New Year’s Eve - 2021
Gone. The year and, for folks around western OR, so is most of the snow. The White sure was delightful. Will we get more? Overall pattern shifting to a normal one for January, but there are a few winter-weather threats ahead. Mug up.
Today’s moisture is almost done. It will refreeze tonight, so be sure you keep that in mind if returning home after New Year’s Eve festivities - icy roads or sidewalks. Patrons up in NW WA & BC, (and those above 1,000 ft) have plenty of winter issues still at hand. While the Fraser Wind will ebb & flow, cold outflows are not completely behind us yet (below). It should be mostly dry and chilly on the 1st day of Twenty-Twenty-Two.
The next very wet system is moving down the panhandle of Alaska & coast of BC for arrival in the PNW before sunrise Sunday, Jan 2 (from north to south). The “New Year" storm will have impact. It will bring moderate-to-heavy rain to most locations, but we will stick our proverbial Mug out and forecast that surface - or 550 ft and above - SNOW and/or Freezing rain will be possible in locations from Portland north into southern BC. Wet, “heavy” big-flake snow, if you get some. Patrons in the Columbia River Gorge area are likely to get a lot of snow, freezing rain before transition to rain (if any at all). Sunday night will be stormy. ->> The morning commute on Monday could be crazy. HEED Nat’l Wx Service alerts. After that storm front passes, there may be enough cold air 'draw in behind’ to set off more snow or snow/rain mix at the surface, or close to it, esp for Patrons north of Salem. This is possible into Tue Jan 4.
A ‘warm’ front moves in overnight Tue, with rain for western OR, a dusting of snow or snow/rain mix in Bellingham/Abbotsford area before sunrise Wed. The scene will be set. A stronger front arrives overnight Wed, ushering in moderate rain, Columbia River Gorge frozen precip issues, and - if the Fraser Outflow kicks in just a little - snow and/or freezing rain for Bellingham north, at least for a few hours. Please note: the ‘just in’ model run from GFS indicates that the Wed night arrival, on into Thu morning, could start as SNOW and/of Freezing rain from Portland (and east) up to Canada. We like to see several runs showing similar outlooks, but for now, there could be enough cold air from the east drawn into western locations for that frozen precip issue to verify.
It will likely be on/off rain for all of the western areas of the PNW from late Thu into early Saturday, Jan 6-8. The rest of that weekend should be DRY & chilly, with temps dipping below freezing just about everywhere Sunday morning the 9th.
An offshore, NE-to-E, wind will dominate the weather for the week of Jan 10-14. Temps will top above freezing during the day; below freezing at night in wind sheltered areas. Yes, it looks DRY until late Fri the 14th. Good time to take down outdoor decorations, as temps should gradually warm as that week progresses. Daylight hours are slowly getting longer.
The weekend of Jan 15,16 is trending dry, with offshore breezes. Some model scenarios bring a one day rain to western WA on Sat. Not a bad January weekend in the great PNW.
“Life can only be lived forward and can only be understood backward." -Aldous Huxley
Happy New Year !!
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