Snow flurries may fall in the Portland area as early as 9 a.m. Saturday, the leading edge of a winter storm that will include sleet and freezing rain through Sunday, the National Weather Service has predicted.
“It’s going to be a rotten mess for everybody, from the Coast Range to the Cascades,” said Clinton Rocky, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Portland.
Rocky said snow could arrive in the Portland area as late as 11 a.m., as a weather system marches north through the Willamette Valley. A combination of snow and sleet was falling at 6:30 a.m. in Eugene, he said.
This map says it all. Large population in red will see significant ice storm. Treacherous travel, falling tree branches, & power outages. pic.twitter.com/BShF9A0tXe
— NWS Portland (@NWSPortland) January 7, 2017
A snow/sleet combination is expected in Portland between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. Saturday, then snow, freezing rain and sleet after 4 p.m. The high will be near 33. Chance of precipitation is 100 percent. Total daytime snow and sleet accumulation of 1 to 3 inches is possible.
Saturday night, freezing rain and sleet will become freezing rain after 10 p.m., with temperatures falling to 31 by 8 p.m., then rising to about 35 the remainder of the night. New ice accumulation of two-tenths to four-tenths of an inch is possible.
Sunday morning, the freezing rain continues. It may end at 10 a.m. to be followed by freezing rain mixed with rain. The high will be near 37.
Rain, simply rain, is expected to complete the weekend winter experience by Sunday night.
But the conditions expected between Saturday morning and Sunday prompted the Portland Bureau of Transportation and the Oregon Department of Transportation on Friday to publicly urge people to stay inside.
Officials said Portland police, for the first time, would issue tickets to drivers who did not have chains or other traction devices when navigating on West Burnside Street or Southwest Sam Jackson Park Road. ODOT, which has been spraying roadways with a deicer in recent days in anticipation of the storm, said it was poised to deploy salt on roads if needed, an extraordinary measure for the agency that has previously eschewed the corrosive substance in the past.