Last February’s Snowfall + Snow Poll

8pm Monday…

I’ve put up a poll on a blog post over at site.  WordPress poll doesn’t work so well anymore.  If you’re interested head over here

There has been some discussion from time to time (since last summer) about last February’s snowfall at the NWS not being representative of the metro area.

Mark Snow PDX February

Here you go…the four measurable snowfalls in most of the metro area in February 2019


Everyone got a little with the first event. Almost the entire metro saw 1-2″

2nd event: east and north metro scored big time with this one

3rd event: west metro won during third event, nothing in Vancouver and almost nothing far eastside

4th event: weak in general, but mainly west/south metro. Nothing in Vancouver

It’s interesting that downtown Portland didn’t do well in any of the events last year.  Wrong place each time.  But remember back in January 2017 the middle of the metro area scored, west side pretty good, but east side was weak.  It all evens out in time…

Now you can argue about it in the comments.

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

92 Responses to Last February’s Snowfall + Snow Poll

  1. Anonymous says:

    Are we sticking a fork into our quest for snow yet?

  2. Jake in Gresham says:

    So, I know some of you are very enthusiastic for Winter weather as I feel I am too. The past 2 weeks has been all croaking of frogs at night here in Damascus…

    I’d argue early Spring is upon us quite early. It sucks but I expect Mark to bring out the fork before March roles around. We’ve never had a pattern supporting low land snow this Winter. Yawn, see you guys next Winter unless a better blog is found!

  3. W7ENK says:

    Been away on vacation for the last several days, just got caught up on the last week of blog comments.

    Looks like my model riding forecast from 3 weeks ago is still solidly on track, if not perhaps a couple days ahead of itself…

    Doesn’t look like I missed anything spectacular while I was away. Had another fat ZERO in the snow department on Monday morning, not even a dusting. Woke up to 35 degrees, green brown and wet outside. However my sister’s place, which is just 6,200 feet straight line and about 80 feet lower in elevation had a solid frozen dusting on everything but the pavement. I’ll never understand how that works. Just chalk it up to The Dome™ doing it’s normal thing, I guess.

    Took a friend (visiting from Germany) up to play in the snow at Timberline on Monday. Snow on the ground near continuously from just outside Clackamas all the way up and over, to just short of Parkdale. Snowing pretty good up on the mountain, but thankfully not much in the way of wind. Got a good glimpse of the volcano itself from White River, but couldn’t see the thing while we were actually standing on it. Was a good drive.

    Hiked the full 7.8 mile loop at Silver Falls on Tuesday. Cloudy to start, with a light dusting of wet snow on the ground up top. Began snowing lightly on us — little tiny magical forest flakes — when we hit the North Falls end and started the loop back up on the rim. Those falls were absolutely raging though, really powerful! So much better than in the Summer, and we only saw 5 other folks (and 2 dogs) the whole way.

    Photo album here:

    Saw snowflakes in the air on the drive back almost all the way down to Silverton, estimating the slow level started down around 1,500′ ASL.

  4. JohnD says:

    Three weeks left in the window. Not looking good. Eyeing the towel. A frustrating winter indeed.

  5. joel294 says:

    EVAN not EVEN or are you doing that on purpose?

  6. Scott Reeves says:

    Its over Johnny…ITS OVER!

  7. MasterNate says:

    When I see eye candy on the GFS, the song “Dust in the Wind” by Kansas comes to mind.

  8. Ziggy says:

    It is finally here!!!!!!! Spring is coming fast, low elevation snow is no longer a threat. Grab your sunscreen and swim trunks. See you dreamers and epic cold and snow wishers next year.

    ZIGGY OUT😎😎😎😎😎🤣

  9. Andrew says:

    I know I’m just repeating what others have said but not sure I’ve ever seen a more dramatic model change than the GFS over past 24 hours. Went from significant cold and snow chances to full on middle of Spring weather in the span of two model runs. Almost better that it happened 5-7 days out than like 2 days out like in January. Still plenty of time for another fliparoo. I agree with others on the GFS consistently pulling towards extremes in the extended. Euro is cool, not cold. We’ll see what shakes out. I’m definitely not anticipating much snow action down at sea level at this point but lots of time for things to come together.

    • rmlounsbury says:

      Well, there are some well known cases of the GFS puking 24-48 hour ahead of a major snow event and the whole thing falling apart. At least it has the common decency to puke 7+ days out this time around. 🙂

      I suppose at this point watching what the EURO as always is the best idea for seeing how things may pan out.

  10. Joshua Lake Oswego says:

    Time to whine about the rain. Looking very dry for the foreseeable future. Seemingly every single rain event for months has favored Washington or areas further north. Want proof? Precipitation since October 1st… PDX=15.43” Seattle=25.27”. 64% more. This disparity will grow in the near future too.

    • lurkingsince’14 says:

      Huh? January was a soaker

      • Joshua Lake Oswego says:

        That doesn’t change the fact that we are well below normal for the water year, the near-term outlook is bleak, and areas just north of us have received a ton more rain than we have.

  11. Mountain Man says:

    I’m not sure what all the rise and fall of winter spirit is about.
    12z EC is still diving cool, not cold couple of week systems down the BC coast through us into the SW like it’s been doing run after run. Can note the off shore ridge doesn’t look as good, not as positive tilted or quite as amplified.
    Canadian model has never been on it, a few cold runs, little ensomble agreement.
    GFS went crazy like usual, however, looking at the 12z, operational is the warmest outliner.
    My bet would be on the EC as the most likely to be close to what happens. Low snow levels, not a lot of moisture to work with, a few flirtations with snow in the lowlands that probably won’t pan out unless it goes just right.
    I would definitely disregard either end of the recent GFS runs, but give hope to waiting to see what that off shore ridge dies. It’s all little things. A few hundred miles east, west, a little more tilted or amplified will make a huge difference in how our weather plays out late next week.

    • Evan -- Cedar Mill says:

      That’s what I’ve been saying. GFS is flaming garbage and has been for years. KING EURO AGAIN (at least for cold weather)..

      • rmlounsbury says:

        Maybe a little premature… It’s 2 runs for an event 7+ days away. The GFS could do another about face. Granted the EURO isn’t advertising a major cold air event as of the 12Z but it is colder than the GFS.

    • rmlounsbury says:

      The offshore ridge is the biggest factor in this equation for sure. The GFS had been setting it up in ideal position to allow cold Canadian air to dump over the PNW.

      Of course, the GFS has since done an about face and setup the ridge almost on top of us giving sunny and 60 degree weather for what it was showing as near freezing highs.

      Wherever that ridge sets up will determine a bout of cold or mild but dry and sunny weather in the area. I don’t have any great access to the EURO so I mostly watch the GFS for it’s trends… It tends to be good on sniffing out pattern changes.

  12. Evan -- Cedar Mill says:

    I guess we should all give Zigfrito what he wants:
    You were right all along and you are literally the coolest person in the world.


    • Evan -- Cedar Mill says:

      Oh no smh. 🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️Why’d they do that right as the models flip.

    • rmlounsbury says:

      It is probably pre-mature to talk about it at the regional news level. But, with mobile apps throwing out snow flakes on their forecast apps it puts local mets in a bit of a bind even though 7+ days remains volatile for the forecast.

  13. Ziggy says:


  14. lurkingsince’14 says:

    If we can’t have snow, give me sun and 60s any day of the week 😎

    • Paul D says:

      Now that would be nice! Very comfortable temperature and the grass will finally dry out and not be a swamp anymore 🙂

  15. K says:

    My goodness this climate is garbage.

  16. rmlounsbury says:

    Well, that was a pretty incredible flip… After a couple of days advertising cold air to a dry and mild setup in just 2 runs.

    I’ve just been looking at the text GFS output but I’d guess this has to do with the GFS having a hard time handling a ridge setup.

    • rmlounsbury says:

      Ah yes… I got a chance to look at the extended MM5-NAM over at UW and earlier it was setting up a ridge far enough west that it allowed cold air to dump into the region. Now it is keeping that ridge snuggled up against the coast line.

      Lots of really cold air hanging out in Alaska and Northern BC though.

  17. Evan -- Cedar Mill says:

    Wow according to the GFS we could be seeing 60s next week. Spring has arrived and the GGS is still hot garbage. What’s new?

  18. runrain says:

    Right now, we’re warmer than Las Vegas, Phoenix, and San Diego.

  19. rmlounsbury says:

    Well, the 06Z made a wonderful face plant this morning.

  20. Evan -- Cedar Mill says:

    Well, that’ll probably do it.

  21. Ziggy says:

    Well, the most current model runs put a big halt on any real cold or even worse……moisture!!!
    There is always next year 😎

  22. Evan -- Cedar Mill says:

    Will be looking forward to what Mark has to say as we get closer to go time.

  23. lurkingsince’14 says:

    Yeah we’ve seen this before, fool me once…

    Sure looks cold tho 🤷🏻‍♂️

  24. Evan -- Cedar Mill says:

    Awfully quiet in here….

    • Ken in Wood Village says:

      I like to observe what people write. The GFS is very consistent, just need to watch how things play out!!

      • Evan -- Cedar Mill says:

        Ah yes, the old “wait and see” game has begun! Maybe the bad luck will finally run out?

        • Jake in Gresham says:

          The gfs blares warning a lot. Sometimes it’s spot on because of its long range accuracy but it totally sucks at the short range.

          We’re still a week away.

          Is it the most promising setup of the Winter? Yes. But it’s still a week away.

          The gorge on the 00z gfs run right now was awesome. Small system off the Vancouver island while the gorge pumps the cold into the metro. However the euro 12z really brought much milder cold from the North.

      • Peter Christenson says:

        We are a hopeful lot. But there is a tinge of sadness in what we write as well. Are we really weather lovers or just snow dreamers? There’s more reward in being the former.

    • Anonymous says:

      Blame Ziggy…

  25. JohnD says:

    For what it’s worth, the latest CPC rendition continues to be very impressive for a colder than average next couple of weeks—or even through the end of the month. Hopefully this will translate—finally—to a low elevation winter weather event or two!

  26. Tanis Leach says:

    Double commenting as I posted on the wrong post:

    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).

  27. Evan -- Cedar Mill says:

    Man this looks eerily similar to the Jan non-event except everything is warmer. Not liking our chances.

    • rmlounsbury says:

      Well, it is mid-February but offshore flow with those temps would net us snow. Of course, there isn’t much moisture around according to the GFS 12Z run.

    • Ziggy says:

      Looks like fake cold is possible if anything.

      • rmlounsbury says:

        “Fake Cold” implies we have an inversion with warmer air aloft. This is not that; this is legitimate cold air for the entire column. The only difference between what the GFS is advertising this time around vs. other events this year where we got cold air in place but kept onshore flow killing accumulating snow under 500-1000′.

        We shall see if this actually happens… Even the GFS has been waffling on cold rain and legitimate cold.

  28. Joshua Lake Oswego says:

    Epic rain shadowing for the valley last night and this morning.

    • runrain says:

      The Dome is overachieving today and on a day like this, the rest of us appreciate it!

      • Doug in LO says:

        Yeah. Again. The KGW hourly forecast had chances of rain between 90% and 100% hour after hour after hour beginning around 10 last night. I keep waking up expecting to hear it, never did. Been mainly a wimpy drizzly spray here, I doubt little more than a tenth of an inch for the entire morning. It’s like there is giant plexiglass bubble over us.

  29. Andrew says:

    We’re about a week out from what some models are suggesting will be the beginning of a colder – possibly snowy – trend. Feels awfully similar to what we saw in early January. GFS bringing in very cold air, while Euro is much more conservative. In fact, latest Euro run is less cold than previous ones. As much as I enjoy the eye candy that is the GFS, we’ve been burned by it once already. I’ll be keeping an eye on the Euro. If and when it confirms the cold pool in columbia basin, I’ll start really getting my
    hopes up. I noticed the apps are starting to drop in snow flakes for later next week so clearly there is some model support. Winter is far from over that’s for sure. Seattle and Eugene both got pounded last February and we have signs of a similar setup ready to repeat itself. Should be fun.

    • rmlounsbury says:

      If nothing else at least we have something interesting for the end of the season. I know the GFS has bounced between cold rain to cold with snow potential over the last 48 hours.

      Seeing heights below 520 and 850mb temps into the double digits inside the 7-day at least gives us a punchers chance. This time it comes with offshore flow unlike most of our earlier shots that always had onshore flow associated with them and incoming moisture.

  30. MasterNate says:

    WoW! The trend continues with the 06z. Full on arctic outbreak. Last eye candy of the season no doubt. It would be a great way to cap off a very disappointing winter.

    • MasterNate says:

      Well, maybe not a full on arctic outbreak but possibly some of the coldest air this season.

  31. Scott Reeves says:

    1-3 inches of snow on Valentine’s day

  32. Evan -- Cedar Mill says:

    A little bit of eye candy on the 00z 👀

  33. Larry says:

    It’s about 23 hours since the poll started. 56.7% say NO, 43.3% say YES. I think people are catching on that just because models say snow will fall in 2 weeks, doesn’t mean it is guaranteed. Those who voted YES should wait until next winter to get their hopes up when snow is more likely to fall and accumulate.

  34. Roland Derksen says:

    Steady snow here since about 5am. Not too heavy, and the temperature is just over the freezing mark, but it’s white all over and we could see up to 6 inches before it’s done. Can’t see a really cold February for us in BC, but at least it looks like winter again.

    • Ziggy says:

      How much snow have you had so far?

      • Roland Derksen says:

        I measured 3.5 inches for the day yesterday. Under the conditions given (slightly above freezing temperatures through the hours) it’s always a bit of an estimate. However, that’s probably close to the average for the area around here.(Vancouver,BC). Today, it’s light rain and drizzle.

  35. Ken in Wood Village says:

    It’s interesting to see moisture on the radar this early morning. Everyone was saying the moisture would arrive in the afternoon but there is some already showing up. It’s not in the Portland area right now but lets see when it will show up. What also is interesting is a lot of the moisture is coming from NW or North. With barely any winds coming from the South and temps around freezing right now (and probably won’t rise up much due to the cloud cover right now) maybe we could see snow flurries or showers. We’ll see what happens.

  36. Evan -- Cedar Mill says:

    12z backs waaaaay off. Not liking the trend.

    • Ken in Wood Village says:

      We’ll see how things go for the next couple of days. Last nights Euro was good with bring cold air in our area around the 13th. The models are always going to fluctuate before the event.

  37. JERAT416 says:

    Here in Tigard, looks like half the time not much if anything.

  38. Ken in Wood Village says:

    It’s a little amazing to see how people think winter is over. I believe we could see something before February is over. The overall pattern is similar to last years pattern which went on into summer (a NW to North flow which gave us cooler than normal temps). I think we have a chance of seeing something in the way of snowfall like 2019.

    The models are showing a reboot of a NW to North and sometimes NE flow pattern which gives us cooler to cold temps.

    We’ll see how things transpire through the month. 🙂

    • Evan -- Cedar Mill says:

      Yeah, it’s a shame that northerly flow was present for most of the summer and some of the fall, but then stopped in Dec and Jan when primetime hit. Maybe we get it again this Feb? You never know!

    • Ziggy says:

      Maybe just maybe, monkeys can fly???

      • joel294 says:

        Good one Dorothy. Ziggy, please stop being using this blog as a format to be an antagonist. I’m not 100% on this, but I believe you’ve made a few insightful comments regarding the weather at various times over the past two or three months. If you will, my best recommendation to you is to realize that your opinions are always welcome but you definitely come off as a person that is on this blog to be an annoyance on purpose. That’s just my opinion.

      • joel294 says:

        Good one Dorothy. Ziggy, please stop being using this blog as a format to be an antagonist. I’m not 100% on this, but I believe you’ve made a few insightful comments regarding the weather at various times over the past two or three months. If you will, my best recommendation to you is to realize that your opinions are always welcome but you definitely come off as a person that is on this blog to be an annoyance on purpose. That’s just my opinion.

        • Ken in Wood Village says:

          I agree about both of your concerns Joel. I’m not 100% on board about the cold air and the possibility of snow. It’s a long ways off and a lot can change between now and then so to me, it’s just eye candy.

          Going to the other issue. I contact Mark about this person but I haven’t received a email back yet. This person sounds like another person that was blocked awhile back and I’m thinking it’s that person. They loved to antagonize other people’s comments and really not contribute to this blog about what may happen with the weather.

          Just another bully which we don’t need.

    • joel294 says:

      Well said Ken and same to JohnD on the previous post.

      • Ken in Wood Village says:

        Thank you Joel, I’m just seeing the same pattern over and over in the model runs. We may or may not see snow but we will be cooler than normal for awhile.

  39. W7ENK says:

    It’s over, just stick the fork and be done with it.

  40. Evan -- Cedar Mill says:

    Honestly, at this point, all I want is a few cold, dry days and nights with a nice east wind.

  41. Ziggy says:

    Polish up your fork, this winter is done.

  42. Mokihana says:

    Still waiting to have a real snow day!

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