I heard it on the radio while taking the kids to school this morning–there’s a “pretty good chance of sticking snow on valley floor later this week”, the DJ said.
And whenever I heard a forecast like that on radio…it means three things:
#1 – people start pictures snowmageddon like in this picture from Milwaukie back in December 2008
#2 – everyone will be asking me things like, “so, is Portland really going to get snow?” or “how much time do I have to get my groceries before the storm hits?”
#3 – because of all this talk–things spread like wildfire in the newsroom. And my boss will be back in the PinPoint Weather Center asking all of us if this is a lead story for the news and when and where do we extra crews or longer newscasts
Portland’s Snow Clock: A Long Time Until It’s Out Of Time In 2013
First of all, January is ‘snow-time’ if you ask me, based on our long term records. It’s the most likely month of the year for accumulating snow at PDX. And look how much later the records are for accumulating snow.
There’s something about a new year to get us all reflecting on what’s behind us and what we hope to do in the new year, right? And seeing snow on the Willamette Valley floor and in the PDX-Vancouver metro area must be fairly high on the list. Last week I had facebook and twitter questions and people asking at the store if this was ‘going to be a bummer of a winter’ for snow and other questions couched like that. My reply was always the same: “I’m not sure. But there is no El Nino and no La Nina this year, so that actually increases the odds of getting some decent snow on the valley floor.” And that is the case.
Blogging About Snow While It’s 50 Degrees Outside
That’s right. I’m typing this post while it’s 50 degrees in Portland and it’s going to be even warm the day after this post, on Tuesday. But because everyone heard it on the radio today…there are too many questions in the air. Here’s what I’d say about snow later this week:
- Very early Wednesday morning, before the commute, the rain should increase as a cold front gets close. These fronts get their name because they’re the ‘front edge’ of cold air coming along behind them. In this situation, sometimes a quick switch to snow is possible for the last bit of heavy precipitation. I’ve seen it put down a quick dusting across the I-5 Corridor with slushy roads in the hills — and then suddenly — the rain/snow moves on and it’s all quiet and everything’s gone. That’s what we’ll watch for Wednesday morning.
- Wednesday during the day, my hunch is that any showers will mainly be rain showers on the valley floor or a mix, with snow showers in the hills. But it’s too warm most places during the day for anything to stick.
- Wednesday night-Thursday AM Commute: it’s getting colder and we’ll have to see if there are any showers left that could give some areas (but only those that get hit…showers will miss other places) a brief dose of snow that could temporarily stick. Cold enough, yes. Enough moisture? Stay tuned.
Bottom line for now: Is this the “Portland snow” so many of us have been waiting for? No. Is this going to be another chance to see snowflakes fly where some lucky folks get it to stick for a short time? That’s seems like the odds on favorite right now. Will this forecast change between now and then? That would never happen! Ha-ha-ha.
I’d write more, but I need to get back to listening to the radio…