PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – How do you start a conversation in Portland in March? You mention the word “snow.”
While I think it is fun to think about one last chance to ski in Portland, the chance for snow is low this time of the year. Additionally, if we see snow in March, it will melt off quickly and it won’t stick around very long if it should happen.
Here are some of the snow stats for March. By the way, we did collect some snow last year in March (0.5 inches on March 6).
So what’s up? You could say a potential last spurt of cold winter air will be moving south out of B.C. while an area of low pressure sets up off the Oregon Coast. Yes, spring officially starts next Thursday but this weekend may resemble a day or two that we had in January: Temperatures well below freezing at around 4,500-5,000 feet and that cold air will attempt to expand through the Columbia River Gorge and sink to the valley floor.
Let me stress, this isn’t as cold as the systems that moved through in January and we missed the cut for snow then. If this type of cold air makes it to the valley, it will be cold enough to support snow below 1,000 feet Saturday and definitely by Sunday morning. By Sunday, weather models have the moisture on its way out. It shouldn’t be an issue but the forecast may change by the weekend. With that, the Shamrock Run may see some lingering showers or even some snowflakes in the cold morning air.
Now, this is a good 60+ hours out, it will likely change, but the weather model is showing plenty of locations with snow. Now we will watch the placement of the low and the wind because a southerly wind can typically keep us warm enough to avoid snow. This will likely bring snow for Central Oregon, Eastern Oregon and areas of the Gorge at this time. What I would have to see from a forecasting point of view is for that area of low pressure to slow down and stall out a bit near Yachats or so. This would allow for more of an easterly wind and more time for that cold air to settle in.
One thing is for sure, we are definitely going to have a colder air mass this weekend which will bring snow for the mountains. I would start to think about your plans this weekend and what it would mean if you had to deal with a little bit of snow.
Follow KOIN 6 for the latest news and weather