Link to Owner Dr. Robert B. Pamplin Jr.



Forest Grove, Hillsboro and Gaston schools are on a two-hour delay. The Banks School District is closed.

STAFF PHOTO: MARK MILLER - Two women hold up umbrellas against the snow in downtown Forest Grove Thursday morning, Feb. 22.The last time Banks School District students were in class was Friday, Feb. 16, and that's the way it will stay this Thursday, Feb. 22.

The district canceled class for the third day in a row due to winter weather. Monday was an off-day due to the observance of Presidents' Day.

Students in Forest Grove, Hillsboro, Gaston and Vernonia public schools, though, are expected to return today. Those school districts announced two-hour delays Thursday, with most buses on snow routes. Portland Community College also announced a 10 a.m. opening, as did the Cornelius-based Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Center.

Just as it did the night before, snow began falling after dark Wednesday, quickly sticking to road surfaces and ultimately depositing two or more inches across much of Washington County.

In Hillsboro and Banks, three total inches of snow were reported as of early Thursday morning. In Buxton, snow totals were 4.5 inches.

The clouds lifted Thursday morning, which the National Weather Service advised on Twitter was causing temperatures to drop.

"This may result in a lot of the slushy snow and water on paved surfaces to freeze quickly," the meteorological agency warned.

This unusual late-winter blast of cold and snowy weather began early Sunday morning. On Tuesday, the region was on tenterhooks as forecasters warned of the likelihood early- to mid-afternoon snow could cause traffic disruptions like those experienced Dec. 14, 2016, when an ill-timed snowstorm snarled the evening commute and stranded some motorists overnight. That Tuesday snow ended up arriving in most of the Portland metro area after dark, and gridlock was averted.

More snow rolled in Wednesday night, which the NWS said appeared to more heavily affect areas like Portland's Westside suburbs that had gotten a relatively light dose of wintry precipitation the night before.

Yet more snow showers arrived in the Forest Grove area shortly before 9 a.m. Thursday, but by then, temperatures were slightly above freezing, preventing more accumulation.

Overnight low temperatures in Forest Grove Thursday night will be in the low 20s, according to an NWS forecast as of 8 a.m. Thursday. A wintry mix of rain and snow is in the forecast for Friday, but no snow accumulation is expected except for a possible light dusting Friday night. After that, low temperatures are expected to climb above freezing.

Unlike some of last winter's major snow events, this week's winter chill hasn't been a deep freeze. Daytime high temperatures above freezing all week have meant that overnight and early-morning snow accumulation on roads has all but entirely melted throughout the region before the next night's snow.

Even still, agencies like TriMet are taking precautions. The transit agency announced Thursday morning that all buses will be chained throughout the morning, limiting them to 25 mph. Morning riders should expect delays.

Editor's note: This story has been updated with more weather information as of 10:30 a.m. Thursday.STAFF PHOTO: MARK MILLER - An abandoned, half-melted snowman sits in a patch of grass on the Pacific University campus as snow falls Thursday, Feb. 22.

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