Portland may see mixed rain, snow Tuesday morning, then all rain; gorge gets heavy snowfall

Tuesday’s tricky weather forecast juggles cold air, early fog, incoming precipitation and gusty wind into a winter-like weather stew.

The National Weather Service says a weather system from British Columbia will drop south through the day bringing rain to southern Washington and northwestern Oregon by the afternoon, but Tuesday mornings low temperatures may cause a rain/snow mix early in the day. Fog was also seen forming across the metro area and some police agencies warned of slick road conditions overnight.

Fog was seen on traffic cams in Beaverton, Hillsboro, on the St. Johns Bridge and into north Portland. Use caution traveling Tuesday morning and watch carefully for slick spots on overpasses, bridges and elevated surfaces.

Portland will continue to see chances of a mix of rain and snow into the lunch hour. Snow levels rise to 1,500 feet by the afternoon. The high temperature will be near 39 degrees.

This multi-faceted storm system is expected to bring heavy snow to the Columbia River Gorge and the Coast Range.

Higher elevations of the Coast Range could see several inches of accumulation through 10 p.m. Tuesday.

Precipitation will fall mostly as snow in the western part of the gorge including at Multnomah Falls and possibly Rooster Rock. More than 6 inches of snow are expected in Cascade Locks and the Stevenson area. Travel through the gorge along Interstate 84 may be hazardous. Carry traction devices and be prepared for possible delays through Wednesday.

Some regional school districts, including Welches and Yamhill/Carlton have put buses on snow routes or have delays early Tuesday. Check here for a list: oregonlive.com/weather/page/oregon_school_closures_delays.html

Snow levels will climb overnight as a warm front moves into the region by Wednesday and changes snow into rain in the lower elevations.

The Cascades will enjoy blizzard-like conditions at times with many models showing chances of anywhere from a foot to three feet of new snow depending on location and elevation. Travel over the mountain passes will be hazardous. Check with TripCheck.com for the latest chain restrictions and advisories.

While Wednesday is expected to be a warmer day, it will also be windy at times. Forecasters are showing gusts of 45 mph or higher between Salem and Portland from midnight into the early morning hours Wednesday.

Portland will have a mostly rainy day Wednesday with breezy south/southwest winds. Temperatures will start out fairly warm in the upper 30s and stay mostly in the low 40s much of the day.

Thursday’s weather will again offer a mixed chance of rain and snow with snow levels dropping to about 1,000 feet. High temperatures will reach about 39 degrees. Portland could see snowfall and maybe even a dusting of accumulating snow during heavier showers, but little-to-no accumulating snow is expected.

Current long-range forecasts are showing a pretty good possibility of snow Friday in the metro area. Early morning showers may fall mostly as snow. By 10 a.m., warming temperature will likely change any snow over to rain in the lower elevations. The daytime high will be about 40 degrees. The weather service’s current forecast shows Friday into Saturday as the best time for lowland snow accumulations according to forecast models.

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