Ice Storm Ending: Snow Showers Monday AM

11pm Sunday…

It’s been a busy weather weekend.  First snow, then plenty of ice in the central/eastern metro area.  Now a new twist…

Tomorrow morning will feature a similar setup to our very first brush with winter back in early December…the dreaded “snow in the hills and a close call in the valleys” event.  By dreaded I mean that more often than not we don’t get anything significant out of these patterns, but they are a pain to forecast.  It IS possible to get a quick dusting of snow or even more in the hills and sometimes if you get a cluster of showers you can even get more than a dusting in the valleys.  Some models are showing this over the metro area or somewhere in the northern Willamette Valley.  This is what I showed during the 10pm show:


It is a plus (if you want snow) that the onshore flow is very weak so far; in fact we’re having trouble totally getting rid of the east wind but it IS slowly going away.  Due to this temps are still just a few degrees above freezing but they will rise the next 12 hours.  I don’t expect refreezing in the parts of the metro area that have thawed so far.

By the way, this is how things have turned out so far for the ice storm on the east side of the metro area…under 1″ of ice, abut some spots ended up with more than 1/2″ right near the Gorge.



A couple quick notes for myself in the future:

  1. The entire metro area never has a huge ice storm together.  I let myself forget that if the cold air is deep enough to keep it below freezing all the way out west of the West Hills and down into the south metro, then it’s too deep for freezing rain eastside.  In those cases it’ll be sleet or snow east metro area.  If it’s a thinner/milder cold airmass spilling out of the Gorge (like today), then it’s liquid enough for mainly freezing rain east metro.  In those cases though it’s going to be a bit too warm west and south metro.   In fact I made graphics to explain these situations just 2 years ago for a presentation to PGE line crews




More on the big snow storm coming for a good chunk of Oregon later Tuesday tomorrow.  Time to finish up for the night here…

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen


67 Responses to Ice Storm Ending: Snow Showers Monday AM

  1. PDX-Hawks says:

    Long time lurker here… finally got the guts to post when Diana was asking about weather stations! Really enjoy reading everyone’s (most) interpretations on the models and learning some of the nuances of our micro-climates. This past weekend sure has been a ride and I’m sure a lot of fun for Mark to track. I’m out here in Aloha where we didn’t seem much at all, maybe 1/2 inch of snow and a light glazing of ice. Tuesday and Wednesday are sure looking better for some snow. Fingers crossed we can get a good cold breeze out of the gorge earlier on Tuesday just in time to meet the bulk of the moisture.

    • Jake-(Gresham) says:

      Welcome to the blog. 😀

    • Diana F. says:

      Well howdy and welcome #fellowweathergeek! Glad you decided to join the motley crew here on Mark’s
      Weather Blog!
      I am actually sitting in my car at Starbucks on 162nd Ave. in Vancouver. And the temperature reading is 52°! Say WHAT?? That’s what my car is telling anyway 🙄.

      Btw (and I know y’all are just dying to hear this) I am drinking a latte that’s a new flavor for me, it’s called “smoked butterscotch”. Hmmmmm, I like the smoked part ((love the aroma of tobacco)) and I like the scotch part, so put ’em together in a coffee drink, right?
      Also stopped at Larsons Bakery (best bakery this side of the river), and splurged on a big ole apple danish.
      It’s been quite a fabulous day, particularly once I saw snow was actually a possibility for tonight. The anticipation is invigorating.

      I will be happily glued to Mark’s forecasts and blog!

  2. WEATHERDAN says:

    Got 4 inches of snow Saturday. 10.3 for Winter so far. 2-5 likely for Wednesday. Had a few snow showers this morning, but just partly cloudy now. It has been a great Winter so far but I am really looking forward to Spring. Peace.

    • GTS1K' says:

      Look forward 2 months and don’t hold your breath.

      Although, being in Salem, you may get a February “false spring” for a week+. On the other hand, you may also get record cold/snowfall.

      Don’t quit your day job 🙂

  3. Andrew says:

    New 7 day is updated for 1-4 inches possible Tuesday night for Portland now! 32 Wednesday, 29 Thursday, 28 Friday. Winter Continues!!!

