Our forecast worked out well last night and this morning. Just VERY light precipitation, in the form of flurries, sleet, and even a spot or two of freezing rain. And for most of us the commute was pretty typical. I remember saying in each of the 5 newscasts yesterday evening “good chance you look out the window and see nothing on the ground” Of course with the sleet and freezing rain there were a few spots of icing early. Here’s a shot from Gresham. Pic by Jesse Kerr
Radar has now “filled-in” with light-moderate precipitation, mainly snow, as models had advertised. By the way, when you see one of these radar images (whether on TV, app, or web), the “snow/rain/freezing rain” is not what the radar actually sees, but a “mask” put over the radar based on observations and modeling. Just because it’s green doesn’t mean it’s actually raining over you. An algorithm is just taking a guess based on those observations/modeling
From now through late afternoon expect gray skies and snow falling most of the time. That said, we’re talking “conversational snow” again, it may even be “dumping” at times. But air temperatures stay above freezing through this evening, gradually rising close to 40. That limits accumulation on ground, lawn, trees, etc… Yes, your neighborhood could turn white under heavy snow showers, but roads shouldn’t. In fact at 10am road surface temps on US26, OR-217, I-5, & I-205 are already well above freezing, up around 40 degrees. It would be different in December or January. But the sun is as strong as early October now!
The best chance for getting accumulating snow the rest of the day and this evening will be in two locations:
- Near/above 1,000′. That’s in West Hills, Mt. Scott, Powell Butte, etc… Could see up to an inch, even turning roads white up there.
- This evening possibly in far eastern suburbs up around 500′ or so. Hills of Camas/Washougal, Battle Ground, Boring, Sandy, Estacada. Maybe, but snow will need to come down at a moderate/heavy pace for that to happen.
Otherwise your evening commute should be just plain wet with temps in the mid-upper 30s. Snow will come to an end sometime after 6pm.
TONIGHT & THURSDAY (All areas west of Cascades)
I see a typical showers/sunbreaks pattern, but a cold one. That means mainly snow showers late night and early morning hours, but rain showers 10am-10pm. We have a southwest breeze blowing much of the time so that makes it extra tough to get significant snowfall. More “conversational snow” like we see in March some years.
LOWEST ELEVATIONS: Nothing to a slushy dusting for the Thursday AM commute. Snow showers early transition to rain showers midday/afternoon. Lows 33-35, highs 42-46. MOST OR ALL ROADS STAY CLEAR
UP AROUND 1,000′: Dusting to 2″ for the Thursday AM commute, best snow up north in Clark/Columbia county foothills. Snow showers all day, snowy roads possible early in the morning, then wet. Lows near 32, highs in upper 30s
FRIDAY & BEYOND
Good news! It’s appears that Friday morning will likely be our last close-call with snow in the lowlands for the season. Spring weather will finally arrive. No, not 70 and sunny, but 50s and showers. That means highs moving back to normal as we head into the weekend and next week. Check out the ECMWF 15 day outlook; a nice upward trend. First time in 5 weeks we’ve seen that!
And the ECMWF ensemble snow forecast for Salem shows the next two days are likely it for snow to lower elevations
Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen