Winter weather warnings in effect around Oregon, SW Washington
PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – Winter weather warnings persist for another day as we anticipate our next wave of humidity, potentially dragging snow around areas of the valley floor.
A wave of moderate humidity drew enough cold air to the surface on Monday evening to cover the soil in the Bethany and Beaverton area; However, will we have a similar result on Wednesday morning? There is a possibility and we need to be prepared for it, especially for those of you in the Columbia Gorge where snow is expected to the ground.
There is no doubt that the coastal chain and the Cascades find snow with this system. They set up a winter weather advisory from Wednesday at 4 a.m. until Thursday at 4 p.m. (morning for the coast, afternoon for the mountains). The Cascades are expected to pick up 8 to 16 inches of snow with wind gusts of 30 mph. If you don’t have the gear to ride in the snow, you won’t want to test the passes. The coastal range should take 1 to 3 inches with a potential greater than 6 inches. Get ready for the snowy valley roads to the Oregon coast on Tuesday.
A winter weather advisory will be in effect for the Columbia River Gorge from 4 a.m. Wednesday to 10 a.m. Thursday. This could create problems on I-84 and SR 14 until the early hours of the morning and later Wednesday. Expect 1-3 inches with larger totals for the upper Hood River Valley (Parkdale area).
PORTLAND METRO REGION
We’ll stick to this futurecast image to help tell the story of the potential for snow Wednesday morning. You can find a raindrop from northern Marion County to Portland. The time of this event should be after sunrise for the valley, so most places see a mixture of rain and snow. However, we do expect snow on the ground from all the suitable spots in the area (West Hills, Sylvan, Washington Hills, Clark County Hills, and Columbia County Hills). These would be areas where we could get an inch of snow (more if the elevation is higher), probably more than the burst that happened on Monday night. If your commute is from the hills, be prepared for the snow.
And the city center? It will be a close call here, depending on the strength of the rain. The process of cooling the atmosphere on the surface is possible when we have regular rains. It is more than likely that we will have a mixture of rain and snow around Portland. You may have slushy times, but rain is expected. If you browse the futurcast below, you’ll find the Pink Layer that is on the outskirts of Portland and Vancouver. These will be areas that will depend on heavy rains to help the transition from precipitation to snow. It is more than possible, but generally a southerly wind keeps us with a cold rain. If it takes longer for the rain to reach the valley, it will probably only rain.
We’ll keep our eyes open for Wednesday evening because the remaining moisture drags in the puddle of cold air. It can be an open window so that the snow also finds a way to the ground.
I want to give you the option to browse some of the weather patterns. As you can see, they don’t represent a lot of snow for Portland, if any. We use weather models as a tool, but that doesn’t mean they’re always accurate. We will keep a chance of snow in the forecast tomorrow morning as the humidity shifts. The final graph will show you some of the snow totals for the gorge and up to the government camp for Wednesday night. We can expect more snow for the government camp, but the areas around I-84 should be pretty accurate.
ADDITIONAL WEATHER ALERTS
Aside from the risk of snow, we also have wind on the Oregon coast today. Expect the wind to start picking up in the morning and continue until midday. The conditions begin to subside in the evening, creating a milder environment. The wind will blow from the southeast, potentially pushing the 60 mph range in exposed areas. I would expect a sustained wind speed of 20-40mph during this window of the day.
When you factor in the rain, it can be one of those events that happens sideways. You will want to have the rain jacket with the hood to help you out.