Storms Bring Snow, Rain, Wind to Oregon, Cascades, Coast
(Portland, Oregon) – The National Weather Service (NWS) in Portland has issued some weather alerts for most of the state, including the Oregon coast, the Cascades, Portland, Willamette Valley and the Columbia Gorge. Some sizable winds are expected, heavy snow in some areas, and possibly flooding along the Oregon coast. (Above: a stormy Depoe Bay at night).
Really kicking on Friday, windy conditions will be hitting the coastline and much of the rest of the state, but heavy snow is coming to the Cascades. The high pressure system currently over Oregon will be replaced by a weak but cool disturbance on Thursday. It's a system the NWS said will bring light rain and snow to some parts of the state, with the mountain passes looking at the biggest possibilities for snow.
“There will be a brief break in precipitation overnight Thursday before a stronger and more dynamic storm arrives Friday afternoon,” the NWS said. “This storm is supported by a strong upper jet that will result in blustery northwest winds across the region.”
Those winds will be less than advisory levels, but the NWS said there may still be downed trees and affected powerlines in some regions.
The biggest news is heavy snow in the Cascades over the weekend, with snow levels expected to drop below 2500 feet on Friday night. Strong northwest winds combined with a moist air mass will create persistent mountain showers on Friday, the NWS said. These will continue through Saturday morning and bring as much as four to eight inches of snow in elevations below 5000 feet. Above that mark, the NWS said more than a foot of snow could be falling.
This will create some hazardous driving conditions in parts of the higher Cascades.
“Strong winds blowing the snow will likely result in poor visibility and extra hazardous driving conditions,” the NWS said. “Those planning to drive over the Cascades Friday night should prepare for winter weather conditions.”
For the Oregon coast, some areas may be looking at a bit of flooding. Strong west winds will be persistent on the seas, and these will combine with large northwest swells and high tides to create some bulging waterways. Some minor flooding could take place around Tillamook and that notorious spot just south of Seaside.
The alert includes coastal towns Astoria, Seaside, Cannon Beach, Manzanita, Rockaway Beach, Wheeler, Garibaldi, Tillamook, Oceanside, Pacific City, Lincoln City, Depoe Bay, Newport, Waldport and Yachats, among others.
High surf will likely be a danger and a problem along the Oregon coast, but these conditions combined with all the west winds should make for some interesting finds along the beaches. Situations like these often result in more debris washing up.
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