Welcome To February! Snow Showers Tonight Plus A Look Ahead

7pm Sunday…

Hope you are enjoying the Super Bowl on FOX12 or anything else you are up to this Sunday evening.  I’m on a bit later tonight, around 8:30pm or so once The Masked Singer finishes up.  That gives some time for a quick blog post to let you know what’s up weatherwise for this first week of February

Quite a change today from the low 60s Friday.  We only hit 45 today and we’ll spend most of Monday in the 30s and lower 40s.  A cold upper-level trough is passing over the Pacific Northwest this evening.  Earlier we saw a few scattered showers pop up in the chilly airmass, producing a mix of rain, hail, and graupel.  Those were driven by the increasing February sun angle producing surface warming that bubbled up into the cold air above.  Now that the sun has set, we’re finished with those.

KPTV 2017 Default Earth

We’ll likely remain dry through about midnight.  With partly cloudy skies temperatures fall down to around freezing most areas west of the Cascades too.

Models are in pretty good agreement that the line of showers offshore moves inland after midnight.  These will be light showers, but with temps around freezing ANYONE COULD SEE A BRIEF DUSTING OF SNOW west of the Cascades.  That said, some of us will be slightly above freezing = no sticking snow.  Other areas may get a rain/snow mix, then partial clearing AFTER the showers pass by could lead to a wet road freezing.

The result will be a random mix of four road conditions west of the Cascades for the morning commute in the lowlands from Longview to Eugene:

  1. Dry roads: where showers don’t pass overhead
  2. Snow-dusted roads: snow showers have passed over w/temps near/below freezing
  3. Icy roads: snow/rain showers pass by, then skies clear = black ice forms
  4. Wet roads: snow/rain showers pass by, but temps remain above freezing

All of these could occur within just a few miles of each other so tomorrow morning is definitely the type of morning to keep an eye on your car thermometer and morning weathercasts (here on FOX12 of course!)

And of course I could see a few school delays as well.  But this is not a “widespread snow” sort of weather setup.

Snow Tonight Forecast 1

What are models saying?  They don’t do very well with this real marginal/light precipitation setup so you can’t look at any one specific location and claim it will/won’t snow and stick right there.  But you can get a general idea.  Here’s our GRAF model, the lightest color indicates 0.2″ to 1″ in this case.

GRAF Snow Accumulation

The WRF-GFS thinks most showers go south, a little better chance in south Willamette Valley = no snow for most


And the HRRR, just a very light dusting in spots


The message in general is the same…almost all of us will see our day progress as normal Monday, but a few wake up to a dusting of white.

Tomorrow should be a GREAT day…partly cloudy with a bright blue sky.  Chilly start and end but around 45 mid-late afternoon.  Tuesday will be similar, although lots of us will start in the mid-upper 20s.  I’ll go 28 at PDX for Tuesday morning.  Once again we can’t seem to reach the cold nights we saw back in November.

Winter Coldest Day Each Year

A weak ridge of high pressure sits overhead Wednesday-Friday, bringing a mild south wind and rainy weather those days.

Models are still going for a little cooling next weekend, although nothing that would bring snow close to sea level again.  By next Sunday all models are bringing an upper-level ridge close to us again.  The GFS ensembles shown here for:


But just 10 days away (Wednesday the 12th), the GFS is trying to bring very cold troughing down over us


The GEM (Canadian) says nope, ridging is much closer


The ECMWF agrees with the GEM, keeping temps relatively mild, but a little on the cool side through mid-February


We may dry out a bit too with a closer ridge.  ECMWF ensemble average (for Salem) shows only 1.5″ rainfall during the next two weeks.  Operational (blue line) only around an inch.


By the way, 3 of the past 6 Februarys we’ve seen significant snow in Portland.  We’ll see what happens this month, but nothing suggests we’ll see measurable snow in the first 10 days of the month.

Mark Snow PDX February

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

33 Responses to Welcome To February! Snow Showers Tonight Plus A Look Ahead

  1. Tanis Leach says:

    Just got cleared as being injury free and my doctor in Corvallis told me based on my MRI results, I’ve been injury free since around Christmas and that’s right around when the rain picked up.

    Another piece of evidence to the Tanis’s health weather index.

    Details for those unfamiliar with the last comment in mid-late November:

    Since I began running in 2015, when I’ve been healthy in winter, the more it rains (ex: 2015-2016 and 16-17, no injury, above average rain), but when I’m injured, then it is considerably drier (ex: earlier this year, last winter, and March and beyond 2018 when I was injured, all below average).

  2. JohnD says:

    Not sure to what extent Mark has time to review blog posts these days; but a point of wonderment: Do you think that continual antagonistic, negative troll posts are in any way conducive to the enjoyment and goodwill that the blog would otherwise be inherently intent on propagating? Certainly “point-counterpoint” is part of the dynamics in most forums. But when one party makes it their apparent mission to hijack and control the overall mood, the game changes to at best “strange”.
    Each to their own of course; and no one is forcing anyone’s participation. But if ever the adage “one bad apple spoils the bunch” blog “trollism” applies here.
    I’ve enjoyed the blog for many years—like a lot of us. Without fail, each and every year a troll emerges. I’m guess it’s the same person under a new guise. I’m a philosopher as much as a weather geek—and not a psychologist. But you can’t help but be amazed how such types find identity and fulfillment in ways that they do. Of course times as they are, our world is rampant that way now more than ever.
    Well enough of the rant.
    32.6’ here in SWPDX. Nice having a seasonally cold night for a change!

  3. JohnD says:

    Liking the dark blues in the CPC rendition. A late winter event? Time will tell!

  4. Evan -- Cedar Mill says:

    You never know what February may bring considering what has happened the past couple of years. Should be interesting!

    • Larry says:

      I know what February WON’T BRING– and that’s accumulating snow. Probably will be cold enough for snow, but the rain won’t be there to back it up. However, next year looks great for tons of snow. But, for now, we’ll have to watch the dandelions bloom. Spring looks to be coming early this year!

  5. rmlounsbury says:

    Well the GFS is getting pretty consistent run-to-run that we will be dealing with cold Arctic air around the 13th/14th with offshore flow.

    Should be interesting for the immediate future as we saddle up for a run-to-run model riding stretch. At least February has been consistently entertaining.

  6. Tanis Leach says:

    So question about last February’s snow. It seems the official total is 6.1 inches (source: https://w2.weather.gov/climate/getclimate.php?wfo=pqr) and I feel like I’m missing something so what am I missing?

  7. Andy says:

    Looks like February may be very similar to last year. I know we have been disappointed many times this winter, however, I think some winter weather looks more in our favor mid month through late month. We had a brief snow shower pass through my neighborhood here in Albany this morning dipped down to 32 deg…So far just a dusting of snow this winter in Albany during the last cool spell, I wouldn’t call anything so far a cold snap.

  8. Ziggy says:

    Models keep things cooler for a bit, just enough to cause massive butthurt for sea level snow wishers.

  9. rmlounsbury says:

    Well, I’ve had my third skiff-of-snow event for the season. It’s been an interesting season to see the different micro-climates in my area. All three events my house got at least a dusting of snow and I’m around the SW Washington Medical Center. If I drive just a few miles west and drop down to the bottom of the hill on Mill Plain all three events have been chunky rain or just rain. Then if I drive just a few miles east towards Union High School near Lackamas Lake all 3 events hung onto mostly snow for most of the event.

    In the case of downtown Vancouver to my house it is mostly altitude. Then from my house to NE Camas it is more to do with interaction with the Gorge.

    Any who, I’m sure I had a solid dusting around 2-3am this morning when the snow hit. But by the time I woke up just a few surfaces had some snow and everything was wet.

    Also, the GFS wants to keep the hope of winter alive this morning I see. Hopefully it can deliver an event before we get to late February or March.

  10. Jason Hougak says:

    February is looking interesting…
    2” of snow here in the Cascade foothills.

  11. Andrew says:

    One last chance for the GFS to redeem itself and get the cold right for a change. very far out but looks like all models like a colder period about 10 days out. It definitely has the feel of winter’s last gasp but we have to remember that last years action didn’t begin until mid-February and while much of Portland didn’t get snow, areas to our north and south got pummeled. Model runs over next week will be telling.

    • lurkingsince’14 says:

      Dusting this am Raleigh Hills area, snow showers on the drive – I fear that may be ‘winter’ for me but we’ll see – all aboard!

  12. Anonymous says:

    Radar shows the snow will end soon here in Oregon City. Nice white cost everywhere. 32.5 at 300′ Such a tease!

  13. Snowing and Sticking in Damascus, OR. About a 1/4 inch so far. Elevation 750ft.

  14. runrain says:

    Snow in Happy Valley 400’. Sticking on everything except the pavement. Looks like a non issue for driving but when it stops, should the sky clear, could get a bit slick.

  15. Longview 400 ft says:

    Currently 29.8
    Clear skies.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Visiting my sister in Salmon, ID, coming down Friday from Missoula it was 50 degrees and no snow on the ground in the Bitterroot valley and then after traveling over Lost Trail Pass (7100 ft.) I dropped down into the Salmon River valley with a foot of snow on the ground. Saturday morning woke up to 5 degrees

  17. ocpaul says:

    Make it a big surprise tomorrow. You know what I mean.

  18. JERAT416 says:

    Thing is, east side got the goods February 2019, west side got a whole lot of nothing. Another example of a Portland record not making sense to probably quarter million people or better.

    • W7ENK says:

      Ehh, no. Milwaukie got skunked 7 times. We were right on the edge each and every event last Winter, and I ended the season with a quarter inch of slush in the grass.

      • JERAT416 says:

        Yeah, maybe I should have specified NE corner of the metro area. Many areas got nothing. It may be technically correct but still misleading when the records show that Portland got snow.

  19. JohnD says:

    Here’s hoping that the GFS prevails for once this season! Not throwing in the towel until the end of the month!
    34.2’ with increasing overcast here in inner SWPDX at 200’ at the moment. Definitely would take a light dusting tonight amid an otherwise abysmally uneventful winter—(except for copious mild rain!)

  20. MasterNate says:

    Thanks Mark! Love seeing winter hanging on as long as possible.

  21. Jason Hougak says:

    Last year was a fantastic February. Lots of snow which lasted on the ground into March with more fresh March snow. 6 weeks of great winter weather. Would love a repeat.

%d bloggers like this: