Valley Snow Storm Wednesday, Some Snow Metro Too

11am Tuesday…

36 hours from now (Wednesday evening) much of the Willamette Valley should be covered in white, and here in the metro area we should be on the northern edge of that snow.  There is some good news at midday:  forecast models have come together reasonably well for tomorrow’s snow event.

This forecast could still change a bit this evening or early tomorrow morning if the storm decides to move a bit farther north or south.


  • Wednesday will be a cold, cloudy & windy day
  • I don’t see a big snowstorm for tomorrow, but yes, I know, an inch or so of snow in Portland IS a snowstorm.
  • Light snow arrives by mid-afternoon (2-3pm) and continues through the evening hours as temperatures drop back to & below freezing
  • 1/2″ to 2″ snowfall is most likely, with that heavier total likely south metro (Wilsonville/Oregon City) and maybe even as low as just a dusting up in outer Clark County & western Washington County.
  • Whatever falls will be pretty much finished by 10pm.
  • Freezing rain is NOT expected, Great news!  Too cold overhead for snowflakes to melt into raindrops

Confidence has increased on the timing, so let’s talk commute & school…


  • Morning commute will be dry
  • At some point beyond 3pm roads will likely turn snowy/icy in the metro area
  • Evening commute could be a real mess, especially if we get more than 1″.  All roads will likely be frozen after 5pm.
  • IF YOU WORK A REGULAR SHIFT, I’D SUGGEST A HALF DAY.  NO NEED TO SKIP THE WHOLE DAY.  Leave Noon-2pm.  Plan on being home by 3pm.
  • SCHOOLS:  Half day would be perfect.  Get the kids on the busses around noon or 1pm.  No models show snow before 2pm.  Doing a full day of school would be risky.
  • Thursday AM:  Roads remain frozen with snow on them (assuming it snows tomorrow)


  • Snow arrives 10am south Willamette Valley and works north
  • 2-5″ likely Woodburn to Albany, heaviest south
  • Frozen roads still on Thursday morning
  • Kelso/Longview only get a dusting, or just stay dry


Looks dry, but maybe a rain/snow mix from Newport south, I don’t expect any road impacts.


Same as metro, but 2-4″ totals likely.  Strong wind at the west end will create rough driving with sideways snow tomorrow evening.


  • This is the bullseye of the storm
  • 8-12″ possible Madras to La Pine, 3-6″ elsewhere
  • You can see the big snowstorm all across the eastside of the state on the WRF-GFS snow forecast


It was good to see models come together quite a bit more this morning.  Mainly because the wetter GEM & ECMWF models backed off on their precip forecasts dramatically.  As you read in the previous post, the ECMWF was showing the most snow potential, but even it has come way down on its forecast for us.  That’s because it’s sending the core of the moisture farther south.  Take a look at this morning’s precipitation forecast:


You can still see tomorrow’s storm is a BIG deal to our south and east.  This is a perfect setup for heavy snow south of The Dalles all the way to Klamath Falls along Highway 97.  Also note that you folks in Astoria will likely have a pleasant dry day.  Same thing north of Longview.  Of course any northward/southward shift in this evening’s model runs will affect our forecast dramatically!

Our RPM model and the usually reliable WRF-GFS are pathetic, showing a dusting to 1″ at best for us:



It’s not often that you see Maupin with the highest precipitation total!  That’s excellent news for you folks because that snow melting is great for the wheat next spring.  Check out the “dry hole” over the east PDX metro area on the WRF too.  If these models end up being correct, all we’ll get is flurries in our area tomorrow afternoon/evening.  I’ve given a bit more weight to the slightly wetter ECMWF/GEM models.

Stay tuned, I’m sure there will be some other twists/turns after the evening models come in or maybe even at the last moment tomorrow morning…

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

101 Responses to Valley Snow Storm Wednesday, Some Snow Metro Too

  1. marinersfan85 says:

    00Z gives Salem around 8 inches tomorrow.

  2. JohnD says:

    Thanks for keeping hope alive amid your very detailed and refined analysis SAPO! Much appreciated by most of us! Time will tell!

    • Sapo says:

      Ha ya no problem! I just like to look at the models for fun when there’s a chance of snow. I try to be really optimistic but not to the point of wishcasting..doesn’t always work out that way, it’s a fine line 😉

    • Sapo says:

      yeah time will certainly tell, almost golu time!!

  3. W7ENK says:


    Methinks my phone’s weather app just went sideways?

  4. W7ENK says:

    Welp, maybe the NWS “Kiss of Death” is a real thing, after all? Most recent HRRR run keeps all the snow on the East side of the Cascades through Boon tomorrow.

    Well, isn’t that just a b!+¢h and a half?!? 😂😂😂

    • Sapo says:

      Haha well HRRR snowfall maps suck, usually doesn’t show any snow until the last run or two before precip arrival. It’s only useful for precipitation, not snowfall is what I’ve found.

      Last week it showed all rain in Portland until the last run or two before precip arrival. Nailed precip arrival and timing however

    • Lurkyloo says:

      All snow-lovers move to Boon, quick!

  5. Shaun L says:

    Thanks so much for including Central Oregon in your forecast. I live in Redmond, Oregon

  6. Sapo says:

    Quick statistics from the latest runs:
    00z NAM: 1-3″
    00z GFS: 2-4″
    12z ECMWF: 2″
    00z RPM: Trace
    mm5-NAM: Nothing…
    WRF: Around 1″, 00z running right now

    That’s a mix of 12z and 00z runs, I’m sure Mark or someone will have a graphic of models predictions once all the 00z runs are done.

    • Sapo says:

      General consensus from 12z runs was trace-2″, looking more like 1-3 or 2-4″ so far from 00z runs

    • Sapo says:

      update: latest wrf is coming in now, definitely following the trend of other 00z runs and boosted our qpf and snow totals significantly

    • Sapo says:

      I forgot the GEM…00z gives us 2-4″.

      It’s also worth mentioning that there’s a possibility of some light snow/maybe freezing rain Saturday night-Sunday morning associated with a low sliding in from the northwest. GEM is particularly aggressive but other models have picked up on this too. Something to watch.

  7. Scooter says:

    If you don’t like something change it; if you can’t change it, change the way you think about it. ~Mary Engelbreit~

    • W7ENK says:

      Wow, mister “I don’t like the way y’all bloggin’ folk look at these fancy-schmancy weather models and comput’n twidget mo-sheens and shee-it (pppt…ting), why can’t y’all just look out the damm winder like the rest of us pioneers whose done stuck in the eighteen-eighties?”

      Go ride a horse off a cliff or something, slick.

  8. BeaverDreams says:

    Dave Salesky on KATU certainly downplaying things…..predicts a trace of snow for PDX….

  9. Alan S Shole says:

    I would bet the snow wishcasters are people confined to there homes or kids hoping school gets cancelled. Those of us who work not so much…

    • marinersfan85 says:

      I work. Im even married, have my own mortgage and everything. I hope it snows.

    • GTS1K' says:

      I imagine school got cancelled for Einstein here the day they taught the difference between there & their

    • Scooter says:

      (GT…whatever) He’s splitten’ hairs and drinkin’ again, that boy has had a hard time with the holidays since his mom ran off with his dad.

    • GTS1K' says:

      …said the expert on nothing…

      …oh, and when you spellin’, it otter be splittin’ – not “splitten'”. Perhaps you went to a speshul school though, eh, genius?

  10. Sapo says:

    For what it’s worth…

    Latest model runs have trended to shift precipitation further north. 18z GFS, 18z NAVGEM, 00z NAM are all much improved from their previous runs, giving about 2-4″ metro wide to PDX (maybe less far north). If the 00z GFS/Euro continue the trend, we may be in business. Another model to watch is the HRRR (, it’s usually accurate in these scenarios.

    As far as real-time, WV loop looks promising for sure. Come on snow!!!

  11. Marc (Brush Prairie, WA) says:

    South wind? Ashley? No snow? Where art thou?

  12. anon says:

    This blog is a place for weather discussion, not personal attacks or arguments, sorry. Keep it clean and weather related peeps! Thanks!

  13. Laura -- Weather Group Outcast says:

    So much for burying the hatchet? Chill out. Its gonna snow! =)

  14. Mike near Clackamas Town Center says:

    Dude, the decisions I made are my own. Nobody talked me into anything. I asked you guys to stop trolling and running others out of the group. But you kept it up out of spite for Brian. And I’ll be damned if I was gonna continue to watch that crap forever.
    And lets be honest here, I wouldn’t have ever been added to any chat group anyway, without being an admin there. Nobody strings me around. Not even Brian. Got it?

  15. runrain says:

    Sung to the tune of Walking in a Winter Wonderland

    You can book it, it’s a go,
    Mark has said, it’s gonna snow,
    So now we all wait,
    And anticipate,
    Wishin’ for a winter wonderland

    The GFS, and the NAM say,
    We could hit, a weather payday,
    Soon from the sky, the flakes they will fly,
    Wishin’ for a winter wonderland

    At our desks the radar we’ll be scanning,
    Searching for that ominous blob of green,
    Naysayers, we will all be banning,
    And down the hills with sleds we soon will scream!

    1-3, that’s all we ask for,
    Let’s just hope, it’s not a big bore,
    Try not to lust, it could be a bust,
    Wishin’ for a winter wonderland

  16. Sapo says:

    Hoping for a Feb 2014 repeat…Well 18z GFS & ensembles moved the low a little bit north, which is good. This is one of those things where it’s going to be best to use the GOLU, as minor changes could make this a bust or a snowpocalypse here in Portland.

  17. Brian Schmit says:

    I don’t need you guys to come back. Just thought I would offer

  18. JJ78259 says:

    Sounds like Weather Dan will be able to build a Snowman Thursday Morning! With the anti Weather Dan Weather it should last a while also. Portland is cold till Christmas there is chance it could be a White one very cool! Global Cooling has the whole northern part of Country in a deep freeze! Not even winter yet!

  19. W7ENK says:

    202 PM PST TUE DEC 13 2016


    • Diana F. says:

      Is it just me, or are none of the links in this post actually working…? Cuz I can’t get them to.

      But then again, I am in such a merry state of snow-hope that my rose-colored glasses could be impacting my vision. I’ll be issuing an advisory for myself soon.

      We’ve had two fun days already, and a taste of that lovely ‘ole East Wind too, and now potentially more tomorrow, WOW.

      And the ONE THING I think the long range forecasts agree on?It’s going to be COLD through Christmas, which OF COURSE sets off jingle BELLS in my brain.

      Hopefully, we won’t have to experience the “warmest December since time began”.

      A Christmas gift for all of us! Thank you Santa.

    • GTS1K' says:

      right-click on them and select “open in new tab”

    • Diana F. says:

      THANKS GTS1K’!

  20. Zero to six inches for PDX. Book it!

    I wouldn’t mind a repeat of Feb 2014 either. Surprise snowstorm for me then.

  21. marinersfan85 says:

    I’m gonna do a new move. Its called the Weagle. Blindly assume in good faith for frontogenisis.

    Hopefully the models repeat Feb. 2014 and up the totals significantly tonight.

    • Mark says:

      It must be working! Latest 18z comes in with a bit more moisture (for the north).

    • Laura -- Weather Group Outcast says:

      do the weagle.. do do do do the weagle! We need catastrophic bass drop for this little ditty

    • Washougal1100ft says:

      It looks like the low is coming a bit further north and a little bigger then other runs on the 18Z? I hope that baby shifts north another 100 miles that would be huge! NWS put me in winter storm warning 4-6″ western gorge? Might be over dune with the way models look but I think this low might end up tracking further north then models are showing?

    • pappoose in scappoose says:

      Great idea, Laura.
      Rob old buddy, surely you can throw some BASS into this Weagle!

  22. Mark says:

    Mark – What exactly is that graphic for Sunday? It isn’t quite rain, but hmmm, maybe sleet, yet no snow flakes… Looks like instant rice to me 😉

    I’ll call it a solid hedge for 6 days out, because who knows by then!

  23. W7ENK says:

    Here’s to hoping for a February 2014 redux!

  24. Paul D says:

    Snowstorm in Portland = 1″! Mark, you’re such a comedian! But it’s true 🙂

  25. Alan S Shole says:

    Eyes rolling…..

  26. Aleta-West Gresham says:

    Thank you Mark!! Question… If we did get a half way decent snowfall tomorrow that the roads would be okay by Friday? My daughter needs to come back from the coast that day.

