Lt. McCraw’s Update: FDR-quotable weather, warming center remains open

According to FDR, “A day that will live in infamy!” So, I just got off the horn with a National Weather Service Winter Storm briefing.

Lt. Gordon McCraw
Emergency Management Director
Tillamook County Sheriff’s Office

The forecast for the next couple days looks like this:

The clouds are already increasing ahead of a strong front that will move up the coast tomorrow morning, bringing snow, sleet, and freezing rain to much of the region. The system has slowed some and the precipitation should be moving up the coast into our area at around 8:00-9:00 tomorrow morning.

With the strong, cold, east winds prevailing and holding the temperatures down at or near freezing through tomorrow morning, there is a good chance we could see up to ½” of snow here.

After 10:00am we likely transition to sleet and there could be a brief period of freezing rain in there also as the system continues north.  By the afternoon, most areas will have transitioned to all rain.

Obviously, the further east you go, into the protected areas, hills and Coast Range, the times and amounts increase, especially on the east side of the Coast Range.  It could be as late as tomorrow evening before it transitions from snow, sleet, and freezing rain into all rain.

Over in the north valley area, they could see up to 2-5” of snow AND up to ¼” of ice on top of that.  If you go into the Hood River/Gorge area, they are looking at 6-10” of snow into Friday, strong winds, and icy conditions.

We also have a low pressure area moving up the coast that will help increase the easterly winds for this event.  Winds in the Gorge are expected to be 60-80, 45-55 through Portland, 45 through the coast range passes, and 30-35 here.  With the low moving up the coast there are Gale Watches and Warnings covering the storm periods as well.

So, for Tillamook, most areas will have transitioned to rain with temperatures well above freezing by Thursday evening and things should have settled down totally by Friday.  Friday on through the weekend looks showery, highs in the mid to upper 40s, lows down around 40 with the snow level up around 2000-3000’.  This means we could still get some snow in the higher elevations of the Coast Range but the passes should remain…showery.  As for next week, the models don’t agree so we’ll hold off on that.

During the briefing, one of the medical folks brought up that there may be some individuals with doctor appointments or specialty appointment.  She recommended that you call that office before you head out to make sure they are even open.  I would recommend the same here for any appointments or meetings, etc. with Thursday’s snow/sleet/freezing rain forecast.  This storm is a good reason to just reschedule and stay home!

My final comment will echo what the National Weather Service Forecaster said during the briefing, anyone looking out at 4am-6am tomorrow may say, “They must have blown it, where is it?”  He said not to worry, it’s coming.  He is calling it a significant event, one like we haven’t seen for a couple years.

Reminder CARE’s Warming Center to Open tonight.

The Tillamook Warming Center will be open tonight December 7th. The center is located at 5th and Miller Streets in Tillamook. The open hours are from 8pm to 9am. Please post this opening and share with anyone you know that could benefit from a safe place to stay tonight.