There has been some confusion over the official snow total here in Portland. Of course to meteorologists and weather stat geeks this is IMPORTANT stuff!
The official snow total that will go in the record books for the Portland observation will be 1.5″ from yesterday’s storm
The official observations between 1940 and 1996 were taken at the Portland airport, but when the Portland NWS forecast office moved, the observations moved as well. At that time most of the time snow observations stopped at the airport. So for the past 20 years our official snow reports come from the Parkrose area, a few miles SE of the airport.
Around 2008 (during that big snow event) I noticed observers started occasionally reporting snow totals at the airport again. As far as I’m aware they have not been required to do that but they do from time to time. Someone from the FAA/NWS can correct me if I’m wrong about the observers out there.
Snow depth is also recorded at KGW which is part of the official downtown record. They had 1.5″ as well. Now today the observer reported 2.3″ AT the airport, so that may be a number you are hearing.
Here’s our final snow map then which includes those totals:
Obviously the downtown and NWS office numbers seem a little low, although they fit well into the 1-3″ range I mentioned in the previous posting.
Now we’ve seen 2, yes 2 measurable snowfalls this month…how exciting. That means it’s the SNOWIEST DECEMBER SINCE 2009. Very dramatic I know, but it’s Portland.
Let’s briefly talk weather…it’s gonna be real quiet the next few days. Pretty much dry Friday-Sunday unless we get flurries, mainly on Sunday.
Skies will at least partially clear tonight, so I’m going for a 21 at PDX with our partially snow-covered ground. IF we get total clearing by midnight, these forecast temperatures will be on the high side:
Tomorrow night should be colder with drier air and NO cloud cover. I expect to see widespread teens even in the urban areas. Friday night should be the coldest we have seen in 3 winters:
By the way, I got very lucky last night. My commute (43 miles this time) was only 20 minutes longer than normal due to light traffic, a good 4Runner, and new studded tires.
Only 2″ snow for me, but enough to run my new (used) toy. A Craigslist snowblower! I bought it from some guy back in August. He moved here from Fairbanks, lived in Gresham, and didn’t use it for 3 years. Fun times, but it would get really old if you have to do it every other day for 4 months!
Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen