Here Comes The Ice Storm!


Temperatures are at/below freezing through the entire Columbia River Gorge at this hour:

And now a wall of rain is moving into the Portland metro area as a very juicy Pacific system moves inland:


This is going to be a fast-moving storm with moderate to heavy precipitation from now until around 3am, then we pretty much go dry until tomorrow afternoon.

Let’s hit the highlights first:

  • All rain metro area EXCEPT temps at freezing upper parts of Troutdale/Camas/Washougal/Gresham so there will be freezing on objects…likely SLIGHTLY too warm for freezing on roads out there.  But it’s going to be close!
  • Western Gorge west of Bonneville Dam could see 1/2″ ice glazing by 4am when the freezing rain stops.
  • East of Bonneville Dam likely a snow/ice pellet mix, maybe 1-3″ snow accumulation, then a glazing of ice on top of that possible once precip stops before daybreak
  • Slow thawing during the day tomorrow, but I-84 will be a mess tonight and tomorrow morning

You notice we’ve inserted snow into the forecast.  Observations from Red Hill and Ausperger Mtn. at 3-4,500′ show the cold pool is up to at least 4,000′ thick still!  The Wasco profiler east of The Dalles also shows the top of the cold air up around 4,000′ too.  Yet by the time the cold airmass reaches the Troutdale profiler it’s only around 1,500′ thick.  Cool stuff eh?

So it’ll start as snow east of Bonneville most likely.

By the way, the east wind continues tomorrow, although a bit reduced, then a switch to southwest wind Thursday afternoon should make it into the Gorge for the big warmup.

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen


46 Responses to Here Comes The Ice Storm!

  1. Monmouth here. The weather is lame and wet, as always.

  2. Katrina says:

    800′ in west hills, freezing rain, deck iced over but driveway is just wet. Trees are icing over and its windy–the top of a very large fir just came down. LIghts flickering.

  3. Dave in SW PDX (235') says:

    33.2° here currently, DP 30°. Winds E10; recorded a max gust NE25 at 6:15 this evening. 0.30″ of precip since 5PM. Just took a short walk outside, looked high & low – no signs of ice here (Garden Home/Multnomah area).

  4. Boring Oregon says:

    Now 31.5 and ZR has commenced. I think evaporative cooling is pretty much done now hence the higher humidity. Will it warm up tonight?

  5. runrain says:

    And BOOM! Huge power line arc flash right in the middle of the Happy Valley bowl (valley). Lit up the whole back side of Mt. Scott!

  6. Aleta-West Gresham says:

    Freezing rain here now. Wires and car are icing up. Hopefully the roads stay fine for a bit since I need to pick up my daughter from her job in Fairview.

  7. High Desert Mat says:

    If the cfs has a say about anything we will experience an epic arctic outbreak towards end of the month. Lol. How many times is that really correct Mark? I got it off your page.

    And for the guys below, locations??

  8. Hal in Aims says:

    down to 31 here……..have zr now…..deck icing up….we’ll see how long it lasts……..

  9. GTS1K' says:

    Yo, 30.2, howling winds, ice a-building…

    If you have any sense, please, – STAY HOME!!!

    Makes last night seem like a cakewalk.

  10. runrain says:

    Station at I205 and Division currently reads 31.8 deg.

  11. Washougal 1100ft says:

    28 zr coming down at a good rate! Winds are howling.

  12. boninepaul says:

    My business partner reports freezing rain at his house on NE 62nd. Down to 32.3ºF here and raining moderately.

  13. Sapo says:

    Interesting..temp falling and about 34 degrees in Tigard, could be interesting!

  14. Rob - S.E. Portland says:

    I was just outside. I can confirm freezing rain is falling here. The vehicles are ice covered now and it is starting to build on trees/powerlines. I would say the ZR line is well west of 148th street starting to expand west towards I-205… nothing like a surprise ZR event, but we were watching for this potential since early morning.

  15. says:

    Mark, ANY sign of snow for the Valley this Winter????? I live in Salem!

    Ann Merklin Salem, OR

  16. Boring Oregon says:

    Evaporative cooling in process. Now down to 32.3. Maybe a little slick here soom.

  17. 46 degrees with rain here at 1600′.

  18. Rob - S.E. Portland says:

    7:18 PM: 33.3 degrees, 62% Relative Humidity, Dewpoint 21, Wet Bulb temp 29.3

  19. Boydo3 N. Albany says:

    Hey Mark, you got your cot with you? Looks like a no go up I-84 tonight.

    • Mark Nelsen says:

      Back roads! Just me and no one else…works great putting along at 25 mph, no need for stop sign usage either at midnight during an ice storm

    • Goducks09 says:

      As the adult here, I’d like to recommend that you obide by stop signs at anytime of day, and/or weather conditions. Haha, sorry Mark, I had to correct you there. 🙂

    • pappoose in scappoose says:

      As the youngster here, I suggest you maintain your speed through the stop. Strong chance of no movement being possible after a stop!

  20. boninepaul says:

    34.7ºF and dropping in north Portland a cold, wet, miserable night for sure.

  21. Glen says:

    Freezing rain now at 92nd NE Thompson Street Portland

  22. Steven James says:

    Beaver Acres, in west Beaverton:

    Temp 36, Dewpoint 31, 89% humidity, 0.05 in. precip accumulation, 0mph wind speed … just another boring day in Beaverton. [sigh]

  23. Sapo says:

    Weird, my Apple weather app says it’s 32 in Beaverton with mixed snow/sleet..not the case in Tigard, however it is down to 35! Colder than I anticipated.

  24. runrain says:

    Uh oh. Last reading at Vista House was at 3pm. The anemometer is probably all bent and broken somewhere in Troutdale or Fairview. And hey, on this 10th blogiversary we should also give Mark a big thanks for getting that thing up there and working in the first place.

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

    Wonder if high desert mat can score some more upslope with this event. Thoughts on that mark? Or will the upper levels be too warm for appreciable snow there?

  26. Hal in Aims says:

    32 and windy here………made it up to 35 today….wind never really backed off much here…..not nearly as strong as Corbett though….

  27. Rob - S.E. Portland says:

    Yeah, it’s going to be really close to a ZR mess here! 33.8 degrees, Relative Humidity 57%, dewpoint 20, Wet bulb 29.7 degrees. Oh boy

  28. Sapo says:

    Hey, the snowflakes are on the blog.

  29. IceCold says:

    Cool stuff….1st!!!!

  30. patty latimer says:

    In stevenson no freezing rain or snow at this time 5:00pm

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