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Inland Oregon, Coast Range and Beaches to Get Freezing Rain, Snow

Published 12/07/2016 at 4:23 AM PDT - Updated 12/07/2016 at 5:22 AM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Inland Oregon, Coast Range and Beaches to Get Freezing Rain, Snow

(Oregon Coast) - UPDATED: worst weather to occur from morning until late evening Thursday. All of northwest Oregon and southwest Washington are currently under one kind of winter storm watch or another, with icy roads expected Wednesday along the I-5 corridor, in the coast range and even the Oregon coast – and freezing rain and snow coming to even the coastline on Thursday.

The National Weather Service (NWS) warns of slick roads possibly coming to the Oregon coast range later today, but certainly on Thursday. The worst will be from about 11 a.m. until 11 p.m. for all areas of northwest Oregon. Roads be ice-covered and extremely dangerous in that time, especially higher elevations such as the coast range mountain passes.

For the coast range, the NWS said isolated showers will end today but leave the snow levels around 1000 feet and an accumulation of not quite an inch. This means keep an eye out for slick conditions on the roads to and from the coast, such as Highway 26 to Seaside, Highway 6 to Tillamook and Highway 18 to Lincoln City.

Late morning Thursday, the real issues start to show up, as snow, sleet and freezing rain will spread across the Oregon coast range through the afternoon. Many meteorologists in the Portland area are warning there will be a very messy transition to warmer rain late on Thursday – especially for Willamette Valley areas. This may translate to continued ice problems on the coast range highways well into the evening, even though the NWS is saying temps will rise above freezing about that time.

Certainly by late Thursday and the early morning hours of Friday, conditions in the coast range and Portland are expected to clear up.

For Oregon coast towns like Astoria, Seaside, Tillamook, Lincoln City and Newport, there may be enough moisture on the ground that roads and sidewalks will be icy on Wednesday morning.

“Secondary and untreated roads will be most susceptible to becoming icy,” the NWS said. “Black ice can be difficult to spot at any speed and can cause a vehicle to lose traction with little warning.”

Then, more problems are coming for Highway 101.

The NWS said a strong weather system will spread moisture onto an already-existing cold air mass along the coast late Wednesday and Thursday. But not all areas will be hit equally at all times. The NWS said the central Oregon coast will get the snow and freezing rain earlier, but it will also dissipate sooner, with the north coast, coast range and Portland getting hit with road problems starting in the late morning and lasting all day.

One to four inches may fall onto the coast range highways. Even Highway 20 between Corvallis and Newport will get dusted this time in spite of its lower elevations. Ice along the coast range and in valley towns like Portland could get as much as a quarter inch of ice, making for very hazardous conditions.

Most weather pundits are saying it is best to stay home most of Thursday and keep off the roads. If you must drive between the coast and the valley, wait it out until late Thursday or early Friday. Keep an eye on Oregon Coast Weather here, and check here for Oregon Coast Road, Traffic Conditions, Updates.

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