A winter storm has brought late-season snow to much of the Pacific Northwest.
The National Weather Service issued weather warnings and watches throughout the region Monday, from winter storm warnings to coastal wind advisories.
Fallen trees and power lines have led to outages throughout the region. At one point Monday morning, more than 100,000 customers in Oregon and Southwest Washington were without power. By noon, that number had dropped to about 60,000.
Several school districts across Northern Oregon and Southwest Washington are closed or started on 2-hour delays. The state’s largest school district, Portland Public Schools, closed for the day.
In the Portland metro area, traffic officials warned Monday morning that wet, heavy snow was bringing down trees and causing difficult travel conditions. A little after 8 a.m., the Oregon Department of Transportation closed U.S. Highway 26 between Oregon 217 and Interstate 405 in both directions, with multiple trees down near the Oregon Zoo exit. Drivers were asked to avoid the area. By the start of the afternoon rush hour commute, westbound lanes of Highway 26 were open, but eastbound lanes remained closed.
The snow level was expected to rise Monday afternoon as temperatures move into the 40s. Snow showers could return for a brief period below a thousand feet Tuesday morning.
Meteorologists say this is the first time in 82 years of record-keeping that measurable snow has fallen at Portland International Airport this late in the year.
A winter storm warning is in effect through Tuesday morning in the Northern Oregon Cascades, where up to 24 inches of snow could accumulate as the storm passes through.
Winter weather advisories are also in place in Eastern Oregon’s Baker, Harney and Malheur counties. Along the Coast Range, several inches of snow could fall throughout the day and wind gusts of up to 40 mph are expected.
This is a developing story. Watch for updates.