Evening Commute All Clear, Friday Looking Better!

11am Thursday

I just checked out all the maps/models/observations…

It’s looking much better if you don’t want to deal with snow/ice again.

  • Forecast-wise, we are getting very close to that point where we would call it a “non-event” tonight and tomorrow morning for most areas west of the Cascades.
  • THIS EVENING:  At most we’ll see flurries/sprinkles this evening.  School kids will be fine getting home and roads should remain bare through at least midnight.
  • LATE TONIGHT & FRIDAY AM: Most likely there will only be a few spots with ice on the roads tomorrow morning,  MANY OF US WILL ONLY SEE WET ROADS AT SUNRISE, ESPECIALLY AWAY FROM THE EAST SIDE OF THE METRO AREA.  Just check in on FOX12 before you head out to see if there are any trouble spots.  We’ll have the latest 4:30-10am of course, like any other frosty/ice winter morning.
  • By midday tomorrow all of us except those living right at the mouth of the Gorge will be done with any freezing rain threat.


I’m not totally pulling the plug and saying any chance for snow/ice is gone for the western valleys, that would be a bit irresponsible with a Winter Storm Watch still up for the metro area and north Coast Range.  Remember a WATCH means conditions are possible.  But most likely the NWS will change that to a Winter Weather Advisory, which just means areas of (in this case) freezing rain later tonight and Friday AM.

My suspicions last night of it being a bit too warm for a widespread ice event may be right.  Temperatures have remained well above freezing, and the cold air flowing through the Gorge isn’t nearly as cold as previous events this winter.  At 1,000′ near Crown Point, it’s 33 degrees at my home.  You need mid/upper 20s  at the west end of the Gorge at the start of an event to even think about freezing rain in the bulk of the metro area.  There will be plenty of evaporational cooling (precip falling into dry air = temp drops) later tonight, but at best that will bring many of us only down TO freezing, not below.  As a result I’d be very surprised to see any large part of the metro area (or valley) drop below 30-32 degrees tonight.  If we don’t get below 30-31 = roads don’t ice up.  You may remember that from previous events.  If it doesn’t get below 30 with freezing rain then we don’t get widespread road icing...Save that new salt for the next event PBOT & ODOT! 

For this evening, all models are even a bit drier now with the precipitation, keeping almost everything west of the Coast Range.  So we’ll likely just see flurries or sprinkles that won’t freeze on roads anyway because it’ll be above freezing through midnight.



Through Friday evening (10pm), we’ll probably see up to .50″ precipitation, which means west of Multnomah Falls up to 1/2″ ice could stick to powerlines/trees.  Most likely not a big deal after 3 heavier ice storms earlier this winter.  From Multnomah Falls east, in the central/eastern Gorge, this event will be mainly snow with 3-8″ likely by Saturday AM.  Lighter snow will be farther east at The Dalles where it’ll be drier.  After that time temps should go above freezing…barely.


I’ll be on the air tonight at 5pm, 6pm, 8pm (KPDX), 9pm (KPDX), 10pm, & 11pm.  I shouldn’t be hard to find!

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

49 Responses to Evening Commute All Clear, Friday Looking Better!

  1. Anonymous says:


    • Mark Nelsen says:

      The site didn’t let your comment through since the name changed from “Ash Qelon” to anonymous. All good now, but it’s best to stay with one name.

  2. What does Mark Nelsen have to say about Groundhog Day and the “2017 False Spring Outlook”?

  3. Sapo says:

    What is up with the WRF tonight?? Showing 2-3″ snow for the metro area tonight, but the soundings are nowhere near snow soundings. I don’t know…But anyway it has a solid band of precip around 3 AM. Would likely be freezing rain throughout the metro area, so everyone will probably wake up to a glaze of ice.

    On a side note, Monday will be interesting to watch.

    • flurball says:

      It is strange. Did temps drop because of the brief precip around 5 or because it cleared out so much after that? Cloudy now and temps in Clack up a degree or so with lower clouds. Maybe that hot tongue of the low comes over our cold shoulder (old vaudville line) and does something later but I would not lean that way now.

    • marinersfan85 says:

      The 4km wrf shows as much as 5″ on the east side of metro tonight.


    • Joshua Downtown PDX says:

      00z RPM shows 3.5″ of snow on Sunday morning???

    • marinersfan85 says:

      Wrf shows a widespread 2-6 inches Sunday through Monday.

  4. ron says:

    Astoria had about 60 seconds of ice pellets before it turned to rain. Now it’s 36 degrees with some drizzle, which is pretty much the way the winter has gone on the north coast. No snow, ice, or wind storms worth mentioning.

  5. JohnD says:

    Yeah makes you wonder. Temps dropping now to freezing or below and no major southerly winds shift anticipated; while a significant precip band is coming in a few hours. Maybe we DO get an ice event out of this one(!?)

    Also b-t-w Kristen Van Dyke on KOIN, I have come to see really does “get it”. She is my current fav–after Mark!

    • flurball says:

      Split the difference. Sat at this point seems to move a band south to north along or just off the coast while the other peels off to SE Oregon and No Cal. Not too much longer when the center moves north and a southerly flow develops IMO

    • Scooter says:

      Burgers Tacos Whiskey?

  6. Lurkyloo says:

    Wind is still raging here. Had a brief stint of sleet that is still on the ground (would be considered a trace, I suppose).

  7. JF says:

    Temps are really dropping fast.

  8. JF says:

    LO City Hall temp 30.9
    Hopefully, Mark is paying
    attention to some westside
    temps dropping rapidly.

