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Snow / Defrost Forecast for Western Oregon, Coast; Potentially Deadly Wind Chills Today

Published 02/24/23 at 6:09 AM
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Snow / Defrost Forecast for Western Oregon, Coast; Potentially Deadly Wind Chills Today

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(Portland, Oregon) - The big question for everyone along the Oregon coast through western Oregon is: when will all this thaw out? (Bandon on Thursday, courtesy  Manuela Durson - see Manuela Durson Fine Arts for more)

That all depends where, with Portland, the Willamette Valley and the I-5 corridor remaining a collection of nasty spots for ice and traffic issues for today and parts of Saturday.

The Oregon coast will be in the clear for sure by Friday or Saturday, with the north coast and south coast a little warmer than the central coast. However, the Portland Metro area down through Eugene will take a bit of time to clear up, while southern Oregon will get a big boost in temperatures before some snow hits the higher areas of areas like Roseburg or Medford.

In the meantime, at least the entire northwestern half of the state and SW Washington are under a wind chill advisory, where high, very cold winds will cause it to feel as low as 0 degrees in some areas. The National Weather Service (NWS) issued the advisory, in effect for the entire Oregon coast and northwest Oregon until noon today (Friday). In southern Oregon it is in effect until 9 a.m.

“The cold wind chills could result in hypothermia if precautions are not taken,” the NWS said.

Along the Oregon coast and Washington coast the wind chills may be as low as five degrees, while the northwest lowlands and valley are looking at winds making it feel like 0 degrees.

Into the Weekend

On the southern coast, including Coos Bay through Brookings, there's a pair of freeze warnings running through Saturday.

"For the first Freeze Warning, sub-freezing temperatures as low as 23," the NWS said. "For the second Freeze Warning, sub-freezing temperatures as low as 23 expected again."

Portland and the valley areas won't get any more snow on Friday and daytime Saturday, but some amounts of snow are set to return Saturday, and then again Sunday morning and Monday morning.

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The NWS said that region will be sunny on Friday and Saturday, slowing pulling up into the 30s by Friday afternoon – but freezing again overnight. The prediction is many main roads will be clearing up by Friday evening. This doesn't leave much room for a lot of drying out, however, and side streets will remain slick and dangerous.

On Saturday, things warm up further, often closer to the low 40s, with a lessening of slick roads.

More problems may arrive on Saturday night for Vancouver, Portland, Salem, McMinnville and Eugene, etc., as another round of snow and rain come in, but the NWS and other forecasters are unsure how much of an impact this will have. The NWS said there's definitely some snow coming in on Sunday and Monday mornings, with Portland seeing it above only 500 feet but Eugene getting snow above 1,000 feet.

Daytime highs should be climbing into the 40s for most of these inland areas, thus allowing much of the side streets to warm up. In fact, various areas - such as parts of Clackamas County - are reporting clearer roads.

The southern Oregon coast and north Oregon coast / south Washington coast get into the 40s fairly quickly over the weekend, and the central coast won't be far behind.

Portland: photo Oregon Coast Beach Connection

The Oregon Coast Range may be presenting further problems for travel to and from the beaches, but that will be slowly warming over the weekend during the daytime. See Beautiful Snow Day on Oregon Coast Not All Fun: Photo Gallery, Roads Closed Closed roads, more possible, but incredible sights south coast to Washington coast

This snowstorm has apparently caused the death of at least one person in the region, as a child died of cardiac arrest because the snow kept first responders from arriving in time. Another death in Multnomah County is being investigated as hypothermia.

Meanwhile, cancellations abound for most schools in the affected regions on Friday. On the Oregon coast, Newport's Seafood and Wine Festival postponed Thursday's opening but will kickstart on Friday.

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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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