    • JJ78259 says:

      All the better the snow will stick around for a while!

    • Diana F. says:

      I feel like we should bring some treats to the Weather Gods, I mean the NWS Office in PDX AND to KPTV! Mark and these guys have GOT to be SOOOO busy! Forecast is all over the place! Snow forecast tonight on the Vancouver side, not so much on the PDX side? If I read that correctly it said Vancouver north to Longview!

    • Jake-(Gresham) says:

      One thing is clear. The position of the low pressure system is good. Not ideal but good. If it strengthens in the next 24hr runs we could be looking at even more accumulation numbers widespread. I believe this may occur.

  4. Max in Fairview says:

    Finally above freezing. Slow thaw process.

  5. Gene says:

    Light snow-rain mix coming down in east Gresham. We don’t usually see that right after a freezing rain episode

  6. Hal in Aims says:

    34 degrees and snowing hard for the last 20 minutes or so………

  7. Diana F says:

    Hey #fellowweathergeeks, need some advice. With all this crazy weather I am itching to buy a little weather station set up—had one that almost died in 2004, but definitely died in the 2008 storms, and I just never seemed to pick up another, even with my weather addiction.
    SO! Any models working particularly well, and easy to set up? I am looking at $200 or under.

    • PDX-Hawks says:

      The one Jake recommends below is pretty good. Received it for XMas so it’s just been a couple of weeks but it’s sure been handy for this fun weather. Very easy to setup but I haven’t figured out the phone app yet, keeps telling me to register the unit. Dunno.

    • Jake-(Gresham) says:

      Overall, you can link up the weather station to this app (weather underground): (Links to an external site.)

      I was always frustrated that local news weather apps were only good for the forecast and the global / government based ones were useless even for that (weather forecasts with +/- 10 temperatures than what actually came to fruition).

      That was all solved with the app above. At $2 a year to get rid of ads and a user-interface that automatically syncs my app to user weather stations around my area. In other words, people who have purchased weather stations who’ve linked with the site provide me with live temps. of the whole area instead of just the local weather station or say the NOAA (Government weather department).

      There’s even an interactive map and radar where I can click on these stations and see more detail. Depending on the sophistication of the weather station I can see the latitude and longitude, elevation, live wind direction, wind gusts, temperature, humidity, rain accumulation, precipitation rate, and air pressure at that location.

      All this data is played into into my own local ‘tailored’ forecast. It’s great.

      I will often get a push message that says, “rain most likely in 2 hours.” And it occurs. Also, an amazing app if you’re out in the boonies. I always can find some farmer’s weather station, link up, and boom. Forecast notifications and temperatures in real time while I’m out hiking or camping. Hope this helps. Cheers.

    • Diana F. says:

      Jake that first one on Amazon for $114 was exactly the one I was considering before asking for advice. THANKS for all the great options and info!

    • Jake-(Gresham) says:

      Hah awesome. Yeah those 3 stations right now I can tell you have the most popularity / momentum right now on Amazon.

      Not a problem, and you’re very welcome!

    • PDX-Hawks says:

      Thanks for the info Jake, I’ll take a look a the Weather Underground app. Pretty cool being able to wake up and check the current temp and dew points. A lot different from the one I grew up with, dad had the one that hung on the wall which forecast based on barometric pressure. Still have it hanging on my wall.

  8. W7ENK says:

    Interesting weekend, if not a bit frustrating.

    25 degrees, precip started at 100% sleet around 9:30am. Maybe 1/4 inch accumulation. First snowflakes started blowing around at about 2pm, and after oscillating between sleet and snow until a quarter to 4, it finally switched to all snow. Got about a half inch before it switched to freezing drizzle at 5:40pm.

    Timelapse video I took of my neighborhood from the exact center of The Dome, starting around Noon and running to about 6:30pm Saturday. You can see the near instantaneous flip to ZR toward the end.

    Woke up to 35 degree rain, no ice accumulation around 9:30am. Temperature bounced all over the place, sometimes dipping below freezing and ice would start to accumulate, then going back above freezing and any ice would melt away. Back and forth all day, but overall the streets ended up just wet by sunset.

