Poll: Do You Think It Will Snow In Portland This Winter?

It’s been way too long since we’ve done a poll.  How about this…Will it Snow in Portland this Winter?

  • The official observing site is in Parkrose at the NWS Office.
  • They have recorded a TRACE once, but nothing measurable (.1″ or more).
  • November 13th was the Trace.

Here’s a graph showing Portland snowfall for the past 28 winters:


Last winter’s total of 8″ was a combination of early December snow and then again in early February.  In 3 of the past 19 winters we have seen measurable snow in March.  That’s 2006, 2009, & 2012.  It’s far more interesting to me that February has only seen snow 3 of the past 19 years as well.  Historically December and January are generally our “snow months”.

By the way, to make things a bit more fair for the non-weather watcher, I don’t see a snow producing pattern in the next 10 days at least.  No model is showing any hint of “snow action” through the end of the month.

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

85 Responses to Poll: Do You Think It Will Snow In Portland This Winter?

  1. David B. says:

    It’s clear to me that the rest of the winter is going to pretty much suck. Just look at the extended forecasts in Cliff Mass’s most recent post:

    However, there still might be the off chance of a snow event in amidst the overall epic suckiness. Just don’t expect it to be very long-lasting (or, probably, very major). A couple inches at most.

  2. Goducks09 says:

    Ugh, the 00z GFS brings the mega death ridge back. When will it ever end?

    • Brian Leroy says:

      Guest to 50mph for seattle tomorrow night along with heavy rain, can’t really complain about it being too boring.

    • Chris s says:

      I don’t really trust the new gfs out that far, seems to be really flopping back and forth the past few days since it was officially rolled out. We have had 2 solid euro runs in a row, if tonight we gave another solid run, i would just stop looking at the gfs all together for awhile. I might be wish casting at this point, but I think something good happens end of the month.

  3. Will Mark blog about the new Euro weeklies or are we going to have to wait until next Monday or Tuesday for another update?!? The latter scenario would be cruel and unusual punishment!!!

    • Boydo3 N. Albany elev. just under 500' says:

      He just did the current weeklies earlier this week. I think that means we wait until next week for the next weeklies. Kind of a weekly thang!

  4. pappoose in scappoose says:

    Better get a quick look at the snow at Timberline, before it washes away again this eve/tomorrow!

  5. Tyler Mode in Battle Ground says:

    I ended with 0.70″ for the last two days. I see a lot of clearing to the NW of me.

  6. Hi Mark; Thanks for responding to my question! The reason I asked is because I notice our Januarys here in Vancouver over the past 40 years have had a lot less snow than they used to, because of warmer temperatures. We get most in December and second in February. It’s something I don’t understand and it’s intresting to see that it seems to be a different trend in Portland.

  7. Goducks09 says:

    For what it’s worth, the last night’s ECMWF has a shortwave digging down the BC coast with high pressure building into AK behind it… Granted, it’s at the end of the run, but something to watch.

    • It’s only there to taunt us.

      Though, the EURO getting on board with some sort of Arctic intrusion is better than the GFS which tried to do so last week.

    • Two operationals in a row are giving us a favorable 240-hour setup on the Euro. Depending on what happens on the next couple runs, and how much ensemble support there is – it could be our last good ride aboard the Wishcasting Express for this season!

  8. Brian Schmit says:

    1/15/2015 Oregon (All) Temperature Summary

    High:61 at BANDON( 79 ft) & Gold Beach(16 ft)
    Low: 53 at Port Orford(0 ft)

    High:23 at WOLF CREEK(5699 ft) & HARL BUTTE(6071 ft)
    Low: 2 at CROW FLAT (5172 ft )

    Largest Diurnal Change: 27 degrees
    MCKENZIE (44/17 ) (4800 ft )

    Heaviest Rainfall:
    2.12″ at EW4856 Brookings(1365ft)
    1.66″ at HEBOWX Mt. Hebo(3160ft)
    1.56″ at RED MOUND(1753ft)

  9. I agree with Weatherdan’s idea: we should have more of a “What Will Summer Be Like?” push this year to emphasize that summer climatology can be just as interesting and intricate as winter climatology, even if the actual weather isn’t quite as exciting.

    i’m sure lots of people would love to know if it’s another hot/muggy one this year, if we go more the “normal” route, or if it’s back to the 2010-2011 stuff again…

    • PurpleHaze says:

      I hate hog n muggy so I prefer a more normal one. I have already written off this year due to the high pressure that won’t go away. which is for the most part I think responsible for the blockage of cold air.

