Noon Update: Snow Arriving

I noticed, like many of you did, that precipitation briefly began as freezing rain or ice pellets in most of the valley and Portland area.  That’s because there is warmer air overhead (above 2,000′), but it was quite dry to begin.  Once that initial precipitation fell, the temperatures cooled below freezing up there and now most of us are back to pure snow.  It’s snowing at a pretty good clip here at home (about to head to work).  Roads are turning snowy/ice in much of the valley too.



So the general forecast is still on track…snow to freezing rain this evening.  Here is an updated forecast for all the areas:


A Winter Storm Warning is in effect

  • I expect a Trace-2″ snow before a changeover to ice pellets and then freezing rain around sunset (4:45pm) “Deepest” snow likely west and south metro, lightest north (Clark Co.) & east
  • Temperatures have likely peaked for today and may drop a degree or two with heavier precip arriving
  • Strong east wind continues central/east metro area.  Gusts 40-50 mph = drifting and blowing snow.
  • Then freezing rain is the precipitation type through Sunday evening.
  • For much of the metro area, this means an ice storm begins this evening and continues through Sunday evening as the cold east wind continues to blow.  Expect 1/2 to 1″ ice accumulation which will bring down trees/limbs/powerlines.
  • I don’t expect temperatures to go above freezing in the metro area until Sunday night.
  • A slow thaw (no real warm south wind) begins after sunset Sunday and continues through midday Monday.  Many roads will still see lots of ice leftover even on Monday AM.


  1. All roads will be frozen all today (unless they’ve been treated with gallons of some sort of de-icer) and most of them stay frozen Sunday.  ODOT says they may finally be using salt in specific trouble spots on freeways from what I hear, so it’ll be interesting to see if it’s effective during freezing rain.  By Monday afternoon I think main roads should be back to normal for most parts of the metro area.
  2. Probably still lots of school closures Monday AM


The same general plan with snow to freezing rain today.  Parts of the valley could see up to 3″ of snow, but I think Trace-2″ is most likely.  It’ll be lightest to the north around Longview.  Then freezing rain through at least Sunday midday.  Expect up to 3/4″ ice accumulation by midday Sunday.  This could be a damaging ice storm for many of you.  The valley will warm up above freezing probably Sunday evening a bit quicker than here in Portland.  Then the event will finally be over.


Temps will be slow to warm, but this will be a relatively minor event at the coastline compared to valleys.  Temps will eventually go above freezing by this evening.  So expect a Trace to 2″ snow by late afternoon with a wintry mix of ice pellets to freezing rain.  Then just rain well after dark.  The coastline should be all above freezing later tonight through Sunday.


As always, this area is the biggest problem because it’s the meeting ground of the Pacific moisture and cold eastside temps.  It’s the only place between Canada and California where that happens.  Today’s snow will be accompanied by the usual blizzard-like conditions at the west end due to the strong wind.  By this evening the far west end (Corbett/Washougal) will transition to freezing rain like the rest of the metro area, but the east end stays as snow through midday Sunday in the deeper cold pool.  The wind ends Sunday evening, but I don’t see a warming west wind; your snow isn’t going anywhere afterward for Monday/Tuesday.  Expect a total of 6-10″ at the east end, and a big ice storm again at the west end.  There will be some thawing Monday at the far west end.  A second, even wetter storm arrives later Tuesday and goes into Wednesday as the cold east wind returns.  This could be a real whopper with heavy snow east and snow or freezing rain west end.  Details uncertain on this one 3 days out, but prepare for an extended period of difficult travel in the Gorge this afternoon – Wednesday.


More snow…  Expect severe blowing snow and blizzardlike conditions again on I-84 through the Blue Mountains and Ladd Canyon.  Winds are gusting near 70 mph on I-84 right now in Ladd Canyon.  The Grand Ronde and Baker Valleys will be a mess with the blowing snow this evening.  All areas get at least 2″ out of the storm, but many higher mountains will see 6″ or more.

We will likely be on-air much of this afternoon/evening on FOX12 so my time will be a bit limited for the blog.

Don’t forget to keep at least one eye peeled on those outside conditions!


Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen


75 Responses to Noon Update: Snow Arriving

  1. gggcorno says:

    Maybe 1/4″ accumulation now in SW Beaverton. Not the three foot drifts I was hoping for, but it looks nice nonetheless. 25 degrees, 18 degree DP. Very light winds now.

  2. Gale Meier says:


  3. Mark says:

    Looks like the back edge is around Salem… not much moisture left. Next rounds likely Eller/freezing rain after this wave….

  4. Ev in The 'Couve (Lakeshore, 150' msl) says:

    Back to light-moderate snow here. Winds light and variable. Roads covered once more. Only about a mile visibility now across Vancouver Lake. The very thin layer of ice over most of the surface area of the lake is turning white too.

