As I mentioned yesterday, if we don’t get heavy enough precipitation to drag down the snow level, the snow level will stay higher today (read in previous post). That’s exactly what has happened. Only .10-.15″ precipitation for PDX, Vancouver, & Hillsboro. In fact Troutdale has only seen a trace! As a result we’re at the lower end of that ZERO-1″ I forecast in the lowest elevations. It’s been a mix of rain/snow showers, and the cool atmosphere can’t overcome the breezy/mixing southerly wind we were expecting as well.
This has screwed up the hilltop snow forecast. I expected 1-3″ up around 1,000′ and above. The lack of heavy precipitation is putting us at the lower end of that for sure. So far at 1,000′ at my home (east of Troutdale) I have just a dusting.
You may remember my rant about snow level forecasting in these showery patterns. We’re doing people a disservice by implying we have more accuracy than we do (in this pattern). This morning is a perfect example of why forecasters (and the NWS) shouldn’t be forecasting snow level in increments below 1,000′ in a snow shower pattern. A snapshot at 8:30am: Staley’s Jct. on U.S. 26 west of Banks…elevation 200 feet. A snowy road and maybe a half inch on the ground:
At the SAME ELEVATION, but 15 miles east on the west side of Beaverton…all bare and wet with no snow in sight:
Then over on the eastside of the metro area just above Sandy…at 1,200′. NO SNOW. The white stuff is left over from yesterday’s hail/graupel showers.
So what was the “snow level” at 9am??? Under the heavy showers it was near sea level, where very little precipitation fell it was higher, up around 1,500′. There you go…rant over for now.
THE REST OF TODAY
- Snow showers or snow/rain showers continue. Some maybe be heavy this afternoon with a rumble of thunder if we get some sunbreaks inbetween. Hail or ice pellets are possible too.
- NO ACCUMULATION AT THE LOWEST ELEVATIONS…HIGHWAYS REMAIN TOTALLY CLEAR unless we get hail/ice pellets out of a heavy shower suddenly in just one location. Evening commute should be fine.
- A Trace to 2″ is still possible at/above 1,000′…more the higher you go
Snow showers continue, could be a dusting on the hills overnight, but nothing likely in the lowest elevations. Assuming we stay mostly cloudy, I don’t think leftover wet roads freezing are a problem, but I’ll look at that more closely this afternoon.
Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen