Does Your App Show Snow For Next Week? Here’s Why

7:30pm Thursday

Did you notice a snowflake or flakes on your app for about a week from now?  This is what our FOX12 OREGON app shows this evening:


All extended forecasts on apps are automated, so keep in mind it’s just computer modeling without human input.  Here at FOX12 we also put our regular 7 Day Forecast on the right side, you should always look there first.  But wait!  OUR forecast also has snowflakes in next Thursday.

What’s going on?

Thursday & Friday of next week we get a cool and showery weather pattern, just like today but maybe 5-8 degrees colder.   Today we were in the mid-upper 40s during the afternoon hours.

Jet Stream Forecast 2017

This isn’t an “arctic blast” sort of pattern; there will be no east wind pouring cold air out of the Gorge like we see in our real snow/ice events.  No this is the “wet snow” setup that frustrates so many of us.

AT THIS POINT it appears these showers will be accompanied by “onshore flow” or air flowing from the ocean inland.  That modifies the lowest part of the atmosphere enough that it’s really tough to get sticking snow (more than a dusting) down to sea level where most of us live.  But it is very easy to get sticking snow up around 1,000′ and above in this pattern.   In this upcoming pattern that app forecast is just right.  We’d typically see highs 40-46 in the lowlands and lows in the 30s in this setup and that’s our forecast too.

It’s hard to believe, but THIS IS THE FIRST TIME WE’VE HAD THIS PATTERN THE ENTIRE WINTER!  The only other time we’ve been close to snow in the lowlands was for about 4 hours on Christmas Eve…that’s it!  It’s been a mild winter so far.

So we’ll keep an eye on it, but it’s probably safe to say a lot of us will at least SEE snow in the air later next week, it’s just a matter of whether it sticks at your location.  If you live at/above 1,000′ it looks like possibly next Thursday or Friday you might see some snow on the ground.  But a lot can change in 7 days…

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

60 Responses to Does Your App Show Snow For Next Week? Here’s Why

  1. Anonymous says:

    I am so pissed the weather guys got this winter wrong

  2. WEATHERDAN says:

    Our last best chance for snow has gone. This whole Winter has been one big forecast bust. I for one am now thinking about Spring. Maybe next Winter for some snow. Peace.

  3. Paul D says:

    The 7-day no longer has any flakes in it.

    Nothing to see here, please close the door on the way out. Thank you.

    • Jake in Gresham says:

      Never, I refuse to take a place at the bottom of the cliff. I’m waiting till tonight’s runs! 😛

  4. Jake in Gresham says:

    Seems to be Some Confusion on What it Takes to get a Snowstorm in the PDX are. Here are my thoughts.

    A ridge of high pressure must establish in the Pacific ocean just West of British Columbia. Otherwise, a few things don’t happen.

    1) Most of the arctic air doesn’t take a North to South path down British Columbia over land.

    2) Such a weather pattern also feeds us weather system after weather system that take off from the temperature difference of British Columbia into the Pacific ocean as they dive South past Vancouver island toward us.

    3) The arctic air spends less time intensifying up North in the Alaskan / Canadian polar circle.

    4) Without this setup arctic air in Alaska simply spills into the Northern Pacific Ocean and warms often enough to just bring very cold rain as it comes ashore in Oregon.

    5) The weather systems as well also non-ideally are more likely to come from the South Pacific Ocean or Mid Pacific Ocean (i.e. warm).

    To Sum it Up:

    The current pattern doesn’t quite get the high pressure in place West of British Columbia and so the jet-stream is largely West to East. The last 3 GFS runs have shown this and largely pulled away the jet-stream pattern we were hinting at getting this far out.

    A Side Note:

    Now, it can happen where if Alaska has record cold temperatures? That such an arctic blast could create a polar vortex over the Northern Pacific Ocean feeding arctic air toward us. This is rare, and even more so without a ridge of high pressure West of British Alaska to put the jet-stream in the proper setup for weather systems to provide the moisture. Yesterdays GFS runs showed a decently mean looking polar vortex. That today, it all put took away. 😛

    To be Continued.

    • Ken in Wood Village says:

      I agree. I noticed the High on the 1/21/18 12Z GFS. It was in the perfect spot to give us the polar vortex but the past few runs has moved it more toward us. It’s a long ways out there so a lot of things can and will change. We shall see what happens in the next few days. I’m hoping things will start going into our favor 🙂

      • Jake in Gresham says:

        That run is my reference really. It literally covered every State almost entirely in the PNW. We’ve regressed from that unfortunately. Here’s to the runs tonight! Super important imho

    • JohnD says:

      The Anchorage NOAA AFD from this morning talks about the evolving vortex in Alaska–hopefully a precursor to something down here.

