Quite a change today eh? Temperatures soared from near/below freezing yesterday evening into the upper 40s or even lower 50s today. The southwest wind did the trick; even Troutdale made it to 48. I think the McMinnville sensor may be about 5-6 degrees off, more likely 50 there.
A westerly surge of "warm" air is working through the Gorge. Cascade Locks has jumped into the lower 40s and Hood River should see it soon. By sunrise a 40-45 degree breeze should have made it all the way to Maryhill & beyond. The pressure gradient is now WESTERLY for the first time since last Wednesday in the Gorge. This cold event has ended.
The damage to the power grid is the biggest I've seen since the 1995 windstorm. Looks like around 300,000 PGE customers have been out at one time in two different "waves of ice". The first Friday night in the northern/central Willamette Valley, then the 2nd yesterday evening/last night in south and east metro areas. There was some overlap in those south metro spots. Here are some preliminary ice accumulation numbers. It's amazing how well models did showing the thick ice glazing in the southern half of metro area. I've colored the areas where we generally saw 1/2" or more.
The rest of this week features "normal" weather. Drier conditions tomorrow with just a few scattered showers, but heavy Cascade snowfall. Then ONE dry day Wednesday before rains resume Thursday & beyond.
A few notes:
- We don't see a February 1996 setup with flooding following the melt. There's no heavy rain on the way to bring us a flood.
- I don't expect re-freezing of wet roads tonight. Too mild with cloud cover for just about all areas west of the Cascades
- There's no sign of low elevation cold/snow in the next 10 days, but we'll remain on the cool side with lots of rain
Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen