Wintry weather for mountains, thunderstorms possible in the valley


PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – Have you decided to pull out your winter gear now?

Well if you live at a higher elevation, you probably did that when November started. It would have been worth it too because we’ve been raking in the snow. In fact, we have a full day of snow coming to the Cascades with a Winter Weather Advisory posted to the area in purple below until 6 a.m. on Thursday; the advisory warns of moments of heavy snowfall, with projections of 10 to 20 inches above 4,000 feet.

That is a healthy dose of snow for the mountains. It’s already been the snowiest start that we’ve seen in ages. Are you ready for skiing? Do you have your snowboard cleaned up? That time is just about here. You may already be enjoying the snow on the mountains with other hobbies.

The ski resorts have already picked up multiple inches of snow as of Wednesday morning, but they will see the totals continue to increase. It’s likely the base of the Mt. Hood Meadows will be pushing the 50-inch range by the time this system wraps up. Our snowfall futurecast is painting some significant totals for the slopes. It is unlikely that snow reaches down to Welches as models are projecting. They have a hard time delineating elevation, expect snow levels to drop around 2,500 feet to 3,000 feet.

Thinking about doing some cross-state travel? The mountain passes are going to be snowy and depending on the route, it may be difficult to drive through. Willamette Pass will take the cake on this with the highest totals, but even Government Camp will have a fair share of snow. That goes for you folks traveling Interstate 84 from Pendleton to Baker City.

With snow up on the mountains, we have rain down here in the valley. Heavy rain moving in the direction of downtown Portland shortly after 11:30 a.m. It has been around .25 inches as of lunchtime and we are expecting more scattered showers through the day and night. Note the small little lightning bolt down towards Lincoln City. As we mentioned in the morning blog, which you can find here, we may have some isolated t-storms today.

A better idea of the thunderstorm potential is painted in the graphic down below. That includes Portland, Vancouver, Salem and all the communities up and down the coast. Severe? Parameters aren’t exactly to levels that would be severe, but we may have lightning and heavy rain. This is also the time of the season where we have waterspouts and funnel clouds. Just a reminder to head inside if you hear thunder. This is the type of weather that we typically see in the thick of fall.

Now for one moment, think about spending the next few months in the dark. I’ll be the first to admit that I complain about the early sunset and the dark days of winter.

Well, folks up in Alaska are now to the point of the year where it is dark until the end of January. We are running with over nine hours of daylength here in Portland right now, but Utqiagvik/Barrow, Alaska, will be running with zero here after today. Could you handle the dark days?

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