    • Ken in Wood Village says:

      It’s still a long ways off and so many things can change. That High pressure is the wild factor. If it moves more West then we will have a chance to getting the goods. I still see the EURO has us getting cooler coming up next week. For now, I am still hoping the GFS will come back on board.

  5. W7ENK says:

    I’ve been watching intently for several days now, and my phone’s Wx app has not shown, and still does not show anything close to snow, not at any point going out 15 days. The closest it gets is Wednesday 1/31, with a high of 48 and a low of 32… with rain.

    I can absolutely guarantee you, it will not snow in Portland on 1/31.
    It hasn’t snowed here on that date in over 40 years.

    Looks like this year won’t be the year, yet again…

    • JohnD says:

      I didn’t do the research myself; but I have notes in my weather notebook which indicate January 19 as statistically the most likely calendar date to have snow in Portland. 15 times since 1884 in downtown! Darn, we missed it this year!

  6. WEATHERDAN says:

    In early January 1989 Chandalar lake AK hit -72. The severe cold lingered for almost two weeks up there. Around the 25th the cold started to move South. I don’t see a repeat of that. However we might see our coldest weather of the Winter February 4th-7th. It is way too early to go with more than that right now. It does however bear watching. Peace.

  7. Lee Wilson says:

    Anyone else have Daffodil popping up?

  8. Jason Hougak says:

    12Z GFS FEB 1989 redux???

    • Ken in Wood Village says:

      I noticed that too. I also see the EURO is starting to get cooler around the same time the GFS does. Let’s hope this keeps up 🙂

    • Gonna need MUCH colder temps up north to get a February 1989 redux.

    • JERAT416 says:

      That was the big cold snap with snow and single digits in Beaverton. I remember it well as a kid!

    • Ken in Wood Village says:

      I remember 1989 very well. I was working for Fred Meyer’s in Gresham at the time. I posted something about it a few weeks ago. I heard the cold air was coming and when I went to lunch that faithful night, I went by a temp gauge on my way home, it said 34F. An hour later when I went by it again it said 23F. I couldn’t believe how much it dropped in one hour. By the time I got off work (11:30pm) I went by they temp gauge again it said 13F with a very strong East wind (probably 40+ mph). It was amazing, I haven’t seen those types of temps in a very long time. If only we could see something historic this year…hehe 🙂

      • Ken in Wood Village says:

        I found this on a website.

        1989– the last really cold February recorded in Portland. Coldest days were Feb. 2 and 3, with frigid highs of 15 and.18, and lows of 9 and 11, then Feb. 5 also hit a low of 9… (amazingly, January 30th had had a high of a balmy 56 degrees, and early January had gotten as high as 60!)

        Very interesting to say the least.

  9. Ken in Wood Village says:

    Well, the GFS is getting more and more interesting. Now has the PNW into a really cold weather pattern next month. I know it’s a long was off but it’s very interesting indeed. Let’s just see what the EURO start showing in the next couple of days 🙂

  10. Alohabb says:

    Phone no longer shows snow and warmer temps. And walking in backyard feels like walking on a sponge. Hopefully doesn’t get to windy, got a tree I worry about and would like removed.

  11. Ken in Wood Village says:

    One thing I have noticed in the runs is some really cold air pooling in Canada now. For the longest time, it has been on the East side of Canada but now it’s pulling more to the West which could come straight down into the PNW now. Looks very interesting 🙂

  12. Jake in Gresham says:


    The GFS has only more so established the polar vortex that slides South over Alaska and into the North Pacific ocean. The last run in particular (18z). We actually get a polar vortex that is even stronger and larger.

    See here for the average temperature anomaly.

    Note bellow average temperatures lingering still 25 to 30 days from now in the PNW. That area has only increased over the past 48 hours in area and coldness.

    Overall, it’s going to matter where the weather system coming in on the 27th arrives. If it hits the British Columbia coast well North of the Vancouver island it will impede the cold air as it dives South. Giving our Canadian neighbors the snowstorm. In that situation we’ll actually warm up initially from the South winds as its tail end will give us (GFS shows this) a South wind. Before the cold comes rushing down from the empty wake left behind it. In short, wet melting snow in the air.

    So, looking at this I don’t think that weather system gives us a Winter wonderland. The possibility happens about February 1st with the next system as it goes to our South. However, I think it will happen fairly easy (all surrounding coastal and mountain ranges will have started accumulating snow starting the 26th).


    Weather models are supporting snow for the entire Willamette valley from Feb 1st – 3rd and are progressing forward on that since yesterday’s runs.

    • Ken in Wood Village says:

      I agree Jake, I have been seeing this too. Also, the past few (GFS) has been showing this and it has been trending colder in each run. I’m hoping this will keep trending with the next few runs.

