Freezing Rain For Some This Evening: Temperatures Continue Rising Tonight

9:30pm Sunday…

There comes a time at the end of these cold east wind events where the airmass pouring out of the Gorge becomes so thin that parts of the metro area “pop out” into the milder air above. That appears to be happening in the higher elevations of the metro area right now. Chehalem Mountain is up to 37 degrees. Top of Mt. Scott from 28 at noon to 32 now (still rising), Larch Mtn. Washington has jumped to 38 with a south wind (and rising). These areas are all near the 1,000′ elevation. Fascinating meteorologically because up until early afternoon these were the COLDEST spots in the metro area. Because there were higher up in the cold westward flowing air from eastern Oregon/Washington. Folks, this brief cold/ice/snow episode is just hours away from finishing…I’ve seen it many times. Once it warms in the hills around town the game is just about over. Notice ALL metro temps are at/above 30 degrees now. The only 20s are left in the western Gorge, around Corbett and east of Washougal.

Don’t get me wrong, at 30-32 degrees ice can still accumulate on trees and powerlines = bad. But it can’t last much longer now. The snow level is up around 5,000′ this evening in the “warm” airmass overhead, that’s why we’re seeing liquid raindrops falling through this thin cold layer and freezing on contact (in spots) instead of snow.

The pressure gradient is 7-8 millibars easterly through the Gorge, and the wind is still blowing hard out there, confined to a layer less than 2,000′ thick. That goes to zero around 9-10am. In fact a westerly surge works through the Gorge later tomorrow afternoon = much warmer!

So we’ve got a few more hours of icing, then not much rain at all after 2am as this system moves off to the east. It’ll be mainly dry for the morning commute. As mentioned in the previous blog post, I expect a southerly surge of wind up the valley after 4am as a surface low pressure tracks by to the north. You can see the switch and temperature jump into the 40s sometime after 7am in Portland

KEY POINTS

  • Expect a bit of additional icing the next few hours mainly east of I-205 and into the Gorge. Still a bit more in higher elevations of SW Portland & the West Hills, but most of forecast ice glazing on graphics below has already happened. We should be more dry than wet after 2am and through the morning commute.
  • Temperatures hover between 30-34 in most of metro area through 6am, then jump into the low-mid 40s between 6-10am. Expect quick thawing by late morning. Lots of water all over the place…
  • 6-10″ total snow in the Gorge through morning with temps below freezing until noon or so. But even there a westerly wind should push all of you up into the 30s by dinnertime and beyond.
  • The rest of tomorrow and this week will be uneventful with lighter showers Tuesday, dry Wednesday, then some cool/wet soakers into next weekend. Up to 2 feet more snow will fall in the Cascades these next two days. Oregon will be back to normal snowpack-wise within the next few days! Nice La Niña catch-up.

I’ll be on TV at 10 & 11pm tonight…Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

40 Responses to Freezing Rain For Some This Evening: Temperatures Continue Rising Tonight

  1. Phil says:

    Maybe another “Layered Cake” event like we had in Beaverton? Snow, ice, sleet, ice, sleet, snow, and then ice!

  2. Jason Hougak says:

    12Z GFS round 2

    • Andy says:

      Yup…Cold and snow again on the GFS. It has shown this for several runs. Looks like were headed into an active spring.

      • tim says:

        Spring doesn’t start until March 21 by then we’ll be staring in the face of 80 degree weather followed by a record breaking hot summer get your AC ready it’s coming.

    • MasterNate says:

      Looks like a good possibility.

    • Ryan Lounsbury says:

      I’m not buying that one yet. At least it is a shot from the north and not a Gorge fueled event if it does happen.

      • Evan -- Cedar Mill says:

        The only way we get real snow is if it is gorge fueled. As long as the systems stay to south and west and don’t plow directly into us, we are in good shape. However gorge event almost always mean there will be some period of ZR.

        • Jason Hougak says:

          The polar vortex could be causing some crazy abnormalities, who knows what’s next.
          I’ve had 4” of snow as late as April 7th, 2007 up here in the Cascade Foothills.

    • Tanis Leach says:

      I’ll buy the below average temperatures, but the snow its too early to call. Based on the last event, it got locked in at around day 5, with the 70% likelyhood at around day 7. I’ll wait till 7 days out to buy the snow/ice again.

  3. W7ENK says:

    Some terrifying moments at my Milwaukie homestead at 2:50am this morning. Here’s the view out my bedroom window.

    • Ryan Lounsbury says:

      Ugh, that’s awful. I got lucky at my house. Anytime we get high wind or snow/ice I always get nervous about a large fir tree that straddles the property line. It’s scraggly as all hell and about 60′ tall and it always drops branches. My neighbor seems to think it adds some value to the property and doesn’t want to cut it down.

      It did shed a couple big branches but they landed between the houses.

    • Diana F. says:

      Holy craaaap!!!! Sounded like glass busting! Wow thanks for posting!! I would’ve been under my bed! What did it look like at daybreak 🙅🏻‍♀️?

    • Tanis Leach says:

      On one hand, that sounds cool, if it was a movie. But its not. Hopefully you come out of this unscathed. Stay safe out there.

  4. Andrew says:

    Saw a flake mixing in next week in the extended Weather Channel forecast…

    • Ryan Lounsbury says:

      The 12Z GFS operational tells the tale. Another blast of cold air around 2/24 with 850mb temps dropping to -10C but no Gorge effect this time. Wind stays WNW.

      Looks like cold air dropping south from BC and maybe a BC Slider after the cold air moves through. If we are going to get another round this is far better than what we just had.

  5. Tanis Leach says:

    I noticed on the daily climate report that the total recorded snow at the airport was .1 inch, bringing the month total to 9.6 inches. This seems to contradict the public information statement total of 10.1 inches. So, which is correct? And this half inch does matter to me since my December outlook said 3-10 inches of snow. The 9.6 would be a hit without question, the 10.1 would make me look at widespread totals. Regardless it would be the 2nd/3rd (depending on which data you look at) snowiest February in Portland.

    Another fun fact: The last time January had a 10 inch month or more was January 1980 vs now in February, and 2008 for December.

    Lastly: It jumped from 34 to 41 in Sherwood between 9 and 10 am, thaw is just beginning.

    • JohnD says:

      I do believe the official NWS total is in fact 10.1” They somehow measure official snow totals at their Parkrose/Portland office vs. liquid precip (I think) at a recording station at PDX. There is an interesting historical study that I read one time about where official Portland weather stats were taken at various points in time. Enviable that places like Salem have consistently had only one throughout. I have a copy of it chucked away in my weather notebook.

  6. Max in Fairview says:

    Sun is out. The drip is on. What an event this was and to think there’s a good chance we have another shot at more winter weather.

  7. Al koholic says:

    I’m just happy to say that I called my shot that we would see a big winter event mid February….props to me!

  8. specialK says:

    Power gone here too. Yoyoed all night until finally just gone. Inner SE. extra 1/2 inch of ice too.

  9. Andrew says:

    Still 32 here. what happened to big morning jump?? worried more limbs will come down.

    Separately, I wonder if the Mark fork post will follow shortly, or if this volatile polar air will give him some pause. I think it’s very unlikely we get another bout of snow/ice but lots of cold air still lingering dangerously close to lower 48.

  10. Jake in Gresham says:

    That was loud, transformer up the road went kaput.

    Out of power again.

    Blizzard: 2:13am
    Icestorm: 11:33pm

    Icestorm: 1 point
    Blizzard: 0 points

  11. Tanis Leach says:

    I lost power about 2 hours ago for about 3 minutes. And that’s not the worst news. That was during an online midterm, so it logs it as going off the page (can be considered cheating) since I needed to refresh it.

    Please insert price is right fail horn here. Out of the 2 most significant weather events in the last 6 months (Labor day winds and this) I’ve lost power on both. The last time I lost power before was when in summer of 2008.

  12. Mountain Man says:

    I’m calling my event total at 25 inches. I think it’s over here. I’m still at 32 degrees, but it’s just raining, not even a flake to be found and no ice accumulation. Snow is compacting. At least I achieved the bottom end of model prediction.

    I’m sorry about all the destruction from the ice, it’s not as fun as snow either, I’ve been through some crazy ice storms, been injured, slid 200 feet on my back in the 04 storm, you can imagine how that ended, lucky at least it’s almost over.

  13. Mountain Man says:

    It’s true I remember from my 12 years of living in the hills west of Stevenson in the gorge, a portion of the tree damage comes a little after the thawing starts, not when the ice is at its thickest.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Thought we’d squeak by, but power just went out as I opened this blog post (Woodstock).

  15. Jake in Gresham says:

    Post this on the new blog too. A few photos of here the night ones are current conditions:

    https://imgur.com/a/PyQiMMO

    Icing up really quickly. Concerned on power lose once again.

    • Diana F. says:

      Excellent representation of the variety of precipitation we’ve had in this storm! Snow/Ice/Glazing…
      and sorry to say, right now in East Vancouver, it’s icing up something fierce 🥶

    • Diana F. says:

      Excellent representation of the variety of precipitation we’ve had in this storm! Snow/Ice/Glazing…
      and sorry to say, right now in East Vancouver, it’s icing up something fierce 🥶

    • Tanis Leach says:

      Ouch. Sorry to hear that. Cool picture though.

  16. geo says:

    Yeaahh!!

  17. Anonymous says:

    In the last 6 years we had the 3rd and 5th most snow on record in February not bad maybe those low sun spot count are contributing to all this

  18. KYLE BATES says:

    oh man, heres to hoping the power stays on.

    • Joshua Lake Oswego says:

      No such luck here. Tree limbs and compacted ice/snow dropping off of the large firs all around us at a frantic pace. I am really dreading having a look around my yard and the neighborhood in the morning. It’s going to be ugly. Neighbor’s car already took a direct hit by a large Douglas Fir limb. Large oak tree down a couple of streets over. Many other down or damaged trees. Good luck, everybody. The thaw is the scariest part.

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