Another “Flirtation” With Snow In Lowlands

11pm Thursday…

Let’s do it again!  If we’re going to have a cold and wet start to March, at least we can add some variety and bring in some snowflakes to the lowlands again.  Saturday through Monday (especially Sunday/Monday) we’ll be back to cold showers and sunbreaks just like last weekend.


This is nearly a repeat of what we saw about a week ago.  One difference = there is more onshore flow this time, and the calendar has advanced a week further away from winter.  Meanwhile the thermal profile of the atmosphere overhead is similar to last week.  This tells me there’s no greater chance for sticking snow this time around, and probably less so along the coastline due to the stronger onshore flow.  As a result I think it’s unlikely we get measurable snow in most of the very lowest elevations west of the Cascades.  Of course with a heavy shower at the right time of day anyone could see a brief dusting; but most likely it just won’t affect your life down here.  More “conversational” snow for most of us in the lowlands.  It’ll look pretty as it falls too of course.

Now if you live up close to or above 1,000′ some sticking snow is possible at almost anyt time from Saturday through Monday.  And up around 1,500′ this could easily be a 5-10″ snowfall again…winter doesn’t let go as easily up in the foothills!

I’m headed to the annual Pacific Northwest Weather Workshop in Seattle this weekend so I won’t be back at work until Sunday PM.

Enjoy the snowflakes!

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

54 Responses to Another “Flirtation” With Snow In Lowlands

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

    Well it’s snowing here too. 33.5

  2. Andy says:

    Moderate snow in Jefferson and starting to stick..34 deg.

  3. Windsday says:

    The Gee F S has failed miserably this winter showing ice king scenarios that never had any chance of panning out.

    It or they need to input the lack of Arctic ice into the GFS model and then we would start seeing much truer numbers spitting out instead of so many fantasy run stuff.

    A good chunk of Arctic Ice has been used to keep the nuclear reactor over in Japan from blowing up by shipping it out and dumping it into the core which is buried into the earth.

    Even long range la la land will be better off having better ice flow data showing the lack of arctic ice which we will see more climo scenarios instead.

    You can’t have arctic anything without it existing in the first place.

    Most of it was over Eurasia parked most of the winter with it’s lights turned off because the models are full of……………………I won’t say it publicly.

    The GFS several times predicted Ice Box America which thankfully never panned out.

  4. Anonymous says:

    No exaggeration, TENNIS BALL SIZED FLAKES in Aumsville OR. Moderate dusting now

  5. joel294 says:

    Snowing in Brownsville at 370′ (south valley). Temperature is 34 degrees and the snow is very wet. Looks awesome in the street lights!

    • joel294 says:

      It stopped snowing and I figured that was it. My mom texted me to ask if it was still snowing and I said no. I just went outside and it’s snowing heavy and it’s actually sticking to our road. Of course, once it stops in between showers it will melt on all road surfaces.

  6. WEATHERDAN says:

    For me this has been the worst Winter ever. I enjoyed the Cold and snow in December and January, But enough is enough. I see more cold and snow on way. With a lot of rain as well. I want some dry and warm weather. Here not Phoenix or San Antonio. This is just getting ridiculous. Peace.

    • Windsday says:

      You mean December. Most of our snow came in two chunks in December. January didn’t really snow here in Aumsville but just a quick jot north was a winter wonderland.

      Silverton I’ve heard got plastered with it while conditions down here were much brighter. Salem was the dividing line I think.

      North Salem had a few inches while places south had pretty much nothing.

  7. Eugene Dave says:

    I woke up to moderate snow and a nice dusting this morning. It was nice to see, especially for March. It’s been rain/snow on and off for the last couple of hours this evening. Nothing sticking yet. Hopefully, I’ll manage to score an inch or two.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Steady wet snow since 7:30 at 36F. No sticking yet. Aumsville OR

  9. I really hope Mark doesn’t ignore or downplay what the model maps are hinting at for next weekend. This is REALLY exciting stuff to be showing up in mid-March…especially the 18z GFS for the Gorge, a week from Tuesday night!

  10. West Linn 500' says:

    …and again. Snow just started up, bigger flakes this time, and a bit heavier. It’s 38F and a bit gustier than during the earlier flurry.

  11. Garrison/Aumsville says:

    I was at 38F and rain snow mix 10 minutes ago Aumsville OR, now it’s 35F

  12. Anonymous says:

    Rain snow mix for the past 5 minutes in Aumsville ,OR. 38F and falling

  13. Andy says:

    Snow starting to mix in with the rain here in Jefferson OR. 240 Ft…38 deg and falling.

  14. West Linn 500' says:

    Just snowed for about ten minutes here, and now the sun has come out. Go home, March; you’re drunk

  15. ron says:

    There’s almost an inch of snow/hail in Astoria, at least at my house which is near the top of the hill–230 feet. 35 degrees currently and I doubt if it will get any colder. Still, it is interesting!

  16. Boydo3 N. Albany says:

    36 and flakes mixing in here tonight.

  17. I see NWS has a winter weather advisory up for my area tonight through tomorrow morning. Just a little light rain now. 39 degrees, so it has a fair bit of cooling to do for there to be any chance of the white stuff.

    • Didn’t happen. Maybe tonight…

    • Roland Derksen says:

      A real”snow day’ here; 3.5 inches on the ground this morning by 6am with more snow happening right now. Not a lot accumulating this afternoon, as temperature of 35F is a factor. But more snow forecasted tonight. Winter’s not over here yet!

  18. Jason Hougak says:

    Went from 37 to 34 in 20 minutes and we have massive silver dollar snowflakes and ground quickly covered.

