Final Gorge Forecast


This is what I’m showing tonight on the 10/11pm shows:



  • Precipitation will arrive in the next few hours in the Gorge.   It should begin as snow in the central/eastern parts and eventually (by late tonight) work it’s way down to water level (I-84).  Down along the freeway 4-8″ snow is possible from Cascade Locks to Hood River, a bit lighter farther east.  Where the snow sticks immediately up around 1,000′ or so, 8-12″ could fall.
  • The cold air will be thin and just barely down to around freezing in the western Gorge.  It’s quite possible I-84 remains clear west of Cascade Locks with freezing rain confined to only areas up around 1,000′ in Cape Horn & Corbett areas.
  • Temperatures will not warm until late Thursday night with a westerly surge through the Gorge.

One concern leading up to this event has been that models could be overdoing the cold and/or dry air coming in from the north and east.  I just compared this evening’s WRF-GFS model meteograms with last night’s run.  A very slight warming…we’re talking maybe 2 degrees.  But that could be enough to make quite a difference in ice and snow accumulations.  That should also keep freezing rain above the freeway west of Cascade Locks.  I can’t remember a time where it was 40 degrees at Vista House with no significantly colder air to the east, yet freezing rain is supposedly only 4-6 hours away.  Hood River and The Dalles in the upper 30s with drier air is better for marginal snow accumulation temps there; that’s why I kept pretty much the same accumulation forecast I initially showed earlier.

There WILL be isolated spots in the western/central Gorge that see quite an ice storm;  but it won’t be down on the freeway.

We’ll know for sure by 4am or so, once the evaporational cooling drops temps.

For the metro area…whew, another big soaker coming.  I doubt we’ll see the huge 1-2 hour downpours that caused all the trouble earlier this month.  But a solid 2-3″ of rain the two days is sure going to bring us more mudslide and landslide issues.

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen




7 Responses to Final Gorge Forecast

  1. paulbeugene says:

    Wasn’t this back in 1996?

  2. paulbeugene says:

    If we are having so much interesting weather with El Niño then can’t wait for the moderate to strong La Niña that may be in store for us in 2016-17.

  3. Jerry says:

    And for Carson? Am I gonna get dumped on?

  4. Eugene Dave says:

    I gorged myself with ice cream tonight. Should be a solid omen for the Columbia gorge.

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