Late winter snow blankets Portland area

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) -- Temperatures are dropping in the Willamette Valley, allowing snow to fall and accumulate in some areas. 

Snow started falling early Sunday and continued off and on throughout the day. Sunday night and Monday wet roads could become slick and black ice could form overnight Sunday. 

The moisture appears limited in the system that will hit Portland, but higher amounts of snow could fall in elevations above 500 feet.

There is a winter weather advisory in Multnomah, Marion, Hood River and Clark Counties through Sunday night.

The Portland Bureau of Transportation closed West Burnside from NW 23rd Ave. to SW Skyline Blvd. and NW Cornell Road from Thompson Road to Skyline on Sunday due to road conditions, but those roads reopened by 5 p.m. A TriMet bus got had to stop at W. Burnside and Skyline to allow cars to clear our further down the hill. 



The Banks Fire District responded to Hwy 26 at mile post 41 Sunday afternoon where they said cars are all over the road. It appears a car went off the road into a ditch, but no one sustained life-threatening injuries. 

 The Cascades are a different matter altogether, with 1 to 2 feet of snow expected as the system moves east.

In elevations above 3,000 feet in Multnomah County, a winter storm warning was in effect until 5 a.m. Monday. Between 12 and 22 inches of snow is expected above that level with blowing and drifting snow from the high winds. 

This means travel will be very hazardous or impossible. 

TripCheck has the latest travel updates

Road preparations

ODOT said it's not laying down any deicer in the metro area yet, but crews are on standby. City crews will also be driving the hills monitoring conditions.

"We are expecting snow in the hills above 500 feet and traces in the valley," PBOT director of communication John Brady said. 

Because of lessons learned during major snow storms last year, the city has salt piles on hand for critical areas.

"The usual suspects, NW Germantown, Skyline, Mt. Scott, North Going," Brady said. 

ODOT Spokesperson Don Hamilton told KOIN 6 News on Sunday that plows were out since morning.

"We've had crews that are training for this all year," he said. "We’re gonna have to watch this very carefully, Sunday, Sunday night, Monday and Monday night.”

One question is whether the roads will be too wet from rain that the deicer would wash away before temperatures drop and black ice or snow arrives on top of the ice. 

"This is really more art than it is science," Hamilton said. "We have to find the right tool at the right time and place to keep the roads as safe as we can.” 

TriMet told riders to prepare for possible delays. On Sunday, line 63 was canceled and line 20, which runs on Burnside, is on a snow route and using chains, but otherwise TriMet said it has been minimally affected by the weather.

Crews are prepared for icy conditions Sunday night and Monday morning. There are chained buses ready in case they're needed. With chains they can only go 25 mph. Check TriMet alerts for delays. 

Mount Hood Meadows and Timberline curtailed their operations on Saturday afternoon because of the weather.

ODOT also has a chain- and tire traction requirement in place. Extremely high winds and up to 2 feet of snow may affect the lift operations, Meadows officials said.

Sunday morning, Mount Hood Meadows tweeted: "Winds could affect lift operations or openings this morning - but if you like storm riding today's your day!" 

Deep powder - more than a foot of snow overnight and still snowing. Winds could affect lift operations or openings this morning - but if you like storm riding today's your day!

— Mt. Hood Meadows (@mthoodmeadows) February 18, 2018

However, before 11 a.m., Mt. Hood Meadows said all of their lots were full.

Oregon State Police provided these tips for driving safely in winter conditions

* Expect the unexpected. Be informed and prepared when traveling on any of our highways. 

* When traveling anywhere, plan ahead and take known routes if possible. Our weather has been changing quickly and sometimes without warning. For road conditions in Oregon, call 5-1-1 or (800) 977-ODOT (6368). Outside Oregon, dial (503) 588-2941. Visiting on the Internet provides information on road and weather conditions, incidents and traffic delays, and links to numerous cameras on many mountain passes and major routes. 

* Take the time to keep up on current and future weather conditions in the area you are traveling, especially if going to or through higher elevations and mountain passes, areas where your vehicle needs to have appropriate traction tires or devices. 

* If considering a remote route that you have never traveled on, don't hesitate to contact available road and weather condition phone numbers or Internet resources, or contact police or highway department officials. 

* Prepare an emergency kit to place in your car for longer trips and keep track of how much fuel is in your tank, especially if traveling unfamiliar routes or into remote locations. 

* Let friends and family know what routes you plan to take when on a trip, keeping them updated and letting them know if these plans change. 

* Drive to the conditions. If it's icy or wet, increase your following distance and reduce your speed. Use your headlights to improve not only your visibility, but also so others can see your vehicle. 

* In bad weather, don't use cruise control.

Stay with the KOIN 6 Weather Team for all the latest details. And download the PDX Weather App for weather at your fingertips.

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