People throughout Northwest Oregon and the Portland metro area will likely see some snow and freezing rain hit the roads this week, according to the National Weather Service in Portland.
“Snow is likely, more likely than not — it could be anywhere from a couple inches to six inches,” said Andy Bryant, a hydrologist with the agency.
Forecasters said snow has potential to fall as soon as Monday night, but it is much more likely to stick Tuesday night through Wednesday in Northwest Oregon at all elevations. Temperatures will be at or below freezing from Tuesday night through Thursday, with the potential of freezing rain.
As the storm approaches, the Oregon Department of Transportation is urging drivers to be safely situated at home ahead of snowfall.
“It’s critical before a storm to know what’s coming, watch the forecast and know what’s going on out there,” said Don Hamilton with ODOT.
Hamilton said that ODOT crews are working to prepare roads in the Columbia River Gorge, Mount Hood and in the coast range with deicer ahead of inclement weather. Crews are also deploying other primary tools like plows, sand and salt.
Hamilton added that as the roads get icy, bicyclists and motorists should be more aware of each other and their surroundings.
“The bicyclists need to know that it’s harder for a car to stop when there’s snow or ice on the road,” Hamilton said. “It’s really critical that we all look out for each other on the roads out there.”
Hamilton said that with the new “Idaho Stop” law in effect, bicyclists should take extra precaution as they yield on to icy roads.
ODOT said drivers should be sure their vehicles’ tires, wipers and brakes are in good working order, and to have water and snacks prepared in the case of an emergency.
TriMet officials said they are monitoring bus routes in higher elevations overnight, and that 75% of their buses have drop-down chains that can be deployed as needed for traction.
Both ODOT and TriMet recommend commuters keep an eye on the forecast and traffic alerts frequently so they can plan ahead.