Heavy snowfall arrives early; chains or traction tires required - KPTV - FOX 12

Heavy snowfall arrives early; chains or traction tires required on metro area highways

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Snow falling in SE Portland. (Mega Sugianto/KPTV) Snow falling in SE Portland. (Mega Sugianto/KPTV)
ODOT cam at Vista Ridge Tunnel around 10:30 p.m. Tuesday. (KPTV) ODOT cam at Vista Ridge Tunnel around 10:30 p.m. Tuesday. (KPTV)
ODOT cam at Highway 26 and Jefferson. (KPTV) ODOT cam at Highway 26 and Jefferson. (KPTV)

The latest round of winter weather arrived ahead of schedule in the metro area Tuesday night.

FOX 12 meteorologists said bands of heavy snow started slamming the area by 6 p.m.

The National Weather Service upgraded a winter weather advisory to a winter weather warning Tuesday night. 

The Oregon Department of Transportation reported bumper-to-bumper traffic between Beaverton and Portland on Highway 26 after the snow started falling during the evening commute.

Heavy snowfall has caused major delays on roadways across the metro area. Some drivers were seen abandoning their vehicles along Highway 26.

At 11 p.m., Dave Thompson with ODOT said chains or traction tires are required for all vehicles on Portland metro area highways.

Road closures due to weather have already begun across the Portland area. For information road closures, visit www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation/article/620347.

Heavy traffic was also seen on other major roadways around the metro area, with TriMet reporting the cancellation of some lines Tuesday night due to road conditions. 

Interstate 84 is closed in both directions from Troutdale to Hood River.

Portland Police Bureau's East Precinct said they have responded to several crashes in the southeast Portland area.

Port of Portland said as of 11:15 p.m. no runways were available for planes to land due to snow. Snow is falling faster than they can keep up. Crews are plowing runways to try and clear the runways. They hope to have it reopened at midnight.

Port of Portland also said that several flights have been diverted to Sea-Tac Airport.

Just after 11 p.m., more than 6,000 Portland General Electric customers are without power in Multnomah and Washington Counties. For an updated power outage list, visit www.portlandgeneral.com/outages/outage-list.

This storm has been projected to bring 1 to 8 inches of snow throughout the metro area by Wednesday. It wasn't expected to hit until late Tuesday evening, however, but FOX 12 meteorologists said the snow arrived three to four hours ahead of schedule.

There was far more moisture available than models had been showing for the evening hours.   

The snow is expected to continue falling into Wednesday afternoon, with very little melting. By Wednesday evening temperatures will drop again and streets will freeze up.

For the latest details, go to the FOX 12 Weather Blog.

School closure information will be updated at this link.

The remainder of the week is expected to be cold, but dry. By next week, the rain will return and temperatures are expected to top 50 degrees.

For the latest weather forecast from the FOX 12 Weather team, as well as the latest traffic updates and closings information, download our free FOX 12 Weather App for iPhone and for Android

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