First Snow In Foothills Next Week; Maybe Lower?

January 29, 2019

9pm Tuesday…

A quick post to let you know I’m watching the weather pattern very closely for early next week.  Right now our 7 Day Forecast looks like this:

7 day forecast graphic 2017

Notice there is no mention of snow.  I must be getting old and conservative (with respect to weather).  A few of your weather apps are showing even colder weather than this and snow/rain mixed next Monday and Tuesday.

What’s up?  The ECMWF model started the wishcasting train last night,


showing a cold upper-level trough swinging right down over us Sunday night through Monday night.  The morning run showed the same thing while most other models kept the cold air east.  Well now the 00z runs of the GFS and GEM have come around (at least a bit closer) to a colder solution for that period.  Now all three models show 850mb temps going below the “critical” -7/-8 degree threshold for sea level snow “stickage” from Sunday night through Tuesday morning along the I-5 corridor from Longview to Eugene.  If they maintain that plan for the next 5 days then we’ll see at least snowflakes in the air during that time for the first (and only?) time this season.  Of course that also gives models 5 days to back off.  Or it may just be dry and chilly!

By the way, maybe you’re unfamiliar with the term WISHCASTING?  The ONLY time I’ll ever quote The Urban Dictionary on my blog:



  1. This is not a “snow storm” setup with a cold Gorge wind and incoming moisture.  It’s onshore-flow showers with temperatures just barely cold enough to get sticking down into the cities west of the Cascades.  This is far more challenging to forecast and ALMOST NEVER A BIG SNOW PRODUCER IN THE LOWEST ELEVATIONS.  But hey, we’ll take whatever we can get this winter right?
  2. This is a GREAT setup for those of us around 1,000′-2,000′ to get our first snowfall of the season.  That looks very likely at this time.
  3. It’s still 5 days away; it’s very possible models back off in the next 2-4 days and we just end up with cold rain showers early next week along the I-5 corridor.  That’s why I haven’t changed the 7 Day Forecast for now.

portland snow look ahead

portland snow look ahead2

So again, there sure isn’t anything to “prepare for” in this case.  Just relax and keep a close eye on the forecast the next 3-4 days.

I’m off tomorrow for a family event (saying goodbye to Dad!), but back on Thursday.

Enjoy the next two mild and dry days; they should be great!

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen