Very quick post since I'll be on TV from 4-7pm. More info this evening in a longer post between 7:30-9pm. National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Watch for many parts of NW Oregon and SW Washington.
It’s been a beautiful sunny day across the entire region…temperatures up into the upper 40s and a calm wind has made for a nice February afternoon. We expect another clear & cold night with temperatures down into the upper 20s and lower 30s.
Clouds begin to arrive Wednesday afternoon, otherwise another nice day with no rain. Then our weather gets far more interesting Thursday through the weekend.
Thursday we’ll start with light rain showers, which should turn to steady rain and then a mix of freezing rain/snow late in the day. From that point through at least Sunday morning, temperatures will be at/below freezing. That means we’ll be getting snow and freezing rain in the metro area. Now that were 48+ hours away we’re getting a much better handle on the forecast:
WHAT WE KNOW AT THIS POINT
- A snowy/icy event (storm?) is likely in at least part of the Portland/Vancouver metro area Thursday night through Saturday
- This will be a mix of freezing rain and snow, depending on location and time. For example it’s possible north and east metro gets MANY inches of snow, but west & south gets only a mix or spotty freezing rain. There’s no guaranteed sledding yet for south & west metro.
- There is going to be a lot of precipitation available during this time. Snowy areas could easily get more than 6”
- There’s a good chance most of the metro area stays frozen Friday morning through Sunday morning. We might get lucky and have thawing on some roads in parts of metro area Friday and Saturday afternoons.
- The Gorge and Cascades are going to get hammered. Several feet are possible for both; high winds + blizzard conditions may occur at some point west end between Troutdale and Bonneville Dam.
- Snow is unlikely on the coast and south of Woodburn/Salem. It’s increasingly likely that little/no snow falls in Salem/Albany. A wintry mix or maybe all freezing rain at times.
- If we don’t pop out of it with a warming southerly wind Sunday, we definitely will Monday. This is all about late Thursday through Sunday morning.
THERE IS STILL A CHANCE MODELS PULL THIS WHOLE THING FARTHER NORTH, LEAVING US WITH SNOW ONLY IN CLARK COUNTY AND NEAR/IN GORGE. But that appears to be a small chance now.
Just letting everyone know it’s not a guarantee yet.
WHAT WE DON’T KNOW YET
- Exact timing of heaviest freezing rain/snow
- How many inches we get in any one location
- How much freezing rain makes it down south of the metro area
- Will it be one long, continuous storm that shuts down the entire metro area from Thursday night through Saturday evening? Or do we get one wave Thursday evening, a quiet Friday, then another wave Friday night and Saturday?
Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen