A series of storm systems are expected to bring heavy mountain snow, heavy rain, strong winds and potentially hazardous conditions throughout the Northwest this week.
While there is snow in Hood River’s forecast, “This is not expected to be a long term snow on the ground/freezing event at lower elevations,” said Hood River County Emergency Manager Barb Ayers.
The biggest snow impacts are forecast for Wednesday and Thursday, Ayers said, with widespread snow and the potential for freezing rain in the Gorge.
Low elevations in the Gorge are expected to get up to 4-inches of snow on Wednesday. River level should get 1-2 inches, and the Cascades are expected to get 6-8 inches.
Through Thursday, about 3-4 inches of snow are predicted to accumulate at river level, 1-3 inches on the I-5 corridor, and 4-6 inches at Government Camp. Thursday’s forecasr shows continuing snow and freezing rain around the Gorge, Ayers said.
Snow is still possible in the Gorge on Friday but the weather is expected to mellow out by Saturday.
Temperature highs are within the low 30s and high 20s, with lows in the low 20s.
The snow level in the Gorge is forecast to drop as low as 200 feet Thursday and Friday, rising to 600-1,100 feet on Saturday and going back up into the 2,600-2,700-foot range on Sunday.
Heavy snow continues in the Cascades, with ODOT reports showing 85 inches of roadside snow as of Monday afternoon (press time), though only 2 inches of that are new.
Chains are now required on Highway 35 near Mt. Hood Meadows (Mileposts 62-68), but traction tires are allowed in place of chains on vehicles under 10,000 GVW and not towing.
Weather advisories are in effect across the Pacific Northwest and some accumulating snow is possible for the Seattle and Portland metropolitan areas, according to the Weather Service.
Travelers should expect and prepare for icy travel conditions — especially as the weather warms up Friday and Saturday.