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The free 29th annual Winter Weather Forecast Conference hosted by the Oregon Chapter of the American Meteorological Society is set for Oct. 23.

PMG FILE PHOTO - A scene from West Linn during last year's winter snow and ice storm.Will western Oregon and the Portland region endure another severe snow and ice storm this winter?

Last winter's storm was the worst in almost 40 years, causing widespread and lengthy power outages and extensive property damage.

Area meteorologists will give their predictions at the 29th annual Winter Weather Forecast Conference set for 10 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 23.

The free event is hosted every year by the Oregon Chapter of the American Meteorological Society.

Chapter president and KOIN 6 meteorologist Steve Pierce notes that the La Niña conditions that contributed to last winter's storm are still with us.

"Mother Nature always has a surprise up her sleeve, and this winter will likely be no different," Pierce said.

Although the event has been held at OMSI for many years, because of COVID-19, it will be live-streamed again like last year. Anyone can watch it on the chapter's Facebook page. It will also be posted for later viewing.

The event traditionally includes a recap of last year's weather, highlights of astronomical events and a preview of major upcoming ones. Returning meteorologists review and rate their previous forecasts before presenting their new ones.

Attendees will not need to sign in to Facebook in order to view the stream. Anyone who wants to interact with the forecasters during the live Q&A session will need to log into Facebook, however. Social media shares are appreciated.

The Oregon chapter of the American Meteorological Society was founded in 1947 and is the single largest local chapter in the country, with approximately 180 members. Its mission statement reads: "The purpose of this society shall be to advance professional ideals in the science of meteorology and to promote the development, exchange and application of meteorological knowledge."

The Oregon AMS chapter normally hosts meetings from September to May that are free and open to all ages of the general public. It welcomes the public to become chapter members for $10 per year at

Meetings are always found on its website.

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