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Ice Storm Warnings for Oregon Coast Range, Salem, Eugene, Portland

Published 1/15/24 at 5:05 p.m.
y Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Ice Storm Warnings for Oregon Coast Range, Salem, Eugene, Portland

(Oregon Coast Range) – Severe weather alerts are going up all over western Oregon, especially the Coast Range and the I-5 region between Eugene and Vancouver, Washington. The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued ice storm warnings for everything in the northwestern part of the state except for the coast, with more power outages likely and increasingly serious road conditions.

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This comes as some 58,000 people in PGE's coverage area are still without power, and even still some on the central Oregon coast. Thousands experienced power loss over the weekend along the coastline. About 100,000 had no way to heat their homes in Portland.

Meanwhile, on the southern Oregon coast, no ice problems were reported and none are expected to arise. Conditions on the northern coast are improving, and temps are predicted to stay in the 40s Tuesday.

It will be early Wednesday to mid afternoon when temps finally rise into the 40s for the valley region, and then - luckily - it remains there for the rest of the week.

Tuesday brings the ice storm warnings in effect from Tuesday morning through evening, with temps well below freezing, and “significant ice accumulation” in the Oregon Coast Range, and as much as half an inch in Portland's higher elevations.

For the Oregon Coast Range, the NWS said: “Total snow accumulations of up to one inch and ice accumulations of around four tenths of an inch. Significant icing is expected on the east side of the Coast Range for areas below 1000 to 1500 ft.”

Icy beach this weekend, courtesy Tiffany Boothe, Seaside Aquarium

For Portland the warning lasts a little longer, until 4 a.m. Forecasters are hoping it may be more short-lived than that. Many if not most roads may become impassable.

“Significant icing expected,” the NWS said. “Total snow accumulations of up to one inch and ice accumulations of two tenths to one half of an inch.”

For the Willamette Valley (Salem, McMinnville, Woodburn, Corvallis, Eugene): “Significant icing expected. Total ice accumulations of two tenths to four tenths of an inch, except around one tenth of an inch above 2500 feet.”

In Portland, there is a severe weather alert, prompting the opening of additional warming shelters.

Snow by satellite in 2023, courtesy NASA

More heavy wind gusts are expected in the Portland area and valley tonight, but those will subside by the time the ice storm gets underway..

Oregon Coast Beach Connection was shut down for 48 hours because of the widepsread power outage in Portland, making for no access to critical computer systems. Freezing conditions became severe enough that at least one employee had to go to a motel in Hillsboro after searching for an hour for an opening in the area.

Further information on potential road conditions for western Oregon are coming in a companion article.

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Snow in Astoria / Washington coast, courtesy Angi D. Wildt Gallery

Portland in the snow / Oregon Coast Beach Connection

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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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