7pm Christmas Eve
Merry Christmas from the FOX12 Weather Team! Today has sure been a challenging day for us.
WHAT WORKED OUT RIGHT TODAY
- Cold air remained in place. Temperatures stayed near/below freezing in most of the metro area as cold east wind kept coming out of the Gorge.
- 1st band of light precipitation came in as freezing rain/sleet/snow mix 9am-Noon.
- 2nd main band of precipitation arrived in mid/late afternoon as expected.
- West Hills and east metro roads remained frozen as expected.
- Typical west and south metro life resumed since roads turned mainly wet. The shopping center near the station here on the westside was a zoo at 2pm.
- All roads central/eastside remain a frozen mess this evening as freezing rain has returned for many spots. With the cold air we knew that would happen and I mentioned that this morning.
WHAT WENT WRONG (IN A GOOD WAY!)
- The 2nd band of precipitation was mainly snow instead of a mix. That’s because warming wasn’t as much as expected a few thousand feet up; the snowflakes didn’t melt into rain drops on the way down. A trace to 2″ snow fell across most of the metro area (lightest west and heaviest east).
- I figured some snow would fall in north metro (Clark/Columbia counties), but not that much. It was snowy all day up there with 2-4″ on the ground now.
Of course hardly anyone would complain about getting frozen precipitation in the form of snow instead of freezing rain, especially on Christmas. As of 5pm the official snow total was 0.6″ in Portland, I’m guessing that will be higher when they measure later.
Latest temps show almost all the metro area is below freezing and it’ll stay that way tonight with no change in the low-level airmass.
We’re into light off/on showers the rest of the night with a mix of freezing rain, snow, & sleet. South of the Columbia River with thinner cold air above I think we’re mainly done with accumulating snow. Once you get south of Wilsonville it’s a little too “warm” for anything frozen tonight.
North of the Columbia River more than likely it’ll remain as snow.
The ice/snow that is on roads now isn’t going anywhere and will still be there when you wake up Christmas Morning. With precipitation ending after sunrise, it should be a quiet weather day with temperatures gradually rising into the upper 30s. That means a slow thaw with decent road conditions AFTER the noon hour. Plan to visit friends during the afternoon/evening hours, not in the morning.
Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen