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Big Thaw Finally Happens Around Oregon, Coast Range, Portland - Except Gorge

Published 1/21/24 at 8:55 p.m.
y Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Big Thaw Finally Happens Around Oregon, Coast Range, Portland - Except Gorge

(Portland, Oregon) – Unhindered travel around most of Oregon and Washington is back, including through the Oregon Coast Range and all over Portland. However, parts of the Columbia Gorge are still staring down some ice storms and thawing there is slower than elsewhere. (Above: this spot in SW Portland was still covered in ice / snow 24 hours earlier. Photo Oregon Coast Beach Connection)

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There is some potential for flooding, especially on the south Oregon coast, and some slightly larger wave height is headed for parts of the coastline, albeit briefly.

The National Weather Service (NWS) said an ice storm warning is in effect for parts of the Gorge until 10 a.m Monday. The Upper Hood River Valley, including the area around Hood River, is in for significant icing. Two tenths to half an inch of ice is on its way.

“Power outages and tree damage are likely due to the ice,” the NWS said. “Travel could be difficult. The hazardous conditions could impact the morning commute.”

On the southern Oregon coast, a long-duration atmospheric river event is headed for the areas of Coos Bay southward to the California border and Brookings. One to five inches of rain is coming over this weekend and could result in ponding and at the very least swollen riverbanks.

Photo ODOT: Biggs Junction in the Gorge this week

“Rainfall amounts are expected to be highest in southwestern Siskiyou, Josephine and Curry County,” the NWS said.

Salem has completely thawed out, but parts of Portland are still struggling a little to come out of the deep freeze. Even in Beaverton, side streets and many sidewalks are not yet completely clear, but at least temps have risen closer to 40 degrees, and Sunday has seen plenty of warmer rain to melt the majority of the snow.

In many areas of Washington County and west Multnomah County, an inch or two of ice that was there last night has melted away today into sporadic tracks on the surface.

“Temperatures continue to moderate across NW Oregon and SW Washington today, slower in the Portland metro area, Columbia River Gorge, and Hood River Valley,” the NWS said. “Elsewhere will see high temperatures around or slightly above normal for late January through the week.”

ODOT reports no major road issues around the state, and the Oregon Coast Range passes have almost completely cleared up.

Shore Acres, courtesy Oregon's Adventure Coast

Offshore from the Oregon and Washington coast, wave height will rise to almost 14 feet in many areas, mostly south of Cape Blanco. This happens Sunday and Monday, then lowering down below ten feet on Tuesday. Wednesday and Thursday may bring higher waves again, which could create some good wave watching conditions in places like Yachats, Shore Acres or Oceanside.

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Above: snow and ice in Nehalem Bay State Park last week, courtesy Oregon State Parks


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Andre' GW Hagestedt is editor, owner and primary photographer / videographer of Oregon Coast Beach Connection, an online publication that sees over 1 million pageviews per month. He is also author of several books about the coast.

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