Lowest Snow Level In A Month (or so)

8:30am Monday…

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! 

We’ve got some chilly Irish weather for you; appropriate enough for Ireland at least.

Yesterday’s cold front held off long enough to give MOST of the metro area a dry and warm day.  Looks like the ECMWF was wrong this time pushing in the precipitation early in the day.  It sure was close though!  Kelso was in the upper 40s or 50 all afternoon while we hit the lower 60s in a good chunk of the metro area.   Models really did quite well (even the ECMWF) showing the band of steady rain holding nearby all day and then suddenly swooping in from the northwest in the evening.

Then the cold air came in with the moisture, bringing us the first snow below 2,000′ since the arctic blast back in early February.  This morning I have a snow/rain mix at 1,000′ and you can see there was snow during the night on these ODOT cameras around 1,000-1,200′ along Highway 26 east of Sandy:


US26 at Cherryville Dr_pid2332

The mountains FINALLY have some decent snow today too; looks like 6-12″ has fallen up there and it’s all powder for the first time in a month too!

Showers taper off today and will be mainly up against the Cascades where the air rises, cools, and moisture condenses out of the clouds.

The weather will continue to be relatively quiet/calm the next week.  We get a cool trough swinging through on Wednesday/Thursday, then split flow COULD mean another nice weekend with rain headed into California.  We’ll see about that later this week.  You can see the gradual warming on the ECMWF maximum temperature forecast through early next week:


The ECMWF is also drier than other models too, showing just a few hundredths on Wednesday afternoon and then nothing until next Tuesday or Wednesday.  That’s because it has the Wednesday/Thursday trough a bit flatter and the air isn’t as cold with it.  We’ll see.  Once we get more clearing and the chillier airmass, expect overnight frosts to return Thursday-Saturday mornings too.

 Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

51 Responses to Lowest Snow Level In A Month (or so)

  1. karlbonner1982 says:

    I think it’s safe to say that unless we have a big stretch of very cold showery weather (1000′ snow levels) right beyond the 7-Day for several days – then March 2014 is going to end up warmer than average. I remember last year the days at DLS were slightly warm, but the nights were a fraction of a degree on the chilly side so the mean was less than half a degree F above climo.

    But this year we’ve just had too many balmy days and almost no serious March chill after the freak ice storm at the start of the month ended. Other years we CAN get lots of cold blustery days in the 40s and low 50s in March. I think The Dalles is up to 11 or 12 days in the 60s now? And we have a few more before the rain comes next week.

    I think it’s safe to say this will end up being the “nicest” March in the eastern Gorge area since 2005, when we had that crazy warm stretch in the first half of the month (but I was living in Eugene at the time). But this year may actually be better than 2005 in one way: the mild and frequently sunny conditions have been frequent and recurring, from the 4th of the month on through the 24th. The chilly periods in the past week aren’t all that far below average for mid-March. It just FEELS really clammy when you add in the 30-40 mph wind gusts.

    But a bunch of warm and pleasant spring days scattered throughout most of the month? I can’t complain!

  2. Jason Hougak says:

    Eastern and Midwest winter extending into April. Just plain crazy to have such a long winter there. They sure to have a swing of seasons. Ours are gradual, theirs can be night and day!

    • karlbonner1982 says:

      I’m DEFINITELY going to have to follow the live shots that show native vegetation, to see how late the spring leaf-out is this year over there!

  3. Jason Hougak says:

    So Ted what truck and RV did you get? We also are in the market for a diesel and camper.

  4. Ted Berry says:

    Bought a new truck and an RV, going camping in style, will use the GOLU model as needed, cheers!

  5. Hal in Aims says:

    Holy cow!…….fropa??

  6. Sapo says:

    Looking like a nice week ahead of us! 70 would be nice, unlikely though 😦

  7. BoringOregon says:

    Mark should do A weather blog on hitting 75 degrees this week haha!!

  8. Steve Nielsen says:

    Mark, I have notice lately when they predict rain some times it doesn’t rain or they say it will be very wet we don’t see much
    rain. I just wonder, I am not complaining. Thanks!

  9. Jason Hougak says:

    Heck I’m old fashion, I’ve got a handpump on my water well!

  10. Jason Hougak says:

    Boy it’s cold with cloud deck thickening, fogged in hilltops feels like snow.

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

    100% chance of rain this afternoon. We’ll see…

  12. schmit44 says:

    3/18/2014 Oregon (All) Temperature Summary

    High:68 at EW4053 Myrtle Po( 417 ft) & BROOKINGS(79 ft)
    Low: 46 at Brookings Airpor(459 ft)

    High:23 at HOWARD Mt Howard(8150 ft)
    Low: 4 at ANEROID LAKE #2 (7300 ft )

    Largest Diurnal Change: 39 degrees
    CABIN LAKE (50/11 ) (4560 ft )

    Heaviest Rainfall:
    0.81″ at HORSE CREEK(3402ft)
    0.42″ at YELLOWSTONE MTN.(3080ft)
    0.39″ at WANDERER’S PEAK(4350ft)
    0.38″ at SUGARLOAF(4328ft)
    0.33″ at LOG CREEK(2800ft)
    0.33″ at SIGNAL TREE(3294ft)

  13. Ted Berry says:

    Thanks for the chuckles guys!

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

    I agree Dan. Weather on the air was better 15-20 years ago. Microcasting has been a little redundant since then. I mean, who cares that Lake Oswego is one degree warmer than Tigard? It doesn’t matter.

    And Mark, where are those ecmwf weekly maps you used to post consistently? Most of us don’t have subscriptions to those. Thanks

  15. Sapo says:

    Shaping up to be a nice week ahead of us, then looking more rainy starting in late March and early April.