    0.64″ rainfall. 1/8 inch ZR accumulation about 4 times, so I guess that technically equals 1/2 inch, right? Is that how that’s supposed to work??

    37 degrees and pouring rain this morning when I left the house. Saw a few splats mixed in, but didn’t see any actual snowflakes. TriMet was AFU, waited for 4 consecutive Orange Line MAX trains that never arrived, so — after paying $5.00 for my fare — I walked back to my car and drove downtown. That’s another 16 bucks I hadn’t accounted for, plus the additional mileage. Let’s see if I can recover any of those out-of-pocket expenses from TriMet for services not rendered…

    1/4 inch of sleet.
    1/2 inch of snow.
    1/2 inch of ZR.
    ~1 inch of rainfall.
    TriMet is still chronically dysfunctional.

  9. Jack in Corbett says:

    Finally above freezing here in the gorge but still have a 1/2 inch plus of ice covering everything. Looks like a very slow thaw. Currently in the fog.

  10. Mountain Man says:

    I think I can call this “snow pack”. I haven’t seen the lawn in 5 weeks now. Still a bit of that first low elevation snow from early Dec a foot under there somewhere! 2.5 inches new this morning. At 1200 ft near community of Skamania. I get plenty of snow some years, but besides 2008, it’s never stuck around this long or from so many different events.

  11. Sapo says:

    Latest models have now trended north with the low…interesting. 6/12z GFS 2-5″, 12z RPM 5.5″, 12z GEM 6-8″, 12z WRF maybe 3-5″. 12z Euro hasn’t started yet. Latest UKMET had a good landfall however.

    • Sapo says:

      whatever happens i bet we’ll see snow in the air, question is how much qpf/how far north the low is

    • Sapo says:

      12z Euro 3-5″

    • Jake-(Gresham) says:

      Sick, thanks for looking at that Sapo. We’re currently sitting at 36F. Everything has been thawing here since early morning but I wouldn’t say it’s melting just yet. Hoping before things unfold further in the future we get rid of this dang ice on the roads.

      Don’t want to go back to square one with the roads being a mess!

  12. Longview 400 ft says:

    Currently 32.9
    1/4 of snow
    snowing lightly

    • Longview 400 ft says:

      UPDATE: Currently 35.2
      1/2 inch total this morning
      NWS says 2 to 4 inches tonight through tomorrow
      I still have about an inch to 2 inches from last Saturday/Sunday

  13. Jake-(Gresham) says:

    Currently 34F (oscillating between 34 / 35) here with no East wind. Everything is caked in an 1/8th of an inch of ice and up.

    Sun is trying to peak through the clouds making everything glow. Amazing what a low sun angle we have this time of year. I always forget that. Way down South – so to speak.

  14. Andrew Bartholomew says:

    Would someone with good weather knowledge provide a quick summary of what we might expect Tues night into Wednesday. The local forecasters, understandably, are being a bit coy with details as they still work through this current situation. I know people who have to be on the roads Wednesday and am trying to advise them on what to expect. Thanks!

    • Joe says:

      There’s very little way of knowing yet. It’s still possible we end up completely dry, but I’m starting to doubt that. As of now, expect some snow. Could be a little, could be a lot. I’m sure mark will give the overview of what he know tonight or tomorrow

    • Jake-(Gresham) says:

      If they’re going over any mountain range (coastal, cascades, etc.) or any canyons. Have chains on hand with studded tires already on. Anticipate ice and snow.

      If they’re commuting North or South on the I-5 corridor anticipate all weather forms of precipitation. This path due to heavy traffic they’ll be fine with just plain tires till they need the chains. But they better have the chains (weather system is likely coming ashore between Eugene and Salem).

      If they’re commuting around PDX during those hours. Studded tires with chains on hand (a weaker weather system comes ashore first just South of Astoria and right over PDX). The precipitation will be all forms; including road conditions if they’re commuting widely.

  15. Wendy-Silverlake, WA says:

    Picked up about a quarter inch of snow in the last 20 minutes.

  16. …interesting 24 hours over here in Cove…started yesterday at 22F, then started warming mid morning, followed by an intense windy snow period followed by freezing rain followed by rain when wind gusts from the south hit 50mph here, higher in the wind alley in the grande ronde valley followed by a big melt as we hit 40 degrees followed by a burst of snow early this morning followed by calm and 32.3F degrees…

  17. Wendy-Silverlake, WA says:

    Just started snowing, but we are under a yellow spot on the radar. I can’t believe how much snow melted overnight. I don’t think this snow will stick though, way too wet.

  18. GTS1K' says:

    snow/rain mix – 32.1

  19. pappoose in scappoose says:

    Snowing and sticking.
    All is white again!

  20. Alohabb says:

    Waving the white flag now. I’m good.

    And at this rate the kids will be going to school until July!!!

  21. runrain says:

    Heavy snow at the top of Mt. Scott and sticking. Mixed showers down on Foster. Of note is LOTS of standing water with the heavy precipitation and a lot of slush still on the sides of the road clogging up the drains, etc. Drive carefully even if it’s above freezing!

  22. Tyler Mode in Battle Ground says:

    Had very heavy but brief snow in Battle Ground. Now it’s lighter snow. Temp down from 36 to 33. Just about 1/4″ accumulation right now.

  23. JJ78259 says:

    Looks like 4-6 inches of snow Wednesday for Weather Dan! Salem Eugene may have the best shot!

  24. Andrew says:

    Heavy snow going over Sylvan, was snowing all the way down to the edge of downtown. Rain/snow mix at the square.

  25. John says:

    Pouring rain in close in East Portland. Main roads mostly slushy, side streets and sidewalks still ice with water on top but thawing fast.

  26. Max in Fairview says:

    Troutdale reporting snow and I’m seeing snow as well

  27. Tyler Mode in Battle Ground says:

    Snowing decently in Battle Ground.

  28. Tyler Mode in Battle Ground says:

    Warm air moving in to Corbett (but probably not at freeway level!)

  29. Alohabb says:

    Heavy shower just coming through and my temp JUMPED to 36 from 32 quickly. Wow.

    • Jeff garden home 250 says:

      Right about the same time, we jumped from 34 to 37. When I woke up at 4 AM, everything was still icy here in garden home.

  30. JJ78259 says:

    Definitely looks like a Global Cooling trend. The snow coverage from the Cascades to the Rockies is quite heavy. Have some friends outside of Boise they have 2 ft snow on the ground they haven’t seen that for quite a few winters! More cool weather in the offing wow. This will help the eastern Oregon Ag irrigation season. Enjoy!

  31. Richard Hodges SE 160TH & Burnside St says:

    Mark, you mentioned on your 10:45 weather forecast, that in 79 and 80, that the East Side got freezing rain, while the West Side didn’t. Actually, that’s not at all true, at least in the January 79 event.

    I remember it well. I was living at SW 18th & Market then. And I went to bed–expecting, according to the forecast–light rain and a low of about 37.

    Well, I awoke at 5:00 A.M. to heavy rain, 25 degrees and transformers blowing up. We ended up with about one inch of ice, and my dad, who lived at NE 167th and Glisan then, said that he got about 3 inches from that storm.

    I also seem to remember that a lady got killed by a large elm tree then, in one of the PSU park blocks.

    That storm was on about January the 8th, and I heard that the same-intensity storm happened exactly a year to the day later in 80. I was out of the state then.

    And if my memory is off a little, then it’s not off by much.

    • Mark Nelsen says:

      Thanks for the memories, that’s good info. I didn’t realize the ice got so thick on the eastside. I meant that there wasn’t much west of the West Hills. I’ll have to look that up and see what the Hillsboro obs look like.

  32. Mama Druid says:

    Thank you for your tireless work to keep us informed.

  33. Gene says:

    Mark, thanks for taking the time to do yet another interesting blog post for us during what was obviously a very busy weekend for you. Some exciting weather this past week, with possibly more to come in the days and weeks ahead. It’s certainly been a more eventful winter than the last couple. . . .

  34. Longview 400 ft says:

    Has warmed a little since my last post. Also trusting that the temp stays that way through the night.
    Currently 33.4 from 32.7

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