PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A significant change in weather conditions is expected to bring wind, rain and even a chance of snow to the higher parts of the Portland metro area this week.
Stronger easterly winds combined with a greater chance of humidity are causing winter weather concerns this week around Portland. Cooler temperatures, stronger winds and lower snow elevations are possible as early as Wednesday evening for western Oregon and southwest Washington.
Wind impacts around Portland
Stronger easterly winds will increase the risk of broken tree branches, downed trees and possible power outages. Winds will begin to increase around noon Wednesday. This is where some wind gusts could reach near 20 to 30 mph in the afternoon and evening in Portland. Strong, gusty winds will likely persist through Thursday before increasing to near 40 mph Friday evening. Friday’s winds will also end the potential for rain and snow around the Pacific Northwest.
Easterly winds will help lower temperatures across the Cascades through the Columbia River Gorge and into the Portland metro area. It is this drop in temperature that will help reduce snow elevation levels around the Portland metro area by Wednesday evening and Thursday evening.
Who could see snow?
The mountains are sure to benefit from beneficial snow this week. Nearly a foot to two feet is possible in some places in the Cascades by Thursday evening. Snow elevations above the mountains will drop to near 4,000 feet. These large snow totals and lower snow elevations will benefit Oregon ski resorts.
Colder temperatures found around Portland could bring snow levels back to around 2,000 feet. This means a few stray snow showers could survive long enough to accumulate on grassy areas along the West Hills. This potential snow event is not expected to impact roadways or lower elevations around the metro area. Some higher elevation locations in southwest Washington may also see light dusting on grassy surfaces, but no impact on travel this week.
Rain expected on the coast and Portland
Beneficial rains will continue to fall in coastal communities and much of the Willamette Valley. Temperatures are expected to drop to the mid-30s overnight this week. This means that the rain will end up on the snow. Rain accumulation will likely reach an inch to an inch and a half from the coast to the Willamette Valley by Thursday afternoon.
This latest round of wet and cooler weather is still subject to change. Stay with Portland’s most accurate weather team from WeatherRate for the past nine years as this storm continues to develop.
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