PORTLAND, Ore. — Portlanders woke up to frigid temperatures and icy roads Friday morning, but sunny skies pushed the air above freezing by around noon and allowed some of the roads to thaw out. Major roadways like Interstate 5 appeared wet but not icy by midday, with traffic flowing smoothly.
The warm break may not last, however. According to the latest forecasts from KGW meteorologist Rod Hill, the next several nights are still set to be very cold, and Portland could be lined up for at least one more round of snow this weekend.
The original storm that dumped snow on Portland Wednesday evening has moved south and is now hitting California, Hill said, but another weather system currently sitting off the coast to the northwest is set to move in Saturday night.
Much of Saturday's weather should play out similar to Friday, Hill said, with cold morning temperatures gradually warming up under clear skies. But things will cool back down Saturday evening as the new weather system moves in, and weather models show snow along much of the I-5 corridor by around midnight.
"It could snow for several hours," Hill said.
The good news, he added, was that a warmer front should arrive in the Willamette Valley by around sunrise, so Portlanders are more likely to wake up to rain Sunday morning and continuing throughout the day, with the snowy weather shifting over to the Cascades.
Still, the long-term forecast remains especially cold and snowy for this time of year. As of Friday morning, forecast models for the next seven or eight days are trending toward lower temperatures, Hill said.
"They were already trending pretty chilly," he said. "Now they're trending even colder."
Sunday's high temperature is only predicted to be about 42 degrees, he said, and Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday could all struggle to crack 40 degrees, leading to a mix of rain and snow showers at times. Snow levels will descend back down to about 500 feet on Monday and Tuesday.
"This is a cold weather pattern going well into the midpart of next week," Hill said, "with every weather system being a close call as to whether or not Portland will be above freezing with maybe snow flakes in the air or rain mix, or could we get caught again with freezing temps and some snow coming in, something we'll be watching at least through Tuesday."