Snow Coming To The Lowlands?

7pm Monday…

What a snowstorm in the Cascades!  The past 24 hours we’ve seen more than with any other storm so far this “winter”…


For the first time since 2011 we’ve seen a general opening of terrain at Timberline and Meadows ski areas in the month of November


In one of two of these past few years we’ve seen warm rain obliterate part of the snow pack in November.  But this year I don’t see that.  This snow is here to stay; I see no period of warm rain in the next week or so.

That said, temperatures in the lowlands will be near or slightly above normal for the next 5-6 days.  Tuesday and Thursday look dry.


Is your favorite weather app showing snow or a snow/rain mix for next week?  Mine does…this is what it’s showing right now:


It says highs in the upper 30s next Tuesday and Wednesday with snow showers.  Even though that’s not in the range of our 7 day forecast, I figure I should address it if you’re seeing it right?

About 3 days ago some models (not all) were showing a big “arctic blast” coming up next week with a good possibility of snow in the lowlands.  For comparison, we have not seen arctic air move into Oregon since February 2014.  We’ve gone two winters without a deep freeze.  So of course that would be a big event.

But in the past 2 days models have backed off and (as of this evening) now show a typical “it might snow down to 1,000 ft” type event early-mid next week.

To summarize what we DO know

  1. The next 6 days will be very mild…some light rain at times
  2. A sharp drop in snow level comes Sunday or Sunday night, at that point snow may fall down into the foothills (1,500′).
  3. Next week will definitely be colder…it’s going to feel like December
  4. All areas should finally get a long overdue frost
  5. There is no sign of a big arctic blast for now

What we DON’T know yet since it’s still 7-9 days away

  1. If sticking snow will fall below 1,000’…it may or may not
  2. If it’s just a few days or a cold period that’s going to stick around for a week or more.


For the hardcore weather geeks…

The ensemble charts from both the 12z GFS and ECMWF sure don’t show a big arctic event like a few days ago (click for full view)


…but they clearly show a good agreement with 850mb temps dropping down into the -5 to -7 range next Tuesday/Wednesday.  That’s hilltop snow material (assuming there is moisture around) but tough to get snow down into the city at that temp unless we lose the mixing wind that is often present.  Some versions of some of the models (primarily ECMWF) have shown offshore flow and quite cold temps the latter half of next week, similar to what we saw around the New Year last winter.  That would be interesting because it could lead to some sort of overrunning moisture event following the cold.  Lots of possibilities ahead!

The surface temps (which in winter sometimes run too cold) from the 12z ECMWF ensembles show the cool spell next week, then warming beyond:


The GEFS ensembles from the 18z run show that cold period next week as well with highs staying in the low-mid 40s (or colder if a day were to be cloudy/wet/white).


So stay tuned, as of now there’s no sign of a December 2009 freeze or December 2008 freeze & snowstorm.  But as I mentioned in last night’s posting…that can change quickly!

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen


76 Responses to Snow Coming To The Lowlands?

  1. Anonymous says:

    Blog snowflakes are back. Hope to see a few of those in the air next week.

  2. Happy Valley Elev 860 says:

    Check out the conditions at the top of Cascade Express at Meadows. 21 degrees with gusts to 90 mph.

  3. WEATHERDAN says:

    50 degrees currently. Had a heavy hail shower within the last hour. Lots of opportunities for snow down to 1k over the next 16 days but real borderline for lower elevation snow. Hey Jason I do like a cold Winter and a hot Summer. But yes I do prefer Summertime. I would like to see a cold and snowy Winter and a sunny and hot Summer 2017. We will see if either pans out. Merry Christmas to all. Peace.

  4. Snowman says:

    Rod Hill says 2 inches of snow to valley floor Mon am

  5. Snowman says:

    Rod Hill says 2 inches snow to valley floor Mon am!

  6. Jason Hougak says:

    May not be a repeat of 2008 in Portland but GFS has a second round of cold air. I might finally get the 1,000′ and above snowfall winter we have been long due for.

    • SUNFAN says:

      Just wondering how everyone in here says its going to snow, but in all reality none of the people that went to college and get paid to forecast our weather are calling for anything below 1000 feet?

    • marinersfan85 says:

      I haven’t seen anyone say that it’s gonna snow

    • runrain says:

      And remember, in these kinds of setups (cold and showery) the Coast Range tends to eat up those showers just like the old Pacman game. Frustrating watching an intense shower approaching PDX only to have it fall apart to nothing somewhere around North Plains.

    • GTS1K' says:

      It’s gonna snow here – to quote George Zimmer – I guarantee it

    • GTS1K' says:

      BTW, SUN FAN, a lot of people got paid obscene amounts of money to tell us that HRC would be our next president.

      I imagine that, unlike some sock puppets, many of those “experts” have a college education.

  7. W7ENK says:

    NWS must be preparing for a long Winter. I saw this occurring from Downtown this morning, looking back toward Milwaukie. It made quite the racket, the noise caught the attention of most everyone here in the office.

