Friday Evening Update

11pm Friday…

Time for the weekend!  In this case it means showers, sunbreaks, and maybe some hail/thunder for Saturday.  Could be an active day…that after a slow January (post-snow).

We ran a story tonight saying Crater Lake NP had huge attendance last year.  A good chunk of that was due to the terrible snowpack that melted quickly.  Earlier Rim Drive opening = more people!

I checked the stats and indeed the snowpack numbers look good down there


January has been an interesting month…one that started cold with some snow at the lower elevations, but then the 2nd half was extremely warm.  Most of the month we saw frequent, but weak, pacific systems moving onshore.  These were generally mild systems so the snowpack didn’t change much through the month.  As a result the percentage of normal has dropped a bit below average on Mt. Hood and the huge numbers to the south have decreased a bit.


Compare these numbers to one month ago:


Still MUCH better than the disaster last year!  Note this graphic is from LAST YEAR…


Looking ahead, we’ll see lowering snow levels over the weekend.  Sunday morning I could see it sticking down to around 1,500′ and down around 1,000′ Monday morning.  That said, it looks mainly dry Monday morning.  After that snow levels rise again so whatever we see in the lowlands Sunday and Monday should be “Conversational Snow”.  That means lots of us see snow showers or snow/rain mixed, but it doesn’t affect our daily lives.  But we tell friends about it and Tweet/Facebook it.

Have a great weekend!

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

49 Responses to Friday Evening Update

  1. W7ENK says:

    Spent my weekend visiting a good friend down outside K Falls. Finally got my first birthday with snow on the ground! 2-1/2 feet in the woods on his property (elevation ~4,700′), basically on the Eastern flanks of Crater Lake. Woke up to deep blue skies and brilliant sunshine with another solid inch of new snow Saturday morning. Dropped down to +9F Saturday night, woke up Sunday morning to 11 degree fog at 8:30am, burned off and returned to deep blue skies and brilliant sunshine an hour later. Not a breath of wind, everything was so silent and the air was filled with little sparkling ice crystals that looked like glitter. Birthday magic! 🙂

    Made the mistake of setting my e-brake when I arrived — I know better, but it’s a force of habit and I just didn’t think about it — which made for a bit of a delay leaving on Sunday. Willamette Pass was very snowy on my way home with packed snow much of the way over Hwy 58. Snow remained in the trees and on the ground beside the roadway down to about 2,000′.

    BTW, Hwy 97 from Chemult, Southward 42 miles is an absolute disaster. So many potholes, it’s like the military did a strafing run right down the middle of the highway!

    It reminded me of the old video game Asteroids, except with my car, and going 55 miles an hour. I drove much of that 42 miles on either the shoulder or in the oncoming lane, whichever had fewer craters. If you find yourself driving that stretch any time soon, heed this warning and don’t straddle a line of them, it’s a trap. They suddenly grow wider as you go, leaving you no option other than to hit that big one at the end! I’d post some dash cam video for you, but it might be riddled with profanity…

    Weather wise:
    Ended January at my place with 8.48″ of rainfall.
    49.6 Average High
    39.9 Average Low
    1.0″ Snowfall
    1/2″ ZR

    Happy Groundhog Day!

    • JohnD says:

      Good stuff!
      Great adventure.
      (Potholes notwithstanding!)
      Nice to view some of those areas in the state where it actually DOES snow!
      And “Groundhog Day”…a perennial delight.
      The movie too!

    • Congratulations on finally seeing birthday snow. I’ve seen it a number of times. (Growing up in a snowy climate helps a lot in that regard. Snowiest birthday was 18″ of new snow on top of a foot or so of existing snowpack.)

      Cold-winter climates can have pretty awful road conditions if the highway departments slack off on repairing the damage. I remember one time in southern Colorado when I couldn’t drive faster than 35 on a highway signed for 55.

      When I moved to a mild maritime climate, one of the things that impressed me was how little road maintenance the highway departments could get away with.

