Mild weather continues through midweek before possible ice storm

Published: Dec. 19, 2022 at 3:01 PM PST
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We had very calm weather today, just cool and gray with some light drizzle and showers at times. Tonight, we could see a few light showers, but should be drying out and cloudy.

The weather will be very calm the next couple of days. Tomorrow, we expect some on and off showers and more mild temps, with highs in the mid 40s. We’ll be a bit cooler Wednesday, but still around 40 and dry with more sunshine. But, Wednesday night into Thursday, arctic air moves in and will be very shallow here west of the cascades. Temperatures will plummet on Thursday, with highs in the mid to upper 20s. We will see similar temperatures on Friday. With that cold air at the surface, a warmer and moist system will also move in overhead, producing freezing rain for us. We could see the precipitation start as snow Thursday night, then switch to freezing rain. We expect to see freezing rain continue into Friday, which could give us a possible ice storm. Be prepared for difficult driving conditions Friday, with some or all of the metro area possibly getting accumulating ice.

By Saturday, we should start to see the west and south sides of the metro area thawing out, but temperatures will still be cool - around freezing. The freezing rain could continue for the east side of the metro near the gorge. By Christmas Day, we see widespread thawing and temperatures back to about 40. We will continue to be warmer and wet into early next week.

While areas of the metro could be thawing, we expect the storm to continue longer in the gorge, possibly through Christmas day. The gorge will start by seeing snow, then ice, and may not begin to thaw out until early next week. The ice could also produce power outages for many. We are several days out, so any accumulation amounts are unknown. We know this is a busy travel time for many, so we are issuing first alert weather days for Thursday, Friday and Saturday.