      • Jake in Gresham says:

        Yeah lol! I said this long windily. But yea, fully agree.

        I’d like to see the system on the 26/27th have enough cold air to produce snow here but it’s partially to blame on that not occurring as it holds the cold air off when it / if it comes ashore so far North of us.

        Definitely unfolding toward colder for the past week with little or no disagreement on that. Very odd. Anything can happen at this point in my eyes. Still a week away for far more details to occur.

        • Ken in Wood Village says:

          I kind of see the cooling trend in the EURO too. It’s very slight and it’s not really noticeable but I can see it. I am able to see one image and when I look at the next I can see settle differences. I’m hoping the EURO will start trending cooler too. Let’s just hope 🙂

    • Lee Wilson says:

      Mark, we are getting some narly winds here in Castle Rock ,Wa.

      Any reports of power disruption ?

      These winds are very strong the building even vibrated a little .

  13. Ken in Wood Village says:

    Has anyone seen the new model runs? They look very interesting. Especially around the end of the month 🙂

  14. Ken in Wood Village says:

    The 00Z GFS looks very interesting 🙂 A little colder now.

  15. boydo3 says:

    Speaking of snow….where did the snowflakes go on this blog?!

    • pappoose in scappoose says:

      Here’s a couple!

    • JohnD says:

      Yeah Mark’s current Ch 12/7 Day is a little encouraging. But time is running out. We all place a lot of passion/hopefulness in our winter events. And after so long in the season when nothing seems to be panning out (notwithstanding the brief event on Christmas Eve!) then the passion starts to ebb in favor of spring. Not ready to throw in the towel yet though.

    • Diana F. says:

      I too am interested in solving the mystery of the missing blog flakes……Mark, can you help us out?

      These flakes might be the only ones we see this winter (blasphemy, I know, but I’m trying a little reverse psychology on Mother Nature!), so maybe click them back in? Or….on? Er…..start ‘em up?

  16. Anonymous says:

    Bring on Summer

  17. Roland Derksen says:

    I’m not holding my breath for anything this month. It’s more than half over, and it’s just another typically boring January for me. I’ll wait for February to show me something more exciting. A good “thundersnow” would be in order!

  18. Alohabb says:

    I’m good. Spring come back soon please.

  19. Jake in Gresham says:

    Meh, last few runs have most of the cold arctic air mass coming from Siberia to Alaska largely spills out over into the Pacific and significantly warms the last 2 GFS runs. I think we may see snow flakes in the air but anything definitive is way out of the question for what I know and see if that holds.

    That said, as Mr. Nelson states this is all for weather a week away. A lot of time. Again the models have backed off though last two runs on the GFS on what reaches us over land. In short, not ridge of high pressure really establishes West of British Columbia. This would allow much colder air to channel across land from Alaska, Eastward and South to the rest of North America. Not seeing this. Pacific influence and modification of warming of the air greatly changes the dynamics (the ocean cools very little overall in Winter due to the sheer volume of water).

    However, I say this slyly. The long term shows an aggressive polar vortex in the arctic circle that really really wants to fling arctic air South into the States. Where it goes? Nobody knows. One thing is for certain also on the last two GFS runs. We are back into a very active pattern typical of a La Niña Winter. Snowpack is back, big time.

  20. JERAT416 says:

    Isn’t this also a setup that sometimes produces snow for Portland but then Salem just gets cold rain? North south boundaries that I remember in past events. It’s what happens after that determines if the wet snow melts or sticks around.

  21. Paul D says:

    How many days have the schools been closed so far this winter? ZERO!

    It’s about time to fix that!

  22. Jason Hougak says:

    Weathers getting exciting

  23. ocpaul says:

    We either wait days for snow, or years for snow.

  24. Jake in Gresham says:

    Blizzard! Blizzard! Blizzard!

    Wants excuse for snowshoes. Te hehe he he!

  25. JohnD says:

    I am really vigilant about the big Arctic dome developing in Alaska–and how this could play in longer term. Yeah, I get it….normally migrating eventually anywhere but here…”But you say there’s a chance?!” We’ll see!🙂

  26. marinersfan85 says:

    Its to far out to say either way. Right now, it’s just foothill snow. But tomorrow it could be a,full on snow storm. Saturday it could show a super mega ridge. Not even worth the time to discuss it right now.

    • Diana F. says:

      Meanwhile, here you are discussing it lol!

    • Diana F. says:

      And as long as there’s no chance it’s going to be 75 degrees and sunny, I’m gonna have fun waiting and seeing what comes our way!

      • Lee Wilson says:

        My app is not showing anything close to snow.
        I hacked my phone and ripped it out because it is not accurate for my area._so i read the maps and take a guess.

        And as for the weather channels information 21 mph winds don’t take power out.

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