Light Snow Showers Tonight

6pm Monday…

That was exciting earlier today; I think we all saw the snow and it appears just about all lowland areas stayed in the ZERO-1″ range we forecast.  It’s rare to get this lowland snow shower pattern just right.

So where do we go from here?  Basically the moisture supply dwindles tonight and tomorrow, so showers taper off and become more widely scattered.


With temps creeping back down close to freezing, a heavy snow shower COULD dump a dusting of snow just about anywhere.  That said, I bet 80% of us in the lower parts of the metro area end up with bare ground in the morning.  The RPM model paints that picture well…only scattered spots get 1/2″ or more, up in the hills


There is an additional issue.  Lots of wet roads.  In such a chilly air mass, any clearing sky could lead to icing on any exposed surface.  That means your local street could be icy during the morning commute.  OR, it could be icy from 1-3am, cloud cover moves in, and the ice melts.  In general I think we’ll be more cloudy than clear overnight so I didn’t hit the icy streets to hard in the forecast.

To summarize, our GO GUIDE covers it:


Give yourself a bit of extra time to check conditions (temperatures) before you head out Tuesday morning.  Then plan on some bright sunshine in the afternoon.  Well-deserved sunshine I think!

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen


65 Responses to Light Snow Showers Tonight

  1. Dave_in_Troutdale says:

    As mentioned earlier in the blog by Weatherdork, the chance for wintry weather the next 3-14 days is quite good. How about a few more snowflakes Mark???

    • Sapo says:

      coming down pretty heavily on the blog as of now haha

    • marinersfan85 says:

      Weatherdork? What are we, 8 years old?

    • runtmc says:

      Why are we all still here? Did you not see marinersfan85’s earlier forecast? He shut the door on this upcoming event. I, for one, take his word as meteorological gospel. Repeat the mantra: Nothing to see here, nothing to see here, nothing to see here.

  2. Sapo says:

    It’s kind of interesting how models are all over the place with the placement and strength of the low on Thursday! GFS/NAM/WRF/ECMWF/GEM all very different. Latest 12z euro run was pretty solid for PDX snow, I’m hoping for something like that to go down rather than a quicker transition to zr, we’ll see. Euro seems like it’s been right so far, showing later precip arrival all week and GFS has started to trend towards that also, so we’ll see…

  3. W7ENK says:

    217 PM PST TUE DEC 6 2016

    • Ryan (Walnut Grove) says:

      The quickest way to trigger Mother Nature to not materialize the storm.

    • T09 - Happy Valley says:

      The proverbial kiss of death.

      Guess we can expect light sleet and freezing drizzle for a few minutes at best before the transition to plain old cold rain.

  4. WEATHERDAN says:

    Several cold and snowy chances the next 16 days. I hope at least one of these pans out. Peace.

    • JJ78259 says:

      It is nice to see a more Normal Dome type of fall this year! It has been a few years! Wet and Cold enough to be on the brink of snow and ice and hell it is not even winter yet! Could be a White Christmas! Keep your fingers crossed!

  5. W7ENK says:


    Attention then turns to the very significant winter storm for later Wednesday night and Thursday, the strongest winter storm of this sort we have had in quite a while. Look for precipitation to slowly lift north through the area Wednesday night, probably just approaching the Portland area around 4 am, then spreading north Thursday morning. Look for a brief period of an inch or two of snow or sleet in the inland areas from about Salem south late Wednesday night before changing to freezing rain and sleet Thursday morning and rain late Thursday morning and afternoon. Farther north in the inland areas around Portland northward look for 1 to 3 or 2 to 4 inches of snow in the morning before changing over to sleet then freezing rain in the afternoon with up to about a quarter inch of ice possible. The Portland area north should change to rain in the evening. The Gorge and Upper Hood River Valley will see several inches of snow Thursday, with freezing rain and sleet moving in Thursday night, possibly lingering into Friday. The Cascades will mainly see some snow with some rain below the rising snow levels.

    • Joshua Downtown PDX says:

      Yea, NWS is pretty bullish. Rod Hill’s updates forecast predicts a change to sleet in Portland by 5am. That seems premature. We need Mark “the best in the biz” Nelsen to weigh in.

    • runrain says:

      Never good when premature sleet happens. Can get real messy!