      Anyways I am sick of this doggy poo winter and can’t wait to move on and don’t know how much more I can take of being crushed like a milk carton.

      The November fake cold I think used up our potential and that was that which wasn’t even that impressive down here in the valley end.

    • Mark Nelsen says:

      I think the problem is that we have even LESS skill forecasting general summer weather than winters. And you know that often doesn’t go well even in winter.

  10. Tyler Mode in Battle Ground says:

    17 mph today! Windiest day of the year!

  11. Larry says:

    We will get something. Move the airport to the top of Mt Scott, and you’ll definitely get some.

  12. alohabb says:

    Anyone see the Tsunami buoy from NOAA that washed up in Lincoln City..Happened a week or so ago but I just saw pics of it. Was at Roads End area.

    • Mark Nelsen says:

      We could see it right in front of our Beach Cam for at least a week. I think it showed up a day or so after Christmas and was moved around the 5th of January

  13. Hi Mark; I’m a long time weather observer from Vancouver, BC who recently discovered your blog. I have a question: Have you noticed a connection between few snowfalls in February and an increase in mean temperature for that month? Or is there no significant relationship between these two things?

  14. Cathy Schmidt says:

    BC (before computer’s) we had snow in great depths in 1951. At least seen and played in from my 3yr old self. And my husband concurs that he was in his teens, and living 5 blks west of us, that we indeed had snow! But for now, I can only say anything is possible! Hey, Mt St Helen’s erupted didn’t it! Personally, I prefer a near constant 80 degrees!

    Your neighborhood Guessologist!

    • Mark Nelsen says:

      Could it be January 1950 you’re referring to? That is the one month that stands above all others in the past 100 years for snow and cold in Portland

  15. Eugene Dave says:

    Can anyone recall 2 back to back terrible winters for the mountains like we are having? The ski resorts have got to be in some real pain at the moment. Depressing.

    Haven’t even thought about taking out my snowmobile even once this season yet. Only rode it once last year too. Unbelievable.

  16. WEATHERDAN says:

    52 days till DST. 7:00 PM + sunsets thence until October. Righteous. We should start to see some crocuses within two weeks. When they pop up it usually but not always signals that the end of Winter is nigh. Hey Mark you should have a what will our Summer weather be like post on your blog. Just like OMSI has for Winter. My feeling is that we get another hot Summer again, but perhaps more like 2013 than 2014. However we may set another record for +60 degree nights again. Peace.

  17. Garron near Washington square says:

    Using the new super computers’ and the fact that Brian hasn’t yet posted the famous “It will not snow at PDX” (I believe it was 2 – 3 years ago in early January)and the fact that my mom never gave up hope before her birthday, 3/10 for low elevation snow, ….I still give us about a 50/50 chance…

  18. Seems to me based on the chart over the last 2 decades or so we get significant snowfall once every 5-6 years with something between 0-4″ in the years in between. Seems the pattern in time between significant snow falls is increasing overall.

    The 90’s weren’t to bad after all.

  19. Somebody write this down……I’m calling it……RECORD SNOWFALL MID-FEB THROUGH MID-MARCH 2015. We will forgive and forget all about the dullness of winter up till that point. Mark….you have my permission to put that on the air if you like.

  20. W7ENK says:

    I was surprised to hear reports of freezing rain around the area this morning. It was 42 and sprinkling when I left the house after an overnight low of 38, and that was without any East winds. They dropped off sometime after I went to bed.

    • Aleta-West Gresham says:

      We came over from the coast via Hwy 6 last night and there was quite a bit of below freezing temps around 10 pm. Around HIllsboro the temperature started rising.

    • Sapo says:

      Wow, freezing rain this morning? Must have been extremely spotty or inaccurate reports…I was at about 40 when the earliest precip hit.

      • Mark Nelsen says:

        It was the spots that got down to freezing under the clear skies. Windy areas were around 40 like you though. It was very spotty. A shower had to pass over one of those below-freezing spots

    • dharmabum says:

      Next time do us a favor and stay in bed like until 2019

    • Muxpux (Castle Rock 175') says:

      Kelso dipped to 28
      Last night but was up to about 40 by the time precip rolled in

    • W7ENK says:

      lol Okay db, gladly.

    • Tyler Mode in Battle Ground says:

      I dropped down to 27. Then it warmed up to 30, but it also started to rain. Didn’t rise above freezing until just after 8.

  21. MasterNate says:

    Off topic but could someone tell me where to look for comet Lovejoy when we have a clear night? Not star chart directions, rather N, E, S, or West.

    • You always got google…

    • MasterNate says:

      Actually, I did try Google before asking my fellow bloggers. I take it you don’t know off the top of your head. Thanks for the advice.

    • MasterNate says:

      I have found that map on Spaceweather.com but I never learned constellations so that really doesn’t help me but thanks for looking. I think I heard to look in the SE sky?

    • I don’t know it off the top of my head but I’ll check the bottom.

    • Nope, still drawin a blank.

    • Diana F. says:

      I’ve been following Lovejoy at SkyandTelescope.com; you might take a look there. Great entry from just yesterday, and the photos are to-die-for! Makes me feel tiny & very insignificant.

      (You’ll notice that I shortened the URL below : ) We’ll have no words hurling themselves off the side of THIS page…..)


      Continuing off topic, I also like Twitter for Space and Science info. Have had some truly epic conversations, & viewed some wicked sweet pics. Lots of riddles too. My right-side dominant brain has been playing catch-up!


    • Dave in SW PDX (235') says:

      “From Portland, C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy) is visible in the evening sky. It will become visible at around 18:05 (PST) as the dusk sky fades, 50° above your south-eastern horizon. It will then reach its highest point in the sky at 20:01, 58° above your southern horizon. It will continue to be observable until around 01:17, when it sinks to 19° above your western horizon.”


      Comet Lovejoy is currently passing through the constellation Taurus, near the Pleiades star cluster. Once you’ve spotted it, it should be easy to find again if you remember its position relative to nearby stars. Good luck!

    • MasterNate says:

      Thank you all. Not going to see anything tonight. Have been seeing some amazing pictures on space weather.

  22. Brian Schmit says:

    1/14/2015 Oregon (All) Temperature Summary

    High:61 at COOS BAY (P365)( 89 ft) & DUNES(120 ft)
    Low: 49 at LONG PRAIRIE(1093 ft)

    High:23 at Joseph State Air(4120 ft)
    Low: 0 at CROW FLAT (5172 ft )

    Largest Diurnal Change: 37 degrees
    CRAZYMAN FLAT (46/9 ) (6100 ft )

  23. Am i hallucinating or is there pink over Battle Ground on the radar?

  24. Sapo says:

    I said “No, some close calls, but that’s it.” I really hope I’m wrong though. In the March a couple of years ago, I think I got more snow that most of Portland, I got 4″, not sure why. Anyway, hopefully we will get some snow this winter.

  25. I said yes. I have not lost hope just yet.

  26. Alohabb says:

    Heavy rain and 33 in Woodburn.

  27. Bruce Williamson says:

    Stick a fork in it, winter is over. No snow this year.

  28. Mark, just get the forks out and be done with it! Wind 2014-15 is over.

  29. Diana F. says:

    Oh man, I both love and hate this question. And Bummer Dudes, not even any close calls OR any snow is my prediction for this winter…….couldn’t quite bring myself to even SAY that I was nuts (well, not so much that part) and it never snows in Portland (THAT part)…..

    • W7ENK says:

      We’ve already had one “close call”, so your prediction is null and void. Though I have yet to see snowflakes so far this winter in The Dome, many areas did get some snow mixing in back on November 13th when we had that borderline ZR event in PDX Metro, especially North of the river and over on the Southwest side.

    • W7ENK says:

      PDX officially recorded –SN that morning, too.

    • Mark Nelsen says:

      Pretty sure she was referring to the rest of the winter…geez.

    • Diana F. says:

      THANK YOU, Mark, I see that chivalry is alive and well (and the crowds roared)…..

      And YES, Mark, I was noting my predictions from THIS POINT forward (more cheering….at about the same decibel level)…..

      I often find that predicting events that have already occurred can be a wee bit redundant, even tedious, where I come from (said in my best Dr. Who #10 voice, gosh I do love his accent).

      Perhaps I should have said….. “And Bummer Dudes, not even any close calls OR any snow is my prediction for THE REST OF this winter”.

      I will be more careful next time, as belonging to the Null and Voidsville Club is boring.


  30. THREE of the past 6 Marches had measurable snow? I know about 2012, so I’m assuming the other ones were 2009 and 2011?

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