Turning Colder This Week, Possible Snow & Freezing Rain Thursday-Saturday

Here is the weather forecast for the afternoon of Monday, December 29, 2022.
Published: Dec. 19, 2022 at 3:23 AM PST
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Good morning! It’s a cloudy start to the week across northwest Oregon and southwest Washington. Most cities in our western valleys are above freezing, somewhere in the ballpark between 34-39 degrees. A few showers will pass through today, but should be light (or in the form of drizzle). Temperatures will only make it into the low 40s or so this afternoon. Showers will transition to light snow at elevations above 1,500 feet. Be prepared for slick conditions over the Coast Range & Cascades. Another round of scattered showers will move through on Tuesday, but it should be a warmer day with highs in the low to mid 40s. Our focus then shifts to the Wednesday-Saturday time frame, which is going to be pretty crucial for a couple of reasons: lots of people will be traveling ahead of Christmas, and our weather will be going downhill.

Wednesday looks like it will be a mainly dry day, but an arctic air mass will be surging into central & eastern Oregon. As this happens, cold air will begin to surge through the Columbia River Gorge. The east wind will start to crank up Wednesday afternoon & evening. Highs will only reach the upper 30s before temperatures start to plummet. Expect overnight lows to fall into the upper teens & low 20s.

The cold east wind will be the precursor to incoming winter weather Thursday night into Friday. The east wind will keep temperatures below freezing across the metro area, and potentially a large portion of our western valleys. Late Thursday into early Friday, a warmer/moist weather system will move in from the west. This system will push right over the top of that modified arctic air. Initially, we could see light snow accumulations in the lowlands, but most signs point to a wintry mix and/or freezing rain. There could be several waves of moisture that come through on Friday, so we’re expecting varying degrees of ice accumulation. We will get a better handle on that part of the forecast over the next couple of days. Meanwhile, it will probably be snowing in the Gorge before a switchover to freezing rain takes place Saturday. All of us need to pay close attention to the forecast, as roads will become very difficult to navigate.

Showers will continue this weekend, but temperatures should gradually start to warm up. Thawing should take place between midday Saturday (Christmas Eve) and Sunday (Christmas Day). Considering the crucial travel time, plus the inclement weather moving in, we are declaring Thursday and Friday First Alert Weather Days for the metro area and other portions of our western valleys.

Stay tuned to the forecast, and have a great Monday!