Wet Weekend: White In Cascades

11:30pm Friday…

It’s been the busiest 10 days in almost 2 years (back to February 2014 snow) with Gorge ice, then flooding & mudslides.  Then the tornado and now a bunch of mountain snow on the way.

Now the weekend is here.  Looks real wet Saturday, and then more typical showers Sunday.

I expect our best snow since last December this weekend in the Cascades:

BMAC Mt Hood Forecast

Quite a break with slower weather Monday-Wednesday, then models in quite a bit of disagreement about what happens afterwards.  Some have lots more wet weather as we head into the beginning of Christmas Break, but the ECMWF is pretty insistent on a very splitty El-Nino-ish pattern from days 6-10.  We’ll see.  But I’m done and headed home so enjoy the weekend…mainly indoors I suppose.

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

94 Responses to Wet Weekend: White In Cascades

  1. W7ENK says:

    Drizzle and light rain all day long, but the radar hardly shows anything at all. Must be a low cloud deck, precip is falling below the radar beam?

    Some really dark clouds around out there, too.

  2. Hal in Aims says:

    have been stuck at 38 all day in low clouds and drizzle……..if it clears tonight roads will be a skating rink around here in the morning………

  3. Jackfrost says:

    Is this similar to 82-83?

  4. W7ENK says:

    Official Spotter Report sent to NWS.

    Spotter Report – Milwaukie, Oregon

    45° xxxxx N
    122° xxxx W

    Daily rainfall totals for week 7 DEC to 13 DEC 2015

    3.14″ 7 DEC 2015 Monday *R
    1.13″ 8 DEC 2015 Tuesday
    1.07″ 9 DEC 2015 Wednesday
    0.86″ 10 DEC 2015 Thursday
    1.32″ 11 DEC 2015 Friday
    1.03″ 12 DEC 2015 Saturday
    0.31″ 13 DEC 2015 Sunday

    8.86″ Total

    11.59″ December (Month to date)

    *R = All-time daily rainfall record. (Since JUN 2010)

  5. pappoose in scappoose says:

    “Eastern Oregon is a complete disaster, as is the southern Oregon coast.”


  6. MasterNate says:

    So not as much rainfall at my location between Molalla and Canby. 6.36″ for this month. Looks like a great start to the snowpack this year. Hopefully full steam ahead. Time will tell if the Blob cancelled El Nino.

    • Jason Hougak says:

      Maybe El Niño cancelled the blob.

    • JJ78259 says:

      Yes I was expecting more cooler wet weather here in San Antonio like last fall but the NW blocking ridge is gone and we have had beautiful weather again 70 to 75 and sunny this month, finished up the leaves and mowed the yard. The normal weather is back for the Northwest which is needed greatly to get the snowpack back up to normal. El Niño is not acting normal

  7. Lee Wilson says:

    And we froze last night the worst part is, all the online thermometers for online apps are way off. Some by as much as 5 to 10 degrees off.

    I would volunteer to but on of those high end stations here if I had the money.

  8. paulbeugene says:

    Saw the 12z NAM. Looking at 84h chart shows baroclinic precip band pointed at NW OR/SW WA. With snow down into the foothills beforehand, that looks like a lot of rain on top of snowmelt . Looks like a significant flood on Sandy, Clackamas rivers, in addition to Lewis, washougal rivers. Don’t know how full Detroit lake is but Santiam looks safe.
    Fortunately the snow levels drop down again Friday, a bit too late

  9. Jason Hougak says:

    57″ base at Timberline will give ya a smile on a Monday morning😀
    00Z GFS continues to show snow possibility on Christmas Eve. -8 850mb temps, -3 950mb temps with 0.22″ precipitation.
    I’m planning a winter skiing trip around Crater Lake on New Years week so models are just getting into that time frame. For once I’m hoping it will not dump heavy snow as it would postpone the trip. Should get some amazing pictures, Tyler could snap some awesome shots.

  10. paulbeugene says:

    Looking better for this weekend (for skiing) than the models were showing 36 hours ago. Could get better or worse from here, hard to say.

