Rod's Weather Headlines

Checkerboard of ice and freezing rain today

By Rod Hill on 2017-01-08


Expecting a checkerboard pattern of valley warming today.   Early this morning, temperatures have climbed above freezing at PDX, Hillsboro, Beaverton and Estacada to name a few locations. 

Much of the Portland metro will continue to see freezing rain showers this morning and possibly into the afternoon.   Windy areas on the east side are most likely to see ice accumulation through the day. East winds are gusting 40-50 mph near the gorge and 15-30 mph over downtown Portland.  

The warm up timing is a tough call.  Please check conditions before traveling. 

A WINTER STORM WARNING continues for the gorge where temperatures will hold in the 20s today with ice and snow. 

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By Rod Hill on 2017-01-06

Watches are posted from Longview to Portland to Eugene for a weekend Winter Storm, bringing snow and freezing rain accumulation.  Look for a period of increasing snow to begin Saturday afternoon, changing to freezing rain toward evening.  Ice accumulation will be likely Saturday overnight and Sunday morning for much of the region.  Areas near the Gorge may see Winter Storm conditions last into Monday.  Other locations, such as Salem will see Sunday warming and all moisture change to rain. 

In general, 1-3" of possible snow is in the forecast Saturday afternoon into early evening.  A transition to freezing rain Saturday night will bring ice accumulations of .25 - .75", coating trees, powerlines and roadways. If true, the valley would see a major ice storm, lasting well into the day Sunday for areas near the gorge. 

The central Gorge, including Hood River will see mostly now, with 6-12" expected!  West Gorge cities such as Corbett could see 2-5" of snow with an inch of ice accumulation on top.  Coast Range cities will see 3-4" of snow with .25-.75" of ice coming Saturday night. 

All areas should plan for at least some snow accumulation, followed by ice.  Sunday will find a wide variety of weather with possible 40s and rain in Salem, while Portland stays near freezing with icy weather not breaking until Sunday night.  The coast will see nothing but rain while the Gorge waits until Monday or Monday night to warm above freezing.

-Rod Hill

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Portland Weekend Snow Chance - Dec. 30, 2016

By Rod Hill on 2017-01-01

Saturday Night, Sunday Snow Chance Update:  Saturday 9:45 a.m. 


Likely Saturday evening rain and snow showers and maybe all snow north near Longview.  Confidence is now strong that Portland and other low elevation areas of the Willamette Valley will stay above freezing until Sunday night.  A mix of rain and snow is expected for the Rose City as ground temps hold above 32 degrees.  The heaviest moisture will fall during the morning hours, light showers will be possible into Sunday night.  

Elevations near and above 300 feet and north of Vancouver, will have the best chance of seeing freezing temps with a dusting to 2" of snow on the ground.  High hills may see up to 3" but the moisture looks to be limited and temps at 1,000' may in spots hold just above 32 degrees.  Morning west winds may also act to keep some high elevation spots above 32 degrees.  Colder east winds will develop during the afternoon as moisture becomes light and scattered. 

Saturday night and Sunday travel to the coast:  2-4" of snow over the Coast Range with possible dustings at the beach!  Monday flurries will be possible. 

Saturday night and Sunday Gorge travel:  1-3" of possible snow, including Hood River.

Saturday night and Sunday Cascades:  6-10" of snow, amounts could be higher, but total moisture seems to be limited.  Snow levels will be below 500 feet. 

- Rod Hill

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Sunday Morning Snow Update - Jan 1, 2017

By Rod Hill on 2017-01-01

Live cameras this morning show 2-3" of snow on the ground over the Coast Range near 500 feet.  Cascade foothill cameras show 1-3" on the ground from near 1,000 feet.  Cascade passes as of 9:30 this Sunday morning show 4-6" of snow with higher amounts up high. The hills of the Willamette Valley in wine country show a dusting to 1" of fresh snow.  Other snow reports include:  Amboy, Rainier and Kalama with 4-5" on the ground, Woodland Hills at 1,000' 6" of snow, Scappoose hills, 2-3" of snow and Skyline in the West Hills at 750', 3" of new snow!

Metro areas from Longview to Portland to Salem will hold in the mid to upper 30s Sunday afternoon with a mix of rain and snow showers in the air.  Afternoon moisture amounts will be light.  The city center of Portland may see a light dusting of snow in the grass at times, otherwise wet conditions, not white are expected. 

Temperatures will drop into the low to mid 20s Sunday night into Monday morning with snow flurries expected, but no accumulation.  Keep an eye on next weekend.  The temperature forecast is uncertain as heavy Pacific moisture is tracking to push inland.  Will it be heavy rain or heavy snow and ice?  Keep updated. 

-Rod Hill

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Wednesday PM Ice and Snow Threat

By Rod Hill on 2016-12-14

POSSIBLE WINTER WEATHER UPDATE:  Wednesday 5:35 am  (Dec. 14, 2016)

A low pressure center will track over Klamath Falls to Burns to Boise, Wednesday afternoon through Thursday morning.  The track will stay well south of the Portland and Salem metro areas.  A big snow storm is not expected, however hours of light snow Wednesday afternoon and evening will be enough to cover roadways and make travel difficult through Thursday morning. 

This storm will give our region a "glancing" blow.  Total accumulation may be as little as 1 - 3" on the ground over the Portland area. Lighter amounts will be west and north of Portland, while heavier amounts will be south and east of the Rose City.  Salem will see 2-4" of snow, Cascade foothill communities such as Silverton could see 4" or more of snow.  To the north, Longview will see flurries at most.  The Coast Range may see only 2-3" of snow and the Cascades a good 6" or more.

-Rod Hill

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Portland Winter Storm Likely Thursday

By Rod Hill on 2016-12-07


Gusty east winds blowing out of the gorge will pick up Wednesday afternoon and blow through the day Thursday.  Wind gusts near the gorge may reach 50 mph.  The east wind will play a role in setting up cold temperatures as Pacific moisture arrives Thursday morning.

Forecast models now show possible dry weather over Portland early Thursday into mid or late morning.  Light snow or flurries will be possible before heavier moisture arrives before the noon hour.  Sleet or freezing rain will be likely near the gorge, over Portland and north into Vancouver much of the afternoon.  Ice accumulations of .20" will be possible.  Areas near Wilsonville and south to Salem may end up seeing mostly a rainy day.  However, scattered cold pockets, especially near the mountains may see snow accumulation up to 4" and or an icy mix.  All areas except the mouth of the gorge will change to rain during the evening hours.  I am not sure when Troutdale and other east county locations make the change over to all rain. 

At this point, the most certain points of Thursday's forecast is the expected rain over Salem and a period of icy weather over Portland or at least near the gorge.  Please watch temperatures and updates as the potential winter storm develops.

- Rod Hill

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Low Snow Levels at Times Monday - Thursday

By Rod Hill on 2016-12-04

A long stretch of possible winter weather at times Monday morning through Thursday.  Monday is looking to be likely rain for the city center of Portland.  A snow mix may be sighted, but ground temps at lowest elevations will hold above 32 degrees and roadways will simply stay wet.  The snow level for accumulating snow may dip to 500' at times, but could hold closer to 1,000' feet.

The chance of showers and a wintry mix continues into Tuesday morning.  Tuesday morning metro valley temps will again be in the 30s, so some spots could see snow. All dry Tuesday pm and Wednesday.  Wednesday morning will see a hard freeze in many areas as east winds blow.  A warm front Wednesday night could lead to icy precipiation in the gorge and other spots where cold air could be trapped.  At this point, Portland looks to be all wet. But please keep an eye on the forecast through Thursday night.  A Friday front will bring rising snow levels and warmer air. 


MT. HOOD 2,000' AND HIGHER:  6-8"

1,000 to 1,500 FEET:  3-6"  (This could be Sandy, Or. and other high metro hills)

500 FEET:  Likely a mix of rain and snow, but a dusting to 2" of snow is possible.  Best chance for snow coverage will be north of Vancouver. 

Lowest Elevations:  All rain or a wet mix in the air, ground temps above 32 degrees. 

Rod Hill

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"SUPER MOON" to be covered by clouds & rain

By Rod Hill on 2016-11-14

When is the Moon a Super Moon?


Originally, the term "Super Moon" was used by astronomers to describe a full Moon when it is within 90% of its closest approach to Earth, in any given orbit. The term has become popular and is now used to describe any full Moon that appears larger than usual.

Astronomers call this sort of close full moon a perigee full moon. The word perigee describes the moon’s closest point to Earth for a given month. On November 14th, the full moon will be at 5:52 a.m. PST followed by the perigee at 3:36 p.m. PST.  Full moons vary in size because of the elliptical (oval) shape of the Moon's orbit. Perigee, or the Moon's closest approach Moon to Earth is about 31,068 miles closer to Earth than the its apogee or farthest distance. The Moon's distance at perigee changes by 3% over a period of 18.6 years, but in general while at perigee, a full moon would appear about 14% bigger and 30% brighter than a corresponding full moon at apogee, but it's not really all that much more dramatic than a regular full moon. On November 14th the Moon will be full, and just 221,524 miles away, making it the closest approach to Earth in 2016. According to NASA, this full moon will be not only the closest and brightest supermoon of 2016 but also the largest since 1948. What's more, the full moon won't come this close to Earth again until November 25, 2034.

(The above is courtesy of Jim Todd - director of space science with OMSI)

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October sets multiple all-time rain records

By Rod Hill on 2016-11-01

On this final day of October 2016, much of the Willamette Valley is setting all-time records for total October rainfall and the number of days with measurable rainfall, meaning .01" or more in a calendar day.  Below are new total rainfall records, which will be added to through the midnight hour of October 31st:


SALEM:  11.19" & counting





Portland (PDX) has finished the month with 8.31 inches, second place all-time in terms of total precipitation.  The wettest October is 8.41" set back in 1994.  PDX has seen measurable rainfall 28 of 31 days this month, breaking the old record of 23 days back in October of 1950.  It is very possible that this October will go into the books as the wettest month of the up-coming rainy season that typically runs November through March!  Normal rainfall for October in Portland is 3.00 inches.  The surplus of better than 5.00" of rain is basically like getting an extra November or December thrown in over the last 30 days.

Meteorologist Rod Hill 

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October Wind Storm Likely has Peaked

By Rod Hill on 2016-10-15

What was expected to be our typical wind event has likely peaked as of 3:30 this afternoon with the main surface front pushing through.  Gusty winds at times will continue into tonight.  Tens of thousands have lost power at times and multiple reports of downed trees are scattered across the valley.  Many areas report peak winds between 25-35 mph, but there were strong winds as predicted. 

Here are a few peak wind gusts: 

Portland (PDX) 53 MPH, Oregon Zoo 49, Salem 52, Hillsboro 53, Happy Valley 48, McMinnville 46, Ridgefield 45, Scappoose 41, Keizer 40 mph.  A report at 1,200 feet near Newberg of 61 mph. 

Coast wind reports:  Garibaldi 77 mph, Manzanita 64, Long Beach 62, Pacific City 61, Lincoln City 55, Yachats 63 mph.

Coast Range Winds:  80-102 mph along the highest peaks.

MT. Hood:  7,000 Feet 60 mph. 

-Rod Hill

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