By Gordon McCraw, Tillamook County Emergency Manager
Wednesday, December 22, 2021, 08:30am
A southwesterly flow continues to push scattered showers across the area this morning, and with the unstable conditions there is a slight chance of thunderstorms today also. Winds southerly 8-12 gusting to 20 possible with the shower activity as it moves through, today’s high near 53. We see more of the same tonight ahead of a cold front that is dropping down from the Gulf of Alaska, southerly winds 5-10, lows near 40.
The above mentioned front pushes across a few hours before sunrise tomorrow so we transition over to rain with southwesterly winds 4-8, but go back to scattered showers behind the front later tomorrow morning, the snow level falling to around 2000’. The shower activity continues tomorrow night, winds southwesterly 8-12 gusting to 25, lows near 38.
We see continued rain and rainshowers Christmas Eve, winds southwesterly 5-10 gusting to 20, highs near 45, in comes another cold front which pushes down the snow level to around 1500’ by around midnight and that could give the summit some accumulating snow in the early morning hours with upwards of 6” to the higher elevations of the Coast Range. Friday night lows here around 36.
For Christmas the active weather continues as the temperatures continue to lower. We can expect scattered showers with possible thunderstorms, highs near 42 with the snow level now down to 1000’. The snowshower activity across the passes could now be impacting travel.
Christmas night the rain becomes rain mixed with snow as the temperatures drop after sunset, the snow level dropping to near 500’, then down to at least 200’ by midnight with low level snow likely in the early morning hours, lows near 31.
Sunday we start out with snow, becoming a rain/snow mix midmorning, then mostly rain by noon with the afternoon high near 40, the snow level climbs to around 500’. The snow level again falls in the evening, and we transition back to all snow overnight with the low dropping to near 28.
Monday and Tuesday are pretty much a repeat of Sunday with highs near 39, lows near 25, again with afternoon rain then all snow starting later in the evening thru the midmorning hours. The long range models suggest that Tuesday on could see continued cold (or colder) temperatures past the middle of next week!
We continue to have a high certainty that there will be snow, low level snow, but the uncertainty is in just how much each area will get. The models vary on the amounts, some say less than an inch on the lowlands, others pack it on. There is also agreement on the freezing nighttime temperatures. Regardless of the snow amount, icy conditions are very possible once the temperatures drop each night. All this snow will definitely have travel impacts across all passes of the Coast Range, from Clatsop County southward thru Tillamook County and Lincoln County. My experience in the past says that there could be impacts on Hwy 101 also, as well as elevated county roads. The travel impact will also affect roads over in the valley, this appears to be a wide area event. If you must travel during this time, check the weather at www.weather.gov/portland and the roads at www.tripcheck.com and check them frequently BEFORE you leave.