    It’s gorgeous:)

  5. Ash Qelon says:

    Yes, this event is a Bust for sure.
    Almost nothing today but a lot of hyperbola about it and tomorrow, another bust.
    Oh well, maybe not year we get some real significant snow in PDX.

  6. Mama Druid says:

    Snowed lightly in Happy Valley (685 elevation) this morning and is coming down a little heavier now. Not an inch of it yet.

  7. Roman~Snow-Zone-Monmouth, Elv. 223' says:

    No busts down here! On Broadway st down town salem currently the snow is falling at a fierce clip and pilling up, a little blustery with blowing snow at times. Definitely a winter wonderland at its best. Next stop is Icemageddon from the ZR event oh boy hold on tight!

  8. Anonymous says:

    Less moisture than I was expecting. Hopefully it enhances….

  9. Jake-(Gresham) says:


  10. Roland Derksen says:

    Skies have clouded over here this afternoon with a temperature around 36F. I expect light snow overnight, but with temperatures staying near freezing, it’s possible it will be mixed with rain through most of tomorrow. While you folks down near PDX get freezing rain, it rarely EVER does here. I’ve seen “freezing drizzle” on a number of occasions but nothing of any significant length or intensity. To have a chance of that I usually would have to travel about 40 miles east into the Fraser Valley.

  11. Ken in Sheridan says:

    All snow since about 9:45 AM .Temp is still sitting at about 27 degrees with moderate snow continuing without a break since this morning.No sign of sleet or freezing rain yet …. 1-2 inches.

  12. Theoneandonly says:

    Half inch so far here in Molalla, no wind, 300ft

  13. angela says:

    I’m usually pretty optimistic about these winter events, but I’m gonna have call this one a big bust.

    • Sapo says:

      a big bust…? mark’s forecast is right on so far, tomorrow is the big storm, not much busting happening yet.

    • anonymouse says:

      “I’m usually pretty optimistic about these winter events, but I’m gonna have call this one a big bust.”


  14. Anonymous says:

    Why are we missing out of the action in North Clark County. We had about a half hour of flurries about 11:00, then zip since then. Is it because of the Gorge wind blocking the moisture. My parents in Eugene, OR have gotten 4+ inches just today.

  15. Camas500 says:

    Yeah, the snow portion for PDX area has been a bust so far. Hopefully the ice will be a bust too since that’s no fun for anyone.

  16. Sapo says:

    Looks like trace-2″ is going to be a perfect forecast for the metro area, 1-3″ (maybe a little more) Salem southward seems to be what they are getting. Dry east wind eating up lots of precip up here. Roads are white in Tigard, however east and north metro area hardly look like any snow has fallen, not even a dusting.

    Looks like a solid band of precip moving in, maybe lasts for 2 hours or so until we dry out until later tonight. It appears some heavier showers will move in as early as 7 PM or so. This will likely be sleet/zr but there may be some pockets of snow in places.

    Then the big ice storm moves in tomorrow…

  17. Paul D says:

    Great pic! I just cleaned one of our windows where everybody must slobber and push their noses onto when they look out.

  18. Shane says:

    Looks like a bust in Vancouver currently. 136th/28th area

    • Diana F says:

      I’m near you and totally concur…..dammit! It’s actually raining light right now…1:58 pm. Swell.

  19. Paul in Tigard says:

    Just a dusting here in Tigard at 25F. Kinda was expecting more by now.

    • John Fairplay says:

      Forecast on moisture timing has been all over the place the last 36 hours. It’s going to have to pick up considerably to not bust out the whole “snow” section of the forecast. SW of PDX is supposed to be the heaviest snowfall, and there’s almost nothing.

    • Jake-(Gresham) says:

      looking at the radar it appears it’s filled over PDX. East wind was gobbling everything up earlier to where it wasn’t even showing on screen. Should pick up now and I disagree as the forecast was for this afternoon on accumulation.

    • Paul D says:

      Must be hitting PDX hard since they have cancelled almost all flights coming and going.

    • Jake-(Gresham) says:

      Paul D, I recognize your username now. You’ve been here since I was an undergrad so I know you’re an adult. You jackass. 😛

      Yeah there’s only two flights leaving / going last time I checked?

  20. Lee Wilson says:

    We Just started getting snow..we didn’t get freezing rain..we are at 31.
    Castle Rock Was.

  21. Joshua Downtown PDX says:

    Up 1.5 degrees in an hour and zero discernible precipitation.

  22. m says:

    I witnessed the largest snow flakes of my life around noon today in Junction City. The snow has changed back to ice pellets so maybe its warming up above?

  23. BeaverDreams says:

    Still pretty light snow still SW Portland….looking like we’ll be more at a trace, rather than 2-3 “.

  24. heheheheeeee says:

    Dat baby, tho

  25. Sapo says:

    A trace so far near Progress Ridge in Tigard, heave heard reports of 2-3″ per hour rates in Eugene, now that band is in corvallis, could get some heavier snow here soon

    • Ev in The 'Couve (Lakeshore, 150' msl) says:

      That radar is really lighting up mid-south valley now. It’s a very good thing Eugene is still snow; they’d be looking at big time ice otherwise.

      I want all snow as long as possible. With the winds forecast in PDX metro… there is going to be trouble if we get serious ice accumulations.

      If my back-of-the-napkin math is right — the maths are not my strong suit — then a 1″ ice accumulation on a 125′ pole-to-pole residential power line is like having a kindergartner sitting on it (approx 50 extra pounds). It gets progressively worse with longer power pole intervals.

      I have no idea if those lines have that much of a physical load tolerance built into their design. Any linemen on the blog?

      My guess is: add in some nice lateral loading from those east wind gusts, and hello ground, meet 13.8 kVA line…

    • Eugene Dave says:

      It’s a combination of freezing rain and sleet here in Eugene. The party is over.

    • Sapo says:

      thanks dave. yeah looks like zr/sleet line north of eugene now

    • Ev in The 'Couve (Lakeshore, 150' msl) says:

      Thanks for updating us, Dave,

      Yeah that’s… not good news.

    • Scooter says:

      Ev those power lines are stranded aluminum wire rope approx. 5/8 inch diameter (cable for the laymen), I have never seen one come down just due to ice. Usually there are other factors such as a tree limb arcing between phases and burning the line in two. Or and ice laden tree or limb falling across the lines.

    • gggcorno says:

      EV, Scooter, regarding the electrical stuff: do you know whether the “transformer blowing” action we see with ice storms is actually the transformers being destroyed, or is it just the protective fuse blowing?

    • Ev in The 'Couve (Lakeshore, 150' msl) says:

      Thanks for adding to that, Scooter. That makes sense then; 5/8 cable is quite strong. Was genuinely curious how “tough” those rezzie lines were. I’ve never actually experienced ice accumulations over about a half inch, so was wondering:)

  26. …speaking of NE oregon…I-84 is just now being shut down east bound from la grande, our road (hiway 237) is closed, many spots reporting visibility of 50 feet or less..and it’s just started snowing an hour ago…

  27. Leroy says:

    It is entertaining that these TV people have put the public in a panic over this skiff of snow…. Get a grip people,

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

    ANOTHER INCLIMATE WEATHER DAY FOR ME!!! Yea, that means I get to go into my store early, and stay later…I don’t mind, as I live 3 miles from it on a very flat part of Cornell, get paid OT on a holiday week….AGAIN! Love the winter weather OT is reigning down. PS our little tiny store did 145,000 yesterday, probably will do 130,000 EVEN if we shut down early tonight! Love the weather panic! Making me $$$$$

    • Paul D says:

      Lots of really paranoid people out there. You’d think they have no food in their house the way they flock to the stores right before the storm.

  29. Jeff Smythe says:

    Over 1″ of new snow west of Salem, snowing steadily.

  30. High Desert Mat says:

    Absolutely dumping in Redmond. At least 4″ new so far. Temp is a cold 8. Quite a winter to remember so far.

    • sds says:

      Don’t know if you noticed that Mt. Bachelor had to shut down Pinemartin and Northwest lifts around noon today–wind gusts of 100MPH–total white outs!

  31. Deer Is. at 750' says:

    11:45am, lightly started snowing. Still pretty light, small flakes. 26 degrees.

  32. W7ENK says:


    The picture at the end… Priceless!!

    Thanks for the update, Mark.

  33. JohnD says:

    Getting ready to head out for a long winter wonderland urban hike. But uh oh no winter wonderland. Starting to get nervous about another Portland bustorama.

  34. anon says:

    Currently radar shows a huge hole in SE pdx but its still coming down here steady, hmmm…

  35. Joshua Downtown PDX says:

    Very light snow and nothing is really white here in the Pearl. 26.1 for a temp.

  36. Diana F says:

    10:47 NWS
    “It is slightly surprising that
    precipitation is still snow in the Eugene area, which seems to
    indicate that we can expect more in the way of snow throughout the
    Willamette Valley. We increased the snow forecast to 2-4 inches for
    the PDX metro…..”

    All hail the NWS….and Mark Nelsen….

  37. Ron says:

    Snow has arrived in Astoria, but —it’s 35 degrees already. So it looks like for the north coast at least, this party is over before it began.

  38. Eugene Dave says:

    3″ of new snow in Eugene with heavy snow at the moment.

  39. Diana F says:

    And BTW why is it ALWAYS a “trace” in Vancouver/Clark County?? We used to get hammered whenever it snowed in PDX!

  40. Diana F says:

    OMG THAT PHOTO! Window Lickers unite! Thanks Mr. Mark!

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