Historic Ice/Snow Storm Ending; Midday Saturday Update

11:30am Saturday…

This will be the shortest post of the week because I need to get to work! Busy with snow blower this morning…


All Winter Storm Warnings and Ice Storm Warnings in lower elevations end by 4pm. After 7am or so we transitioned to scattered off/on showers across the region so we DO NOT EXPECT SIGNIFICANT SNOW ACCUMULATION OR ICE GLAZING FROM THIS POINT FORWARD.

Sure enough, on the back side of the system it DID change back to snow across middle of metro area. Looks like most of us metro area and north picked up 1-3″ after that point

A catastrophic ice storm has occurred in the mid and north Willamette Valley; not seen in at least 50 years. PGE alone has over 200,000 outages. Far more damage has been done (more ice this time) than with December 2008 event.

From this point through tomorrow afternoon we’ll see off/on showers. Some warm air (above freezing) is working into the central Willamette Valley; we’ll see how far north it makes it.

Warming overhead means generally whatever falls after midnight tonight will be liquid in the metro area. Most of us will be below freezing, so of course that will add some ice glazing. Not that it matters much at this point with so much snow/ice on the ground.

I’ll be on TV all afternoon and evening as we show you all the sights/sounds of this historic event! Here’s a pic from Jeff Raetz down in Oregon City…over an inch of ice glazing!

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

44 Responses to Historic Ice/Snow Storm Ending; Midday Saturday Update

  1. Brad says:

    Not sure what to think about rain tomorrow night when my gutters are already packed with ice.

  2. Andrew says:

    Reading NWS forecast discussion, sounds like tomorrow will be interesting in terms of how temps rise. Big ice risk again later in day if temps stay below freezing but Mark suggests unlikely. models are pretty mixed i think, with GFS keeping metro cold until Monday. My guess would be more isolated ice in gorge by tomorrow night but we’ll see.

    • Jake in Gresham says:

      I know for the Eastside of the city which is at the mouth of the gorge it will probably be a different story. I have the same hunch in general though.

      Big flakes with moderate snowfall here now and I can here some sleet with it too. Here, we go, 3rd low pressure, is here early.

  3. ncrussell08 says:

    I’m wondering what will happen tomorrow afternoon when we transition back to rain. The surface temps will likely still be below freezing right? Wondering if it will become an icy mess for those of us who didn’t get it the first round. Thoughts?

  4. geo says:

    all snow now-that turned over quickly

  5. geo says:

    Mix here in sw gresham

  6. Phil says:

    Now it’s a mix of sleet and snow. Maybe switch back and forth tonight?

  7. Ryan Lounsbury says:

    Good news in Vancouver, this round of moisture is falling as 100% snow. Seems that last round of east wind over night fortified the cold dome a bit.

  8. Evan -- Cedar Mill says:

    All snow

    • Phil says:

      Yes, it’s only showery at the time but what does it mean for the rest of the night? If showers persists. Could we end up with an ich or more??

      • Andrew says:

        Looks fairly spotty until closer to sunrise when a more concentrated slug of moisture comes in. No idea what happens with temps overnight. I just dipped below 28 again in SE Portland. If we stay below freezing until morning it appears we might get a little more action before a full transition. but i’m guessing snow window may close earlier. I’m a little caught off guard by all this. I knew a third and final system was coming in tomorrow and Mark suggested that one will be rain for most people. Either this is that system and it arrived earlier than i was expecting or this simply developed out of blue which i find very hard to believe. Prob won’t amount to much but definitely not nothing on radar.

  9. Jake in Gresham says:

    Temp: 25.5F from a high of 27.6F
    Humidity: 86%
    DP: 21.9F
    Windchill: 19F

    I have reports of big snowflakes in Battleground and I see the radar is filling up around PDX.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Actual SNOW that is falling, that I can see with my own eyes 👀. Maybe it’s a sign that is on the west side needs to catch up on the measurements 😆

  11. Anonymous says:

    Pure snow right now at 700ft in SW Portland

  12. Anonymous says:

    31 degrees in South Metro. Very slow and minimal thaw this afternoon in above freezing temps. My house had a close call with a tree at 3AM, that was fun. Spent the morning chopping it up. I see even more ZR on the radar and now I’m worried again. I have two more trees looking to strike my house and not sure they can withstand more ice accumulation. Thankfully there’s no wind, so I don’t have to worry about the doug firs coming down (I hope). This has been a true nightmare and I feel bad for those that aren’t going to get power for at least another few days!

  13. Phil says:

    Its snowing now, big flakes 350 feet up Cooper Mtn. I thought we were done with snow. Currently 30 degrees.

  14. Paul D says:

    Up to 35 degrees now in Hillsboro. 2″ of snow/ice in total.

    • lurkingsince’14 says:

      Topped out at 31 here lower west hills, hoping for some more snow this evening! 🤞🏻

  15. Jake in Gresham says:

    I will say one complaint I had for this event was the hesitancy for forecasters to use the blizzard warning for some East counties. What I saw lastnight was just epic and matched the definition:

    A Blizzard Warning means that the following conditions are occurring or expected within the next 12 to 18 hours.

    1) Snow and/or blowing snow reducing visibility to 1/4 mile or less for 3 hours or longer
    2) Sustained winds of 35 mph or greater or frequent gusts to 35 mph or greater.
    There is no temperature requirement that must be met to achieve blizzard conditions

    Source: https://www.weather.gov/lwx/warningsdefined#Blizzard%20Warning

    • Tanis Leach says:

      The issue with issuing any watch warning us that the Portland zone is Multnomah/Washington/Clackamas counties under 1500 feet. Can’t issue it for just Troutdale/Fairview/Wood Village without Forest Grove also being in it.

      I’m not saying I agree with it, just how the watches and warnings work.

      • Jake in Gresham says:

        How so though? Because the Columbia River Gorge is under 1,500ft and they marked that zone or area of counties as having that warning. I’m unaware of the protocols or rules on such stuff. I feel it worth asking as lives were at stake. Lots of abandoned cars around here.

        I know we had the highest warning we typically get (Winter Storm Warning). But that just doesn’t define what it really was (a full blizzard). I’ve never seen snow sheer like that except on Mt. Hood. The houses in my neighborhood have no snow on their roofs. The snow was constantly blowing around in huge streaking sheets while the house shook almost constantly from the gusty winds.

        • Tanis Leach says:

          The Columbia Gorge is a different zone. There is a western gorge and a eastern gorge zone plus a hood river valley zone.

          I agree they should divide the metro area up for stuff like this. Wind advisories from the east wind alone would make up for this.

  16. Evan -- Cedar Mill says:

    21z HRRR sends a weak low south into south/central Oregon coast tonight into tomorrow morning? Am I going crazy? Could someone explain?

    • Anonymous says:

      Isn’t that the moisture that’s forecast?

    • Andrew says:

      Radar picking up precip bands for sure to our west. Slight temp drop to 29 for me.

    • Andrew says:

      I believe this is low discussed for tomorrow that Mark is confident will be a “Gorge only” event. But looks like at least some light precip associated with it beginning tonight with many areas still below freezing.

  17. Grizzly Bear says:

    S..t happens, That’s why I finally moved to Idaho, went through enough ice storms living on my farm in Clackamas county. January 2004 we had 1500 trees come down in a heavy ice storm and east wind event…not fun. The ladies on TV are going nuts about the ice in Salem….one said the lines should be fluorescent orange so drivers don’t hit the downed power lines…maybe just too much coffee?

  18. Evan -- Cedar Mill says:

    Is Erik alright? We haven’t heard from him in a while.

  19. Evan -- Cedar Mill says:

    GFS’s credibility has really fallen off a cliff into a bottomless pit the past few years. Should be getting very minimal consideration in future events.

    • Tanis Leach says:

      GFS handled the total moisture well, high temperatures (after we got within 5 days) and Thursday’s low position, and was overall more consistent with this event. Euro handled the snow/ice line better.

  20. Mountain Man says:

    I have 22.5 inches. Total model prediction average over the last several days of runs was between upper 20’s and lower 30’s in inches but that would include anything else through tomorrow night. It’s still snowing but very lightly now and probably will stay that way until the prefrontal moisture tomorrow evening. So I wouldn’t be to surprised to hit 30 inches, and say what looked like unbelievable a few days ago, pans out to exactly what the EC said it would for days.

  21. JERAT416 says:

    I think there is a need for a new category of snow total. “Portland metro area average ” or something. Take the average of a dozen or so spots. The official 7.8″ total for Portland is a joke to us down in Tigard and other spots. I don’t think it accurately represents this storm or most events like this

    • Brad says:

      I agree. When events like this happen, it’s almost a insult to those who live 10 minutes south or west of downtown to say we got massive snow storm. No….we didn’t.

    • flurball says:

      I think you would get a number pretty close to what you are complaining about. Some area’s a inch and others close to a foot or so. We are not in Tulsa OK where the highest elevation in metro area is your two story house and their version of a gorge is a grainage ditch running through town.

  22. Andrew says:

    Up to 29 in SE Portland. feels like we’re easily making it above freezing.

    • Phil says:

      Only 33 currently in Beaveton 350 feet. Been this temp for 2 hours. Hopefully it doesnt warm much more.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Please no more ice! Keep that far away from the West Portland Park area

  24. Andrew says:

    Thanks for update Mark. Forgeron showed a graphic on the newscasts earlier that the EURO model is sill forecasting quarter to half inch of ice around areas city between now and Monday morning. I take it by this post that’s likely not in cards.

  25. paulbeugene says:

    Can’t imagine the nursery industry fared well with this storm, probably devastated.

  26. paulbeugene says:

    First and last!

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