    At this point, seems a significant warm overrunning snow event shaping up for Wed into Thur with rising freezing levels. Could see 12-18 inches at Government Camp with that storm before turning to rain for a short while. Looks like the 0C 850 isotherm reaches the north Oregon Cascades by Friday evening. 850mb temps may stay below freezing until Sunday morning, when next system arrives only to drop again that night into Monday.

    With the overall surface pressures remaining low in the polar regions, there is little high latitude blocking and therefore no sustained southward push of arctic air. Even though the mean trough looks to be more or less parked over the western half of the North American continent, it does not appear that arctic air masses will be dropping south into the mean trough.

    We’re just getting storm after storm after storm after storm after storm.

    GFS 00z does show arctic air approaching around or after Christmas.

    Just looked at 00z Euro, seems to agree with ideas for Cascade snow/rain/snow Wed into Friday as mentioned above.

    I don’t think there will be many westside locations that have less than 10 inches for Dec precip totals when all is said and done, Portland having a real good shot at the modern monthly precip record set in 1996 (13.35 inches).

  11. schmit44 says:

    12/13/2015 Oregon (All) Temperature Summary

    High:55 at Seaside ( 10 ft)
    Low: 47 at PACCTY-2 Pacific(28 ft)

    High:23 at Mt Hood Meadows(7300 ft)
    Low: 15 at HOWARD Mt Howard (8150 ft )

    Largest Diurnal Change: 23 degrees
    Lorella (39/16 ) (4160 ft )

    Heaviest Rainfall:
    3.50″ at KING MOUNTAIN(4340ft)
    3.15″ at BROOKINGS(79ft)
    2.98″ at EW7191 Selma(1394ft)
    2.74″ at EW4856 Brookings(1365ft)
    2.66″ at FLYNN PRAIRIE(1543ft)
    2.65″ at ILLINOIS VALLEY(1389ft)
    2.44″ at CW6811 Grants Pa(947ft)
    2.40″ at BIGELOW CAMP(5130ft)
    2.36″ at PROVOLT SEED ORC(1180ft)
    2.36″ at SEVEN MILE CREEK(438ft)
    2.31″ at EW4806 Grants Pa(942ft)

  12. Jesse-SW Portland Suburbs says:

    00Z GFS looks good for gobs of mountain snow. Maybe some cold air around Christmas…

  13. geo says:


  14. geo says:

    file:///C:/Users/Home/Downloads/Santiam%20Pass_pid2728.JPG Kind of hard to see where the road vs. the shoulder is

  15. pappoose in scappoose says:

    Breezy to gusty!

    “Sure, at 122 mph you have to account for change in temperature due to altitude since you’re probably being blown somewhere over the Bering Sea by now”


  16. Not a whole lot of rain up this way but a LOT of wind overnight. It kept waking me up. By some miracle my electric power didn’t even momentarily get interrupted, but my Internet service went down overnight and only came back within the last hour.

  17. Joshua Downtown PDX says:

    We are officially over 10″ of rain this month. 18 days to go. Impressive!

  18. jimbo says:

    Govy camp is getting buried!

  19. The cookie monster says:

    Hmmmmm, I’ve been following this blog for awhile without posting much and I’ve noticed two things. 1, Paul, Rob, Jesse, Mat, and Jason know their stuff. Thank you guys. No one is on par with Mark of course or even close. And 2, whenever we get into coolish patterns, like snow in Roseburg today, or extremely wet like we have been in, Weatherdan disappears. I assume its because he was wrong about this winter so far and that he’s not getting what he wants. Not sure, maybe he’s scared or something, I dont know.

    Anyways, the models look to get interesting Xmas week again and the ensembles support that. I feel the models the next 3-4 days will come around on a solution that spreads snow around the lowland northwest for Xmas week.

    Merry Christmas all!!!!!

  20. Jason Hougak says:

    Southern Oregon getting hammered both west and east side. Road closures due to rock slide, landslides, falling trees, and of course heavy wet snow. Exciting stuff that way, take caution and carry survival gear in your vehicle if traveling down south. Check out the Oregon trip check cams.

    • MasterNate says:

      So as I looking at the snow reports through Fox link it shows Meadows had more snow and a 78″ base and Timberline only with a 36″ base. Is that correct?

    • Boydo3 N. Albany says:

      Latest base is 49″ at Timberline, 44″ at Meadows.

    • Jason Hougak says:

      That 78″ is reported at 6,250′ @ Meadows. I think it’s from blowing and drifted snow. Timberline @ 5,880 and reporting 49″. It shouldn’t vary that much just over the White River Canyon that much.

    • Jason Hougak says:

      That much as much as that much… 🙄Hello in there? Anybody home? Think McFly think!

    • W7ENK says:

      Meadows has a bad habit of over-inflating their snow totals either by measuring in obscure places, or through just plain exaggeration. Either way, it’s disingenuous.

  21. Jason Hougak says:

    Snow to the valley floor in Medford. Heavy snow over sexton summit 1900′ and Murphy hill 1500′.

  22. Jason Hougak says:

    6Z GFS colder Christmas week and the driest model through the period.

  23. Tyler Mode in Battle Ground says:

    Big waves out at Cape Disappointment, December 11th, 2015!

    This one reminds me of an angel:

  24. schmit44 says:

    12/12/2015 Oregon (All) Temperature Summary

    High:57 at Astoria Regional( 10 ft) & North Bend Munic(16 ft) & W7KKE-3 Road’s E(89 ft) & WX7EM Tillamook(104 ft)
    Low: 48 at EW3638 Yachats(33 ft)

    High:23 at CW7477 Lostine(7002 ft) & ALAKES Haines(7979 ft)
    Low: 17 at Riley (US 20 MP (4225 ft )

    Largest Diurnal Change: 18 degrees
    Riley (US 20 MP (35/17 ) (4225 ft )

    Heaviest Rainfall:
    8.57″ at RED MOUND(1753ft)
    6.78″ at EW4856 Brookings(1365ft)
    4.88″ at BROOKINGS(79ft)
    3.98″ at AGNESS2(247ft)
    3.95″ at Timberline Lodge(5880ft)
    3.92″ at FLYNN PRAIRIE(1543ft)
    3.92″ at QUAIL PRAIRIE LO(3183ft)
    3.46″ at BURNT RIDGE(2955ft)
    3.44″ at CHARLOTTE RIDGE(1220ft)
    3.37″ at EVANS CREEK(3257ft)

  25. Boydo3 N. Albany says:

    Foot of snow in central cascades today and now the orographics begin kick in as the colder air arrives. Lots more overnight. Lots!

  26. Just your typical afternoon in Adak, Alaska, oh wait 77mph SUSTAINED with GUSTS to 100mph!
    Peak gust so far 101mph http://www.arh.noaa.gov/Obs/obHistory.php?sid=PADK&name=Adak&raw=0

    More fun info:
    Barometer pressure in Adak is now 27.81(941.8mb) and falling
    3hr Pressure Falls: 956.3mb > 941.8mb = 14.5mb
    12hr Pressure Falls: 990.5mb > 941.8mb = 48.7mb
    Now THAT’S a Meteorological Bomb and then some!

  27. Lance says:

    As a casual reader of this weather site, I am curious as to what Josh the Snowmans credentials are?

  28. Lee Wilson says:

    Any one wants to guess on that speed?
    My Son Absconded my weather station.

  29. Boydo3 N. Albany says:

    Quite the dry slot moving onto Vancouver Is right now. Winds are ramping up!

  30. oregoncoastwx says:

    I have to get my frustration out about how KRTX radar is blind in my area,it can be raining very heavy here and the radar just doesn’t reflect it. http://i.imgur.com/9BOyVeS.png I know the further you go away from the signal that the beam points up but, it would be so nice to see a radar on the Oregon Coast someday, as Langley radar don’t cover this area to well either.

  31. paulbeugene says:

    Yuk. All of a sudden it’s looking wet in the mountains next weekend with 6000′ snow levels. Hope that storm in Bering sea deepens to 835mb and changed things for the better

  32. runrain says:

    The water vapor loop is really fascinating to watch. The big low in the Aleutians is really something to see. And today’s storm is showing a sudden development of a dry slot, which as I understand means something interesting? Maybe Rob can comment on that?

