PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — As anticipated, the region’s latest storm brought several inches of overnight and early-morning snow to the Western half of Oregon and Washington. However, the Portland and Salem metro areas missed out on much of the Valentine’s Day dusting.
While snow fell across the Cascades, the Coast Range and much of the Willamette Valley and Interstate 5 corridor, low-lying areas of Portland saw little sticking snow. KOIN 6 Meteorologist Josh Cozart said that this is due to the “urban heat island effect.”
“Portland itself didn’t see much snow, but higher elevations did,” Cozart said. “Part of this is due to the urban heat island effect that cities can sometimes see. That was the case late Monday night into Tuesday. Portland still saw a few light snow showers, but nothing stuck to the ground due to the heat island effect and many of our surfaces holding on to the heat from the last few dry and sunny days.”
The National Weather Service states that areas surrounding the Portland metro, meanwhile, have seen widespread snowfall, including Newberg, Vancouver and Sandy.
“The one area that has been stubbornly missing out on accumulating snow has been the Portland metro area, which the heavier showers have been tending to miss,” the NWS said. “With temperatures in the mid 30s, accumulating snow has been heavily reliant on precipitation rates, which have generally been too light in the Portland metro to bring snow levels down to the valley floor.”
Stretches of I-5 saw 1 to 2 inches of fresh powder that was still stuck to the roadway early Tuesday morning. About 3 to 6 inches of snow accumulated along the Coast Range passes overnight, while the Cascade passes received 6 to 12 inches of snow.