  19. GTS1K' says:

    Fork the fork – Ms Nature will abide…

  20. Jason Hougak says:

    Next weekend is looking even colder/ snowier and more interesting then this one…

  21. Anonymous says:

    JJ78259 says.

    • JK78259 says:

      Yes exactly! Above average temps in San Antonio continues! Lots of 70s and 80s coming up!

  22. Miles says:

    We haven’t had a 60 degree day yet. What is the PDX record for latest 60 degree day?

  23. Anonymous says:

    We haven’t had a 60 degree day yet. What is the PDX record for latest 60 degree day?

  24. Jason Hougak says:

    I’m betting it’s gonna be a top 5 cold March. Mountains are looking to get hammered with snow!

    • JJ78259 says:

      There are warm trends (Global Warming) and cooling trends which are obviously caused by warm trends (Global Warming)! Jason is spot on the cooler weather trend and a repeat of 2011 spring weather for Portland is most likely going manifest itself again. This cold winter and spring will be spoken of again when the next warm trend happens (Global Warming) the cycle continues.

    • Registered Nerd says:

      Starting to agree with you…. Man the long-range model output seems to keep on spitting out cold and wet, with possible snow. I know it’s March and a long January type event isn’t going to happen, but now next weekend is looking even colder than this one! This is a trend and it’s in force until another trend takes its place, which may not happen until…. July

    • Anonymous says:

      “”JJ78259 says””
      LOL, Uhhmm, OKAAAYYY!

  25. bobob says:

    I find it interesting that everyone is an expert questioning the EXPERTS…. winter is over for the lowlands folks… embrace it. It is a fact. If you get some snow flurries it will now melt almost as soon as it falls. The ground is steaming now at 9am. We go back to daylight savings time in a week. Spring forward!! Yee Haw!!

    • Mike near Clackamas Town Center says:

      Every year that happens. This is the part of wx geeks that can be hard realizing when Winter is winding down. Have to keep historical perspective in mind and begin thinking about effects of stronger sun angle, air in source regions being warmer, and onshore flow.
      March 2012 was a extraordinary month for the valley, but if one went back and researched past events, you’ll have to go back decades to find another year like it. An inch here and there isn’t uncommon, like on March 8-9 2006, but 3,4,5, and 6″ snowstorms are basically history making for this late in the season and requires things to come together just right. WHich is why the instances of those events are so long in between.
      Here’s a list of past snowstorms for March/April
      2012 03 21=3″
      1951 03 05-08=7″
      1936 04 01=4″
      1906 03 18=4″

  26. Anonymous says:

    The latest 16 day meteogram calls for more cold and snow chances over the next two weeks. Not What I wanted to see but it is what it is. Oh well 9 days to DST and MLB exhibition games are already If we get some snow around 6:00 PM On Sunday it will still be light outside while I watch a baseball game. Peace

    • WEATHERDAN says:

      That was me. Don’t know why it came out as anonymous. Peace

    • Windsday says:

      Yuck! I’d much rather have bright cheery mornings and so would most farmers which means for them less artificial lighting as a lot of them get up at 3-4AM.

      DST means an extra hour of darkness and an extra hour of lights which thank god farms are electric today but still higher energy bills.

  27. Jason Hougak says:

    Can’t believe Mark would fork winter. Sure the possibility of cold and snow chances diminish each day but it’s a La Niña winter and has dished out a wild one at that. Seems a bit premature to me. Come on winter!!!
    Replaced a well pump in Wamic past 2 days. More snow over here than in the last 20 years. Really reaking havoc on the aquifer. The amount of water refilling the aquifer is impressive causing a lot of problems with flowing sand into the wells from water flowing through otherwise dry underground caverns.

    • High Desert Mat says:

      Mark said the fork is for no long from snow, flooding, icestorms, or days on end of freezing temps. I believe he is right on. Come on guys, it’s 3-3-17. Nuff said

    • Jason Hougak says:

      Matt just because your done with the snowy weather doesn’t mean it’s done with you

    • Mark Nelsen says:

      It’s also only for the lowest elevations west of the Cascades. In fact winter isn’t even done at my own home!

  28. Roland Derksen says:

    I agree with keeping the hands off the fork- for now. I see March 2012 has been mentioned a few times. For me March 2009 or 2002 are the months I think about when I recall major snow events this time of year.

  29. Chris s says:

    You know March 2012 happened down here in Salem… Just sayin… That was more than a dusting down here several days that month. While Sunday and Monday are a bit different setup, I think poo pooing the chances totally are a bit unwise…?? Maybe the forks can wait a few more weeks 😊

  30. Boydo3 N. Albany says:

    Cold again up in Alaska. The chart shows really wild swings in the temperature profile for the last couple months..

  31. Well, if the chance is similar to a week ago, that means I’m going to get some and some lucky people are going to get up to 3″, but it should melt fairly quickly the roads won’t get worse than slushy.

  32. “the calendar has advanced a week further away from winter…”

    …More to the point, the midday sun angle on March 5th is about 2.67 degrees higher than on February 26th. At 45.6 North this translates into about 23 extra minutes of daylight over the course of that week.

    Weatherwise, this translates into a little extra instability and thermal gradient in the lowest levels of the atmosphere, for a given 850 airmass temperature. That means slightly higher surface temps, less stickage, and more hail/graupel.

    In order to overcome these mounting seasonal barriers, we need heavier-than-usual precip that extends into the night and early morning hours. Which is EXACTLY what the recent maps have decided to give us Saturday evening through Monday!

  33. pappoose in scappoose says:

    “Most likely” “unlikely”…but, there’s a chance!

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