Friday AM: Last Chance To See Snow in Lowlands This Season

March 7, 2019

5pm Thursday…

Today was nice with partly cloudy skies and occasional rain/snow/hail/graupel showers wasn’t it?  Seemed a bit more like typical March weather.

Cold showers continue to stream onshore this afternoon.  I expect that setup to continue the next 24 hours.  That means once again late tonight temperatures cool enough to drop the sticking snow level down below 1,000′.  That said, most models aren’t showing significant shower activity.  That, plus 850mb temps (temp in Celsius around 4,000′) only drop to -7, pretty marginal for lowland snow in March.

Note that 4 different models produce very little snow for us.

Snow Model Accumulation Several

Plus I’ve noticed this several times recently; models tend to produce too much snow with these “onshore flow/snow shower” setups.   Even the WRF-GFS tends to produce too much snowfall in this pattern.  It looks like this through tomorrow afternoon.  Mainly bare areas in the lowlands, maybe best chance for a morning slushy dusting far west metro; and in West Hills plus Chehalem Mtn.

oes_msnow24.36.0000 (1)

To wrap up the snow talk, here’s a good summary of what to expect Friday

Snow Headlines Metro Tonight

And to top it off, I had my snow tires taken off today.  Sooo much quieter without those on the freeway!


Looks like a 2nd mainly sunny March weekend!  Lots of leftover clouds Saturday morning, then offshore flow means mainly sunny Sunday.  Temperatures will still be a bit below normal, but at least around 50 degrees.

Next work week looks reasonable for mid-March.  Take a look at the rising temps from the ECMWF ensembles.  Within a few degrees of normal this weekend through the middle of the week, then warming later next week.  Ignore the lows, it wont be that cold


Also note some nice dry weather too.  First Friday-Monday, then possibly again late next week.  Each horizontal line (51 of them) represents one ensemble member’s forecast of 24 hour precipitation the next 15 days.  The bottom part of the image represents the ensemble average.  I love this graphic because it summarizes lots of info.  For instance just with a quick glance you can see we’ve got guaranteed dry weather Saturday through Monday, then all ensembles give us rain Tuesday.  Then a very strong signal (good ensemble agreement) that we’ll have another dry or mainly dry period NEXT Thursday through NEXT weekend.


Three key points to ponder as you enjoy your weekend

  1. Tomorrow is the last chance for snow in the lowlands of western Oregon and Washington, most likely even in the air.
  2. Spring arrives next week, and should be real noticeable the 2nd half of the week
  3. Snow cover east of the Cascades below 3,000′ will begin melting slowly the next 5 days.  Then later next week melting should accelerate.  Lots of water going into the ground in the Columbia Basin the next 10 days!

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen