Ice Storm Continues Eastside


Here’s a note I just sent to the newsies here at FOX12.  I think it summarizes things well.

We will be on the air right after the football game around 5-6pm.

Our ice storm is continuing in about 1/3 of the metro area, the other 2/3rds are just a notch or two above freezing and should stay that way tonight.  We’re a metro area “divided” weatherwise.

As of 3pm the temperature is back down below freezing again at PDX and all areas east of I-205 are below freezing as well.  The West Hills are below freezing and Mt. Scott too.  These areas will continue to have ice glazing thicken up as the ice storm continues the next few hours.  After sunset it’s easier for ice to glaze objects too without the “daytime warming”.

We have been pegging 4pm as the general time we’d all go above freezing but (of course) the thaw is taking longer than anticipated and at this moment warming south wind hasn’t even reached Eugene yet.  It’s going to be a few hours before we get above freezing eastside.  Check out this nice map highlighting where the cold air was (as of 2pm)…it’s real clear where the ice storm is in progress.  Thanks to Brian Schmit for sharing:



  • Ice Storm continues for at least another 2-3 hours eastside
  • Moderate to heavy rain means additional glazing = bad roads = more power outages and trees/limbs coming down
  • West of the west hills and south of Portland temps should remain warm enough to keep ice off roads (that isn’t already on them)
  • Central/eastern Gorge is seeing a big snowstorm, that continues through tonight. No significant thawing in the Gorge this week!
  • Cooling air above means snow mixes in with rain showers late tonight and early Monday.  Sticking snow falls down to 1,500′ at least.  Any of us could see snow in the air during the AM commute.  This is our typical wet snow shower pattern unrelated to the cold Gorge.


Monday AM Commute: All of the metro area should be above freezing with even the eastside slowly thawing out.  But probably lots of school closures/delays in those areas that have a lot of ice.

Tuesday afternoon/night another storm moves across primarily southern Oregon.  We will be on the far northern edge of that snow/rain.  So we may or may not get some sort of snow Tuesday night.  It’s possible we’re just mainly dry…stay tuned.

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

56 Responses to Ice Storm Continues Eastside

  1. Manny says:

    Tuesday night in to Wednesday looks interesting. 00z Gem showed a big snowstorm and Euro showed 3″ for Portland. 00z GFS meteostar output looks good too. Portland its showing 0.46″ liquid QPF, Hillsboro 0.48″ and Kelso 0.40″ which equals 4″-5″ snow using 10:1 ratio.

  2. Longview 400 ft says:

    Currently 32.7
    If the temp keeps falling and moisture keeps falling, tomorrow morning is going to be quite interesting.

  3. Mountain Man says:

    Apparently the cooler air is moving in above. Freezing rain and sleet has changed back over to snow here at 1200 ft. Skamania

    • Mountain Man says:

      I’m guessing this won’t work for where the low cold air is to shallow to meet the colder air up at 2000 ft.

  4. gggcorno says:

    If we must have an ice storm, how about one designed by Dale Chihuly? That would be amazing.

  5. JohnD says:

    Question: The true freezing level jumped up today but is expected to go down to hilltop levels late tonight-tomorrow–right? For areas that have retained low level cold today-tonight, doesn’t that equate to the potential for some low elevation snow? Providing there is moisture left around in the interim, that is.

    And Tues. night-Wed. still another saga.

  6. Lee Wilson says:

    Our PUD Usage During a Winter Blast 2017:

    Sharing this video for one reason.
    Its how we used measures to conserve power during an ice storm and during the coldest days of the most the.

    We did an experiment with surprising results.

    You can save power on your PUD if you know
    What appliances suck the most power.

    Now not everyone here has a 5 kW inverter or a 3 kW generator that can run for 10 hours.

    But some simple practices and you can save money and even sweat it out in an ice storm with out sweating your bill.

    Because of this we have a 308dollar credit on our PUD bill.

    Again this is only with 400 watts on solar and a 3kwhr generator.

    You could argue the costs of short-term vs longterm argue cost of fuel for the generator (40 dollars for 2 days of run time). Or you can argue other semantics.

    All are valid reasons in.ones own mind.

    Point is our admediate gratification comes from a 308 dollar credit with the power company and the knowledge of s possible decrease in power including on knowing of a future date hike will be negated.

    In short, you do have control over your power bill.

    Eliminate the stove and furnace and you will knoticed admediate savings.

    So in closing, this is how off grinders survive these cold winters. Many of them use fireplaces as well.

    We just find more efficient ways to heat, our homes, best our water, cook foods and run all of our electronics.

    My family iuses Hybriding method..that is we are using both alternative energy and PUD.

    So we can charge our battery bank when ever we need to.
    We have the option to go off grid as well at will or still have power when the grid goes down.

    This could mean the difference between life or death.
    It could mean the difference between freezing to death and being comfortable.

    It can mean eating or not eating.

    So, when I asked Mark about how do they prep their at KPTV12 and so forth…I wasn’t trying to a Smart Alec..

    Kptv and many news stations have big back up.generators.
    They have to as they in tern are emergency broadcasting stations.

    They have or are supposed to have emergency kits on hand.

    Mark Nelson…knows I was joking about the pizza and make up ..

    The heart of those postings was to get you guys to think out side the box..

    I don’t like the name of ”prepper” either. I am just a simple man with a child who has PKU.

    My family has seen enough carnage, been through enough blackouts to know what can happen Ina severe weather alert.

    So my question is..while some of are excited about major prepared are you for the real deal?

    Be careful about what you wish might just get more than you bargain for.

    I am a normal person , not rich by any means.
    We simply are becoming more efficient.
    And because of that we are effected very little by “weather events”.

    Mark, has a duty to.perform..say the worst,hope for the best.
    We shouldn’t be angry at him.

    Mark has a difficult but fun Job.
    Its science, art and gambling all in one lol.

    So Mark takes the dice handed to him..reads them and says..better bet high because best in low could mean som one dies.

    So..Mark..How does it feel to have our lives in your hands?
    Any one else here up for that job?
    Are you willing to step up to the table, read the data , and then decide high or low..who lives or who might die because you chose the wrong hand?

    Mark…we as lay people don’t stop to.think what is at stake if your forecast is wrong.

    We have the luxury of..not knowing what you know.
    We have the luxery of not having to read data from so few data points in the Pacific Ocean.

    We have the luxery of not knowing about the Thermal Haline current that flows about.

    We have the.luxery of not knowing about how highs and lows can create situations like weather bombs.

    No we have the luxury of sitting in our arm chair or laying on the couch stating st the tube know you are trying your best to keep us safe.

    So you bet high…so what…better than betting low…and having to face the consequences of that decision.

    So I thank all weatherman and weather women for their jobs.

  7. Diana F. says:

    Mark we were howling at “the icicle” comment just on the air ….yes, that’s what your life has come down to lol….

    • Tyler Mode in Battle Ground says:

      What was it? Did anyone record it?

    • Diana F says:

      So Tyler, during the 5 pm, of course the weather portion of the news was up first, and the co-anchor started by asking Mark to “grade himself” on his forecast!

      Not sure if Mark was expecting the question, but it seemed like a bit of a bumpy interaction–not in a bad way, just a cute kind of “….what? ” way! But that’s not even the best part.

      Shortly thereafter, a photo was put up that showed what looked to be a couple of rows of horizontally “hanging” utility lines. Icicles had formed along both rows. So perhaps a couple of dozen icicles, though there was nothing in the shot that gave a size perspective, so they could have been 2 inches or 6 inches, hard to know! I tend to think the former : )

      I think Mark was saying something about some local areas would be thawing, though most areas were at or above freezing, etc, and some areas could get additional ice but most wouldn’t…etc.

      {Hey! Quotes below are are not verbatim! It’s the gist of it! I can’t ski anymore AND I can’t remember stuff that happened 2 seconds ago either!!)

      THEN he commented “I’ve been watching one icicle in particular for quite a while”….”see that one that’s just a bit longer one than the others? That’s the one I’ve beenb watching” ……and then 2 seconds later, it was like Mark abruptly realizes “uh-oh that was kind of #weathergeek-ee to say”…..but what could he do? Un-say it? 🙃

      No! So he added “that’s what my life has come down to, watching icicles grow”…….AND he could report that “it IS longer than it was before” lol. It was a great moment.

