Gordon McCraw

Lt. Gordon McCraw

Well, I know it’s kinda hard to tell but we are actually between systems today.  It was a chilly start though with ice in spots, including on my windshield this morning.  Many areas fell to a low of 32 this morning, Astoria down to 30.  There are a few light scattered showers around thanks to a weak disturbance passing mainly to the north, so, the Coast Range could see some snow flurries, maybe even a little accumulation as they move southeast, the bulk of these up to the north, past Manzanita.

Early tomorrow morning we start seeing some precipitation associated with the next weather system.  First is a warm front that pushes the snow levels up to above 3000’ until the associated strong cold front pushes in rain, later tomorrow morning, that could be heavy at times, that likely brings another 1-2” of rain through the area, along with gusty winds, 20-25 gusting to 45 inland, maybe gusting to 50-60 at the beaches, through tomorrow evening.  As with the previous systems, the river flooding potentials are low.

The Cascades, which have already seen over 3’ of snow in some areas, will get another 2-3’.  Hopefully you do not have plans to cross the Cascades Passes starting tomorrow, they are calling for periods of heavy snow with blustery winds (gusting to 50) that will severely reduce visibility and further endanger travelers.  The snow event for the Cascades will last through at least Sunday.  Travel through the Cascade Passes is NOT recommended from tomorrow through at least Sunday!   The snow levels here and through the Coast Range will still be up around 2000-2500’.  Tomorrow night the rain continues and brings half to three quarter of an inch of rain, the winds still breezy, 10-15 gusting to 30, gusting to around 45 at the beaches, the low only down to near 42.

Saturday, we see post-frontal showers and it looks to be pretty windy as well with winds northwesterly 20-25 gusting to 35, the high near 47, showers and breezy that night, lows near 40, the snow level slowly dropping, down to around 2000-2500’.

Another issue for Saturday, we are having another King Tide series.  This is a result of the Sun and the Moon aligning and causing higher tides than normal.  Add to this that the seas are building from the prolonged high winds offshore and are expected to reach 27’ causing large waves at the beach, also on Saturday, which also causes the, already higher tides, to be up to a foot to 1½’ higher than the forecast and you have the potential for Coastal Flooding in the usual areas throughout Tillamook County, like Frasier Rd near the Tillamook River, in Nehalem near the Nehalem River, and down in the Wood/Pacific City area near the Nestucca River area.  We can also experience water in the right-hand lanes of North Main in Tillamook, near Hadley Rd and over near the Fern.  Just to enhance this Coastal Flooding potential, remember, the rivers will be somewhat higher as a result of the 1-3” of rain falling in the 24 hour period Friday.  High tide Saturday is forecasted to be 9.7’ (Garibaldi Gauge) at around 12:40pm.  If you are traveling in any of these areas Friday and Saturday, maybe even Sunday, use extreme caution.  The water moving across the roads may be deeper and stronger than you think.  Like the signs say, Turn Around, Don’t Drown!  I should also mention that these high wave will also increase the dangers at the beaches.  The higher tide will mean highs wave runups on the beaches and increase the risk and potential of Sneaker Waves which can move large logs and can knock down and wash people and pets out into the cold ocean.

Now, back to weather, Sunday another cold front moves in causing the rain to return, and further lowering the snow levels to around 1400-1900’.  It will still be breezy also and now we start to factor in the windchill, highs Sunday near 48 but the overnight lows around 37, putting the windchill temperature near the mid 20s.  Windchill is how cold it feels outside when you factor in the winds, the higher the winds, the colder it feels, and the quicker you can become hypothermic.

Next week is when things really get interesting, and harder to nail down.  There appears to be another cold low pressure area dropping down into the area that brings in more rain Monday, and pulls the snow level down to around 1000-1200’.  The breezy conditions continue with the high Monday only up to 40, and the overnight low down to near 33 which would put the snow level down to the surface in most areas.

Tuesday it appears the snow level doesn’t climb to much with daytime heating, enough to melt some of the lowest snow, the high again near 40 in the afternoon, and as we are likely to still see some rain around, accumulating snow above 200-300’ is still possible.  Overnight temperatures drop back down to near 30 and with the precipitation still around, we see more lowland snow, and travels on the roads need to be concerned about ice as well.

Wednesday, it appears we will have another cold low pressure system dropping through making rain and more snow possible, the high maybe around 38, yep, I said the high near 38, and the lows in the upper 20s.

Unfortunately, this cold spell could actually hang on through the end of next week.  Another concern when we start coming out of this, especially over in the valley where the cold air gets trapped, but, traditionally, as warmer air starts to move in aloft, ahead of a system from the southwest, freezing rain is possible.  Something to keep an eye on Thursday and Friday.

The bottom line, all the ingredients are there for us to have snow, they just have to materialize at the right time and in the right order.  The lows pressure areas also have to move as forecasted, if they move one way, we get more snow, if the take another path, we get little to no snow.  Either way, it is best to be prepared!  Parents, you will need to watch for school alerts as they may either close early or not open at all after Monday!

Information resources:

www.weather.gov/portland

www.tripcheck.com

Nixle Alerts from Emergency Management and TPUD:   www.nixle.com

Facebook:  Gordon’s Tillamook Weather Center.

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