  33. Jesse-SW Portland Suburbs says:

    This active pattern has been great.

    So nice to see snow on all of the mountain pass cams. Even Siskiyou Summit.

  34. schmit44 says:

    12z GFS output for KTTD. Portland around 9″ of rain now for December. Current op run says no problem reaching the all-time wettest month ever at PDX which stands at 13.35″ set in 1996.

  35. High Desert Mat says:

    I dont know Josh, the euro looks splitty to me. Not sure what model you’re looking at but you must be mistaken.

  36. Jason Hougak says:

    Mark what kind of pattern developed during January 1950 that put Oregon in the snowy icebox?

  37. Mark bergal says:

    Wondering how this massive storm in Alaska will impact us downstream. Some models say it will create an amplified pattern that dries us out, while others imply a continuation of our storminess. Would be nice if it unleashed arctic air over us.

  38. Jason Hougak says:

    First time I’ve liked the 6Z gfs for continued mountain snow through Christmas. It’s a tad colder than the 00Z. We’ll see, don’t even want to be thinking about the dreaded split flow and another busted winter.

    Hopefully the trends of El Niño are ones that can also be surprisingly broken!!!

  39. Farmer Ted says:

    11.25 inches of rain here since last Saturday at 12 noon.

    He that cannot reason is a fool. He that will not is a bigot. He that dare not is a slave.

    ~Andrew Carnegie~

  40. Washougal 1100ft says:

    NW has rain snow for us Tuesday night – Thursday night on and off not sure about that?

  41. W7ENK says:

    Just tallied up my rainfall for the week.

    In the last 5 days, I’ve had 7.52″ of rain.

    3.14″ Monday
    1.13″ Tuesday
    1.07″ Wednesday
    0.86″ Thursday
    1.32″ Friday

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

    I think marks warm bias is hitting a new low. Even when models say otherwise he wants to talk about how splitty things may be. Just because the NOAA says we should be in a certain regime doesn’t mean you have to cave and say something to appease them. I think mark is looking at the almighty dollar anymore and not at his own instincts. I see nothing showing anything splitty. He knows better and needs to apologize to the casual weather observer.

    • Jackfrost says:

      He will as soon as the euro does. Not sure if Mark or the Euro will blink first.

      So far he has been spot on and I think it will continue uninterrupted.

      GFS is always over aggressive even when we do have an unusual weather cycle it still over does things.

      The Euro is most likely right with tilting ridge positioned to offshore cool/not cold pattern with sowers/low snow in between.

      Even in 2002-03 the GFS for days advertised snow in the medium range around X-mas and it was just chilly/frosty nights with no snow anywhere sas far as I remember..

    • marinersfan85 says:

      That’s easily the dumbest thing I’ve read.

    • Prairiedog says:

      At least there’s constancy in making comments that embarrass oneself. Tool.

    • Mark (note the capital letter) doesn’t need to apologize . He’s doing his job.

    • Josh "the snowman" from Gladstone, OR says:

      Yep. I’m a tool. FYI, I was one of the first posters on this blog(where were you), and I’ve seen Mark’s evolution firsthand. Save your retorts as you are uneducated about what you are saying. I know. That being said, looks like a wet one out there today and ensembles aren’t bad starting day 6. Peace.

    • Runtmc says:

      I bet he’s been burning the midnight oil, delicately crafting that apology. He seems to have a “reality bias” if you ask me.

      (Mark: I wish I could hit LIKE on this comment)

    • Mark Nelsen says:

      Yes, because I’m making lots of “almighty dollars” on this blog!!! Wait, just fell off my chair laughing. This thing is a labor of love, But, I apologize for bringing GREAT SHAME to the Portland weather community…

    • Jackfrost says:

      Your’e pretty funny Josh. However he has a warm bias but that’s because of so many busts that it would make anyone with brains second guess themselves.

    • Jeff says:

      I’m with marinersfan85 on this one.

    • WEATHERDAN says:

      +1. Peace.

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