Rod's Weather Headlines

EFO Tornado confirmed near Manzanita, Waterspout near Depoe Bay

By Rod Hill on 2020-01-21

NWS also reports a water spout at 11:05 just off the coast from Depoe Bay.   These two incidents join a list of severe weather events that have developed along the coast on days where lightning activity was unusually high.  Lightning detection showed numerous strikes near the coat from 3:00 am through the noon hour on this Tuesday.  NWS reports no injuries with these two events. 

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Winter Advisory - Portland's final chance to see snow

By Rod Hill on 2020-01-17


Winds are calm this morning with fog being reported.  The forecast is on track for this morning to be Portland’s
final chance of the week to see flurries to a dusting of snow.  Moisture will be scattered, but Clackamas county
may be the best bet for 1-2” of snow in the hills through mid-morning. 

During the day, rain showers will increase later this afternoon as snow levels rise to 2,000 feet, ending the threat of low snow levels for the week.  Wind will be southeast to 15 mph.  with valley high temps in the low 40s and mid 40s at the coast.   This evening, a push of steady rain will continue through the night as a low pressure center nears the coast.  Overnight temps will hold steady near 40 degrees with breezy southeast winds 10-25 mph.  Total rainfall through morning up to .50 inches. 

Saturday sees early rain break into showers as snow levels rise to 4,000 feet.  

Possible near freezing temps Sunday morning if clouds break.  The next period of likely rain arrives Monday night. 

Rod Hill

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Wednesday early morning update discussion

By Rod Hill on 2020-01-15

Most areas report 28-33 degrees at this hour with a mix of partly cloudy skies and winds
starting to back to the east 5-15 mph.  Black ice is a concern with the cold temps.  Gorge
temps are much colder at 23 degrees in Hood River.  With east wind picking up, the gorge
temps will be watched closely today. 

Radar is picking up increasing moisture just offshore and snow showers are expected to 
develop mid morning.  Possible light accumulations are in the forecast, followed by warming
temps this afternoon and a transition to rain as moisture increases.  East winds will become
gusty 15-30 mph and gusty to 45 near the gorge.  While much of the valley will warm into the
upper 30s and possibly 40 degrees today, I will be watching for possible cold spots in east
Multnomah county, although forecast models are insistent that even Troutdale sees warming 
and a transition to rain.  

WINTER ADVISORY for the gorge once you get east of Troutdale, where 3-6” of snow could
accumulate through Thursday morning as east winds blow and temps hold near and below

Wednesday night will see valley temps mostly hold above freezing, but as temps drop a bit, 
a wintry mix will be possible.  East winds will continue to be breezy 10-25 mph. 

Thursday will see all rain after an early possible mix.  Rain showers will decrease during the day
as valley temps warm to 40 degrees.  Most dry weather to start Friday. 

Snow levels will rise this afternoon to 2,000 feet and higher, meaning cold air pockets in the mountains
below 2,000’ will see an icy mix of precipitation. 

At this point extended models have backed off on any extreme cold over the coming 2 weeks. 

Rod Hill

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Monday Update / Discussion - Winter Weather This Week

By Rod Hill on 2020-01-13

Colder air is on track to arrive Monday evening as all showers will turn to snow.  Overnight winds
will remain from the west, which may hold ground temps in Portland at 32 degrees or slightly 
warmer.   However, freezing temps for much of the valley is a good bet and dustings of snow
to 2” on the ground at sea level will be a possibility by early Tuesday morning. 

Precipitation Monday night and Tuesday will be scattered, meaning snow accumulations will also
be scattered.  During the day Tuesday, winds remain from the west and daytime temps will warm into
the upper 30s.


Look for Wednesday snow flurries with east gusts to 45 mph near the gorge.  Snow will pick up Wednesday
late afternoon or evening and accumulations of 6” or more through Thursday morning are a good bet at this

During the day Thursday, as a big low approaches, wind fields from the south may develop, producing warming
for parts of the valley and a transition to rain, while near gorge locations continue to see east winds and snow
or ice.  Complete warming and the “shut off” of gorge east winds is an unknown, but may occur Friday or

Rod Hill

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Arctic Air Tracking For Next Tuesday

By Rod Hill on 2020-01-09


Moisture patterns next week continue to be uncertain, but the cold and likely developing east
winds are likely.  The coldest American GFS Model (below) shows dew points dropping into 
single digits next Wednesday.  Notice the potential for lows in the teens and daytime highs
in the 20s.  Clouds, snow and east winds would possibly lead to warmer numbers, but it is
going to get cold!  First chance of even light accumulations on the valley floor is Monday night - 
Tuesday morning.  Next Wednesday night through Thursday night warrants watching for a 
possible snowstorm event.  Well below normal temps show up a times through the end of 
Rod Hill

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Heavy Rain, Wet Mountain Snow

By Rod Hill on 2019-12-18

A rainy Thursday will be followed by the heaviest rain rates Friday and Friday night.  Total rainfall projections at Portland show up to 2.75" of total rain Wednesday night through Friday night.  Saturday will see a cold front pass, breaking rain into showers and dropping an additional .40" of rainfall. 

Mt Hood Resorts look to be unlucky with snow levels Friday during the heaviest moisture, warming above 5,000 and possibly to 6,000 feet.  36" of heavy wet snow will fall on the upper mountain, but pass level at Skibowl will see inches of rain.  

Other headlines include a period of possible high winds at the coast Thursday night, Friday morning when peak south wind gusts may reach 60 mph. 

Travelers Thursday morning into the Cascades and the upper Hood River Valley may find areas of freezing rain leading to dangerous ice coated roadways below 3,000 feet. 

Rod Hill

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Winter Storm Warning Tonight at 5,000 Feet

By Rod Hill on 2019-10-18

A push of deep moisture arriving this evening and streaming inland much of the night will fall
as snow over the Cascades at elevations near 5,000 feet and higher.  A WINTER STORM
WARNING has been issued for the Cascades where 10-20” of snow could accumulate from
early this evening through Saturday morning.  Timberline lodge is likely to see at least a foot
of snow, while the 4,000’ elevation of Government Camp will see mostly rain or periods of 
a wet mix with ground temps generally holding above 32 degrees. 
The snow will likely be high in water content and perfect for snowpack base building.   Travelers
should check road and weather conditions and realize some mountain passes could be snow covered.
Wind gusts at pass level could reach 45 mph. 
Sunday will see rising snow levels to 6,000 feet with light moisture in the forecast. 
Rod Hill

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Last weekend of September brings the coldest September day on record

By Rod Hill on 2019-09-30

The wild weekend weather was highlighted with Sunday’s headline of the coldest September
day on record for the Rose City!  Downtown Portland recorded a high temperature of 49 degrees,
becoming the only September day in 145 years of record keeping to not reach 50 degrees.  In
fact the previous record for holding in the 40s  early in the fall season was October 12, 1881.
More fallen records for September 29th, include 52 degrees at PDX, tying the coldest high 
temperature for the month of September, set back in 1948.  The following cities also tied or 
set a new record for the coldest September afternoon:   Vancouver, Hillsboro, Troutdale and McMinnville. 
Astoria’s Sunday high of 54 degrees set a cold record for the date. 
The cold air fed heavy snowfall over the Cascades with snow levels dipping below 3,000 feet.  For the
weekend, Timberline received 11”, Meadows 8” and a report of 6” at 4,600 feet.  While locals realize 
fall snows typically fall and quickly melt, the early dump is always good for moral!
The last chapter of our chilly episode hit the Willamette Valley and southwest Washington this morning with
the coldest early fall temperatures to date.  No records, but PDX dipped to 39 degrees, marking the first
fall morning below 40 degrees.  One reporting site in east Battle Ground reported frost and 32 degrees.  
Similar chilly temps under clear skies are expected Tuesday morning.   
The upper low that provided our crazy weather is moving east out of the Northwest today, allowing sunny skies
and temperatures on the rebound.  Forecast models do show below normal temperatures most days
through mid-October.  Normal high for Portland is 70 degrees with a normal low of 49 as October begins. 
If you are wondering, there is seldom a correlation between September and October weather and what is to come
for the winter season. 
KGW Meteorologist Rod Hill

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First possible fall freeze for parts of the valley

By Rod Hill on 2019-09-26

Today’s weak cold front is the first push of colder air returning to the Northwest.  A  more
impressive cool-off arrives Friday, bringing increasing showers and eventually the coldest
overnight lows and daytime highs of the early fall season. 
Assuming showers mostly end for the valley Sunday morning, Portland will dip below 50 degrees 
for the 1st time this fall season.  The air will likely be dry and cool enough to produce widespread
temperatures in the 30s Monday morning, including the possibility of frost in spotty locations, such
as Hillsboro, Battle Ground and other usual morning cold spots.  Monday and Tuesday will bring
the first realistic chance of freezing temps to the valley, although Portland will likely hold near 40 degrees. 
It all means that sensitive plants you are not ready to lose, should be protected.
Also, travelers should be alert for the first snow showers of the season at pass level, starting Friday 
overnight through Sunday.  Ground temps at pass level will likely hold above freezing during the day, 
meaning no significant icing is expected.  If the skies part, we may all be treated to a visual fresh skirt of
snow on the high country Sunday morning!
Meteorologist Rod Hill


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By Rod Hill on 2019-09-10

NWS confirms an EF-0 tornado Sunday for three minutes, 6:44-6:47 pm in western Multnomah County. Winds estimated at 65 mph, path length 800 feet by 360 feet wide at maximum. No injuries but minor damage reported at Plumpers Pumpkin Patch near Cornelius Pass Road.  

The weather service did not find any damage in Clark County and believes the funnel cloud either did not touch down or did so briefly in the Orchards area with no consequence. So for the record book, it looks like one not two Sunday tornadoes.  

An upper level low and disturbance along with 85 knot jet winds aloft and much calmer winds at 5,000 feet may have produced the rotation and wind speed shear to spawn the tornado. 

Rod Hill


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