Winter snow comes; more on its way?

The first snow of the season closed outer East Portland schools and caused wrecks. The weather forecast predicted a blizzard coming, but maybe not so much after all …

A coating of light fluffy snow coats the East Portland News weather deck and neighborhood.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

Demonstrating to outer East Portland residents that winter is really here, snowfall on the morning of February 5 paralyzed traffic, caused a “Snow Day” closing of Parkrose and David Douglas district’s schools, and hampered businesses.

This was not a  “Polar Vortex” event, such as produced record sub-zero temperatures in the eastern portion of the country just the week before.

Keeping his eye on the weather is National Weather Service Portland Meteorologist Colby Neuman.

That’s what National Weather Service Portland (NWSP) Meteorologist Colby Neuman told us while looking at the computer displays at the office in the Parkrose neighborhood.

Instead, the unusually dry and fluffy snow was the result of “cold meeting moist”, the meteorologist said.

In the Lents neighborhood, snow and ice on SE Foster Road makes driving treacherous.

“We have cold air that’s been coming down south from Canada and Alaska, and picking up just enough moisture coming east, from the Pacific Ocean, to bring us some low elevation snow,” Neuman told East Portland News.

Unlike other years, in which meteorologists were apparently caught by surprise, they accurately foretold this weather event.

“In this case, our weather models were hinting at the strong possibility of low elevation snow for the past week,” Neuman said. “When it’s a week out, we don’t necessarily trust any model solution; but, as we get closer in time, and it kept showing this condition, our confidence that a snow event kept increasing.”

Kennedy, and her mom, Kirsten Rush, enjoy a “snow day” in the park.

Snowfall takes the right combination of conditions, he explained. “If we have too much cold air coming from the interior, we tend to dry out and it’s just cold. If moisture comes in significantly over the ocean it tends to modify [weather conditions], and warm up just enough that we see a few flakes in the air, but it’ll be mostly rain.”

The weather system coming up for this weekend, and perhaps into next week, looks suspiciously similar to the conditions that produced snow, Neuman observed.

After the snow melts off a wrecker pulls this Chevy Malibu IT out of a ditch along SE Holgate Boulevard.

Winter Storm Warning issued
The NWSP has issued a “Winter Storm Warning” from 7:00 p.m. Friday evening February 8, through 4:00 p.m. Saturday, February 9.

“Widespread snow accumulations of 1 to 4   inches expected; localized accumulations of 4 to 6 inches are possible,” meteorologists said.

Sunday through Wednesday, expect more snow, with high temperatures in the low 30s and lows in the high 20s; and a  chance of rain and snow on Thursday.

>> Get up-to-the-minute weather information on the
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© 2019 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™


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