    • Aleta-West Gresham says:

      Good to know! Good chance I’m headed down there in the next couple of months.

    • W7ENK says:

      I would highly urge you not to drive it in the dark. Some of those holes looked like they could tear the wheels clean off my car!

      A cleaned up version…

      Skip to the 8:00 mark for the full-on assault. :-/

  2. Washougal 1100ft says:

    Jumping off real soon!! One leg off. Fork it!

  3. Jason Hougak says:

    Phil the groundhog predicts an early spring. Smile ALL you summer lovers… we’ll get an epic winter again some time.

  4. MasterNate says:

    Looks like the onset for some Spring fever on Monday and Tuesday next week. That should warm the bones a bit.

  5. schmit44 says:

    2/1/2016 Oregon (All) Temperature Summary

    High:51 at AA7OA Astoria( 240 ft) & AGNESS2(247 ft)
    Low: 39 at AA7OA Astoria(240 ft) & NK7G Roseburg(472 ft) & EW1914 Portland(151 ft) & Troutdale(120 ft) & EW6567 Portland(13 ft) & WH6KO St Helens(79 ft) & ROCKWY Rockaway(450 ft) & Astoria – Megler(355 ft) & US30 at Lewis an(50 ft)

    High:17 at HOWARD Mt Howard(8150 ft)
    Low: -8 at HEREFORD (3599 ft )

    Largest Diurnal Change: 41 degrees
    UNITY DAM AND BU (34/-7 ) (3756 ft )
    HEREFORD (33/-8) (3599 ft)

    Heaviest Rainfall:
    0.69″ at W7KKE-3 Road’s E(89ft)
    0.63″ at LINCON Lincoln C(187ft)

  6. muxpux (Longview) says:

    Hey Mark, think you could whip up a graphic or something to compare the last couple winters up here? This PUD thing that’s going on, PUD is claiming we’ve had a colder than usual winter accounting for the power bill rises, I know the Kelso airport was offline a lot in early December. I guess I can look in the archives of something, but I’m no graphic artist.

    I’ll cross post this to the FB page as well, maybe someone there can help as well

  7. JackFrost says:

    Except for a few times there has been very little variation of temperatures this winter. I think last winter actually had more.

    This winter the temp was mostly between 40 and 43F barely budging almost like it was stuck which I think the low cloud cover had to do with it.

    Last winter had more freezing nights when it was clear.

  8. Jason Hougak says:

    Almost an inch of snow this morning up here at 1300′.

  9. WEATHERDAN says:

    Rainfall totals for 15 November through 16 January inclusive in Salem was 28.63 inches. 5.77 Nov, 15.28 Dec, 7.58 Jan. Later this week and next week look warmer and drier. Maybe back into the low 60,s next week. And no cold air in sight over the next two weeks. I said it on January 10th and I repeat it on February 1st. Winter is over. And I don’t feel that it was a bust. Twice we had snow on the ground. We had Winter TRW’s . We had some exciting wind events and some exciting rain events. The drought is over here in the valley, the reservoirs are full and we have a good snow pack in the mountains. But Winter can’t go on forever. And shouldn’t. Six weeks from now our sunset is around 7:10 PM with average highs in the upper 50,s. I would have liked to have had more lowland snow despite what some trolls blathered on about but now my thoughts turn to sunshine and warmer temperatures. Does anyone have a guess as to the first 70 degree day. My guess is Sunday March 21st. We had 3 days in January over 60 and I foresee 4 more in February with a maximum of 64. Also around 4.50 inches of precipitation. Mainly sunny this afternoon but still cool. Peace.

    • Chris s says:

      Funny how you keep trying to convince yourself you like winter weather… Lol. Man I hope I don’t turn into a cold weather ninny when I get to your age!! How boring to want summer 12 months a year. Palm Springs is calling your name Dan!

    • runrain says:

      Absolutely, 100% guarantee that it will not be 70° on Sunday, March 21. How can I be so confident of this? Hint: March 21st is a Monday – ha ha !

    • GTS1K' says:

      How concise – much ado about nothing.

    • My earliest 70F-plus temperature was back in March 1994, I think it was on the 27th or 28th. But just a few days before on the equinox date (the 21st) we had snow here. So things can change pretty quickly at the start of spring.

    • Tyler Mode in Battle Ground says:

      My earliest 70+ was March 8th in 2004, 2005 and 2015.

      Earliest 80+ is March 29th, 2013.

    • WEATHERDAN says:

      Hey Chris do you have to work hard to be such a complete idiot or does it run in your family? I am not trying to convince myself or you of anything. I do in fact like some Wintry snowy weather each year. Then along comes a troll such as yourself who proclaims Dan doesn’t really mean it when he says he likes cold weather. The thing is that I also like Spring weather in March and hot weather in July. In fact I do prefer warm weather just not all year long. Go back years if you can actually figure out how to do do so and you will find me hoping for snow. When I read your posts constantly insulting me I just figure your mommy dropped you on your head as an infant. As for my age when I retire in a few years and am on vacation in Hawaii in January I will take comfort in knowing you are slaving away to pay for my social security. Later dude.

  10. MasterNate says:


  11. Well, January is finally over: In my location I had a mean temperature of 40.5F (above normal, but 2.8 degrees cooler than the previous January) and 8.04 inches of precipitation. (Just a little less than January 2015. Much of that amount came in the second half of the month (73%) with the last 6 days taking over 37% of the total. That’s why I was so lousy in predicting how much ppt. I would get!

    • When I was a teen in New Mexico, I had a my first weather station. July was normally the wettest month (summer monsoon season). One July, the thunderstorms kept missing and missing and missing my home. I’d get no more than traces as the cumulo-nimbi mostly missed me. I recorded no more than a trace of moisture.

      Then the third-to-last day of the month, a very big, very black thunderhead (one of the blackest I’ve seen) started rumbling its way toward me. Direct hit, well over 2″ in the gauge. The next two days the same thing happened with only somewhat weaker storm clouds (1″+ each day).

      And July was closed out with an above-average monthly precipitation total.

    • Thanks for the story, Rubus. That sort of thing happens to me in August here, usually. 🙂

    • runrain says:

      I want some of those!!

  12. schmit44 says:

    1/31/2016 Oregon (All) Temperature Summary

    High:51 at CW5925 Coos Bay( 49 ft) & Gold Beach (US 1(60 ft) & LINCON Lincoln C(187 ft) & Yaquina Bridge W(120 ft) & CW8892 Sweet Hom(574 ft) & ECHO(683 ft)
    Low: 40 at Arlie Mitchell R(1629 ft) & EW1914 Portland(151 ft) & Troutdale(120 ft) & Portland-Troutda(36 ft)

    High:15 at HOWARD Mt Howard(8150 ft)
    Low: -8 at CRANE PRAIRIE (5500 ft )

    Largest Diurnal Change: 44 degrees
    CRANE PRAIRIE (36/-8 ) (5500 ft )

    Heaviest Rainfall:
    0.83″ at CW2527 Florence(46ft)
    0.48″ at CW2664 Corbett(659ft)
    0.47″ at CANNIBAL MOUNTAI(1939ft)
    0.43″ at K7FU Warrenton(33ft)

  13. JackFrost says:

    But remember folks on the models winter is always just 10 days away!

  14. Back to cold rain conditions here at the end of the month. Can’t talk about snow down in the city, but at least the mountains are getting back a lot of the snow that melted a few days ago. My rain total for January isn’t quite completed yet, but it appears we’ll have at least 8 inches when done.

  15. JJ78259 says:

    Barrett Jackson was a great Show! Beautiful weather in Scottsdale last couple of days mid 70s felt great. Heading back to San Antonio for some Weather Dan weather 84 and lots of Sunshine.

