Wintry Precip Sunday? Maybe

January 1, 2016

Whew…it’s really cold out there.  The airmass pouring out of the Columbia River Gorge and into the metro area has cooled down quite a bit the past 48 hours.  We were 44 Wednesday, 39 yesterday, and 37 today.  Add in a peak easterly gust of 45 mph and that’s cold!  You can sure see the effect the Gorge wind has on the metro area.

PLOT_Highs_ORWA

All areas west of the Cascades were in the 40s except Portland.  Brrr…

This time the wind has definitely been a “downslope” wind as opposed to a pure “gap” wind through the Gorge.  Check out the peak gusts…lots of locations were in the 30-40 mph range:

PLOT_Wind_Metro_PeakGusts_Easterly

The cold low-level airmass will not modify at all through Sunday, which brings up a possible issue.  Models are all pushing a dying band of moisture up over us either:  Early Sunday, Midday Sunday, or Late Sunday.  You get to choose.  And we get either: Trace, .05″, or .30″.  Hmmm, what a pain to forecast.  The deal is that over this upcoming week we have a classic El Nino pattern with most rain heading into California. We just get the weak leftovers as what’s left moves north over the Pacific Northwest.  So there is no setup for a big snow/ice storm.  But as we all know, it only takes a few minutes of freezing rain to make a mess.

So to summarize…

MarkFreezingRain_Metro

Obviously very non-committal for now.    But I’m working this weekend…again.  So I’ll update tomorrow afternoon/evening.

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen