Forecast worked out pretty well, except more snow than expected on the beaches! This pic from Joanne Jene in Oceanside.
Reports of 1-3″ from Astoria down to Tillamook and even farther south. I had 1.5″ at 1,000′ and I see Sandy at 1,000′ had about the same. Last night was all about precipitation intensity. Basically very little precip (too dry) in the western Valleys. Portland Airport only had .02″ all night! More precip and a few hundred feet of elevation = some snow on the ground this morning.
We knew that was the case, the reason I mentioned, in each newscast, “LOTS OF YOU WILL WAKE UP TO NOTHING”. Forecast was for Zero to 1″ maximum.
What’s happening today and tonight? The action is shifting east. First, a cold arctic airmass has frozen Seattle, the Washington coast, and all of Eastern Washington
In northwest Oregon temperatures remain where they are right now for the rest of the day; staying under 40. No sticking snow in most of metro area through at least early evening. That cold arctic air won’t be surging much farther south. The result?
Little or nothing interesting happens now through Thursday from I-5 west to the coastline. Too warm (daytime) to bring snow to the lowlands west metro today, and it’ll be too dry when it’s cold enough. But east metro and north/central Clark county will be different.
Today a storm (low pressure center) is moving on an unusual path south to north across Eastern Oregon and into Idaho. You see it at 7am, 1pm, and 10pm
Snow wraps around north and west of that system. I expect solid snowfall; a snow storm. That includes the Columbia River Gorge, North Cascades of Oregon, and north-central Oregon. Take a look at a snowfall forecast now through late tonight. Look at those areas getting 8″ or more from the Hood River Valley east to Condon! IGNORE ANYTHING OTHER THAN THE COLORS BLUE THROUGH PINK. Note snowfall west of the Cascades is in the foothills or extreme east Portland metro area.
FORECAST FOR REST OF TODAY
Portland Metro roads remain snow-free today, although light snow will fall at times anywhere, mainly eastside. It won’t stick much since temperatures remain in mid-upper 30s.
YOUR EVENING COMMUTE SHOULD BE FINE THROUGH AT LEAST 6PM…EXCEPT POSSIBLY TURNING SNOWY EAST OF I-205, AND IN CENTRAL/NORTH CLARK COUNTY.
THIS EVENING & OVERNIGHT
- Light snow continues falling east metro area and western Gorge + temperatures fall. After sunset it cools enough that areas around Gresham/Troutdale/Camas/Estacada will definitely see sticking snow. Maybe 1-2″ in those towns, possibly 3-4″ by the time you get up to Sandy, Corbett, and Mt. Pleasant area east of Washougal. Cool air coming in from the north will likely freeze roads north of Vancouver in Clark County too.
- West metro area shouldn’t see sticking snow tonight, of course a dusting is possible but that would be it. Temperatures hang near freezing.
- IF we get clearing tonight (a very big question), and temperatures fall to freezing, there could be icy spots in the morning on some roads. Of course that happens many times in the winter so we’re used to that.
Mainly sunny & chilly days and cold nights. Dry
TECHNICAL TALK FOR THE WX GEEKS
That arctic front is uncomfortably close and I’m concerned that precip continuing this evening could turn much of the metro snowy after sunset. The arctic front is the boundary of the cold/dry air where things are pretty much frozen. It has progressed to Kelso west of the Cascades and Hood River in the eastern Gorge. I’m worried about that brand new ECMWF showing cold/dry air surging up the Columbia River and into the metro area by 4pm.
If precipitation continues this evening, those lower dewpoints + evaporative cooling coming in from the north could easily push sticking snow right down into the city. In fact ECMWF has temps dropping down to freezing after sunset. Oh please no evening commute fiasco… The precip forecast:
and snow forecast
Could be a coating of white all the way west to downtown if that’s the case. Obviously the Gorge and north-central Oregon gets a nice snowstorm next 24 hours!
Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen