjoyed watching and waiting to hear what was coming next.
    Belinda S.

  19. marinersfan85 says:

    I’m looking forward to your blog post breaking down everything and why all the models performed so poorly.

    This was an event for the record books!!

  20. WEATHERDAN says:

    34 at my house today. Down to 14 inches of snow in my backyard. Now getting very foggy outside. Looks like a slow melt of the snow so no big flood. Still no sunny warm weather in sight. The GFS Meteograms continue to show some cold weather returning after the 20th. I hope not. I have had enough cold weather for one Winter.

    • JohnD says:

      I agree (with the done with winter part.) But also (this time) I would not discount LaLa land–all things considered. February 20 is “hugging the window”–but not beyond it. I well remember 1993!

    • GTS1K' says:

      1993!

      I remember that, too. Let’s do it again!

  21. In 2008, the worst driving for me was the first day it started thawing and the next. The ruts were so deep that my truck was scraping them, and they were like trying to turn over curbs!

    I drove up to Kelso this morning, and was doing a steady 20-25 mph on the side roads packed with snow and ice. Didn’t even need four wheel drive like on Friday.

    Today on my side roads, I was all over the place just trying to maintain my lane and then turn onto my street.

  22. John Liu says:

    PPS announced closure of all schools tomorrow (Monday).

  23. alohabb says:

    Hmmmm, not sure that school opening at 10 will make that much of a difference when 60% of students live outside the city of Portland. Looks to be pretty icy, regardless of what may or may not fall tomorrow

  24. Jason Hougak says:

    Massive inversion setting up. Was working at 1,800 feet on a well pump which has froze during last week. Coming down the hill and looking out over the valley was the giant mass of clouds that resembled earlier winter when the low country was all socked in. Now it’s a socked in ice chest. Warmer up high, temps. were at 40 degrees and the sun was out. Snow melting but
    b-e -a-utiful!!!

  25. Please use the following link to upload your snow/ice photos to my website!

    Include: Name, location, and date if possible.

    I would like to collect all the photos in one place and create an archive of them.

    http://www.smugmug.com/photos/guest/VvGxpw/snow

  26. Jason Hougak says:

    I’m ready for the cold moist NW flow out of the Gulf of Alaska with the snow level at 1,000 feet!!! Snow is so much better than summer

  27. Austin-East Vancouver says:

    34 here in east Vancouver but not much melting at all roads are still snow and ice covered.

  28. JohnD says:

    We just got back from our 4th daily winter wonderland walk–although the one on this past Thursday involved just making it home from work! Notwithstanding Mark’s earlier input, I somehow had it in my head that that there would be a big warmup today. Wrong! 32.4′ when we left at 1:00; 32.4′ when we got back at 5:00 p.m. Glad I had my hiking poles and “Micro Spikes” on. The major thoroughfares that we observed here in inner SWPDX were all clear but all the side street were snow packed. I was impressed by the 1/4 inch of ice covering everything too! Isn’t 1/2 inch the criteria for destruction? We were fortunate! I AM concerned about Monday a.m.!!! We’ll see what our favorite expert says later!

  29. AlexQS says:

    I’m way too slow,… 6th

  30. runrain says:

    NWS seems to think freezing rain eastside tomorrow. I’m hoping not! I drove Happy Valley to Vancouver today. Bumpy/ chunky on I205 but it broke up nicely. Biggest obstacle: sets of chains right in the middle of the freeway. At least three of them. Those could ruin your day! Lots of trucks playing catch up too.

  31. Eastman(Parkrose/NE Portland) says:

    Never mind 😦 lol

  32. Eastman(Parkrose/NE Portland) says:

    First

  33. pappoose in scappoose says:

    Who’s on first?
    What’s on second.

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