1st significant snowfall coming to the Cascades

Snowfall levels will fall as low as Govt Camp (4,000 ft.)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) --- Flakes were already flying at Meadows on Tuesday evening, but not sticking.

That sets the stage for the first significant snowfall of the season coming to the Cascades beginning Wednesday with an even better chance Thursday morning, as a more consolidated area of snow showers is forecast to move into the area sometime around or just after sunrise Thursday.

Current model analysis supports anywhere from 6-12" above 5,000 ft. once it is all said and done Thursday night/Friday morning.

Snowfall levels will fall as low as Govt Camp (4,000 ft.) Sticking snow is likely at Meadows (5,300ft.) and Timberline (6,000ft).

Highs will be right around freezing at Meadows and Timberline Wednesday - Friday.

Eastern Oregon may also see their first snow of the season Thursday night as the system pushes east. I-84 in the Blues and Wallowa Mountains (La Grande area) could see quite a bit of snow and perhaps even some traffic related issues Thursday night.

This is all happening a few weeks earlier than historical average. We will dry out and warm up over the weekend.

In preparation for the snow, people are already buying chains and getting their snow tires put on, according to Les Schwab manager Cliff Pruner.

Pruner said that if you want until there's a threat of snow, you'll get caught in the rush with everyone else.

"At least buy a set of chains or cables to put in the trunk, at minimum," Pruner said.

While you should "winterize" your car, you should also winterize your house -- including cleaning your gutters, filling openings in your doors and windows and trimming trees and brush.

Stephen Mayer with the Better Business Bureau said last year's intense winter is all the more reason to be prepared.

Preparing ahead of time can protect you from expensive damage and help keep your heating bill a lot lower.

"Twenty bucks at the local hardware store will save you a lot of money in terms of lost energy cost," Mayer said.

KOIN 6 News Reporter Trevor Ault contributed to this report

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