The National Weather Service says temperatures are likely to stay below freezing in the Willamette Valley for days and even colder to the east.
The Portland area isn’t likely to see temperatures much above the freezing mark before Friday.
Andy Bryant, with the National Weather Service in Portland said it’s equally cold, whether it’s windy or not. In places where the wind is blowing, like Gresham or Troutdale, the wind chill factor makes the 20-degree temperatures feel like it’s in the teens.
But the wind also helps moderate the cold front over western Oregon, so areas where the wind is not blowing actually have lower temperature readings.
“Places like Hillsboro, Battle Ground, maybe places south of Portland, could get down into the teens, the next couple of nights,” said Bryant, thinking of places where it’s less windy.
So the wind makes it feel colder, but where there isn’t a wind, the conditions make it actually colder.
“It’s no-net-change, basically,” Bryant said. “It’s going to feel cold, one way or the other.”
Frigid temperatures have led authorities in the Portland area to open additional shelter space. Portland Police reported a 51 year-old homeless man was found dead on January 2, due to hypothermia.
Get into the Cascades, or farther east, and there’s even less mercury showing in local thermometers. Communities in the mountains and eastern Oregon are more accustomed to sub-freezing temperatures than Portland, but they’re still feeling conditions on the cold side of average.
“It’s very cold in some parts of central and eastern Oregon, down, single digits in some places, and into the teens,” said Bryant.
There’s a large swath of Oregon facing winter weather warnings and advisories, from the northern end of the Cascade mountains across the southern half of the state.
Forecasters anticipate several inches of snow in the Bend area, and the possibility of snow throughout southern Oregon.
Snow, freezing rain or just plain rain could return to Portland at the end of the week, when clouds are expected to return. Only question is how cold it’ll be then.