PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Mayor Ted Wheeler announced an Emergency Declaration for the City of Portland as a rush of arctic air is forecast to glaze the metro area with snow and freezing rain.
“The mayor has released an Emergency Declaration due to extreme cold predicted to start on Wednesday, December 21, through Sunday, December 25,” the City of Portland announced. “The Portland metropolitan area is forecast to be impacted by severe cold temperatures.”
Portland’s National Weather Service office has issued a flurry of weather watches, advisories and warnings for the greater Portland Metro and Vancouver area that will last into Friday, and possibly longer. Starting Wednesday, a wind advisory is in effect for the region. Easterly 20 to 35-mph winds with gusts up to 55 mph will be possible. The strongest winds will be felt in the hills and in the Columbia River Gorge. Combined with freezing temperatures, these winds will create a wind-chill effect that will produce subzero-like temperatures.
An official wind chill advisory will go into effect at 4 a.m. on Thursday. The icy winds are expected to cause power outages, property damage and hazardous driving conditions.
“The cold wind chills could cause frostbite on exposed skin in as little as 30 minutes,” the NWS said.
Meanwhile, a Winter Storm Warning will go into effect Thursday at 4 p.m. A heavy mix of precipitation will be possible across the region through Friday night. This includes chances of snow, rain and freezing rain. Up to an inch of snow and a tenth of an inch of ice will be possible. NWS says the warning will expire by 10 p.m. on Friday.
The NWS has issued a timeline for the impending winter storm. Holiday travelers are urged to check the latest weather and road reports before leaving home as the icy travel conditions have been deemed a “major concern.”