PORTLAND -- Blustery rain replaced snowfall in the Portland Metro area Wednesday but pockets of colder air and snow could continue in northern Clark County and the Columbia Gorge, according to KGW meteorologist Nick Allard.
I expect most areas to make the final transition to rain between 7 to 10 a.m. as the strong southerly winds take over and warm things up, Allard said.
More: Latest KGW Forecast
While the snow may be gone, a Wind Advisory for the Portland area will remain in effect from noon Wednesday to 6 p.m. with south winds blowing 20 to 30 mph and gusts to 45 mph.
A Winter Storm Warning for snow was canceled by 4 a.m. Wednesday morning. The National Weather Service reported that about a foot fell in northern Clark County, four inches in St. Helens, three in Vancouver and two inches at the Portland airport and Astoria.
Schools in higher elevations reported closures Wednesday and Portland-area schools planned to start two hours late.
Updated: School Closures and Delays
To the north, heavy snow in the Puget Sound area prompted airlines to cancel flights into Seattle, including some originating in Portland.
Alaska Airlines canceled flights into and out of Seattle and Portland. The airline was waiving change fees for customers traveling through Thursday in Seattle and Portland. Spokeswoman Bobbie Egan said tickets must be exchanged and travel completed by Jan. 22.
At the coast, residents braced for the strongest winds of the year, as a High Wind Warning was in effect through Wednesday at 4 p.m. with gusts up to 80 mph likely to blow down trees and power lines. There were also fears that flooding could develop as temperatures warm up along the coast and snow melts quickly. More: Coastal wind gust hits 110 mph
Storm follows Tuesday 'Wintry Mix'
Bursts of snow mixed with rain Tuesday across the Metro area and left some areas with only wet roads while coating other neighborhoods in an inch or more of snow.
Best Viewer Pics:Tuesday snow
Higher elevations and some outlying areas saw several inches to a foot of snow.
The snow showers also snarled the Tuesday morning commute. Traffic on Hwy 26 west of downtown was slowed to a crawl until 11 a.m. and drivers experienced big delays all across town.
Earlier in the week, the storm hit the Oregon Coast much harder than inland areas, with beaches covered in a surprise blanket of white.
Your Pics: Snow on Oregon Coast
Best Viewer Pics:Snow scenes across Oregon!
Mt. Hood also saw heavy snowfall. A steady stream of skiers and snowboarders made their way to Mt Hood Meadows and Timberline Ski Resort. Chains or studded tires were required over the pass. More: Ski report
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