Snow Showers Picking Up In Metro Area: Watch Out For Icy Monday AM Commute!

9pm Sunday…

It’s tough to get “sleddable” snow when not much of ANYTHING falls out of the sky. That happened in much of the Portland metro area today. Lots of sunshine, sparse shower action, and very little precipitation. In fact PDX only recorded .05″ yesterday AND today combined! Officially we squeezed out 0.5″ of snow last night and early this morning. The daily total continues through midnight so that could change since we’re seeing plenty of snow showers right now.

I don’t think I saw a report of more than 2″ anywhere in the metro area (so far!) except out in the Hillsboro, Banks, Forest Grove areas. That includes Clark county and the western Gorge too. Most of the showers didn’t do much once they passed over the Coast Range. Of course with some sunbreaks and temperatures above freezing, that little bit of snow melted by early afternoon.

Remember I forecast Trace-3″ in the last few blog posts. Yet there was MORE snow than expected in a few places. Salem, McMinnville, Forest Grove, Longview, Lebanon, Albany. Models had hinted there would be some “training” of those snow showers bands and it did happen. But just in a few spots.

Someone was harassing me on Twitter about the forecast (always wrong, etc…) earlier. How would YOU handle a situation like this when some random spots will get a lot of precip and others will not? On a normal showery weather day hardly anyone would notice if we get 0.45″ vs. 0.15″ rain. The only difference now is that temps are near freezing = snow. Then everyone suddenly cares (for good reason) NWS decided to forecast for those highest numbers and issued a Winter Storm Warning to cover it. I chose to miss those high numbers and focused on what I thought most would get (Trace-3″), hardly mentioning the warning.

This evening the very cold arctic has made it to just north of Longview and east of the Cascades to Arlington.

That “arctic front” is now falling apart and we’ll just see a little filtering of that arctic air down into our area. We won’t be 23 degrees like what Seattle is seeing right now! The surface low and nearly dead arctic front is just south of us tomorrow morning

Snow showers have picked up a bit the last 2 hours and that means we still have a chance for a widespread dusting (likely) or even up to 2″ in the metro area (less likely). Roads are going to be very icy for the Monday morning commute!

The rest of the daylight hours Monday will be uneventful and most frozen roads slowly thaw. Main roads should be fine for the evening commute, just leftover slick spots where more than 2″ snow has fallen.

A “B.C. Slider” will be coming down the coastline tomorrow evening through Tuesday morning. That’s a little wiggle in the cold northerly jet that spins up a surface low pressure system and clouds/snow. A situation like this will be much different than what we are going through right now. This is a general/widespread light snow event. Temperatures will hover near freezing tomorrow night through the morning commute Tuesday. Most likely we pick up 1″ or so snowfall during that time. It’s unlikely we have a frozen mess Tuesday morning, but lots of slushy snow. Still, that’s not fun to drive on either! Then it warms above freezing again Tuesday afternoon for reasonable driving conditions many areas.

After another dry day Wednesday, another “slider” comes down the coastline. But that one is more likely to move inland NORTH of us. That’s important because a southerly breeze warms the lowest levels of the atmosphere quickly in this situation. We may go from snow to rain during that little precip event.

I sure don’t see a “snowstorm” with either of these two systems Tuesday and Thursday, but will be keeping an eye on things…

Enjoy the white start to your Monday!

97 Responses to Snow Showers Picking Up In Metro Area: Watch Out For Icy Monday AM Commute!

  1. Mountain Man says:

    Funny I get to sleep tonight and did, then I wake up and look at radar and it goes from filled in last I was awake and was just getting flurries… wake up to empty nothing now over me on radar and it’s dumping perhaps at the rate of over an inch per hour. Sure I know why, because the radar is so far away and the precipitation is to low under the radar. But since it’s moving almost straight south, it’s sorta headed towards you all. I thought I’d let anyone still awake know…

  2. Evan -- Cedar Mill says:

    I’m impressed so far.

  3. Here’s some input on tonight for those of you who won’t have time to look at all the models.

    Currently we’re in the start of a atleast somewhat overpreforming snow event, here’s my 3 favorite models for forecasting these Snow events.

    Latest HRR run, best for predicting Snow events, as long as they are guaranteed cold enough, not so good for borderline temperature Snow. This event is a guaranteed cold, so HRR is most accurate.

    00z RDPS, I find the 2nd most accurate, atleast in my experience. gives a decent spread of snow for the whole valley!

    00z GFS, my 3rd favorite for these snow events. Now to 7 PM tommorow, pretty impressive for snow amounts.

    00z GDPS, my 4th favorite, normally it’s either spot on, or not even close to correct for Snow, but this time the other models agreed with it, so it deserves a mention.

    Hopefully the models I use for my forecasts, are correct, because they look pretty good.

    I’ll do a short update later.


  4. NoSnowTigard says:

    Well I surpassed the trace or dusting portion of this snowfall a while ago. Hopeful for a couple of inches tonight.

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