A Quiet Thursday-Saturday Across the Pacific Northwest

6pm Wednesday…

Yesterday’s storm was exciting, but now it has fizzled over in Eastern Oregon.  There are still areas of snow falling across the Cascades, Eastern Gorge, and Eastern Oregon.  But in general we’ll be drying out region-wide by midday Thursday.  The strong northeasterly “upslope” flow into the Cascades dumped a huge amount of very dry snow on Mt. Hood ski resorts.  Even though that snow will compress a bit, it’s enough to allow Timberline, Mt. Hood Meadows, & Mt. Bachelor to offer some lift-served skiing this weekend.  Skibowl is opening their tubing runs Friday.

Mark Ski Areas Opening

I don’t see much more snow in the next week.  First it’ll be dry, then mainly dry but warmer next week

7 Day Forecast GOVT CAMP

Have travel plans?  Tough over the Cascades right now, but things should gradually improve through the weekend

Snow MtHood Outlook

All other Cascade and Siskiyou mountain highways are open this evening.  Here’s what you can expect elsewhere

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Offshore (easterly) flow continues through Saturday.  At that time an approaching upper-level low and surface low tighten things up a bit.  Expect much stronger easterly wind near/in the western Gorge Saturday PM and night.  At the same time all models agree a very weak band of precipitation moves north across Oregon and southern Washington.  This CAN be a classic setup for a brief freezing rain or snow event in the metro area.  At this point I’m thinking many areas west of the Cascades will be too warm for frozen precipitation.  The 18z ECMWF model ensembles think it could be a minimal or “non-event”.  Only 7 of 51 members give us an inch of snow or more during that time.  The rest are either too warm at the surface, too warm overhead (possible freezing rain), or mainly dry.   This would explain my lack of enthusiasm for some real wintry weather in the metro area this weekend.  We’ll see how it looks in 24-48 hours.


Our headlines graphic captures the general plan for this four-day weekend well

Mark Headlines Thanksgiving Week

I’ll be working through next Monday, keeping a close eye on things through the holiday weekend.  Check back again Friday for a weekend update on this weather blog.

Enjoy your Thanksgiving!  Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen


32 Responses to A Quiet Thursday-Saturday Across the Pacific Northwest

  1. Joshua Lake Oswego says:

    Only one day in the last 39 days with at least .20” of rain. Add at least the next seven days to that. I’m running out of superlatives to describe this misery.

  2. Roland Derksen says:

    Clear skies here all day with a high of 45F and a low this morning of 24F. It doesn’t get any better than this at the end of November. We’re leaving the month in style!

  3. Mr Realist says:

    Well, it looks like we will make it out of this historic arctic blast unharmed. After Monday we should start climbing back into the mid 40’s and boring weather.

    Just to make sure snow doesn’t happen me and about 12 from both sides of the family will be putting on snow tires as they are the curse of death.

  4. Tanis Leach says:

    To add to your point with the 18z GFS, it has it at .5 inches of snow (or less) and 3 hours of ice tops. Closest events would be similar to December 9th (or so) 2016 and early January 2017.

    • W7ENK says:

      January 10, 2017 I ended up with 13 inches, which stuck around for almost 11 days. I think you’re remembering incorrectly.

      • K says:

        He’s definitely remembering correctly, to some extent. January 6th-7th, right before our huge snowstorm, the metro area and Salem north received a moderate ice/snow event (maybe 1-3 inches of snow and a quarter-half inch of ice). If we do get an event this weekend, I think it’ll be more like late January 2017, though.

  5. It snowed in Redding for a few hours yesterday evening, according to official reports. So Redding beat both Seattle and Portland for having an earlier snowfall this winter.

  6. JohnD says:

    Thank you Mark. Always compelling. Also thank you while knowing that your Blog sponsorship is an “extra” amid your many mainstream professional duties + personal life!
    Looking forward to lots of fun ahead!
    Happy Thanksgiving!🍁🦃

  7. ocpaul says:

    Wet snow forecast for the third week of March 2020.

  8. Paul D says:

    Mark is bored – he’s cranking out the blogs by the boatload 🙂

    • Jake in Gresham says:

      Yeah I think many would never admit it; but I think we want a good solid snowstorm this Winter. As others have mentioned we’re overdue and this Winter could be the one for a good one (8” to 10” in one go). One can say it’d be pretty cool.

      I’m going hiking into the mountains this week meanwhile to get some Winter wonderland shots and get that fix mean time.

      • JERAT416 says:

        January 2017 doesn’t count as a big snowstorm and arctic blast?

        • Tanis Leach says:

          The January 2017 counts as a snowstorm, but not as an arctic blast as it was the back door method of modified air and not the from the north method that would keep it more pure arctic air (to my knowledge): A better term for determining an arctic blast is lowest high temperature of the winter vs lowest low.

          Mark’s 2016-17 winter weather recap explains part of this.


        • W7ENK says:

          80% of our “Arctic blasts” come in through the back door, down the Gorge. What’s the difference? We haven’t had a solid Arctic FROPA come through Portland metro out of the North for a long, long time. Almost seems like an impossibility to get them to cross the Columbia anymore.

        • Tanis Leach says:

          Ok, I sit corrected, I’ve been under the impression that an arctic blast is from the north instead of the gorge, but I’m 19 and in college so still learning. My point on 2017 not counting as an arctic blast is still valid.

      • Paul D says:

        I definitely do! Let’s repeat December 2008!!

  9. Jason Hougak says:


  10. tim says:

    Could this be the only shot of cold and frozen precip of the winter like 2014 especially here in Seattle, i hope not even then the air mass was little colder can complain if so after last February.

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