PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A winter storm warning is in effect for the Greater Portland metro area on Wednesday through at least 4 a.m. Thursday as a storm stalls over the region, according to the National Weather Service.
From SW Washington to the West Hills, Wednesday morning started with light snow and a dusting on the roads in several neighborhoods. As a blast of arctic air arrives and the moisture sticks around, the potential for more snow later in the day is increasing.
The NWS reports there could be snow accumulations of 1 to 3 inches, with locally heavier snow up to 6 inches near the mouth of the Columbia River Gorge and east metro area.
Meanwhile, winds will be gusting as high as 35 mph and are expected to have wind chills of as low as 5 degrees above zero, the NWS reports.
The timeline of Portland’s latest winter storm remains fluid as the storm continues to stall overhead. Snowfall totals will come down to elevation, storm duration and movement, and the easterly wind profile.
Spotty snow showers continue to come down across parts of western Oregon and Washington. Lower elevations are seeing some light snow showers Wednesday afternoon with very little snow sticking to the ground. That will change as easterly winds continue to increase throughout the day.
As far as the evening commute goes, be prepared for that melting snow to begin freezing Wednesday night. Snow-packed and icy roads are a possibility as the rush hour gets underway.
Sideroads and roads less traveled will become slick and snow-packed much faster. Interstates have the potential to see the same snow-packed and icy conditions come Thursday morning as overnight traffic decreases.
Snow accumulations will start to increase after sunset.
The Portland International Airport and downtown could see 0.5 to 3 inches of snowfall. Some of these totals may be lost due to melting from contact with warmer surfaces. The accumulations will be higher up in elevations above 700 feet.
Snow accumulations will decrease by midnight early Thursday morning. That’s when the second half of the storm moves into western Oregon and Washington. Dangerous cold finds its way into the region along with gusty winds by Thursday morning.
Skies will continue to clear Thursday, but that comes with colder temperatures. Several daytime highs and early morning records are threatened early Thursday morning, Thursday afternoon and Friday morning and are expected to last through the weekend.
Morning lows will sit below average by 15 to 20 degrees. A total of 36 hours will sit below freezing in Portland if afternoon highs don’t climb above 32 degrees Thursday.