Possibility of Freezing Rain in Portland, Oregon Coast Range, Even Beaches
(Oregon Coast) – The National Weather Service (NWS) is advising that freezing rain may be just around the corner for areas of northwest Oregon, including the coast range, Portland, Columbia Gorge and maybe even the beaches of the north coast. (Above: a winter's display in Beaverton).
The threat comes in later tonight (Wednesday) and lasts through Thursday evening as a strengthening upper low arrives from Alaska. It's expected to hit the north Oregon coast later tonight – meaning Astoria, Seaside, Cannon Beach, Manzanita, Rockaway Beach, Garibaldi, Tillamook and maybe as far south as Pacific City. It starts spreading inland towards Portland early on Thursday, but the NWS said it will likely keep north of Wilsonville.
“The most likely scenario brings a rather short-lived event,” the NWS said. “There would be a few hours of ice accumulation followed by gradual warming above freezing. Amounts of ice accumulation would most likely be two-tenths of an inch or less, typically not enough to produce major damage.”
Still, the NWS admits a fair amount of uncertainty with this system in both timing and whether or not it will spread southward towards more of the Willamette Valley. What is still up in the air is if southerly winds above the 1500-foot level will drop to the surface and scour out the cold pool as most of the NWS' models are predicting.
The impact of this cold not getting pushed out would be as much as a half inch of freezing rain that could produce damage to trees and power lines as well make for terribly slick roads.
The NWS said the worst case scenario still means things will warm considerably later on Thursday, with the Oregon coast the first to warm up and the Columbia Gorge the last.
“This is a difficult forecast as weather models rarely handle the vertical temperature erosion accurately,” the NWS said.
The agency urged the public to keep checking the latest weather reports. See the general Oregon weather section for quick updates, and the Oregon coast weather page for updates on the entire upper half of the Oregon coast. Follow the individual links to each city for even more details.
The freezing rain advisory does appear to apply to the central Oregon coast, in towns like Lincoln City, Depoe Bay, Newport or Yachats. More about the Oregon coast below:
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