Easy Week? Of Course Not as Gorge Ice/Snow Returns

10pm Monday…

I came into work today pretty relaxed, thinking for now we were pretty much past all this winter stuff for most of us.

The evening models have come in and now it’s pretty clear we’re going to have some sort of snow/ice event in the Columbia River Gorge once again.   Now tomorrow there is a low pressure area that tracks through southern Oregon, that will pull very cold Canadian air back down into Eastern Washington once again.  Then a 2nd low approaches the coastline Wednesday with a tremendous feed of moisture showing up by evening.  That pulls the cold air in tight against the Cascades…into the central/eastern Gorge.  You can see it clearly in blue on the 1pm surface pressure map off the UW WRF-GFS model:


This is a classic setup for ice/snow in the Gorge.  Note there isn’t much making it west of the Cascades, so typically we don’t get freezing rain/snow in this pattern westside.

The easterly flow doesn’t disappear until late Wednesday night or early Thursday.  At that time the warming southerly wind takes over.  But there will be a LOT of precipitation until that time.  Check out the forecast precipitation:


It won’t be all snow in the eastern Gorge because the cold air will be thinning quite a bit by Wednesday evening and the airmass overhead is warming rapidly.  But maybe enough for 8-12″ snow before a changeover.  Note the snow forecast:


This could be a big ice storm again in the western Gorge where the cold air will be too thin to support snow west of Bonneville Dam…sorry folks!  If this happens, it will be the 5th ice storm with at least 1/2″ ice this winter…I haven’t seen that in my 26 years forecasting in Portland!


At this point it’s unlikely, but still possible freezing rain creeps into the eastern parts of the Portland metro area near the Gorge…we’ll be keeping a close eye on that.

More tomorrow…

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen



17 Responses to Easy Week? Of Course Not as Gorge Ice/Snow Returns

  1. Fred482 (near Scotts Mills) says:

    Snowing for the last hour, 35F, 525′ Elv.

    • Fred482 (near Scotts Mills) says:

      Temp dropped to 34F, less than 1/2″ on elevated surfaces. Ground still has some melting/bare spots, road surface is lightly covered with some wet spots.

  2. Jack in Corbett says:

    Heavy wet snow here in Corbett at 450 ft elevation. East gorge wind and 34.5 degrees.

  3. merwoman says:

    Snowing right now in Springdale, elevation 310, about 35°

  4. OldOregonian says:

    Snowing like crazy near Orient School

  5. runrain says:

    Quick Erik, look! It’s snowing in downtown Portland. Oh wait, just rain. Wait, look again. It’s snowing! Oh, wait…

  6. Anonymous says:

    Parkrose 9:50am Huston, We have snow.

  7. Hal in Aims says:

    started snowing about 25 minutes ago……..snowing moderately heavy and sticking to all surfaces…….everything is white……temp 34 down from 36 earlier………

  8. Andy says:

    Here in Jefferson, Or…slushy snow mixed in with rain…35 deg.

  9. Andrew Bartholomew says:

    What are the chances of cold air enveloping the greater Metro area tomorrow when the front arrives? Map above suggests a relatively close call.

  10. Yesterday afternoon’s slush is now this morning’s ice. Side streets are super-treacherous. Schools closed for a second day.

    • Roland Derksen says:

      Hi Rubus- I’ve been busy shovelling snow, so my reply to your question was delayed. I’ve counted a total of 10.625 inches for the month with 2.75 happening yesterday. I’ve had to work hard on some spots (there’s ice underneath the fresh layer we had a few hours ago) and tomorrow looks like a big one for more snow or freezing rain. Huge amounts in the eastern Fraser valley- I think Chilliwack has close to 3 feet!

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

    Patches of freezing fog here in Gresham (just drove through the county getting home). Careful folks. Random patches of road.

  12. Adam in SE says:

    Oy vey.

  13. Aleta-West Gresham says:

    The winter that won’t stop giving! More east wind for the east metro area?

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