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

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

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

  1. W7ENK says:

    50 degrees yesterday.

    60 degrees today.

    Should be 70 degrees tomorrow?
    😂🤣😂 I wish….

  2. weatherduck83 says:

    What a wild 6 weeks that was. The ‘winter of what could of been’ is finally in the rearview; late this week thru the weekend looks fantastic! 😎

  3. Tanis Leach says:

    Quote from Mark Nelsen 3 days ago: “I’ll fork it on Sunday.” Where is the fork?

  4. JohnD says:

    Really ready now to be sending the winter 2018-19 season off. Utterly both bizarre and amazing in how it played out time wise; but also in terms of regional impacts once true winter conditions finally set in for the PNW–most definitely historical for some!
    Here’s to a wonderful spring-summer!

  5. And for the first time in well over a month, the temperature finally cracked the 50-degree mark today.

    • Roland Derksen says:

      I reaches 50 degrees exactly yesterday, but today we may get one more chance to see snow. Probably won’t amount to anything on the ground, but I’m expecting at at least a mix of rain and snow later today.

  6. Jake in Gresham says:

    Yesterday was a really interesting drive to work. I’m near the Columbia in Gresham but drive to Damascus.

    My car just had a dusting of slush and a frosty windshield. Nothing on the ground. By the time I got to Powell in Eastern Gresham I could clearly see the hills and roads were dicey and full of snow (lots of cars coming the opposite way with snow on their cars).

    Then the countryside around Foster road had an abandoned car going up the steepest hill I have to get past. My guess was early morning it looked to be all ice covered with snow. A neighbor was nice to them and put an orange cone because half the car was still in the road.

    That woke me up.

    Past that it was all trucks and AWD stuff like Subarus. I just have a Honda but I’ve driven those roads for a number of years and I had fresh tires that are all seasons geared toward Winter that I just broke in (Altimax RT43). I also use Brembo ceramic pads to really feel the road.

    Test time! Lol!

    No trees down or cars in ditches. People were being safe and highway 212 was clear and graveled with moderate traffic. I did NOT get coffee that morning and I did NOT need it hah! My boss was not expecting me when I got there (made his day). Heck, I made some coffee in the office. There was an inch of snow on the ground. A perfect morning. But whoa boy!

  7. W7ENK says:

    East winds suddenly gusting over 30mph in upper Milwaukie, howling under my front door. Was this supposed to happen? I don’t recall anyone forecasting this…

  8. Jason Hougak says:

    23F and winterlike outside

    • Jason Hougak says:

      Feb. 3rd we got our first accumulating snow with 1.5”. Little did we know it’d last 5 weeks with snow staying on the ground through March 10th…

      • At the end of January, I was seriously suspecting that a December reading in the mid-20’s would be the coldest of the season, and wondering if I might get a snowless winter to boot.

        Overnight low of 27˚F here. So many frosty nights over the past five weeks that I’ve lost count of them all.

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