Freezing Rain Monday? Unlikely For Most of Us

You may be hearing rumors of something frozen appearing in the western valleys of Oregon/SW Washington Monday morning?  I think it’s pretty unlikely (as of 1:30pm Sunday) because I don’t think ANYTHING will be falling out of the sky…weatherwise at least.  I can’t account for dogs/cats/frogs etc…

I also don’t think the Monday morning commute will look like this…but it’s a cool pic I found online while relaxing with a warm drink:



  • It’s a cold day!  Airmass streaming out of the Gorge is the coldest this season.  Only 40 at 1pm in Portland.  Highs only around freezing in the western Gorge.  Lots of ice likely forming on waterfalls! (hint…please send pics to
  • Another clear and cold night tonight.  A few upper teens again in coldest outlying areas
  • Clouds thicken up right after sunrise, it’ll be briefly sunny Monday AM
  • A shower is POSSIBLE after 10am or so.  Most likely it’ll stay dry
  • At that point it’ll be too warm (that’s IF a shower develops) for liquid raindrops to freeze to objects
  • It’s too warm overhead for give us sleet/snow, anything falling would be liquid

So the point here is that most likely Monday will be dry, but maybe a shower shows up midday or beyond.  Too “warm” at that time for freezing rain.  It will be a very chilly day with the cloud cover…highs the same or even a notch cooler than today!  Note several model forecasts of precipitation placement at 10am…looks pretty dry doesn’t it?  Click on each for a better view.


Now Tuesday night, when a more typical wet system arrives, could be a much bigger issue in the Columbia River Gorge.  It’ll be near/below freezing at that time so we could be looking at some freezing rain/ice storm action at that point out there.  More on that later

By the way, so we’re all on the same page, freezing rain is liquid rain that falls into a below-freezing airmass near the surface.  It freezes on contact, forming an icy glaze.


Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen


48 Responses to Freezing Rain Monday? Unlikely For Most of Us

  1. Some would still consider me a young man, but I am old enough to remember when Mark had a cold-bias. He was always my favorite KOIN meteorologist as his extended forecast was usually a couple degrees cooler than Randy Querin or Jim Little’s. Over the years though as he gained experience he began to gain an accuracy bias, some people would consider it a warm bias, but in our climate it has made him the best in the business. People who are good at what they do learn from their experience and Mark has definitely done that. I really appreciate you taking us along for the ride these past ten years. Its cool that I have gotten to know so many people from on here both in person or online.

  2. If it weren’t for the fact that freezing rain can be a very destructive weather phenomena, I’d have to admit that I get jealous of people who have experienced an ice storm. I’ve seen a lot of beautiful photographs, but personally have only observed some very light freezing drizzle here in Vancouver BC on rare occasions.. You guys in Portland or thereabouts are likely to get it some time this winter if not tomorrow.

    • Odd it’s so rare up that way. Would think the proximity to the Fraser outflow source would make it more common. In the Seattle area we had a major ice storm in 2012. Before that the last major one was in 1996 (for folks south of Downtown Seattle; from Downtown north it was mostly a snow event). So not as common as for PDX here but sometimes it does happen.

    • We frequently had silver thaws here in SW WA when I was a kid (70’s and 80’s). They are truly spectacular to behold.

    • I used to live in NE Oklahoma. They can get some pretty big ice storms there with warm sub-tropical moisture from the gulf of Mexico overriding bitterly cold low level airmasses. I remember in December 2007 an especially nasty ice storm. One night I woke up at 2am with thunder and lightning, driving rain, strong north winds, and a temp of 19 degrees.

  3. Boydo3 N. Albany says:

    I think Mark is right. Nothing to this system to bring in ZR or anything else for that matter.

  4. Washougal 1100ft says:

    High of 35 in the sun and down to 27 right now with the east wind blowing as hard as it’s blowing all weekend I think a storm is a coming! Come on moisture!

  5. Eugene Dave says:

    I have finally figured it out. Those of us that regularly read the blog are weather weenies. The majority of us come here hoping Mark can provide some insight to some upcoming “action”. Snow is the major love for most, but tstorms, wind storms, extreme temps, etc have their place.

    We live in one of the most beautiful places in the country, but damn our weather can be downright boring for those looking for the “action” I mentioned above.

    As a result, the weather weenies turn on each other and some of the thin skinned folks get consumed. Weather weenies are delicious though when smoked.

  6. 33 now after a high of 38 for me. First sub-40 high of the season.

  7. High Desert Mat says:

    Rob!! I mean atmospheric wrath! DJ Droppin!!! Where are you? We need some optimistic views on our upcoming winter. I’m sure u have some, give it to us!!

    • Mark Nelsen says:

      He’s on a FB group he created. There are two of them in Portland and both have pretty lively discussions. Even I have to admit the format is better for weather talk than a blog

    • High Desert Mat says:

      I know where he is. I just wanted him to come over here and jump start some snow engines. Lol. He’s on the “forums” too. I just hope next time he pops up Erik or Brian leave him alone.

  8. Boring Oregon says:

    Already down to 28. Yesterday it was 35 at this time. I wouldn’t be surprised if we get below 20 tonight.

  9. JohnD says:

    On a day like tomorrow–which will be: cold, grey, etc.–if you had an “outsider” come to town (friend, family, etc.) and you told them that it almost never snows here, they would likely seem surprised. I especially recall that persuasion when we lived out in Troutdale–so many cold, windy, SNOWLESS days. We all keep hoping though–right?!

  10. Josh "the snowman" from Gladstone,OR says:

    I’ll say it once and I’ll say it again. Salem is a “S”hole of epic proportions. Dan or Jan or whatever its name is needs to stop consulting the Salem all-worldly almanac when looking at the weather. Hey Jan? We don’t all live at the autumn chase apartments on NE Lancaster. Although I do know a flannel wearing guy that will miss the bar there. I think his name is flava Dave, not flava Dan. Ya jerk.

    All this being said I think that we will see some frozen white precipitables(yes, I made up a word, sue me), somewhere in the interior valleys. Just won’t be Salem because weather-jan is blowing too much hot air for that to happen. Thanks Jan, and keep being jealous of mark-sha, mark-sha, mark-sha. Go back to the Brady bunch.

  11. Farmer Ted says:

    Relax and enjoy our weather and for that matter our short time here on earth, what will happen will happen, and any naive attempt to try and sway that in any direction is a fool’s game.

  12. High Desert Mat says:

    Well here we are 10 years into the blog which tomorrow is the anniversary. I’m happy and proud to say I’ve been here since the inception. I’d love to hear from everyone and say how long they’ve been blogging here as well. Tomorrow will be 10 years for me and I remember following Marks forecasts since the big surprise winter of ’03-’04. Alot of surprises that year. I was at Ne 20th and Couch St. at the time. At least 4 surprise snowstorms and then the one that wouldn’t stop, Dec 26th- Jan 7th or so.

    • Boring Oregon says:

      I’ve been here a little over a year. I started early last November.

    • Jason Hougak says:

      I think this will be about 3 years😬
      But I don’t really blog during our summer too boring and too hot of bias for me 😆

    • JohnD says:

      Born and raised Western Oregonian. Amid a huge weather passion, considered meteorology (ending up like a lot of we semi-ex hippies, with a degree in liberal arts and a career as an industrial purchasing manager.)

      Was raised in boyhood with Bob Lynott. Was a big fan of Phil Volker for many years. ‘Like Pete Parsons. Matt Zaffino pretty good too.

      Quite frankly, however–like a lot of us–consider Mark as hands down the best in our market. Such a hugely adept craftsman–and nice person to boot!

    • Boring Oregon says:

      Were there ever this many trollers 10 years ago?

    • High Desert Mat says:

      Who’s trolling besides Dan and Josh?

    • Since the beginning. It started with the great 2005 snow bust, which Mark nailed… I think my best two memories of that winter was the great fake cold snap and the late February arctic blast…Oh and the March snow 🙂

  13. matt in the gorge says:

    Anxiously awaiting your gorge forecast. Kids buses in Corbett. Wife gets on a plane Tues am. I have to get into wilsonville.

  14. lilfoot123 says:

    I saw 49 degrees in Kelso at work today! Our house in the shade in Longview the front driveway stayed heavy frosted all day! I wan t that precipitation

  15. Boring Oregon says:

    Welcome to Portland. Even when it’s cold enough to snow, it rains.

  16. runrain says:

    Quite cold, indeed. Did the Hot Buttered Run half marathon this morning and never could get warm, particularly the final 6 miles from Vancouver Lake back to downtown Vanc. Noticeably colder out by the lake, and the east headwind didn’t help. I did win my division, however. (Did I mention there was only one entrant in my 60-64 age group – ha!)

  17. WEATHERDAN says:

    There you go with your warm bias Mark. Why make sense when you can wishcast like so often occurs here. Just ignore science and logic and forecast a big snowstorm because we are due for one. Or the AFD in Spokane calls for snow on Monday and why that’s practically right next door. So we’ll have snow here. On second thought just tell us what you truly believe will happen, we’re mature enough to take it. Well most of us anyway. Peace and merry Christmas.

    • jimbo says:

      Just can’t help yourself can you Dan?

    • High Desert Mat says:

      Get real Dan. Who’s the troll now? No one has been trolling lately but you sir. Get off your high horse and find a Salem blog or something. I bet it just kills you that its been cold lately and not 80+ degrees. I’ve had snow on the ground since Tuesday morning, hope that bugs you and the cool 40’s in Salem do too.

    • timbers15 says:

      You are pathetic. Period!

  18. W7ENK says:

    Something frozen will fall and accumulate in Portland tomorrow, absolutely.

  19. Jason Hougak says:

    Way too warm for snow. The NWS should not even be mentioning it.
    39 Timberline
    36 Government Camp
    42 here at 1300′ with heavy frost in shade and north facing slope
    40 Portland
    Freezing rain/ drizzle concerns are for localized areas that are sheltered and shaded.

    • marinersfan85 says:

      NWS is full of people who aren’t from this area. Even mentioning them is a joke.

    • WEATHERDAN says:

      They have a degree in meteorology do you? They have access to some sites not available to you and I. They are not always right heaven knows. But to say just because they are not from here what do they know of professional meteorologists seems like such a silly comment to make. Peace.

    • marinersfan85 says:

      A degree? So what? They’re wrong more often than not.

    • Boring Oregon says:

      Your tax dollars hard at work!

  20. billowen123 says:

    Hello Mark, I think that freeway photo with all the cars was from the ice storm of 2004 if I’m not mistaken. I got stuck in that and basically had to turn around and go home. I’m lucky I was able to do that!!

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