Is Christmas snow possible this year in Portland? ‘Sure why not?’


If you listen closely, you might hear the ringing of the sleigh bells. That’s because it’s almost Christmas and what you hear is probably one of the 24 hour Christmas music stations playing in the distance.

But as the big day approaches, the weather gets colder and wet things keep falling from the sky, we all want to know: Could it be snowing at Christmas in Portland this year?

“Sure why not?” Clinton Rockey, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, said Monday morning.

A White Christmas is not something that many Portlanders get to experience at home.

“It happens every 10 to 20 years,” said Rockey, noting that the snow that lingered over Christmas during the snowiest December of 2008 since the 1930s “got us all excited.”

Portland also received a small amount of snow on Christmas Eve 2017.

But this year, eagle-eyed weather watchers may have noticed a few snowflakes on their weather apps starting on Saturday, also known as Christmas.

“There are still a lot of question marks,” said Rockey, “kind of like a kid shaking the box to find out what’s inside.”

But, with the air mass getting colder as the week progressed, he said, “We might actually be lucky this time.”

Rockey said there was “a decent chance that we would see minor buildups” from Christmas on.

That’s right, guys. We go from “You tell us there is a chance” to “A decent chance”.

I’ll wait while you take out the ball and the champagne.

Happy to see you again. Now what does “decent luck” mean?

“Computer models are everywhere,” Rockey said, with some saying Portland might have an inch or two of snow and others predicting a foot.

“There are still a lot of uncertainties,” he said.

But like an upbeat Christmas spirit, Rockey added, “I’d say don’t give up on it yet.”

Of course, what’s fun for kids and those adjacent to children at Christmas can be a major pain for those who drive cars, especially over mountains.

For those traveling on vacation, Rockey recommends keeping up to date with the latest forecasts.

He said if you’re driving east of the Cascades or above, there’s not as much uncertainty: you have to be prepared for snowy and wintry driving conditions.

Whether you’re driving for vacation or want to sled closer to home, keep an eye out for snowfall with our snowfall map.

– Lizzy Acker

503-221-8052, [email protected], @lizzzyacker


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