A winter storm warning for nearly half of Oregon this weekend

Weather Blog

Editor’s note: Click here for the latest meteorologist blog on the winter storm warning.

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A Winter Storm Warning is in effect for nearly half of Oregon and Washington from 4 p.m. Saturday to 4 a.m. Monday.

We had a couple lightning strikes around Tillamook Friday night. Saturday presents another chance for thunderstorms along the coast. The kind of precipitation we get today will start mostly as rain for the valley, transition to a rain/snow mix and then snow by the evening.

Have you ever taken a shower that left you feeling unwashed? Maybe the shower head was clogged with hard water deposits. Perhaps the plumbing was so bad that you had to lean into the stream of water that was actually working. Point being, these showers today will not be consistent, not evenly distributed, and may leave some feeling left out of all the snow shower fun.

Widespread impacts to major highways and interstates are expected this weekend. Snow has been accumulating at the Sunset rest area on Hwy 26 over the Coast Range. Going eastbound on Hwy 26 you have abundant snow starting around 1,000′. Snow is possible down to 500′ feet during heavier showers Saturday morning. The best chance to get that snow to stick to the valley floor is with the colder air arrival Saturday night.

Forecast snow totals will vary wildly from one neighborhood to the next. Don’t let this weekend’s weather stop your plans, but do be prepared with a plan B in the event your route receives an abundance of snow under one of those heavier showers we’ve been describing. At this point it appears Portland and all its elevations could accumulate as little as a trace to as much as 4 inches of snow around the valley floor. 

The latest model runs are depicting very little accumulations to a dusting of snow along the west side of I-5. The east side of Portland, Gresham, the gorge and the hills of Clark and Cowlitz counties will likely be the snow bandits with totals that range from 2″ to 8″ inches.

Bottom line is this: This snow will not be uniform; it will come down in a showery pattern leaving some with none and blanketing others with nature’s best sledding material. No matter what we predict for snow totals, promises of exact measurements is futile. The mountains could have as much as 2 to 3 feet of snow this weekend, or as little as 1 foot. The Coast Range will be impacted with 8 to 12″ possible. Measurable snow is also possible right down to our beaches along the Oregon coast.

Cold air follows a couple days of snowfall. That Arctic blast early next week means we could have snow on the ground for several days. Some roads could be icy too.

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