Mountain snow forecasted for Thanksgiving week


Some weather apps are already showing a snow icon for Willamette Valley locations, but there's more variability to the forecast than that

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – With Thanksgiving travel on the other side of the weekend, the KOIN 6 Weather team is preparing for potential travel issues regarding snow.

As of Wednesday, weather models are continuing to suggest the option for snow as far down as the local passes and potential communities near 3,000 feet. A reminder that this forecast may change, but the cold air starts to take over Sunday and will start to expand across Washington and Oregon on Monday and Tuesday.

With that, weather models are projecting a system to set up Monday and then developing by Tuesday night, with the main core of that low pressure projected to slide south near northwest California by Tuesday night.

At this time, you may even see a snowflake popping up on your weather app that is outside of the KOIN weather app. (We strongly recommend downloading and using KOIN’s PDX Weather app for a more reliable forecast that is not computer-generated.)

Now let’s discuss the timing and concern of snow totals that are being supplied by two weather models below.

Right now, if we take a balanced approach at this forecast, we would start to see snow on Monday morning with multiple surges Monday afternoon, evening and overnight into Tuesday morning. One weather model (GFS) is more aggressive in the timing and totals, suggesting significant snowfall for elevations of 6,000 feet and above with lower amounts down to 2500 feet.

The second weather model (ECMWF) is suggesting a slower start on Monday, with intensity picking up overnight into Tuesday. It’s also forecasting snow totals that are more moderate and significantly lower as elevation drops.

However, BOTH cases will bring in mountain snow for the Cascade Range, Klamath Range, and the Blue/Wallowas to the east.

As you can see, dating back to 2000, the snow totals for November can jump from 0 to 65 inches with not a lot of consistency. We have currently seen 1 inch of snow and are due for more.

Here are the “forecast thoughts” as of Wednesday afternoon: You need to be prepared for snow in the mountains, as travel will slow down if you’re taking those routes. Right now it doesn’t look like there will be any lowland snow. Of course, this may change in the coming days.

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