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Much of Portland area receives 1-2 inches of snow; more snow, freezing rain coming Friday night

KGW meteorologist Rod Hill said much of the metro area received 1-2 inches of snow overnight. A second system is expected to bring more snow Friday night.
Credit: Devon Haskins, KGW
Icicles on road signs and snow on the ground in Troutdale, Ore. on Friday, Feb. 12, 2021.

This story will no longer be updated. Check here for the latest on the winter storm in the Portland metro area.

The first of two winter storm fronts delivered freezing rain, sleet and snow in the Portland metro area Thursday night. KGW meteorologist Rod Hill said much of the metro area received 1-2 inches of snow overnight. A second system is expected to bring even more snow to the area Friday night.

Roads in the Portland metro area are slick and there have been numerous crashes. Multiple school districts have closed buildings and canceled activities for the day. Some have canceled all classes while others are continuing with distance learning.

Hill said the metro area will see morning flurries and increasing snow showers through Friday afternoon that could bring another inch or two of new snow. The Salem area could see icy showers, Hill said. In the gorge, strong east winds, gusting 50-60 mph in the west end, continue to prompt a Blizzard Warning for reduced visibility.

The new storm arriving Friday night will bring heavier snow and freezing rain for areas south of Portland. Hill said new snowfall totals in Portland could reach 8 inches by Saturday morning.

Hill said the mid-valley, including Salem, could see freezing rain and/or sleet Friday night, enough to bring down trees and power lines. Hill said ice accumulations could reach one inch.

"If you live in Salem, prepare what you need to, power outages almost always come with ice storms," Hill said. "And keep updated because that chance of a significant ice storm (Friday night) is a real winter danger for you folks in Marion County."

The amount of snow that the Portland area received Thursday night was less than estimated. KGW chief meteorologist Matt Zaffino said the reason for that is because the storm that brought the precipitation went further south than anticipated, down to Southern Oregon and Northern California.

RELATED: KGW reporter’s notebook: Snow, freezing rain arrive in Portland metro area

Portland metro area

A Winter Storm Warning is now in effect through noon Friday in the Portland metro area, though Hill said he believes the warning will be extended through the day Saturday. Snow and freezing rain fell throughout most of the Portland area Thursday night, with much of the area receiving 1-2 inches of snow overnight.

Roads in the Portland metro area are slick and there have been numerous crashes. Multiple school districts have closed buildings and canceled activities for the day. Some have canceled all classes while others are continuing with distance learning.

Columbia River Gorge

The western part of the Columbia River Gorge is under a Blizzard Warning through noon Friday. Hill said strong east winds, gusting 50-60 mph in the west end, have combined with the snow to reduce visibility to one-quarter of a mile or less. Areas under the Blizzard Warning include Cascade Locks, Multnomah Falls and Corbett. 

There has been snow accumulation in the gorge on Interstate 84 though confirmed reports of how many inches the area has received are hard to come by at this time. Winds could reach 50-70 mph in the areas under the Blizzard Warning.

"Driving through the gorge is going to be a real problem, so avoid that if you can," Zaffino said.

Areas east of the Blizzard Warning, such as Hood River, are under a Winter Storm Warning until noon Friday. Winds are expected to be strong but remain below 50 mph, according to NWS, which reported that the area should receive 2-4 inches.

RELATED: What if you get stranded? Here's what should be in your winter emergency kit

Southwest Washington

The whole region, from near the coast up to Kelso and east to Cougar, is under a Winter Storm Warning that is in effect until noon Friday. Hill said the area up through I-5 in Kelso received 1-2 inches of snow. The NWS said a total of 1-3 inches is expected with the potential for some ice accumulation.

Willamette Valley

A Winter Weather Advisory is in effect in the mid-Willamette Valley until noon Friday. That includes the areas of Salem, Woodburn, Stayton and Dallas. 

Hill said the mid-valley, including Salem, could see freezing rain and/or sleet Friday night, enough to bring down trees and power lines. Hill said ice accumulations could reach one inch.

As you head south of Salem, there are no weather advisories because precipitation is expected to be rain.

Coast

A Winter Weather Advisory is also in effect along the Southwest Washington Coast and Northern Oregon Coast, down to Lincoln City. The advisory remains in effect through noon Friday. Astoria and the Northern Oregon Coast saw a mix of snow and light ice with freezing temperatures overnight.

The NWS said those areas could receive up to  inch of snow and a light glaze of ice, with wind gusts as high as 40 mph.

"Be prepared for ice and snow covered roads and challenging driving conditions at times, especially inland from the coastline," the NWS said.

The Central Oregon Coast, including Lincoln City, stayed warm with rain and temperatures hovering between 35 and 40 degrees.

Highway 26 through the Coast Range is covered with snow, but it's unclear as of Friday morning how many inches of snow are on the ground.

What's next?

Snowfall is expected to decrease in the morning hours Friday, but it will likely be a short-lived break. Hill said Friday afternoon could being increasing snow showers with 1-2 inches of new snow falling in the Portland metro area. A larger storm arrives Friday night, which Hill said will produce steady, heavy snow all night. The Portland area could receive up to 8 inches of snow overnight, with a possible half-inch of sleet or ice.

Credit: National Weather Service
Forecast from the National Weather Service for Friday night through Saturday morning

There is the possibility for a third snowstorm Sunday but it's still too early to tell what conditions will be like that day. Hill said it's unclear at this time if that will bring rain or more snow and ice, before the area warms up starting Monday.

"Our region may see warming Sunday afternoon, but this is unclear," Hill said.

The weather Thursday night through Sunday will be as cold as it’s been this winter. Temperatures could fall into the low 20s at night and may not get above freezing Friday and Saturday. The coldest weather Portland has had so far this winter is 27 degrees, on Jan. 23 and Dec. 29. In fact, Portland has reached 40 degrees every day this winter, Zaffino said.

RELATED: Latest KGW forecast