Potential for more snow overnight in Clark County

There’s also a flood watch up for most of the area with heavy rain expected

CLARK COUNTY — Could we wake up to a blanket of snow tomorrow morning? There’s a chance, according to the National Weather Service in Portland.

“From past experience we see when these storms do come in like this, there is a scenario where very heavy precipitation could actually bring snow down to the surface,” says Meteorologist Matthew Cullen, “even when it seems at first glance to be too warm to support snow.”

An aerial shot of snow blanketing part of Vancouver on Saturday morning. Photo by Jacob Granneman
An aerial shot of snow blanketing part of Vancouver on Saturday morning. Photo by Jacob Granneman

What’s happening is what’s known as a low confidence, high impact kind of forecast, says Cullen. Heavy precipitation from a low setting up off the coast of Oregon is expected to push through the area sometime overnight. Since much of that could fall as snow in the upper atmosphere, it could potentially cool off the lower atmosphere.

“If it is sufficiently high snowfall rates, it could come all the way down to the lower elevations,” says Cullen. “And that, of course, would be a concern with the timing of it being around the morning drive time.”

Cullen says they’re forecasting anywhere between a trace to 6 inches of snow. While some could fall down to the lowest elevations, the greatest chance of accumulation is above 500 feet, and in the northern part of Clark County.

The heavy rain and potential snow prompted the National Weather Service to issue a rare simultaneous Winter Storm Watch and Flood Watch. With the potential of several inches of rain, some streams could see localized flooding before things settle down tomorrow afternoon.

Cullen says they’re expecting any potential snow to be after midnight, through morning rush hour. By noon tomorrow anything falling should be back to rain, with the snow level rising back above 2,000 feet. At this point it’s expected a new system approaching for Wednesday and Thursday should just bring cold rain showers to the lower elevation.

Short of a potential event overnight, Cullen says there’s low confidence of any further snow events in the near future, but that doesn’t mean we’re completely in the clear.

“We are going to stay cool, and we are going to have another round of moisture later in the week,” says Cullen. So stay tuned.

No matter what happens with this system overnight, if you’re bound and determined to find snow, you won’t have to go far. Cullen says the Cascades could get several feet of new snow through the rest of this week, and the foothills could get over a foot. That’s good news for the mountain snowpack, which has been running well below normal up to this point in the season.

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About The Author

Chris Brown comes to Clark County Today with 15 years of local news experience as a reporter, editor, and anchor at KXL News Radio and KOIN-6 TV in Portland. In 2016, he won an Oregon Association of Broadcaster's award for Best Investigative Reporting for a series on America's Violent Youth. He has also been awarded by the Associated Press for Best Breaking News coverage as editor of Portland's Morning News following the 2015 school shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon. The second oldest of eight home-schooled children, Brown graduated from high school two years early. After several odd jobs, he earned an internship at KXL Radio, eventually working his way into a full-time job. Brown has lived in Clark County his entire life, and is very excited at the opportunity to now focus full-time on the significant stories happening in his own back yard, rather than across “the river.’’ After a few years in Vancouver, he recently moved back to Battle Ground with his wife and two young daughters. When he's not working to report what's happening in Clark County, Brown enjoys spending time with his family, playing music, taking pictures, or working in the yard. He also actually does enjoy long walks on the beach, and sunsets.

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