Portland preps for snow as showers pass through valley


Weather models continue to show a chance for lowland snow multiple times this week

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — It’s a quiet and rainy Monday morning in Portland after days of anticipation for snow.

The Willamette Valley has been waiting for this week for several days now and we are finally starting to see weather models come together and colder air moving our direction.

However, conditions are always fluid and changes may occur (they already have in the last 24 hours), but we at least able to monitor conditions around us and see how weather models are handling that.

Monday morning

Weather models continue to show a chance for lowland snow multiple times this week — but Monday morning just brought rain and disappointment for those hoping for a few flurries. But, PBOT is still keeping an eye on the West Hills and higher elevations of 500′ or so and ready for whatever weather may occur.

Due to warmer temperatures throughout the morning, the National Weather Service’s Winter Weather Advisory for the Portland area expired early. The Winter Weather Advisory for the Cascades remains in effect until 10 p.m., as the mountains are still expecting significant snowfall.

Later this week

Our next threat, which we believe is more honest for the valley floor, will be late Monday and Tuesday morning/mid-day. Our profile for snow looks better come Tuesday with likely cold enough air for snow as an area of low pressure also connects with our region.

Right now from what we can analyze, we would say Tuesday morning to mid-day is going to be our highest threat for snow around Portland and potentially down to areas like Salem. Snow totals could be around a trace to 1 inch. Right now I am favoring this model run, but the snow totals are not locked down.

Regardless, it could make travel a bit slow come Tuesday morning.

After this first system we will watch Wednesday into Thursday for a potential heavy hitter. However, tracking of this system continues to wobble and if it ends up pulling further north it could spell rain with our southerly flow kicking in. You can see how close it is come Wednesday night around Portland and SW Washington.

The tracking of this low pressure will be very important. Additionally, it may take some time for this to depart, leading to the chance for snow come Thursday. However, that is still a ways out and much can change.

Severe Weather Shelters

Officials in Portland said Monday they will open severe weather shelters for everyone and anyone as the forecast dictates.

“On nights when we activate severe weather, no one will be turned away,” said Denis Theriault.

The Joint Office is working with Transition Projects. Theriault said there will be about 2000 beds open Monday night, including year-round beds and beds open all winter regardless of the forecast.

Warming Shelters and Homelessness
Winter Weather Donations

Transportation crews prepare

Whatever the weather, local transportation crews are ready to go.

Portland Bureau of Transportation Spokesperson John Brady said they will be deciding on the routes to salt if conditions warrant it. They are keeping an eye on the West Hills, but also on Mount Scott on the east side.

“Be aware of both where you are and where you are traveling too, especially because there are going to be differences in elevations,” said Brady. “If you know you are going into the hills, you might want to give yourself extra time.”

PBOT installed signs at 500-foot and 1000-foot elevations in the hills so that drivers know where rain might start to transition into snow. The bureau will be doing 24-hour operations in 12-hour shifts, and are prepared to adjust those shifts if conditions warrant it.

Track PBOT crews, road closures and traffic updates around Portland in real-time with PBOT’s Winter Weather Center. Go to ODOT’s TripCheck for road conditions throughout Oregon.

TriMet has crews working around the clock to monitor the weather situation. About 75% of buses have drop-down chains that can be deployed as needed. Crews will be prepping equipment to ensure buses and trains keep moving throughout the week.

Riders are encouraged to check TriMet Alerts before heading out, as well as allotting extra time and using caution while getting to and from bus stops and train stations. Winter weather tips are available here.

Closures, delays and outagesoh my!

Various schools around the area have announced 2-hour delays, including Battle Ground School District North Schools, Centerville School District, Goldendale School District, Lyle School District, Mill A School District, White Salmon School District, and Firm Foundation Christian. Many schools have put their buses on snow routes.

Full list of closings and delays

Over at the Portland International Airport, there have not been any major delays or cancellations due to weather. Keep an eye on the status of arrivals and departures throughout the week here.

So far, Portland General Electric and Pacific Power have not experienced any major outages, just a few minor ones. Any reported outages can be found on PGE’s website or on Pacific Power’s website.

NEW KOIN 6 Weather Podcast:

Much like our original Your Weather podcast, Meteorologists Kelley Bayern and Joseph Dames will walk you through what the forecast means for you. Unlike the original Your Weather podcast, they focus on what the models, long-range forecasts and historical data mean for all of us.

This week, they take a look at a drop in temperatures and some wet weather headed our way. Does that mean snow for the Portland-metro area? Or, will it all stay as rain?

Your Two-Week Weather podcasts will drop every other Wednesday. Our original Your Weather podcasts will continue as before, dropping on the opposite weeks.

As always, you can listen to the podcast by clicking HERE, or download on iTunesSpotify or GooglePlay.

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