Portland, Ore. (KOIN) – Expect a quick taste of winter this weekend.
An early cold snap is expected to hit the Pacific Northwest, bringing chilly temperatures to the valley and impressive snow fall totals to the mountains Friday night through late Sunday.
Weather model have consistently showed a deep upper-level trough setting up across the Pacific Northwest this weekend. By Friday, an area of low pressure will carve down the west coast, dragging in very cold air from the north with it.
Snow levels are expected to drop to 5,000 feet on Friday and roughly 3,000 feet by Sunday.
Snowfall forecasts are quite impressive, especially for this time of the year. In the Oregon Cascades, anywhere from 1 to 3 inches is likely on Mt. Hood above 5,000 feet, possibly 6 to 12 inches on Mt. Bachelor and in the central Oregon Cascades.
The most significant snowfall in our region is expected in Washington’s north-central Cascades, where one to two feet of snow could fall. Some forecasts even run closer to three feet of snow on the highest peaks.
The brunt of this wintry storm will hit further east in Idaho and portions of north-central Montana. The northern Rocky Mountains could see up to three feet of snow as well.
A Winter Storm Warning has been issued for blizzard-like conditions from Friday evening to Sunday night in the Rocky Mountains. Many ski resorts across the west will accumulate significant snowfall this weekend. But most, if not all, still remain closed.
Winter driving conditions are possible over the Cascade mountain passes this weekend as well. Drivers through Government Camp and Santiam Pass may see off and on snow showers Saturday and Sunday.
Snow accumulation on the roadways will be very minimal with minor traffic impacts. Drivers are still advised to use caution. The National Weather Service in Portland currently has no winter weather warnings or watches in place through the weekend.
Central Oregon Forecast:
In Eastern Oregon, areas around Bend and in the high desert plains could see their first snowfall of the season during the early morning hours. Overnight lows are forecast to drop near or below freezing, into the upper 20s. Snow accumulations will be minimal over the weekend, likely less than 1 inch. Expect higher snow totals for those residing in the nearby foothills and for areas near Condon.
Willamette Valley Forecast:
No snow showers are expected in the valley this weekend. Instead, rain showers will loom through Sunday with chilly highs in the upper 50s, temperatures more normally seen in November. Overnight lows in Portland will drop to the low 40s.
It’s been some time since Portland has seen an overnight low in the 40s. Our summer nights gave us some tough sleeping weather – nearly every night in August stayed in the 60s.
However, this weekend could provide the season’s first frost, especially for those outer laying neighborhoods away from the Portland metro area. Overnight lows could drop to the low to mid-30s Saturday and Sunday night.
If you have a garden, it would be smart to protect your plants and move your sensitive ones indoors.
Follow KOIN 6 for the latest news and weather