    • Sapo says:

      Rod Hill’s forecasting for Thursday has been weird this whole week…At one point he was forecasting a high of 40 and rain on Thursday when all models were pointing towards cold and wintry, so who knows.

      Oh, and it’s hard to change to sleet by 5am when precip doesn’t start until 10am-noonish…

  6. marinersfan85 says:

    No snow on Thursday. Freezing rain or 33 degree rain. Move along folks, nothing to see here.

    • Joshua Downtown PDX says:

      It does appear that the timing of the moisture has moved back a bit. We want it as early as possible for snow. The cold air will be in place. It is still 36-48 hours out, so the exact timing is not certain. I’m excited to hear Mark’s thoughts. I think we will all get some sort of frozen precipitation, but how much, what type, and how long is the question.

    • runrain says:

      NWS still has not issued their late morning discussion. Further, there are some kind of warning/watch everywhere except around Portland. I bet their thinking hard about this one.

    • runrain says:

      Bad spelling, bad grammar. Noted!

    • marinersfan85 says:

      Not enough cold air to draw from on the east side.

    • HAWKEYES23 says:

      Still looks ok for Portland, Seattle’s chances suck as much as the Mariners!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Sapo says:

      Joshua actually later for snow is probably better, gives the cold air time to thicken a little longer before the low pressure comes through and moderates us, later would possibly support snow for longer. What’s more important for snow depends on the track of the low, if we get a solution like the 12z euro we could be in for a snowstorm

  7. Windsday says:

    A few school districts in the LOWER hills are on 2/hr delay for some strange reason even though the roads are wet as in liquid. The H2O kind.

    Even the Silverton School District one of the lowest ones are on the list shown of a 2 hour delay with snow routes on buses.

    Weird because I just checked SIlverton and the temps are stuck at 37 well above freezing. Not even close to delay criteria.

    I can understand it if it suddenly drops to freezing in the morning hours but I really doubt it based on stuck thermometers everywhere.

    At least 2 hour delays don’t have to be made up later in the year for kids so glad they didn’t close for nothing and waste a snow day.

    • Ryan (Walnut Grove) says:

      Don’t forget about the issue of microclimates in our area. One spot might be above freezing and wet while another area could be below freezing.

      I think many of the districts in the hills are playing it safe. That isn’t a bad thing.

    • Gratefulduck says:

      There are a lot of people that live up towards Silver Falls and that is over 1,000’… Saw some pics from up that way and they had a fair amount of snow on the ground.

  8. Jason Hougak says:

    Nice heavy snow shower has just finished up adding another inch plus outside. The flakes were as big as silver dollars for almost 30 minutes. Pretty impressive air currents in the shower with swirling snow funnels and gusty wind bursts.

  9. Lee Wilson says:

    Would some one please turn off the anti snow machine….probably those nice folks over there at Harp messing with me…I didn’t do anything to why they sending me rain?

    Mark…your buddies at HARP are
    Or did they spill the coffee on the weather machine again?

    Sorry folks..trying to make a funny.

    Just trying to figure how screwed up our meter may be…
    Seriously a furnace using 59 kwh…In less than 2 to three ours of run time?

    I think our meter is malfunctioning

    • Windsday says:

      This pattern is WORSE then warm SW flow. I’d rather take that at least I can bike or walk in it if prepared with the proper clothing. 🙂

      I hope the SW’erlies come in all the way and bump us up to 50F or something and scour out this fake cold inversion or whatever you call this gunk.

      It’s just cloudy and doing nothing for over a week. Sick of it! Take me to northern Arizona! Flagstaff please!

    • Lee Wilson says:

      I call this…HELL….I would have much rather have had snow then FROZEN WATER as to what we woke up to.

      We had to scrape the water that turned to ice on our windshield.

      As for biking, I hope you have thick gloves and a very good coat.

      I would highly advice against spandex

  10. Jason Hougak says:

    Fresh fallen snow and owe so quite as smoke drifts out of the pipe. The moon is high with beams of light through the snow laden firs below. A chill in the air which reminds me of yesteryear as I gather this pile of wood. The stove burns hot warming me head to foot during this snowy December night. So warm you soul as the fire crackles and the temperature drops. Because the snow will go but its memories will remain like the days when I was a child.

  11. 00Z Operational still drunk on bitter cold air for next week. At least it’s been fun watching models this winter.

    • Hmm… It’s encouraging that it’s persisting from run to run.

    • Jason Hougak says:

      That’s what I’ve been saying, and it’s not just the whacked 18Z GFS which was the first to hint about this cold snap. The ECMWF on a North America sector loop shows -40C air over Greenland swing all the way into central BC. As long as BC continues to get fridges and we get flow out of the gulf of Alaska our snow chances will only increase.
      PNW polar vortex

    • Jason hougak says:

      Fridgid… Not fridge😆

    • Joshua Downtown PDX says:

      The 00z GFS ensemble mean is pretty tasty. Tons of mountain snow throughout the run and lots of low elevation snow chances.

    • Windsday says:

      I’d rather have ugly SW flow then this gunk. At least with SW flow you don’t have to pretend it’s going to snow. You can even get outside from time to time with proper Oregon rain gear installed on you.

    • Ryan (Walnut Grove) says:

      I know Chris Callais noted that the ensemble members have come into better agreement with the operational that this will happen.

      So, confidence is at least climbing.

    • W7ENK says:

      Chris who?

      Chris Callais has never commented on this blog before.

      Maybe he should… :mrgreen:

  12. Lee Wilson says:

    We are getting…yep R a I n.

    That spells rain my friends…
    Music Man any one?

  13. Sapo says:

    Thursday is looking more and more likely that we’ll see a widespread event…East winds could definitely dry us out, and I’m guessing (based on past experience) that the south and west metro area might see more snow at least initially due to the east winds being less intense out there. We’ll see how quickly we moderate…some runs keep us with offshore flow through Friday, some warm us up Thursday afternoon. I’m just hoping it takes awhile for us to transition to freezing rain

  14. Diana F. says:

    Ah man, Mark, you don’t even throw us a BONE, not even a NIBBLE. No mention of your snow-cast / ice-cast / wind-cast for Wednesday and beyond?

    Should I take this to mean there IS no snow / ice / wind coming our way AFTER Wednesday?

    Say it isn’t so!

    I see lots of exciting forecasts in all sorts of places, including NWS.
    Please. Bones. Soon.

    Anticipation is half the fun! Heck, in our location, most of the time, anticipation is the ONLY fun!

    • JohnD says:

      Agree with all. And among the “weather educated” (and not so weather educated) there looks to be a decent chance for a wintry lowland scenario of greater or lesser duration come Wed. p.m.-Thurs. a.m.

      Also of note is longer range charts indicating the “potential” for heavy hitting events evolving later on next week.

      As Mark might say: We’ll see, won’t we?”

    • Mark Nelsen says:

      I’ll blog about it tomorrow. Busy doing all 6 evening shows today!

    • Runtmc says:

      It suggests to me that he isn’t really sold on the severity of this event. He’s waiting for the models to do what they always do: carve it down to insignificance. Speaking from a position of blind ignorance, I wonder if the cold source is really that cold to even support a major event.

    • Well, the KPTV 7 Day does show a high of 33 and snow to freezing rain for Thursday. That is a pretty big bone.

  15. Just checked BC weather. East wind has been pouring out of the Fraser Canyon since midday at Hope. Winds are finally starting to shift to NNE at Bellingham. Looks like something special from Canada is on its way.

    • Roland Derksen says:

      Sorry I’m late with my snow total: I had 2.5 inches yesterday. It was all heavy “Cascade concrete” sort of stuff, as the temperature remained above freezing all day. But it froze overnight, and now we’re in for more snow on Thursday.

  16. W7ENK says:

    Oh, and no Mark, we didn’t “all (see) the snow”

    Downtown at river/street level saw only chunky rain at best, but nary a single snowflake to be seen allllllllll day. Not that I actually expected to see anything…

    I actually have a little bit of hope for Thursday, but I fully believe the dry East wind is going to munch away at the precip all day, preventing any of it from reaching the ground until the atmosphere becomes fully saturated, at which point the temperature will be back above freezing for everyone but those right in the immediate Gorge outflow, i.e: East of I-205 and North of Division.

  17. W7ENK says:

    The Dome is in full effect, working overtime tonight!

    • Forecasters up this way are back to saying the Fraser outflow front will probably make some snow showers as it comes in tonight (after backing off a bit earlier). Question is how much. Probably just a dusting but if I’m lucky maybe more.

    • Jason Hougak says:

      In the words of Pappoose… you in 👍🏼

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