    We all know what that means…

  8. So far, then, it looks like there will be lowland snow for some. Probably not a whole lot, and it won’t be super-cold, either. Hardly a repeat of 2008.

    There’s a chance for more snow later, but that’s far enough in the future that it’s not worth getting terribly excited about at this time.

    • Roland Derksen says:

      I agree. I’ll probably see a mix of snow and rain here next week, maybe if precipitation gets heavy at times it’ll turn to wet slushy snow. I’ve seen this scenario quite a few occasions over the years. We need a strong arctic push to get some “real” snow.

    • W7ENK says:

      Who said anything about a 2008 redux? That’s way beyond wishcasting, that’s just pure fantasy.

  9. W7ENK says:

    Rod Hill says: “Winter is coming…”

  10. JohnD says: offers a very detailed and hugely compelling analysis of the current patterns. Cliff is at UW and has high expertise. Mark’s colleague/friend.

  11. Jason Hougak says:

    Lots of good humor down there to read… I thought Mark kicked you off this blog Farmer Ted😆
    I’ve said it before that some people should lighten up.
    We should all love weather if we are on this blog. We share our passion of what weather we enjoy. We all know WeatherDan loves hot sunny days that go on forever in my opinion but then he hubernates for the winter blog as I do in summer. We then learn about who each other is and what they enjoy. We all know Tyler is a great photographer by his stunning pictures. Then we get those people who want to stir the pot because they’ve got no where else to go… those are the trouble makers who add a little spice to the blog. I try to take everything with a grain of salt and.not get bent outta shape. I’m sure I’m the biggest snow lover on the blog. So ’tis’ the season Scootie/ Teddy😆

    • Garron 1/3 of a mile from Hillsboro Airport says:

      I’ll never give up on the passion that is my weather interests either! We’re all here to answer questions and throw out there possibilities, but a few have put a spider web over this blog, and made it not as fun as it used to be. Now, many of the great bloggers have stopped chiming in, due to a few trolls, and have in effect regressed the progress of what is a wonderful tool and modern day miracle! We should all take stock of just what we have at the click of our fingers! Just 15 years ago, there were NO local weather chats, much less model maps available to the public. Let people feel comfortable, to ask questions, and express their own opinions w/o being persecuted, and we’ll have many more voices to pool from during these upcoming exciting events . Even wishcasting can be a learnable experience and further weather lore for the generations to come. Imagine where we’ll be fifty to a hundred years from now in our understanding of local weather, global patterns? Now imagine that we all played a part in understanding these patterns, and coming together to make it easier and more fun for future weather geeks.

  12. Jason Hougak says:

    🤔Will it be a 1…2… punch??? 18Z GFS is hinting at a second round😆
    ⚠️️NWS has snow now in the foothills Sunday night through Tuesday! 💨❄️❄️❄️
    Hoods going to get 🔨ered by this weekends storm. Subtropical moisture and a sharp cold front, ⛷ should get epic !!!

    • Jason Hougak says:

      Ketchikan, Alaska highs dipping to the 20’s next Tuesday.

    • Scooter says:

      Way to go kid you figured out how to add those pesky little emoticons. Always enjoy your cute little wish casting blended with your well digging career, oh and don’t forget the big bad hunter fables mixed with Trumpeter praise.

    • GTS1K' says:

      …said the person? who has nothing to say, yet gives voice to his absence of substance with a volley of self-hatred infused, worthless drivel….

      …your move, twit…

    • marinersfan85 says:

      It’s a little baffling that people keep replying to scoots and Nathan.

    • GTS1K' says:

      ..baffle on my friend – it’s great sport – don’t make it more unimportant than it is…

  13. JohnD says:

    ‘Just perused the various Alaska sites for fun. ALL certainly do compellingly corroborate possible lower 48 eventualities (E.g. including the Pacific NW.) Now that is my lifelong wishcasting bias talking. But things sure look interesting to me!

  14. Roland Derksen says:

    I suppose my first freezing temperature is going to finally come in December.I’ve never recorded a November before without at least one day with a minimum below 32F.

  15. Wendy-Silverlake, WA says:

    On the National Weather Service website I used to be able to pull up a page that showed the whole areas weather in regions (i.e. Portland area, Vancouver area, Cowlitz county (I-5 corrider), mountains, etcetera. My link doesn’t work anymore and was wondering if anyone had a link that might work. I wish I could be more descriptive of what I’m looking for but I just can’t remember what it was called. I need the SW Washington/NW Oregon one. Thanks.

    • Wendy-Silverlake, WA says:

      I remember something else about it. Originally it was a map and you clicked on Oregon and it gave you all the different forecasts.

  16. Jason Hougak says:

    All I have to say is weather action at its best!!! Sure we’ve been let down before but it looks great for snow above 1,000′. Thanks Eric for the snowfall output, awesome to see. The GFS and ECMWF are both closing in on this. And might I ask who saw if first??? Thanks 18Z GFS!!!

  17. W7ENK says:

    At risk of pissing off Skootie again for talking about weather that isn’t happening right this very moment, did any of you happen to see the 00z ECMWF snowfall output for next week?

