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Portland could see light snow Friday and Saturday mornings

Portland might not quite be done with winter weather, although snowfall below 500 feet is expected to be minimal.
Credit: KGW

PORTLAND, Ore. — Spring may have officially arrived earlier this week — even accompanied by several days of sunshine and temperatures in the 60s — but it turns out Portland isn't quite done with winter weather.

A cold front is forecasted to arrive Thursday and drop temperatures by about 20 degrees, according to KGW meteorologist Rod Hill, setting up possible snow showers throughout the Willamette Valley on Friday and Saturday mornings.

Western winds are expected to hold Portland, Salem and other low-elevation sites above freezing, Hill said, so while there could be some snow in the air at around 8:30 a.m. Friday, it's unlikely to stick.

The worst-case scenario would be 1-2 inches of sticking snow if valley temperatures get near freezing, he said, but even then, the roads will likely still be mainly wet rather than icy. And with daytime temperatures in the 40s through the weekend, any snow that manages to stick around would quickly melt.

The Portland Bureau of Transportation issued a news release Thursday warning of possible snow or hail that could create hazardous travel conditions in the city on Friday and Saturday mornings. Any accumulation is likely to melt away quickly, the bureau said, but drivers should still be cautious.

Higher-elevation areas could be another story. Colder air will make sticking snow an increasingly sure bet at altitudes above 500 feet, Hill said, so residents on higher valley hills and in Southwest Washington should prepare for periodic sticking snow from Thursday night through Sunday morning, with up to 6 inches of accumulation depending on elevation.

The National Weather Service has issued Winter Storm Warnings for the Coast Range and the Cascades through Saturday morning. The Cascades are expected to see 10-20 inches of snow, with 6-12 inches in Coast Range areas above 1,000 feet and 2-6 inches at lower elevations.

Sunday's weather is expected to be drier, with fewer showers, Hill said, and snow levels will retreat to 3,000 feet on Monday.

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