There's a possibility of 8 to 12 inches of snow on Oregon’s mountain passes, likely beginning Thanksgiving night.

There’s a possibility of 8 to 12 inches of snow on Oregon’s mountain passes, likely beginning Thanksgiving night.

Anna Reed/Statesman Journal

Rain and snow are expected to return to western Oregon in time for the Thanksgiving weekend. Meanwhile, gale-force winds are forecast for the Oregon Coast.  

According to the National Weather Service, dry conditions will continue until a Pacific frontal system moves into the region Wednesday.

That will bring rain to much of western Oregon, but could turn to ice or snow at higher elevations.  

The rainy weather will combine Thursday with a cold front to bring a mix of snow to the passes in the Cascade Mountains.   The snow is expected start accumulating significantly Friday and Saturday, according to the Weather Service, with snow levels dropping to around 3,500 feet. That should be low enough to blanket highways around Government Camp, Santiam Pass and Willamette Pass — and to make driving conditions slippery.  

That snow could accumulate to as little as 3 inches or as much as 16 inches in some areas, according to David Bishop of the National Weather Service.

Forecasters say the winter weather will also bring rougher conditions along Oregon’s coastal waters. They advise people use caution if the plan to boat or be near ocean waters during the holiday this week.