9am Wednesday: Snow Arrives This Afternoon

Everything is still on track forecast-wise this morning.  Yes, it’s always good to see the forecast train hasn’t flown off those tracks and into a deep meteorological ravine…

Eugene has seen freezing rain since 5am, but the precipitation has not progressed much north of that area.  But we didn’t expect to either.  Radar looping shows very little northward movement of the band so far.

So with respect to start time for snow in the metro area, it still appears significant “travel-impacting” snow (other than a few flurries) will hold off until around 2-3pm.

Temperatures and the airmass pouring into the metro area definitely scream “something frozen is on the way“.  Compared to last Thursday’s east wind event, this airmass is slightly drier and colder down here at the surface.  When precipitation arrives, the temperature will easily fall right back to freezing (after going to 35-37 early afternoon) and then below after dark.

Up above, the morning sounding at Salem is all snow with below freezing temperatures all the way up through the atmosphere.

Morning models are marginally “wetter” with some showing the potential for up to 3″ of snow.  Our RPM has moistened up a bit showing more like 2″ of snow instead of a trace to 1″.  So we MAY get lucky and see a solid 2″ in much of the metro area…maybe.


Again, as mentioned in previous postings, the central Willamette Valley has a snowstorm about to begin.  A solid 3-5″ (maybe more?) is likely Salem/Albany/Stayton areas.  We’ll see how that turns out.

To wrap it up, I’ll bring back yesterday’s highlights:


  • 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


  • 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 will start falling in the next 2-3 hours in the central valley.
  • 2-5″ likely Woodburn to Albany, heaviest south
  • Frozen roads for 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 2-5″ totals likely.  Strong wind at the west end will create rough driving with sideways snow this evening


  • This is the bullseye of the storm
  • 8-14″ possible Madras to La Pine, 3-6″ elsewhere

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

79 Responses to 9am Wednesday: Snow Arrives This Afternoon

  1. Clay Kelleher says:

    Snow depth 2 inches in south Montavilla at 6:40 pm, measured in my front yard in three places, away from obstructions. Snowfall has nearly stopped.

  2. BeaverDreams says:

    Safe to say the forecasters underestimated this for Portland metro

  3. pappoose in scappoose says:

    Let’s see. We MAY get lucky and see a solid 2″ in much of the metro area…no, wait…we may get 3″ if we’re lucky enough to find ourselves under a band of heavier snow…no, wait…

  4. Brad says:

    Starting to snow up here in Woodland Washington just north of Vancouver

  5. Jake-(Gresham) says:

    Wow, temp. is dropping like a rock. Down from 32F to 29F in less than 2 hours. Snowfall is definitely swaying the pendulum!

  6. Diana F says:

    OK NOW it’s snowing in East Vancouver. I KNEW I smelled snow!

  7. Gene says:

    Snow beginning to pick up in east Gresham, wind howling, temperature down to 27 (was 29 a couple hours ago)

  8. Salem -> West = Snow. Salem -> East = Rain. ???

  9. WEATHERDAN says:

    Started out as snow at 10:00 AM. Got 1/8 inch. Then from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM we picked another 1/8 inch of sleet. Currently it is 32 with light to moderate snow. North winds at 12 MPH.. Very nice storm indeed. Chance of snow showers Thur through Saturday with highs 29-32. Then a chance of snow on Sunday. More cold air with a chance for a mix or snow on Christmas weekend. Peace.

  10. BeaverDreams says:

    Blizzardy conditions in Raleigh Hills….

  11. The entire Silverton area, even up towards Silver Falls appears to be getting screwed by warm air/rain! What’s up with that?!

    • Mark (or someone) – HELP! Silverton is getting rain!

    • Al Koholic says:

      Enjoy it!! 31° here in Vancouver and snowing

    • W7ENK says:

      Sorry, it’s my fault!!

      A friend of mine who lives out in the Silverton Hills is out of town for the week, so I thought it would be a good idea to stash the Milwaukie Dome down there, get myself in on the real snow action for once.

      I didn’t think anyone would notice… My bad!

      Better luck next time. :-/

  12. Kara says:

    Flakes in NE..

  13. Diana F. says:

    It’s not snowing in East Vancouver yet, but compared to the snow event a few days ago, it feels WAY, WAY colder outside~! Don’t know if that’s good or bad, but I do know I’m freezing and it smells like snow is on its way!

  14. christina says:

    I’m in the dome and it’s snowing !

  15. AlexQS says:

    Writing from work,.. Milwaukie OR

    Seems it was about 45 minutes ago light flurries began.

    It’s beginning to like we may have a dusting worth of accumulation within an hour, or less as it seems it’s snowing increasingly as time goes by.

