We’re heading into “prime time” now. All the action for the lower elevations west of I-5 will be from now through sunset or so (5-7pm). My thinking hasn’t changed. Models that were forecasting little/no snow appear to still be on track and “It’s Happening!” where they have been expecting snow. Snowing all through Coast Range now and into the lowland areas west of Salem & McMinnville too
Precipitation spreads into the Willamette Valley and metro area next two hours and continues through the evening.
Depending on location in metro area, that precip will be rain/snow mix, or all snow. The all snow areas would be west of the West Hills (possibly at KPTV) in the western half of metro area.
THIS MEANS IT’LL GET EXCITING THIS AFTERNOON AS SNOW FLIES THROUGH THE AIR IN SPOTS, ESPECIALLY WEST METRO.
WHAT ABOUT STICKING SNOW?
Almost all sticking snow should be in far western metro, from Hillsboro and North Plains westward. But it will also stick up on Chehalem Mtn, maybe Cooper Mtn, and possibly at top of West Hills too. Expect a Trace to 3″ in these spots. Of course this includes all western valley locations from Sheridan to McMinnville, Yamhill, Forest Grove, Banks, Vernonia. I could even see a dusting in Newberg (maybe) and Amity. South Salem hills? Possibly.
Of course, if it comes down hard enough, even at 35 degrees it could stick somewhere else but it won’t last long and precipitation would need to be quite heavy.
THERE SHOULD BE NO EFFECT ON EVENING COMMUTE IN METRO AREA
After 7pm or so the precipitation dies down, plus changes to mainly rain since it’ll be warming a bit overhead.
Again, the “main action” today is 1pm-7pm. I think this HRRR model best represents what we are thinking for snow accumulation.
And the WRF-GFS; notice it gives a dusting to parts of far west metro area, West Hills, and south Salem hills. This is all reasonable.
Notice the lack of snow, even in the hills, on the east side of Willamette Valley and Clark County. That’s due to much lighter precipitation in those areas, but a few degrees warmer. And in parts of east metro the easterly wind gives a little too much “mixing” to get temps down to 33 to get that snow to stick. Yes, Banks at 300′ has a far better chance getting 1-2″ today than Sandy at 1,000′.
I’ll be on TV all through the evening, so probably no blog posts, but make sure you are following me on Facebook @marknelsenweather and Twitter @MarkNelsenKPTV. I’ll have some updates there.
Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen