Crazy Weather Week in Portland and the PNW

Fasten your seatbelts as we have a lot of weather to talk about over the next 24 hours and even beyond…


Numerous watches/warnings are present for NW OR and SW WA for winter weather conditions.


Let’s focus on the next 24 hours first:


Today we will see spotty rain/snow showers with little to no accumulation for valley floors. Highs will be above freezing. Higher elevations around 500-1000’ could see some brief accumulating snows.


More moisture pools into the region tonight and lower temperatures will result in our best chance of accumulating snows in the lowest elevations through Tuesday morning. We could see up to 2” in the lowest elevations (valley floors) and much more in the Coast Range and Cascades.


By late morning/early Tuesday afternoon a warmer system will arrive and change the snow over to steady and even heavy rains. This will occur first at the coast and then the valleys. This transition could take a while moving north of the Portland area and into the Gorge. So snow will likely be flying in Kelso/Longview and into the Gorge well into Tuesday afternoon. (Several inches of snow can be expected in these areas)


That’s a wrap of Tuesday…..




There is a lot of uncertainty as to what Wednesday will bring. Most of our forecasting tools are indicating that a strong warm front will move through hammering us with heavy rain and high winds at the coast. HOWERVER, there are a minority of models that slow down the warm air and keep us cold enough to support a much more widespread snow event region wide.


While none of our Meteorologists think this will be the case, we can’t discount an area of low-pressure moving farther to the south which would put us in the “snow zone” on Wednesday. Even if the warm scenario plays out, places in the Gorge could see a very wintry mess of ice, sleet and freezing rain due to cold easterly winds.


There is so much disagreement that a hurricane recon flight flew out of Hawaii yesterday to try and refine our models. As a result of this uncertainty, all of the region will be placed under a Winter Storm Watch from late Wednesday into Thursday.  I will repeat, we believe there is a possibility of this happening, but most models and Meteorologists think this will not occur. Stay tuned to Bruce later today as some of the later models may come into better agreement.

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