  16. “Dandruff” layer in Clackamas hills.

  17. Mark, I’m beginning to disagree with the map that shows 3″-5′ in the Salem (and SE of Salem) area. What’s up? I feel like we are not getting enough cold air down here! What should we expect later this evening? Reinforcement of cold air? Enough precipitation left to still do it?

  18. Paul D says:

    Light snow starting in Hillsboro

  19. Max in Fairview says:

    Very light snow starting here.

  20. David says:

    Flakes falling in inner SE Portland!

  21. GTS1K' says:

    Very light, blowing snow here last 10 min. – 28.4

  22. Destiny says:

    Just freezing rain so far in Albany 😦 bring on the snow!!

    • Jake-(Gresham) says:

      Just starting snowing here at 1pm. Light fluffy little flakes. Temp. since 12pm has dropped sharply from 32F to 30F.


    • Matt says:

      Here in Silverton, it started snowing around 10:30am, but since 11:00am it’s just been raining. Not sure how Silverton is supposed to see 3″-5″ of snow.

  23. W7ENK says:


    Repost: Finally, upgraded to a WSW

    1242 PM PST WED DEC 14 2016


    • W7ENK says:



    • Jake-(Gresham) says:

      Heck… yea.

  24. joel294 says:

    Heavy freezing rain in the southern valley. Not a good situation down here.

  25. Jake-(Gresham) says:

    Just got a Winter storm warning for Fairview area from the fox12 app (i.e. I live just West of Fairview)

    It’s on!

  26. Boydo3 N. Albany says:

    It’s rippin’ on Santiam Pass!

  27. Mike C. (Keizer - 180 ft.) says:

    I was driving in South Salem an hour ago, and there were light flurries for about a half hour. Just got home and it’s bone dry. Crazy how slow the precip is moving.

  28. Shawn Lietz says:

    Is it safe to assume that if it starts snowing heavy in Hillsboro that its probably slowing down or stopping altogether in Mcminnville?

  29. Roland Derksen says:

    Some cirrostratus visible here on the southern horizon, but nothing else. We may not rise above freezing today (currently about 25F), which would make it the first totally subfreezing day since December 10, 2013. Snow is expected here on the weekend though.

  30. pappoose in scappoose says:

    Cold/dry air is pumping in big time!


  31. Dave in South Salem (500') says:

    Light snow flurries just started in south Salem.

  32. joel294 says:

    Freezing rain mixed with sleet In Brownsville which is 25 miles south of Albany. One of my employees in Albany said that its mostly snow with a little bit sleet mixed in.

  33. Brian Huber says:

    Mark- I live in stayton and have lived within the canyon all my life and this looks according to the radar to be the normal situation… snow or something frozen in the salem and gates areas. But in the turner to lyons area and south and north in somewhat of carrot shape… is just a green band. Always happens.

  34. W7ENK says:

    Reports of ZR just south of Salem. Not sure if that means the whole system has shifted farther North than expected, or if something else is wonky…

  35. rsktkr25 says:

    No snow yet in Mcminnville but very dark, windy, cold and cloudy. Looks like snow could happen at any moment. 32F @9:54AM

  36. Ben says:

    I see it ever going to change from freezing rain to snow in Eugene?

  37. Zigzag1 says:

    How much am I looking at in zigzag?

  38. GTS1K' says:

    There is a 100% chance that “We’ll see how that turns out”.

  39. pappoose in scappoose says:

    “We are talking about the coldest temperatures in 3-5 years for many locations”


    • Jake-(Gresham) says:

      I saw that on the long range models (upper teens to the mid twenties is what it was calling for in the Willamette valley yesterday). Can’t believe it’s coming to fruition. My family wants to leave Friday for Leavenworth, WA for the Christmas lights.

      I think it’s worth discussing staying home?

    • pappoose in scappoose says:

      Kinda depends on how hardy of a group. Certainly agree with the
      discussion idea.

    • Jake-(Gresham) says:

      Yeah it’s my folks. They a hardy bunch. heh. I’m just thinking when they try to come back Sunday (key word is try) is that with the new temps. probably going to be much lower and that weather system in the forecast…. yeah. Gorge is going to be closed. pronto.

      Yeah….. no no. I’m mentioning this tonight.

  40. pappoose in scappoose says:

    I really like the CYA statement, Mark!

  41. runrain says:

    For the Dome, I’m thinking 2-4 (not inches of snow but rather number of sticking snowflakes).:)

  42. Andrew says:

    Thank you Mark

  43. Destiny says:

    Just started lightly snowing in Albany!!!!

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

      Destiny, thanks for the info. Please keep us updated. It is always hard to tell if snow is actually hitting the ground by just looking at the radar. Enjoy the snow 🙂

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