Rare March Freezing Rain in/near Gorge This Morning

Temperatures dipped to right out freezing or even a notch below in the metro area exposed to the cold Gorge wind overnight.  That means lots of reports of light ice accumulations, generally not on the roads though.  Take a look at the ODOT Camera at I84/I205

i84at205_pid583

But there are no travel issues in the metro area because as I’ve mentioned in the past, you really need temperatures down to 30 at night to see roads start to ice up.  And during the day it needs to be significantly colder than that to actually get a wet road to freeze up.  That’s because even on cloudy days we get some energy from the sun.  Also, in the case of today we just had a 55 degree day a couple of days ago and the ground warmed (a little).  Take a look at the ODOT road temperature sensor at I-205 and Division St.  It hasn’t dropped below 35 degrees even though the temperature has been down to 32.   As a result, any roads that are wet will stay wet the rest of the day.  There won’t be any additional icing of roads.

The icing has been quite thick (for this winter) in some spots at the west end of the Gorge.  I live at 1,000′ SE of Crown Point where the temperature has been down to 27-28 overnight.  Looks like about 3/4″ ice on everything exposed.  But even at that temperature, my concrete parking pad is wet.  Only the shady paved areas are icy.  I know I’m no great photographer, but here are a few pics from the iPhone:

photo (3)

photo (2)

photo (1)

Farther east, the thicker cold air has produced sleet and then snow.  Here is the ODOT pic from Cascade Locks this morning

CascadeLocksWB_pid620

So temperatures will just warm a few degrees between now and mid-afternoon.  But after that…get out the shorts!  This appears to be a situation where we see a sudden and dramatic warming with a gusty south wind surging up the Willamette Valley.  Take a look at the surface pressure pattern at 4pm from the WRF-GFS.  slp.12.0000  A decent surface low is headed for Puget Sound.  By sunset or so we should see southerly gusts in the 30-35 mph range.  We’ll see temperatures jump into the 50s at the same time the wind arrives.  There should be enough west wind in the Gorge OVERNIGHT to push temperatures above freezing too.  It shouldn’t take too much to push temps above freezing because as I mentioned on Friday, models were far too cold for the weekend.  Remember The Dalles and Hood River were supposedly going to be 25 on Saturday?  Instead it was 35-40.  The NAM was especially bad this time along with the WRF-GFS.  The milder models did quite well (ECMWF & GFS), but our RPM was a little on the warm side, not even hinting at the freezing rain possibility on the east side of the metro area.

Enjoy the big warmup this afternoon/evening!

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

32 Responses to Rare March Freezing Rain in/near Gorge This Morning

  1. schmit44 says:

    3/2/2014 Oregon (All) Temperature Summary

    Warmest:
    High:64 at DW6803 Ashland(1890 ft) & PROVOLT SEED ORC(1180 ft)
    Low: 52 at North Bend Munic(16 ft) & BROOKINGS(79 ft) & Gold Beach(16 ft)

    Coldest:
    High:25 at EW2137 Wasco(1401 ft) & BARNHT(894 ft)
    Low: 15 at EW4395 Milton Fr (3455 ft )

    Largest Diurnal Change: 30 degrees
    EW4395 Milton Fr (45/15 ) (3455 ft )

    Heaviest Rainfall:
    2.38″ at WEST FORK SATSOP(301ft)
    2.16″ at LOG CREEK(2800ft)
    2.16″ at HEBOWX Mt. Hebo(3160ft)
    2.12″ at SOUTH FORK(2257ft)
    1.98″ at QUAIL PRAIRIE LO(3183ft)

    • Mark says:

      Thanks for posting the stats so loyally, as sometimes it’s fun to see the variances and where within our state.

  2. Matt near Bonneville. says:

    Still not warming up quickly in the Gorge. It’s freezing rain still and still accumulating and hanging around 33 deg at almost 10 pm. Boring weekend? Hardly. 3″ snow. 1.5″ of sleet. and now close to a 1″ of ice.

  3. David B. says:

    Poured rain all day here on Bainbridge Island. For a few minutes this afternoon it seemed as it it was going to stop, but it was just changing gears into “rain overdrive”. Took a hike anyhow. Saw that the nettles were up so picked a bunch and ate some tonight. So nice to be able to get freshly-picked greens again!

  4. WEATHERDAN says:

    56 with winds gusting from the South at nearly 40 MPH. These are the conditions in Salem at 5:00 PM, We got lucky that’s for sure. Now onto Spring. But first a lot of mild wet weather ahead this week. Today’s winds added some excitement to an otherwise boring Sunday. Next Sunday we start Daylight Savings Time. Our sunset next Sunday is almost 7:15 PM. Even on a wet day it still is nice to see the longer sunsets. Next 7 months all have sunsets later that 7:00 PM. Get out your forks everybody because Winter is truly done for 2014. It was a great Winter with lots of snow and cold but now it’s time for Spring. Soon we will be outside mowing our lawns and pulling weeds. 6 months from now we can all prognosticate on the coming Winter. Thank you Mark and Rob and Paul from Eugene and others for your posts this Winter, they were great. Look forward to more posts about Spring. Peace.

    • High Desert Mat (Model Rider) Redmond Or says:

      Just wish spring would hurry up then. Cant stand the in between stages. 50’s and showers sucks. I like the cold and snow, and hot and sunny. Even warm and sunny is good as long as there’s no rain. I moved from the valley to get away from wet and its been wet here for a month now.

    • EY (Oak Grove) says:

      I’m not a huge fan of them either, but for a brief period starting late-February and going into early-to-mid-March, I actually kinda like them. Though as we get further along, I’ll prefer to see mid and upper 50s instead of low 50s.

      Also, even when it’s cold, the nights are starting to feel like Spring nights to me.

    • Mikel says:

      At least California getting soaked.

      Media is playing up the mud slides saying, ‘toppled neighborhoods’. It’s not like that at all…. just some backhoe work clearing roads is all. Mudslides are good when like this, b it means the pressure is released slowly and no one gets hurt.

    • Ted Berry says:

      “Cry me a river” complainers

  5. Lurkyloo says:

    Wow! It got breezy and then all of a sudden it felt really warm. Still light rain, but what a difference from an hour ago …

  6. South wind to 21 mph now here and a balmy 48 degrees.

  7. Jason Hougak says:

    Sun trying to break through the cloud cover with a steady 10-15mph south wind. 50.3F. Feeling… well March-like out there.

  8. Ted Berry says:

    Good work mates! Keep monitoring the thermometers!

  9. W7ENK says:

    My temperature here just jump from 35 to 44 in a little over 20 minutes.

  10. High Desert Mat (Model Rider) Redmond Or says:

    Wow. Temp here dropped from 50 to 35 in last hour. Hmmmm, weird.

  11. chiefWright (Marquam) says:

    Incoming, PDX! Here in the last hour, temp jumped from 40 to 50 degF, and wind from calm to 10 S.

  12. GTS1K' says:

    Let’s hope this coming week buys us a 65 degree Saturday…

  13. High Desert Mat (Model Rider) Redmond Or says:

    Almost 50 degrees now with a warm south wind and light rain. Feels balmy outside compared to how February felt almost all month long.

  14. Here comes the warm air, check out Salem spike up to 53 from 43 in an hour.

    http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/mesowest/getobext.php?wfo=pqr&sid=KSLE&num=72&raw=0

  15. Jason Hougak says:

    South wind and temperature has climbed to a warm 46.9 at 1,300 feet in foothills above Eagle Creek. Absolutely no freezing rain. Temp. Steady last night 38-40 degrees. Nice pictures, they even better with a foot of snow on top. Interesting to note that we have no influence from any localized gorge output. Only east wind we get is when it is pouring through the cascade passes. Well for you eager springers it looks like spring temps ahead with winter type heavy rain. Sadly the snowlevel is going to be rather high as we are being influence by milder air. Been a very interesting winter.

  16. Jack in Corbett says:

    Finally hit 32 here in the Gorge @ 12:15pm. Raining now and ice starting to slowly melt. Had a good coat of ice over everything this morning. Hopefully weather improving this afternoon.

  17. karlbonner1982 says:

    I almost wish there had been no cold air ‘seepage’ last week so that Mark would have pulled out the Winter Forks before his little subtropical retreat.

    Then, especially if he’d come back and blogged Wednesday instead of Thursday when there was still quite a bit more cold air on the models – can you imagine the adrenaline rush?

  18. Check out the obs from Larch Mountain, shallow cold air must be sloshing back and forth. Temp up and down, but above freezing.

    http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/mesowest/getobext.php?sid=TR951&table=1&banner=off

  19. W7ENK says:

    35 degree rain when I went to bed last night.

    34 degree rain when I woke up this morning.

    My favorite kind of weather!! 😦

    • The Bad Forecaster says:

      Just gotta love it when the thermometer doesn’t move much huh Erik? A sure sign of stagnant boring weather at times.

  20. umpire says:

    I’ve got about half inch long drippy icicles on most of my shrubs and trees. Portland near NE 70th and Sandy.

  21. pappoose in scappoose says:

    OK, wet and windy, locate the dinghy and tie it off to the porch!
    Hahaah!

    NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE PORTLAND OR
    317 AM PST SUN MAR 2 2014

    MILDER AIR WILL GRADUALLY PUSH IN AS LOW PRESSURE MOVES ONSHORE INTO WASHINGTON TONIGHT AND EARLY MONDAY. THIS SYSTEM WILL ALSO BRING GUSTY WINDS TO THE COAST AND WIDESPREAD RAIN ACROSS THE FORECAST AREA. A SERIES OF POTENT PACIFIC FRONTAL SYSTEMS WILL THEN KEEP THINGS WET AND WINDY AT TIMES FOR MUCH OF THE UPCOMING WEEK.

    WILL NEED TO KEEP AN EYE ON RAINFALL TOTALS THIS WEEK…AS A SERIES OF FAIRLY MOIST SYSTEMS MOVES ACROSS THE PAC NW. EACH SYSTEM HAS THE
    POTENTIAL TO BRING 1-2 INCHES OF RAIN TO HIGHER TERRAIN…AND MODELS SHOW REASONABLE AGREEMENT ON BRINGING ONE THROUGH EVERY 24-36 HRS. IT
    APPEARS THE JUICIEST SYSTEM WILL COME MIDWEEK…AS MODELS SHOW IT HAVING A STRONG TAP TO SUBTROPICAL MOISTURE. IF RAINFALL AND FAIRLY HIGH SNOW LEVELS PAN OUT AS PRESENTLY EXPECTED…THERE COULD BE SOME HYDROLOGIC ISSUES BY THE END OF THE WEEK. WEAGLE

  22. Ted Berry says:

    Another dreary muddy Sunday!

  23. GTS1K' says:

    Just jumped to 32.1 here…

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