Snow or (more likely) freezing rain “event” likely late this week before a Christmas week warmup

Published: Dec. 18, 2022 at 5:13 PM PST
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We’ve put the First Alert Weather Day logos on THURSDAY & FRIDAY on the 7 Day Forecast. That means there’s a good chance weather will impact your day during that time. Especially Portland metro, Gorge, and lowlands from Longview to Eugene. It’s possible freezing rain falls at some point along the northern coast too...but we’re still 4 days out...

Models are in pretty good agreement that a classic setup for snow or freezing rain (mainly freezing rain) will be in place sometime Thursday through Friday in at least part of the metro area (or possibly all). The setup is when very cold air comes through the Columbia River Gorge and pours out into the western valleys near sea level. Then warmer and moist Pacific air moves in overhead. Snow levels rise to around 7,000′ or so by Friday in the Cascades!

Most likely this will be a freezing rain event; an ice storm if we get significant amounts of it. Freezing rain is liquid rain that falls into below freezing air and freezes as a smooth icy glaze on contact. When we get more than about 1/2″, damage starts to become widespread with falling limbs and power lines.

We’re still 4-5 days away, so not many details for now. But we are confident that at least part of the metro area (and all of Gorge) has a big winter weather event on the way. And of course this is a huge travel time leading to Christmas Eve on Saturday, so we’ll be on top of it. My gut feeling is that you won’t want to be on I-84 between Portland and The Dalles Friday and Saturday. Sorry about the poor timing! I’ll get a detailed blog post done Monday morning

Portland's 7 Day Forecast
Portland's 7 Day Forecast(KPTV)