  16. WEATHERDAN says:

    I miss the way weather was reported locally until about 2000. High and lows for the whole state were listed every day and all channels had the freezing levels reported every day as well. Winds aloft were shown and the entire state had their weather forecasted. Now most of the time all you see especially during the 5:00 PM news is the PDX metro area. What really irks me is when the tv mets try to microcast. Pointing out that Hillsboro will drop to 46 and Beaverton to 45 and Tigard to 47. Why not just say that the metro area will be 45-50. Then they could explain longer why the weather is actually going to do it’s thing. Mark is the best at trying to explain why but when he is not on even the rest of the channel 12 mets along with the other stations tend to metrocast. Also the weather segment used to be 3-3.5 minutes long. Now it times out at 2-2.5 minutes. Weather causes billions of dollars of damage across the U.S every year and yet it doesn’t get as much time as it should on air. As for today it is 56 and sunny in Salem. We got down to 35 last night but it has turned out to be a very nice day indeed. This weekend or on Monday we might see our first 70 of the Spring. Peace.

    • Jason Hougak says:

      I unplugged my TV three years ago and it was the best decision I ever made. I was never a big TV viewer but my wife did enjoy it. I still have a TV for movies but the garbage is not on in my house. So micro casting is no big deal to me. That’s why I blog and weather nerd on my phone. I wish I didn’t have a phone but I love the weather too much.

    • Dave in South Salem (500') says:

      Me too Jason. Don’t miss it at all

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

      Have to admit though, there are some good movies out there to see along with Seinfeld, Married with Children, and of course sports, mainly football.

    • runrain says:

      No TV’s in my house!

    • Jason Hougak says:

      I hope Mark isn’t offended by our no TV viewing. But I do enjoy his blog!

    • Mark Nelsen says:

      I’ve got a few comments on this subject. I actually watch little/no TV at home too. Just movies/tv series via Netflix. As for weathercasts, yes, things have changed quite a bit in Portland since I started 20 years ago. It used to be “here are the highs, here are the lows, here is the satellite picture, now a forecast. The reason there is so much “microcasting” going on is that research shows that people LOVE to hear their town named or at least see it on the map. So instead of showing weather across the nation, or the forecast high for Lakeview, over time we’ve added many more cities WITHIN OUR VIEWING AREA and dumped the other content. Should I show the weather in Madras and Lincoln City instead of Boise and Medford, I think so. Weathercasts are a little shorter, but not much in the past 20 years. At 10pm I get 3:30 and I never had more than 4:00 on any weathercast. At 5pm I do a very short weather at 5:15pm that covers the basics and then metro/7 Day. I do the zone forecasts at 5:45pm when I get 3:00. So during the full 5pm hour I actually have a lot of time to work with. There is plenty of time at 10pm too. Now as for the highs/lows that already occurred, I just found that even I was getting bored with those unless we had very warm or very cool temps, or maybe if there is a dramatic change too.

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

      What are your favorite movies Mark and tv shows?

    • Jason Hougak says:


  17. Jason Hougak says:

    Climate prediction center maps show the Midwest and east coast still under that polar vortex with that massive trough. The maps run 14 days out. If that happened on the west coast everyone would be moving!

  18. schmit44 says:

    3/17/2014 Oregon (All) Temperature Summary

    High:61 at BULLY CREEK RESE(2500 ft)
    Low: 49 at EW3480 Ashland(2333 ft)

    High:23 at Timberline Lodge(6001 ft)
    Low: 12 at ANEROID LAKE #2 (7300 ft ) & HOWARD Mt Howard (8150 ft )

    Largest Diurnal Change: 31 degrees
    DANNER (55/24 ) (4225 ft )

    Heaviest Rainfall:
    1.22″ at DW1612 Scappoose(2887ft)
    1.20″ at SOUTH FORK BULL(2630ft)
    0.98″ at DW9126 Brightwoo(1336ft)

  19. BoringOregon says:

    Maybe we can get to 75 next week!!

  20. Jason Hougak says:

    I remember watching Jim Cantore on The Weather Channel when I was a
    kid. He was in New England and it was snowing 2″ per hour and it was around midnight Pacific time. The thundersnow storm going on was incredible. He even said he had seen nothing like it before. Probrobly the best weather phenomenon possible!

  21. Jason Hougak says:

    I’m always “down” for some lightning! Owe ya and thunder, but I’ve already heard that last week.

  22. Sapo says:

    Hoping for some warmer weather the week of the 24th! Looking like a warm day on the 24th.

  23. Jason Hougak says:

    Hmm, March in like a lamb and out like a lion!

  24. Lurkyloo says:

    Just got a 13.821-second sleet downpour. It’s that time of year … ! Happy St. Patrick’s Day, weather blog friends!

  25. WEATHERDAN says:

    Very heavy rain last night between 7-10 PM. Almost .5 inch. Now mostly sunny and 50 degrees. Looks like a nice dry spell later this week and next weekend. Warmer temps as well. The trees are really beginning to leaf out. No sigh of cold wet Spring. Peace.

  26. boydo3 N Albany says:

    And with the moon light on the snow. Very nice indeed!

  27. Jason Hougak says:

    St. Patricks day should b green but it’s white in the foothills! 
    We had about an inch by 12:30am and still a half inch this morning with temp. at 36F. This snow was a month late, my bday is Feb. 17th.

  28. Brandan says:

    Thanks for posting Mark

  29. Here are pics from the final night up in Alaska. I didn’t get any sleep, do you think it was worth it?? I do!


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