  16. schmit44 says:

    1/30/2016 Oregon (All) Temperature Summary

    High:52 at Yaquina Bridge W( 120 ft)
    Low: 43 at WYETH(102 ft)

    High:20 at HOWARD Mt Howard(8150 ft) & Rim(7050 ft)
    Low: 4 at HEREFORD (3599 ft ) & UNITY DAM AND BU (3756 ft )

    Largest Diurnal Change: 30 degrees
    HEREFORD (34/4 ) (3599 ft )
    UNITY DAM AND BU (34/4) (3756 ft)

    Heaviest Rainfall:
    1.31″ at Timberline Lodge(5880ft)
    1.20″ at BEAR GRASS(4720ft)
    1.00″ at BLAZED ALDER(3650ft)
    0.98″ at CORVALLIS(230ft)
    0.96″ at DEVILS GRAVEYARD(1550ft)

  17. Jason Hougak says:

    Nice snow squall just went through and dumped a quick 1/2″. Snowed large fat floppers for about 20 minutes, too bad it didn’t stay for the night. It’s a much welcome sight up here in the foothills.

  18. Washougal 1100ft says:

    It’s snowing hard 35 out white out from hail and snow. Temp is droping.

  19. Tyler Mode in Battle Ground says:

    Intense rainbow not long ago over Battle Ground, Washington! I haven’t seen one against a blue sky like that before either!

  20. Anonymous says:

    Yes, it is a lot better (the snowpack) than last year. That’s one good thing. But otherwise, I’m saying farewell to another long, dull January.

    • JackFrost says:

      Remember the models especially the GFS winter weather is always just (10) days away for us to drool over!

      May the Jan 29th 18z always be in our hearts.

  21. Farmer Ted says:

    Went hiking with my dog yesterday afternoon near Shellrock Cr. Campground just off the Clackamas River. There was about 6 inches of snow on the ground and a snow and rain mix in the air. It was good for us to get out and play in the snow, very peaceful and quiet.

  22. Jason Hougak says:

    Great pics Tyler
    The Cascades have definitely had a good winter. Enjoyed my first night skiing trip to Timberline last night with my daughter. The drive through the blowing and drifting snow was quite a sight for her young eyes. Enjoyed a fantastic evening after lifts closed inside the historic lodge having hot chocolate and dinner. Memorable night thanks to a great winters night and adorable company. Thanks super El Niño for letting us get sum in some great powder turns. Looking forward to super La Niña 2016-17!

  23. Tyler Mode in Battle Ground says:

    A year ago today, I took one of my favorite hikes. Our extremely warm winter allowed it to happen as the road is normally closed and covered in feet of snow. This day, the hike started out in the cold and fog with rime ice everywhere. Soon however, I hiked out above the fog into a world of sun and t-shirt weather.

    This is from Lost Lake Butte, Oregon…January 30th, 2015.

    • GTS1K' says:

      ~1200 ft. up in 2 miles but it’s worth it. I’ve hiked that trail 3 times but never seen it like that.

      The first time, smoke from forest fires reduced visibility to a mile or so. Next hike was the opposite of yours and I climbed INTO the fog and cold.

      Third time was the charm but not as dramatically beautiful as your pics!

    • JohnD says:

      Beautiful Tyler. So inspiring. Looking forward to getting out again. Thanks.

    • Farmer Ted says:

      ~GTS1K’~you actually get outdoors and encounter the real world? So glad you are working on coping with your problems.

    • Diana F. says:

      Stunning pics!!!

    • GTS1K' says:

      Teddie, old dear; the Bard said it best:

      “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
      Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”

      That, of course, gives you the benefit of the doubt and assumes that you’re capable of a ‘philosophy’.

      Projecting imagined ‘problems’ upon others and snarking on a perfectly neutral comment does not bode well in that department.

  24. Tyler Mode in Battle Ground says:

    Brrr, 37.7, my coldest temp since the 11th, and it’s only 5 degrees above the normal low.

  25. Aleta-West Gresham says:

    First! 🙂 thank you Mark!

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