PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A big weather pattern change is expected to bring wind, rain, and even the potential for snow back to higher elevation parts of the Portland metro area this week.
Stronger easterly winds combined with a greater chance for moisture are the cause for winter weather concerns this week around Portland. Cooler temperatures, stronger winds and lower snow elevations are possible as early as Wednesday night for western Oregon and southwest Washington.
Wind impacts around Portland
Stronger easterly winds will increase the chance for more broken tree limbs, down trees, and possible power outages. Winds will first start to increase around noon on Wednesday. That’s where some wind gusts could be near 20-30 mph through the afternoon and evening time in Portland. The strong and gusty winds will likely remain through Thursday before increasing to nearly 40 mph Friday evening. Friday’s winds will also make the end of the rain and snow potential around the Pacific Northwest.
Easterly winds will help pull colder temperatures from the other side of the Cascades through the Columbia River Gorge and into the Portland metro area. It’s this decrease in temperature that will help lower snow elevation levels around the Portland metro area by Wednesday night and again Thursday evening.
Who might see snow?
The mountains are guaranteed to see beneficial snow this week. Nearly a foot to two feet are possible in some locations of the Cascades by Thursday night. Snow elevations over the mountains will drop to nearly 4,000 ft. These great snow totals and lower snow elevations will be beneficial to Oregon’s ski resorts.
The colder temperatures found around Portland could bring snow levels down to roughly 2,000 ft. That means a few stray snow flurries could survive long enough to accumulate on grassy surfaces along the West Hills. This potential snow event isn’t expected to impact roads or any of the lower elevations around the metro area. Some higher elevated spots in southwest Washington could also see a light dusting on grassy surfaces, but no impact to the commute this week.
Rain expected for the coast and Portland
Beneficial rain will continue to fall for coastal communities and for the majority of the Willamette Valley. Temperatures are expected to cool into the mid-30s overnight this week. That means rain will be found over snow. Rain accumulation will likely reach an inch to an inch and a half from the coast to the Willamette Valley by Thursday afternoon.
This latest blast of wet and cooler weather is still subject to change. Stay with Portland’s most accurate weather team by WeatherRate for the last nine years as this storm continues to develop.