  27. Laura -- Weather Group Outcast says:

    Choo Choo

    • Brian Schmit says:


      Come join this fun weather group and stay up to date with model coverage 24/7. We just love the wish casting involved with Portland Winter Weather events. Currently at 1275 members and growing rapidly.

    • Laura -- Weather Group Outcast says:

      I can’t find that group. Wonder why.

    • W7ENK says:

      I get an error, too.

      That group must be broken.

      Or I’m banned?

      Sure would be odd for a group that purports themselves to be “Uncensored.” Pfft!!

    • marinersfan85 says:

      Rumor has it that Facebook told Brian who reported the group even though I know for a fact he lied about all of it. It is what it is though.

    • Brian Schmit says:

      Why don’t you guys come back to the group?
      Life is too short..Bury the hatchet?

    • W7ENK says:


      That’s hilarious…

    • Laura -- Weather Group Outcast says:

      Awwww, brian needs us to save his group from boredom

    • Laura -- Weather Group Outcast says:

      oh bummer i still cant find that group. oh well! darn!

    • Brian Schmit says:

      Its up to you guys. Time to stop being butt hurt and join the club again. For gods sake it was a chat group and you are gonna die angry about it lol..please

    • Casey says:

      Okay, I just joined that Facebook group and then read two posts down and decided to leave the group. The dialogue is nothing I care to be part of. Sorry.

    • W7ENK says:

      Brian, if it wasn’t for your inglorious propensity for stabbing your friends in the back because it brings you great joy trying to make other people suffer, and simply because someone disagreed with your absolutely hideous, deplorable habit of making thoroughly disgusting sexual jokes about your own children, and simply asked you to “tone it down a little,” I might consider it. But unfortunately, Brian, that’s how you burn bridges.

      Fool me once, shame on you.
      But I gave you a second chance.

      Fool me twice, shame on me.
      I won’t give you a third.

      Good day.

    • Brian Schmit says:

      Alcoholism and Depression have plagued you for years making you a lying angry hypocrite. Hopefully you will find help someday Erik.

    • GTS1K' says:

      classic projection, just classic

    • W7ENK says:

      Brian, you’re a disgusting human being, you have no friends (other than your little shoulder monkey Mike), and you’ve said on multiple occasions that you hate your life.

      You have no one to blame but yourself.

      I said good day!

    • Brian Schmit says:

      Like I said before.. the depression and alcoholism makes you an angry person. Greg Carstens described your house as an absolute pigsty with empty wine/beer containers everywhere.
      Guess you were always too busy trolling on Facebook to clean up your house?
      Glad I never went inside when you invited me to your bonfire party


    • W7ENK says:


      Greg Carstens hasn’t been to my place in 4-1/2 years, and as you just said, you’ve never been inside, so I guess that negates any sort of authority on that subject, now doesn’t it…

      I never allowed you inside because I didn’t trust you to not p!$$ on my carpet or $#!+ on my bed, but this is all beside the point, Brian.

      I would encourage anyone this little gem of a thread hasn’t scared off yet to avoid Brian’s little circle jerk like the plague that it is. Mark my words, he will burn you. He and I used to be good friends, and now? Well, that should be obvious…

    • Diana F. says:

      Honestly, gentlemen (and you know who you are), you should be ashamed of your behavior via your comments today.

      Mark Nelsen is kind enough to allow us to participate in his world. He’s created a space for like-minded people to gather together, and collectively share information, experiences and observations.

      A place where YES, we can dream of Snowmageddon, and other shows of force from Mother Nature (the FEMALE Leader of the Planet, btw).

      Please! Let us not forget that this IS the Mark Nelsen Weather Blog. Not the 7th Grade MALE Locker Room Blog.

      It’s also a terrific resource for those wanting to learn the science behind the weather. It’s obvious Mark spends a lot of time keeping his Blog interesting and up-to-date.

      It’s also obvious that Mark loves snow….have you seen his Snow Blower? A helpful tool, yes…also a dangerous one, I think. Not as bad as a wood chipper, but still. Fargo lol.

      So, we need to RESPECT Mark, his blog, his time and efforts.
      Enough inappropriate behavior, please.

      Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays to All, and to All a Goodnight.

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