  9. JF says:

    Nansen summit Lake Oswego current temp
    is 27.7. 31.5 at my house at 500 feet. Just
    an FYI

  10. Jake-(Gresham near Nadaka Nature Park) says:

    Gnarly out there now. 32F with winds of 25mph gusting to 30 / 35+. Not as bad as last night (40+).

    Just saw a Toyota 4Runner come into the neighborhood in a rush. Tried to accelerate and I could hear the tries trying to bite. I give it another hour before my neighborhood is impassable.

    • High Desert Mat says:

      Impassable?? Come on, is Armageddon upon us? Impassable. Lol

    • Jake-(Gresham near Nadaka Nature Park) says:

      Don’t be a douche’. There’s black ice all over my neighborhood. You certainly don’t live here because if you did? You’d know people in this area don’t have experience with such conditions. Only trying to provide a civil duty. Go brain fart somewhere else.

    • Scooter says:

      Watch out Jake or you will banished or moderated like me!

  11. Longview 400 ft says:

    I had snowflakes with sleet at 39 degrees. The Flakes would stick for a bit before melting. Fun to watch. Now quiet now that the band of moisture has moved on.
    Currently 38.1

  12. JF says:

    28.70 at Nansen Summit in Lake Oswego. 32 at my
    house at 500 feet. Just and FYI to Mark.

  13. Aleta-West Gresham says:

    Roads are fine but my front window is iced up and my car has ice. I’d say freezing rain hit already!!

  14. Kmmom3 says:

    Raining ice cubes in Camas at Liberty Middle School

  15. Jake-(Gresham near Nadaka Nature Park) says:

    For those with commutes to Eastern county or with family and friends that do. I’d advise to make there way home now as a weather enthusiast I’m seeing a mess.

    Neighborhoods and side streets will be turning into ice rinks in the next 2 to 3 hours.

  16. Jake-(Gresham near Nadaka Nature Park) says:

    I’d have to say this weather system and setup was a good example of the computer weather models not being adequate enough for the PNW. Major trajectory changes every run. That’d not be acceptable in any other scientific field. Total circus just between the Euro and GFS.

    On the positive note what was in majority going to be an ice event has been mostly cleared of being a possibility. Unless of course the lack of radar on the Oregon coast hides a major trajectory change of the weather system; which would be the guidance available this close to everything.

    On a side note.

    Boy are we blind in Oregon hahaha! Not sure if I should laugh or cry. I’m not affiliated with the earthquake field studies at my school (OSU) but they’ve made major paper publications on this study a few years back.

    13-year Cascadia study complete – and earthquake risk looms large :

    Earthquake Hazards of the Pacific Northwest Coastal and Marine Regions:

    The quake-maker you’ve never heard of:

    One has to wonder what our Government is doing to strengthen our radar systems such as the PDX radar. Not much. Is my sentiment right now and it has had me concerned for about 5 years now. With a major earthquake what we do have would most likely be all down.

    In the Winter? That not only could
    be but would be deadly. Oregonians
    need to think about this.

    • Very light crackling sounds outside in Clackamas.

    • Jake-(Gresham near Nadaka Nature Park) says:

      Yeah we’re starting out warmer than the computer models previously indicated. This was supposed to be all snow tonight (by their calculations). Thank goodness we have experienced Meteorologists as on Fox12 around or this would be otherwise downright dangerous for folks.

      Moderately heavy sleet shower here too. With the heavy wind it’s coming down sideways. We have dropped from 38F to 35F in a hour. This could potentially still get quit messy. Still plenty of turns to come I’m feeling. Way too many dynamics I’m blind too in this setup as a hobbyist of weather.

    • Jake-(Gresham near Nadaka Nature Park) says:

      Never mind make that 34F now. We’re dropping like a rock here.

  17. Alohabb says:

    Heavy sleet falling with gusty winds in NE PDX feels like BB’s hitting your face!

  18. Marc (Brush Prairie, WA) says:

    Strongest wind gusts of the winter in Brush Prairie.

  19. Alohabb says:

    Uh the skies are really dark and a large heavy band of showers are moving in. Is that rain?!!

  20. gggcorno says:

    That’s an impressive band of … something … on the radar between Salem and Portland. I have 38 degrees and low humidity in Beaverton, so the temp may come down some. Unfortunately I don’t have any sounding info at hand, so I don’t know if the air above is cold enough to support snow or sleet. I doubt temps will drop enough for freezing rain with this band.

    • gggcorno says:

      Returned from a walk and it started giving a 70/30 sleet/snow mix. Total accumulation so far is probably [ trace x 10^-2 ]. Still in progress, but it looks like most of the band went toward just moistening the air in our area. Temp is now down to 36.

      BTW, I have a strong “I like snow” bias, so I’ll be happy with every flake and ice pellet that falls from the sky.

      And I bought some chains that actually fit my car!

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

    Yeah it could snow, or it might be 46 and rain. Looks like the latter this time around. :)))

  22. Paul D says:

    The groundhog says six more weeks of winter!

  23. Aleta-West Gresham says:

    Yay!! That’s a forecast we can all live with!!

  24. JJ78259 says:

    Nice Rain shower moving thru Salem thought it was going to be dry today?

  25. John Kosydar says:

    Mark–I don’t watch television, but I’ve been reading your blog this winter. You are the best by far. No one comes close to your detailed analysis and precision. I need that because I live at elevation 900′-1000′ in the West Hills where, like Corbett, things can be dicey. Congrats on your good work. –John Kosydar, SW Portland

  26. Lurkyloo says:

    Works for me …

    That wind is still damned cold, though!

  27. Paul D says:

    That sure fizzled out….

  28. Scooter says:

    I agree “save the salt” for French Fries and Fish ‘n’ Chips!

  29. marinersfan85 says:

    No shameless plug on what could be on Monday?

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