PORTLAND, Ore. — Freezing rain will move into the Portland and Vancouver areas early Tuesday morning, according to KGW meteorologist Matt Zaffino.
The National Weather Service said a major ice storm is likely in the Hood River valley Tuesday, with significant icing also possible in the Portland/Vancouver metro area.
An Ice Storm Warning is in effect in the Portland and Vancouver metro areas from 4 a.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday. The warning was upgraded from a Freezing Rain Advisory.
Several area school districts, including Portland Public Schools, announced closures and delays for Tuesday morning.
The Portland Bureau of Transportation said people should avoid travel if possible Tuesday morning because the freezing rain could create a very icy commute.
TriMet canceled more than 20 bus routes Tuesday morning. TriMet Alerts
Temperatures in the metro area are expected to rise above freezing by Tuesday afternoon.
"Temperatures will finally climb above and stay above freezing Tuesday afternoon from south to north across the Willamette Valley. But east winds will keep East County and the Gorge frozen until Tuesday night and Wednesday, respectively," Zaffino said.
Meanwhile, the region is under a Flood Watch until Thursday. Sand and Sandbag Sites
"As western Oregon melts under an onslaught of heavy rain this week, rivers will reach flood stage," said Zaffino.
Smaller streams will rise faster than usual and city streets will likely flood as slushy snow clogs drains. The heaviest rain is expected Tuesday, when more than an inch could fall.
A High Wind Warning has been issued for Tuesday afternoon into Wednesday morning for the coast.
After a foot of snow fell in the Portland metro area last week, sunny, cold days from Thursday through Sunday kept much of the snow intact, leaving many roadways still covered in packed snow and ice. Record low temperatures re-froze some of the snow that had thawed.
So far, the 2016-17 winter has produced more snow than usual in Portland and below average rainfall.
The City of Portland recommends residents have an emergency evacuation plan ready in case of flooding.
In 1996, the Willamette River flooded and eight people died. That incident happened after record rains and not a lot of snowpack.
(© 2017 KGW)