Odds increasing for snow in the Portland area next week
The first serious snow in the Portland region is now predicted for next week.
According to KOIN 6 News, a long list of weather advisories, watches and warnings were active Friday and are expected to last through the weekend, as models begin to show increasing odds for snow in the greater Portland and Vancouver areas, in addition to the Willamette Valley, early next week.
The Cascades Mountains will easily see the most snow out of this system, where blizzard conditions with gusty winds through Sunday are possible, with some models indicating that ski resorts on Mt. Hood may see much as 50 inches of snow by this time next week. Expect the potential for significant travel delays over mountain passes this weekend.
No significant valley travel problems are expected through Sunday, but snow levels seem to favor about the 1,000 to 1,500 feet level Sunday night through Monday, meaning there could be some light snow in the hills surrounding the Portland metro area.
However, the first sign of snow for the metro area may not arrie until Monday night. Models are suggesting any snowfall would be light.
The chance for a significant snow event in the metro area and parts of the Willamette Valley will be mid-week. That being said, it is still too early to say exactly how much snow we will get.
Cold air will continue to pour in through the Gorge and from the north on Tuesday, In fact, the gradient in the Gorge will increase further by Tuesday night. All models suggest that a system from the Pacific Ocean will override the cold air in place at some point on Wednesday. If this comes to fruition, this would most certainly produce a significant snow or ice event, even at the lowest elevations in Portland, as well as the rest of the valley and northern Oregon coast at some point Wednesday. That being said, the timing of this could certainly change as models continue to update through the weekend, so stay tuned.
As of Friday morning, temperature profiles for Portland International Airport stay below freezing through Thursday morning, but there will be warmer temperatures to the south. The coldest night ahead for the metro area will likely be Wednesday night, when it will possibly be in the teens and low 20s.
The cold air in place on Wednesday will likely stick around Thursday, with additional moisture available. The exact timing, as well as exact snowfall amounts in the valley, will not be clear for several more days.
It is also worth noting that future model runs may change the ultimate path of the mid-week system similar to the event that happened last February, where early model runs suggested a significant snowfall set up for Portland, yet within 24 hours of the event, models shifted the area of the heaviest snowfall to south of Eugene.
Bottom line: all major weather models have come into agreement in the last 24 hours that colder air will move into the Pacific Northwest on Sunday night and Monday, meaning snowfall levels will begin to drop by early Monday morning to just above the Willamette Valley floor.
KOIN News 6 is a news partner of the Portland Tribune. You can download their free weather app at www.koin.com/mobile-apps.
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