Rare heavy mid-May snowstorm

By Rod Hill on 17-May-17 10:35.

A rare snowy morning in May at Timberline Lodge. Not rare because of the snow, but rare because of the depth. According to auto-snow weather stations at 6,000’, Timberline has 28” of new snow over the past 36 hours! The Monday night - Tuesday night snowstorm hit Mt. Hood like a mid-winter dump and is quite rare for so late in the season. Snow levels during the storm dropped to just above 3,000 feet, bringing traction tires or chain requirements over Cascade passes. Today’s snow level will rise to 5,000’, bringing melting snow on HWY 26 at Government and improving travel conditions overall. Timberline has picked up more than 600” of snow this season, nearly 100” more than the winter of 2015-2016. Historical records for mid-May snowstorms are difficult to find, because most snowpack measurements end for the season on May 1st and this forecaster also stops logging the snowpack as May begins. Rod Hill

Trying to reach 70 degrees.

By Rod Hill on 21-Apr-17 07:38.

After a chilly 30 something start, much of the Willamette Valley and southwest Washington will warm to near 70 degrees this afternoon. Sunny skies and developing east winds will bring the warmth. Compared to April of 2016, we have been forced to hold our patience this spring for the arrival of warm weather. One year ago, Portland begin April with 76 degrees to start the month and saw temperatures rise to 89 degrees on the 19th. This year, 2017 has produced two 63 degrees, but nothing warmer as of this morning. This afternoon's high will be the warmest of the year to date and may reach 70. Today's record high is 82 degrees and the climate average is 62 degrees. The last time PDX touched 70 was October 8th. Enjoy today's sunshine, because showers return Saturday morning. Rod Hill (April 21, 2017)

February all-time record for rain in jeopardy

By Rod Hill on 20-Feb-17 08:15.

Heavy rain on this Monday morning, February 20th, has pushed total rainfall at PDX over 9.00" for the month and into 2nd place on the all-time February wet record list! Less than an inch of water is needed to break the all-time February rainfall record of 10.03" set back in 1996. It is likely that we will break the record, in fact we may do so this week. Total rainfall for the Water Year, starting October 1st and ending September 30th is now over 32.00 inches. Normal for the 12 month period is 36.03 inches. The surplus at this time is more than 11" to date, which is roughly 3 months of extra rain since October. Rod Hill

East winds to bring snow or ice

By Rod Hill on 31-Jan-17 07:46.

Cold east winds becoming gusty Tuesday night and blowing 40-50 mph near the gorge Wednesday and Thursday will set the stage for more winter weather over the Portland and Salem metro areas.  At this point, any moisture before Thursday night will be light and scattered, meaning no problems are expected.

Heavier snow looks possible Friday morning with a possible icy mix.  Forecast models show the potential of 2-4" of metro valley snow, which would cause closures. East winds could keep temps near freezing through Saturday morning with more snow or ice potential.  Saturday afternoon is expected to see south winds bring warming with a transition to all rain, except areas near or inside the Gorge.

-Rod Hill

ICE STORM WARNING FOR PORTLAND

By Rod Hill on 17-Jan-17 03:23.

ICE STORM WARNING FOR PORTLAND-VANCOUVER METRO AREAS UNTIL 10:00 PM TODAY.

12 NOON UPDATE:  A period of dry weather this morning has helped a fuel a warm up.  Most areas away from the Gorge and not getting hit with gusty east winds will see rain this afternoon with temps in the mid 30s and warmer.  This includes downtown Portland.  I continue to watch cold pockets in Clark county, but warming may take place.  Troutdale and other cold windy areas near the gorge should expect accumulating freezing rain ice this afternoon and tonight.   -Rod Hill

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Light freezing rain will begin 7:00 - 8:00 this morning. Areas away from the east wind will see less than .25" of ice accumulation and could see temps warm above 32 degrees by early afternoon. Gorge areas (Camas, Troutdale, Gresham etc.) likely to see bad ice accumulation up an inch. Freezing rain may last into Wednesday where east winds are blowing the hardest. Areas above 1,000' will see temps warm the fastest and turn to rain.

Salem to see light ice then all rain by the noon hour. Areas near and north of Woodland also should see warming temps by early afternoon.

ICE STORM WARNING UNTIL 6PM WEDNESDAY FOR THE GORGE, INCLUDING HOOD RIVER.  

Heavy ice accumulations in the Gorge may force I-84 closures.

FLOOD WATCH IN EFFECT THROUGH AT LEAST THURSDAY.  

Heavy rain likely Tuesday afternoon - Wednesday night, followed by more rain into the weekend. 

COAST HIGH WIND WARNING - TUESDAY AFTERNOON - WEDNESDAY MORNING.

Possible Freezing Rain, Flooding Concerns

By Rod Hill on 16-Jan-17 03:24.

Cold east winds, blowing out of the Gorge to set the stage for possible Tuesday morning freezing rain in Portland and Salem.   

Precipitation is expected to return early Tuesday morning and may fall as freezing rain, depending on temperatures.  Hours of freezing rain are possible into early afternoon and possibly longer near the gorge in places like Camas, Troutdale and Gresham.  Ice will be possible at elevations near and lower than 2,000 feet.  During the afternoon, south winds should bring warming temps, changing most of the valley to rain.

The Gorge will likely see a bad ice storm with 24 hours of possible ice accumualtion from freezing rain Tuesday into Wednesday afternoon.  Significant ice accumulations of .75" are expected.  Conditions could get bad enough for I-84 closures.  

Flooding rains and rapid snow melt continue to be a concern.  A FLOOD WATCH is posted for much of our region.  Inches of metro valley rain will fall Tuesday through Thursday. The metro valley could see 2-3" of rainfall, while 3-5" fall at the coast and 4-7" hit the Coast Range.  Rising snow levels to 8,000' will melt mountain snowpack while heavy rains fall.

 Keep updated as weather will be a top story through mid-week.

-Rod   /  January 16, 2017

Warming temps, heavy rains next week, might bring high water

By Rod Hill on 13-Jan-17 13:55.

All forecast eyes are on rising snow levels to 6,000 or 7,000 feet next week, along with 50 degree valley temperatures and inches of rain. The combo may be more than enough to cause high water problems, including river flooding.  

Forecast models show likely rain returning Monday night, falling steady all day Tuesday as warmer air returns and heavy rains Wednesday as a Pacific front pushes inland. Valley rain totals Monday night through Thursday could reach 2-3 inches, while the mountains pick up 5-6 inches or more. The warm, wet combo would quickly melt all of the valley snow and much of the Coast Range snow pack as well as lower elevations of the Cascades.  Rapid rises in rivers & streams should be expected.  Stay updated with the forecast here at PortlandWeather.com

-Rod Hill

Checkerboard of ice and freezing rain today

By Rod Hill on 08-Jan-17 08:47.

ICE STORM WARNING IS IN EFFECT

Expecting a checkerboard pattern of valley warming today.   Early this morning, temperatures have climbed above freezing at PDX, Hillsboro, Beaverton and Estacada to name a few locations. 

Much of the Portland metro will continue to see freezing rain showers this morning and possibly into the afternoon.   Windy areas on the east side are most likely to see ice accumulation through the day. East winds are gusting 40-50 mph near the gorge and 15-30 mph over downtown Portland.  

The warm up timing is a tough call.  Please check conditions before traveling. 

A WINTER STORM WARNING continues for the gorge where temperatures will hold in the 20s today with ice and snow. 

SNOW & ICE STORM THIS WEEKEND

By Rod Hill on 05-Jan-17 19:01.

Watches are posted from Longview to Portland to Eugene for a weekend Winter Storm, bringing snow and freezing rain accumulation.  Look for a period of increasing snow to begin Saturday afternoon, changing to freezing rain toward evening.  Ice accumulation will be likely Saturday overnight and Sunday morning for much of the region.  Areas near the Gorge may see Winter Storm conditions last into Monday.  Other locations, such as Salem will see Sunday warming and all moisture change to rain. 

In general, 1-3" of possible snow is in the forecast Saturday afternoon into early evening.  A transition to freezing rain Saturday night will bring ice accumulations of .25 - .75", coating trees, powerlines and roadways. If true, the valley would see a major ice storm, lasting well into the day Sunday for areas near the gorge. 

The central Gorge, including Hood River will see mostly now, with 6-12" expected!  West Gorge cities such as Corbett could see 2-5" of snow with an inch of ice accumulation on top.  Coast Range cities will see 3-4" of snow with .25-.75" of ice coming Saturday night. 

All areas should plan for at least some snow accumulation, followed by ice.  Sunday will find a wide variety of weather with possible 40s and rain in Salem, while Portland stays near freezing with icy weather not breaking until Sunday night.  The coast will see nothing but rain while the Gorge waits until Monday or Monday night to warm above freezing.

-Rod Hill

Sunday Morning Snow Update - Jan 1, 2017

By Rod Hill on 01-Jan-17 10:00.

Live cameras this morning show 2-3" of snow on the ground over the Coast Range near 500 feet.  Cascade foothill cameras show 1-3" on the ground from near 1,000 feet.  Cascade passes as of 9:30 this Sunday morning show 4-6" of snow with higher amounts up high. The hills of the Willamette Valley in wine country show a dusting to 1" of fresh snow.  Other snow reports include:  Amboy, Rainier and Kalama with 4-5" on the ground, Woodland Hills at 1,000' 6" of snow, Scappoose hills, 2-3" of snow and Skyline in the West Hills at 750', 3" of new snow!

Metro areas from Longview to Portland to Salem will hold in the mid to upper 30s Sunday afternoon with a mix of rain and snow showers in the air.  Afternoon moisture amounts will be light.  The city center of Portland may see a light dusting of snow in the grass at times, otherwise wet conditions, not white are expected. 

Temperatures will drop into the low to mid 20s Sunday night into Monday morning with snow flurries expected, but no accumulation.  Keep an eye on next weekend.  The temperature forecast is uncertain as heavy Pacific moisture is tracking to push inland.  Will it be heavy rain or heavy snow and ice?  Keep updated. 

-Rod Hill