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Warming shelters open across Portland Metro area due to freezing temperatures

Overnight lows will drop into the low 20s Sunday and Monday. Many shelters have opened across the Portland Metro area according to various county officials.

PORTLAND, Ore. — Multnomah County officials previously issued a state of emergency on Saturday in preparation for dangerously cold temperatures early this week in the Portland metro area.

According to the National Weather Service, overnight temperatures Saturday were expected to hover around 25 degrees — the threshold for opening shelters. Experts expected that weather conditions could be dangerous for vulnerable people living on the streets. 

The previous forecast called for brief snow Saturday evening followed by increasingly cold temperatures overnight and into Sunday morning.

Although Sunday brought sunshine, we've dipped below freezing in many locations this morning, and when you factor in the east wind of 15mph, wind chill values are likely to stay in the teens and lower 20 most of today. High temperatures struggle into the mid 30s today.

Wind will ease and temperatures begin to moderate Tuesday.  Rain returns Thursday evening or Friday.

A Wind Chill Advisory is in effect for the Cascades through 11 A.M. Monday. Wind Chills there may dip to -15 at times. Exposed skin can suffer frostbite in as little at 30 minutes under those conditions, according to KGW meteorologist Chris McGinness. 

Cold and dry conditions are expected to persist through Tuesday morning, with overnight valley lows potentially dipping below 20 degrees.

Windy conditions Monday and Tuesday could also add a wind chill factor that will make things feel near 20 degrees even during the day, according to KGW meteorologist Rod Hill.

Four severe weather shelters has opened in Multnomah County and had 237 beds, according to county officials. An additional shelter has opened with 18 extra overflow beds putting total capacity at 255 beds with all locations. About 227 people utilized the shelters leaving the county with 90% capacity. As of Saturday, the shelters has been opened since 8 p.m. Saturday:

All four shelters has welcome pets and has been accessible to people with disabilities. They will remain open for as long as conditions required, according to county officials. 

Two 24-hour severe weather shelters has been open in Washington County, according to a county spokesperson. Both shelters has been opened since 

2 p.m. Saturday:

Clackamas County's website stated they opens overnight warming shelters when weather is predicted to be 33 degrees or lower, including wind chill. The county's warming shelters will remain open to Monday morning in Oregon City and Molalla and to Tuesday morning in Canby. 

The county's webpage previously listed one open shelter at Molalla Hope Center on Friday. Two more 24-hour severe weather shelters has since been open in Clackamas County, according to a county spokesperson. 

KGW has reached out to all three counties about shelter plans and will update this story as more information becomes available.

Anyone seeking shelter in Multnomah County can dial 211 at any time to be connected with shelters, warming centers and transportation options, the county said.

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