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Ice and Snow Cause Travel Hazards on Coast Range, Even Washington / Oregon Coast

Published 12/21/22 at 6:15 PM
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Ice and Snow Cause Travel Hazards on Coast Range, Even Washington / Oregon Coast

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(Cannon Beach, Oregon) – There are a variety of major freeze warnings up for Oregon and Washington.

Freezing rain is set to hit much of both states quite hard over the next few days, affecting even portions of the Oregon coast and Washington coast – and certainly the Coast Range passes. The National Weather Service (NWS) is predicting temps in the teens and below for many areas, including Portland and Vancouver, WA., with varying amounts of snow there and accumulations of ice hitting Thursday, Friday and Saturday that could be anywhere from a fraction of an inch to near an inch. (Photo of snow along Highway 26, Oregon Coast Beach Connection)

Some of the worst hit areas will be the Columbia River Gorge, which many forecasters in the area believe will become unpassable with ice just before the heavy holiday travel.

The north Oregon coast and south Washington coast are under a winter storm watch along with the Oregon Coast Range, from Thursday morning through Friday afternoon.

For the Coast Range passes of Highway 26, Highway 6 and Highway 18, it's going to get especially hairy on those roads, with a chance of freezing rain after midnight tonight (Wednesday), then getting steadily worse.

“Heavy mixed precipitation possible,” the NWS said. “Total snow accumulations of up to one inch and ice accumulations of one third to three quarters of an inch possible.”

Areas more towards the central Oregon coast and Lincoln County will get a little less.

Graphic courtesy NWS

For the areas of the Washington coast starting at Raymond, down through Long Beach, Seaside, Manzanita and Pacific City, the NWS said snow may be as much as one inch coming down on Thursday and Friday, and ice may be as much as half an inch thick.

For all these areas, the NWS said travel will likely be impacted.

See Oregon Coast Weather - Washington Coast Weather

See Oregon Coast Traffic Conditions

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

Conditions on the coastlne are forecast to normalize Friday night, but other parts of Oregon may or may not clear up on Saturday as the region tries to thaw out.

Central Oregon coast towns from Lincoln City southward are not expected to get much if any ice or snow. The southern Oregon coast – such as Coos Bay or Gold Beach – will remain in the 40s and only see rain.

Portland and other inland towns may see lows down to 17 degrees, and ice accumulations in those more populated regions will be sizably worse. Eugene may well get down to 23 degrees, but Hood River and much of the Gorge will be in the single digits.

On the Oregon coast and Washington coast, lows will be dramatic, including Newport at 23, Astoria at 17 degrees and Raymond at 18 degrees.

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Photos below courtesy Angi D. Wildt Gallery

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