      I swear I could hear cackling in the studio. Maybe it was just me. But it was definitely a hilarious moment in time. A live-tv, had-to-be there kind of thing. And I am glad I was.

    • Longview 400 ft says:

      It was a great Mark moment for us who were watching and those who he is working with.
      Honesty about ones passion is priceless for those who understand, because if I was the weather guy I would of been doing the same thing Mark did observing the ice cycle grow. Mark is just like me, the details, and that is why he is one of the best weather guys around.

  8. cgavic says:

    It is 34° and just plain rain in sandy

  9. Jake-(Gresham) says:

    Man, even with the weather system coming in Monday we’re cutting it close. GFS has us just shy of a snowstorm with snow coming down around Battle Ground Northward.

    If that low pressure system ends up coming ashore 50 miles South it could draw from the gorge. As well as whatever system arrives Tuesday evening. I’m not so convinced either system won’t revamp the gorge as the models indicate will not happen. They always underestimate / struggle taking the gorge into account!

    This is what Winter weather wish casting is all about. Cold air 30 miles East of us, just sitting there.

    Doesn’t get any better than rolling this dice folks!

    • Jake-(Gresham) says:

      The stupid dome clearly seen in this shot, lol!!!!

    • Lee Wilson says:

      Hmm casts the hand dealt to us.
      We have to deal with that hand.
      Will you fold, will you stay in the game.

      Nature knows the hand she is holding.
      Question is..when will we get lucky or unlucky?

    • Diana F says:

      Yes Jake I am now familiar with the Dome and it’s very disappointing to realize there IS a dome. I mean, it’s like super awful, because everyone around us, for instance, will be getting interesting winter weather while we sob uncontrollably all over our windows.

      It feels really strange when the TV news weather, and the NWS weather, and the Weather Channel Weather is talking about OUR weather, except it’s NOT our weather.

      I’m feeling kind of “doomed” to miss it all this winter. So back to planing a snow vacation for sometime in late February, early March, and I SWEAR if I spend a couple grand to go roll around in the snow at some Fargo, North Dakota resort, AND it snows while I’m gone…..I am gonna be so mad!

    • muxpux (Longview) says:

      Better yet, you get there and they have a heat wave.

  10. Jerry says:

    Mark, you can turn off the snow machine here in the Gorge any time now! I’ve had enough.

    • Jake-(Gresham) says:

      How many -inches-…. feet do you have? 😛

    • Jerry says:

      8-10 inches since yesterday. Add that to what’s been on the ground for weeks! Total 1 1/2 feet. I’m just north of carson.

    • Jake-(Gresham) says:

      Envious… that is all. ()

    • Diana F says:

      I’m with Jake. What I wouldn’t give to have the same! I’m only down the road from the gorge, but out of the “fun albeit isolating” winter weather. I’ve got family up and down the gorge, though, and have been stuck over the years while visiting! It’s nature’s finest up that way, that’s for sure!

      Stay safe, and w

  11. JohnD says:

    We’ll see if we can for once muster a major snowfall here in Portland at some point later on in the week–and not just in the mid Valley.

  12. Max in Fairview says:

    Heaviest freezing rain coming down.

    • Jake-(Gresham) says:

      PS: Also ‘uncheck’ radar so you can see the weather stations temps. better.

    • CJ says:

      I love how there is a weather station right across the street from me. How convenient! Thanks for sharing this incredibly useful GIS link. Now I have one more weather website to obsess over.

    • Jake-(Gresham) says:

      The app is really great too. Same features pretty much and you can sync with a user station for the temp. near your location rather than a weather station. Really great stuff. You’re welcome haha! 😛

  13. Lee Wilson says:

    Infrared Best wave heater uses 10.7 Kwhrs if running constantly for 8 hours.

    We also cooked and did not her things while running for 8 hours.

    Were trying to see what exactly the PUD is doing.

    • Alohabb says:

      If you cooked with your oven you still used 220v power. What type of heating system are you running ?

    • Lee Wilson says:

      Were using a Power Pressure cooker xl 1,300 watts, an induction cook top 1, 300 watts and an convection cooking oven at 1,400 watts.

      Not all at once lol..and we use them.on a generator. As they already all 120 appliances.

      Oh its not the volts..its the amps per hour ..we have not used our stove in 5 years..well..we using for it is unplugged.

      Our Furnace uses 56 amps to run on 240
      That is 13,440 watts.
      To produce 35,000 BTUs.

      It is an 03 INTERTHERM from NORTEK.
      DATE CODE IS 880906.

      the motor is 3.0 FLA at 1/3 HP.
      It heats up to 200 F
      Appliance Number E00000076610.

      Trust running 13,440 watts will raise your PUD bill exponentially.

      If you have s furnace go and read the sticker

      Amps x volts equals watts.

      plural noun: kilowatt-hours
      a measure of electrical energy equivalent to a power consumption of 1,000 watts for 1 hour.

      Now let’s talk about the stove .

      As for the.stove, I do not have specs on that eight now.

    • Lee Wilson says:

      Simply put which costs more to run 13,440 watts for 10 hours
      Or 1,300 watts for 10 hours?

  14. I’m not concerned about Tuesday anymore. What I want to know is whether the maps for Thursday and beyond, continue to trend colder. We’ve got heavy snow cover now, pretty much everywhere between the Cascades and Rockies. This would be a really really really good opportunity for some extreme cold if we can get a bona fide arctic airmass in the Columbia Basin…

    • Jake-(Gresham) says:

      Experience speaking here. Very good point made sir.

      Mark putting the 7 day forecast back into the 30’s definitely trends us colder (it was 40’s for some time). The Euro does show a possible recursion around Tuesday / Wednesday next week; but that’s obviously the boonies land range.

    • Lee Wilson says:

      Intellicast , is stating that we will have some cold air returning..and then it shows us warming up in about 7 days. It even says we got sun coming for about 2 days.this week..nights will be freezing though.

    • Jake-(Gresham) says:

      Yeah current long range models don’t show any authentic arctic air mass (more just pushing West the cold air East of the Cascades from the previous arctic air that pushed into Oregon).

      That doesn’t leave us out of the possibility for the end of January. As karlbonner1982 stated, if the models trend colder.

      That could indicate another arctic air mass moving South at the end of the month. Which is fine because we’ve got snow everywhere and a relatively cold air mass East of the Cascades.

      I’ll believe it when I see it. The sun? What’s that hahaha!

    • Jake-(Gresham) says:

      I’m as pale as the grim reaper these days…. Apologizes. TMI. LoL!

    • Lee Wilson says:

      Well its better than the three feet of snow we got back in 70 or 80 something.

    • Jake-(Gresham) says:

      Time will tell us for sure. 😀

  15. Lee Wilson says:

    Just wanted to share this one last Interesting thing I found.

    Its called an ice bucket.. Perfect for storing what ever you like.

    Not recommended for in door use though.
    Ice bucket:

  16. Lee Wilson says:

    Well were making home made bread folks…seeing how we have really boring weather…and I figured while the generator was up and running..may as well as have some fum.

    At any all take care.
    I’ll be peeking in…were stable at 37..unless something bombs.

  17. geo says:

    Looks like the 7 day got colder and drier.

  18. Lee Wilson says:

    Stares at Mark Nelson. If only you could could see what happens to frozen ground and lots of rain…and it don’t freeze…did I mention….it don’t soak in?

    Yup ground hard as a rock Mark…..and this water is going no where …

    It is just sitting there on top…waiting to…refreeze…we made it to 39 now were at 37…

    We…I feel bad for our fellows south and east…not thawing much any where to be honest.

    Very slow thaw.

    We can look at it this way though….it it was any be hearing about slides…right?

  19. gggcorno says:

    I think the temperature at my place finally is above freezing, even though the thermometer still says 32. It’s more drippy and I’ve seen a few ice pieces fall. Maybe I’ll go blow on the thermometer, get it up to 33, and remove all the ambiguity.

  20. Diana F says:

    I had just noticed that our temp has dipped below freezing again in NE Vancouver..and of course, you’re on top of it!

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