Portland, Ore. — Showers are expected to continue on Thursday as valley temperatures warm into the mid to upper 40s. Snow levels will remain near 1,500 feet, leading to heavy snowfall in the Cascades at times.
KGW’s Rod Hill says a shift in weather is anticipated on Friday as cold Arctic air arrives, triggering east winds and snowfall. Western Oregon is under a Winter Storm Watch from Friday afternoon into Saturday. Temperatures are projected to drop throughout Friday, falling below freezing in the afternoon. Total snow amounts for Portland and the valley remain uncertain, with the possibility of limited moisture resulting in only flurries to light snow. However, residents are advised to prepare for potentially heavier amounts, given freezing temperatures at sea level as east winds blow.
Friday night is expected to bring plummeting temperatures approaching 20 degrees or colder. Overnight into Saturday morning, heavier moisture from the Pacific is forecasted, leading to a mix of freezing rain, sleet, and snow. Significant accumulations of ice and/or snow are expected, exacerbated by gusty east winds persisting. Precipitation is anticipated to cease Saturday overnight, with sunny, dry, but cold weather prevailing from Sunday through Tuesday of next week.
The Gorge is expected to experience bitter cold temperatures and strong east winds, likely causing blizzard conditions with wind gusts reaching 55 mph and below-zero wind chills. Valley wind chill factors over the weekend are projected to range from zero to 10 degrees above, while on Mt. Hood, wind chills may drop to -25 degrees at times.
From Salem south to Eugene, sleet and freezing rain are expected to be the dominant precipitation types, raising the possibility of a major ice storm in the mid and southern valley. This could result in widespread power outages and hazardous road conditions. In the Portland metro area, a mix of ice with accumulating snow is anticipated.
Residents are urged to prepare for adverse weather and driving conditions on Thursday before the situation intensifies on Friday through Saturday, with extreme cold expected to persist into the following week.