Oregon is seeing more cold, freezing weather Thursday and following a winter storm Wednesday which dumped as much as 21 inches of snow in some parts of central Oregon and brought much of the Portland metro area to a halt.
West of the Cascade Mountains, in the Willamette Valley the forecast called for cold, freezing temperatures Thursday with a few isolated chances for additional snow and rain showers.
Treena Jensen, meteorologist with the national weather service in Portland, said the main thing facing the western half of the state is cold temperatures.
“It’s cold. It’s going to stay pretty cold,” she said.
“Some areas may make it above freezing today in the South Willamette Valley. … Salem may get up to 33 degrees.”
Those cold temperatures will exacerbate slick and icy road conditions, Jensen said. Snow that melted during the evening Wednesday froze overnight. And because temperatures will remain cold throughout the day, there's nothing to melt the 1-to-3 inches of snow the region received. Any standing water that didn't have a chance to dry turned to ice, she said. “Especially in heavily trafficked areas in the Portland metro area."
Conditions are worse in the southern Willamette Valley which received more ice than snow. As many as 11,000 households in Lane County lost power Wednesday as freezing rain and ice caused downed trees and power lines across the county,
. Jensen said that Eugene received as much as 1 inch of ice Wednesday.
East of the Cascades, temperatures will remain colder throughout the day and into the weekend. That's according to Roger Cloutier, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Pendleton.
"The snow has ended for the most part," he said. "There area a few light snow showers possible this morning."
Most of the storm that dumped snow on central and eastern Oregon continued to move east into Idaho overnight. That storm dropped 3 feet of snow on La Pine, south of Bend. One part of Bend received 14 inches of snow and Pendleton received 6.5 inches Wednesday, according to the NWS.
Some areas in Union and Wallowa counties could still see some additional snow Thursday as the storm continues to move eastward, Cloutier said.
While the snow may be over for most of central and eastern Oregon this week, frigid temperatures remain.
“We’re generally looking at highs in the 20s," he said, noting that Pendleton's high for Saturday is a chilly 14 degrees.
“Weather forecast models have been changing run to run. Now we’re no longer showing a storm for the weekend [east of the Cascades], just a lot of cold air,” according to Cloutier. “Some places may not get out of the single digits.”
Northeast Oregon will likely see the coldest temperatures, with highs in the low to mid teens.
"This is pretty much over with. After Saturday and Sunday we're going back to a Westerly flow which will bring in warmer air."
He said that the cold air will hang around central and eastern Oregon for a few days, but that warmer westward wins should bring warmer temperatures to the region by Monday or Tuesday.