    Only 8 days away…

  18. Longview 400 ft says:

    I come to this blog for information about the weather. Most importantly because of Mark’s awesome grasp of the possibilities concerning the weather. I have great respect for him. He was a great replacement of Jim Little in whom I greatly admired.

    The second reason I come to this blog is to find out in various local areas what is going on weather wise from Vancouver BC to Eugene and other places that people chime in from.

    Also, to find out what they know from local observations or what they have seen model wise or whatever. From Paul in Eugene to Rob in South Portland or the guy in BC.

    This is a great forum for those of us who love the subject of weather.

    What is so annoying are those who do not appreciate what we have here, or the people who make this blog the success that it is. They also do not understand and our ignorant to what we have here.

    If someone simply writes about the excitement about any abnormal weather possibility why can’t that just be left alone for what it is.

    This is a weather blog. Where one makes weather related comments. If it is anything else, it simply should not be commented on. Simply!!!

    If you cannot share in this move on. Maybe move on to a political blog where you can gripe and complain about everyone and their faults.

    Now do it!!!!!!

    Mark, thanks for having a place for those who are as passionate about the weather as you.

  19. Mark says:

    GFS models NOT coming together long-term in their latest runs. Many have diverged into a colder pattern once more. The key is seeing if that holds and solidifies over the next few runs…

  20. Paul D says:

    I don’t waste my time with weather apps. I read Mark’s blog!!!

  21. Lee Wilson says:

    I stand corrected on my weather app. It is Intellicast.
    I have funny yellow arrows showing upper jet stream coming in from the north…and there in yellow as well.
    It is showing warnings for High surf as well as no warnings for the cascades.

    Its is showing some might cold weather to our northernmost neighbors…also showing we had a quake 178 km west of Band on Oregon? 4.80¿ about 13 to 24/hours ago?

  22. Lee Wilson says:

    Yes, my app {wise)/is stating such a weird forcast.
    My guess is it may be a glitch. I mean after all, that would go against my prediction of a year with out a winter.

    And I so hate being wrong.

    At any rate my guess is with all this talk of snow…we done scared it away…You know how its is…once the weather men speak…were cursed never to see it…

  23. muxpux (Longview) says:

    Went to the Seahawks/Jets game in December 08. Got tickets to the Seahawks/Rams game Dec 15th. Come on!!!!

  24. Jason Hougak says:

    Climate Prediction Center is showing 70% chance of below normal temperatures in SW panhandle of Alaska in the 7-14 day outlook. With northwest flow out of the Gulf and cold air its a great recipe for making snow. I’d love a record snowstorm but for those who cannot stand snow, I at least hope it falls at 1,000′ and above. NWS has snow in the foothills next Monday to 1,500 feet.

  25. Scooter says:

    You folks are always agonizing about the weather…. geez….is this what kind of a childish society we have evolved into? Too bad we cannot take the weather as it is given to us and appreciate the uniqueness of each hour, day, month and year instead of being bored with what you perceive to be something less than to be desired. Life would be filled with awe and grandeur if and when you learn to live the “Beauty Way” and I could enjoy reading meaningful comments of wisdom and joy.

    • why do trolls try to discourage weather talk on a WEATHER BLOG??? …sheesh…

    • Boydo3 N. Albany says:

      Scooter the Buddha, we do enjoy the weather here and now. In fact we love it so much we revel in the thought that even more exciting weather will be presented to us on a higher plane in the future!
      In other words, it’s all good 🙂

    • W7ENK says:

      Man, you’ve got some serious issues Skootie. You’re obviously unhappy here, so why torment yourself by sticking around? Why subject yourself to all this “childish” “agonizing” the rest of us do?

      If you want to enjoy the weather “as it is given to us,” maybe go stare out a window until you feel fulfilled? If you’re looking for “awe, grandeur, wisdom, joy, and meaningfullness” in your life, if you want to “appreciate the uniqueness of each hour,” as you so eloquently put it, maybe go spend your typical blogging time at church or something? Go stare out their window! At any rate, quit b!+ching about the way the rest of us converse about the weather.

      In other words, it’s time you moved on and found another hobby.


    • JJ78259 says:

      Scoot Scoot and Nate seem to be one in same and pretty lame!

    • GTS1K' says:

      scooter = nathan = troll = <0

    • Prairiedog says:

      He’s a middle school student. Pretty obvious. I’d guess 8th grade. Just about to discover girls but still loves his body parts and functions talk.

    • GTS1K' says:

      My earlier comment re the oh so enlightened one seems to have gone into the TZ but the operative term was/is “Fauxdhisattva”

    • Heaven forbid that people would (gasp) talk about the weather (in of all places) the comments section of a weather blog!

      If you don’t like to see people geek out about the weather, why are you even here? Sheesh!

  26. JohnD says:

    For those of us with big lowland winter weather passion, this kind of scenario is–as typical–agonizing. Even when the “potential” exists (as in the coming days), usually utterly nothing materializes. Still, we take what we get; and as Mark alludes, there is a lot to play out amid the overall trends!

  27. Jason Hougak says:


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