Winter chill, High Wind Warning arrives Tuesday

Major storm hitting most of the United States

Snow falls on the Curly Lambeau statue at Lambeau Field, Monday, Nov. 10, 2014, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato)
Snow falls on the Curly Lambeau statue at Lambeau Field, Monday, Nov. 10, 2014, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN 6) — The winter chill arrives Tuesday as temperatures will drop and winds will rise.

Cold air moves in from Canada beginning Monday night, KOIN 6 News meteorologist Sally Showman said.

The National Weather Service issued a High Wind Warning for most of the Portland metro area beginning at 8 a.m. Tuesday.

The wind warning will remain in effect until noon Wednesday.

It will be blustery through the Gorge, with gusts of more than 60 mph Tuesday through Thursday.  Gusty conditions reach the Willamette Valley Tuesday, with gusts of 35-45 mph in the northern Willamette Valley.

sallyThe wind will likely cause some trees to fall and scattered power outages, though it will be mostly sunny and dry through Wednesday afternoon.

Things could get messy in the Gorge late Wednesday, with freezing rain and snow late Wednesday and Thursday.

The forecast is too close to call at this time for the Portland metro area. East of I-205 may see pockets of freezing rain, but it may just be rain showers.

ODOT could start treating roadways as early as Tuesday. There are nine maintenance yards and the rucks are rigged for sand and magnesium chloride.

Some Portlanders and experts offered their best advice for dealing with the wintry weather.

Oregon-native Kristine McGinley spent four years in Wisconsin. She went to the University of Marquette and quickly became acclimated to the winters.

“I think it’s so pretty, a fresh snowfall is just beautiful,” said McGinley.

She often stood in line for hours in below-zero temperatures to get into a basketball game, that one time, warmed the heart of the coach.

“He brought doughnuts out for everybody,” McGinley remembered.

A 2007 blizzard forced her to pull off the highway, but she learned a lesson.

“Be honest with yourself about your capabilities, like how I pulled off because I didn’t trust myself,” she said. “It was worth the $70 to stay the night at a hotel.”

To further protect yourself, remember to change the air filter in your heating system, get snow tires and disconnect any hoses before temperatures fall below freezing.

“In three days, we (once) had 1,400 calls and the majority of them were because people didn’t disconnect the hose and shut the hose bib off,” said plumber Nick Deleganes.

These tips can not only save you hundreds of dollars, but help you live with Old Man Winter who’s showing up sooner than expected.

Stay with KOIN 6 Weather for all your information. Sign up for weather-related text alerts to stay informed.

=====

Rockies, Plains get blast of wintry weather
JAMES NORD, Associated Press

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — A blast of wintry weather blew into parts of the Rockies and Upper Midwest on Monday, bringing a foot of snow in some areas, along with plunging temperatures. The cold weather is expected to eventually blanket the central U.S. from the Rockies to the Great Lakes region.

The frigid air was pushed in by a powerful storm that hit Alaska with hurricane-force winds over the weekend, and threatened to bury several states in snow and send temperatures as much as 40 degrees below average. A look at the storm and its effects:

BUT IT’S NOT EVEN WINTER YET

By Monday afternoon, areas of northwest Montana saw 14 inches of snow; parts of North Dakota saw as much as 8 inches; a community in central Minnesota got more than 16 inches; and northwest Wisconsin communities such as Webster saw 11 inches.

Sue Scheeler walks her dog Brooke at Custer Park in Bismarck, N.D., after the season's first snowfall on Monday morning, Nov. 10, 2014.  (AP Photo/The Bismarck Tribune, Tom Stromme)
Sue Scheeler walks her dog Brooke at Custer Park in Bismarck, N.D., after the season’s first snowfall on Monday morning, Nov. 10, 2014. (AP Photo/The Bismarck Tribune, Tom Stromme)

Terri Sommerfeld, a clerk at the Webster Ace Hardware, said the store usually sells six or seven snow blowers in a typical winter. That’s how many it’s sold in just two days.

“It hasn’t been overly busy today, but the ones that are coming are buying snow blowers and shovels,” she said.

Winter is still more than a month away, but it may not feel like it. Snow was expected to end Tuesday, but cold air will be around for a while, said Joe Calderone, a senior forecaster for the National Weather Service.

SNOW: FIREFIGHTER’S BEST FRIEND?

Overnight snow was welcome in northern Wyoming, where firefighters were battling to contain a late wildfire.

Firefighters struggled with the blaze west of Buffalo with limited success, and by Sunday evening it had burned almost 2 square miles. Then came the arctic front, with snow and temperatures plunging from the 60s on Sunday to single digits by Monday morning.

“That’s the best fire control you can have is Mother Nature,” said John Garman, a firefighter with Johnson County.

Elsewhere, the weather had the usual effects. In Minnesota, a semitrailer carrying a load of turkeys to a processing plant slipped off Interstate 94 and overturned. In eastern Wisconsin, snow-covered roads were blamed for a school bus crash that sent the driver and an aide to a hospital. No students were hurt, WBAY-TV reported.

The storm stirred anxiety for farmers in parts of the northern Plains where the corn crop had not yet been harvested — about a third of Minnesota’s and nearly 40 percent of South Dakota’s. The corn can withstand the cold, but deep snow may delay farmers getting it out of fields.

KEEP CALM AND SHOVEL ON

The snow got a mixed reception in Minneapolis, where the first inch tripled morning drive times. At one point, the weather turned to sleet, and tiny pellets stung uncovered faces and hands. Crews were busy plowing, shoveling or brushing off sidewalks, and snowplows did several loops around city streets.

Richard Anderson, who was decorating small trees outside Seven Steakhouse, had a slightly downcast take on the weather.

“As a professional holiday decorator you’d think I’d appreciate it. But I appreciate it when I’m all finished, and I’m finally sitting down and enjoying my own Christmas tree,” he said. “It’s wet, cold, sticks to you. It’s freezing on your jacket as it’s raining. What do you call it? Rain, sleet and snow. And it’s bitter. It’s really bitter. It’s not very nice.”

In Chicago, some people were savoring breezy but mild weather near 60 before freezing temperatures arrive Wednesday.

“I just wanted to enjoy one of the last nice days,” said 44-year-old Joe Kauda, who lives in the Chicago suburb of Carol Stream and works in the mortgage industry.

Travelers at PDX, May 8, 2013 (KOIN 6 News)
Travelers at PDX, May 8, 2013 (KOIN 6 News)

READY. SET. WAIT.

If you’re flying in the coming days, expect some delays. Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport estimated roughly one-third of its arrivals and departures would be canceled by the end of Monday.

As far as driving, if you must do it in snow and sleet, be prepared: Have a full tank of gas, an emergency kit and exercise caution. Wind-blown snow can make it difficult to see, and ice underneath can make driving slippery.

“It’s part of being in South Dakota,” said Nancy Miller, a manager at Mid-America Travel Plaza in Belle Fourche. “It’s just the topic of the day. It’s the first snowstorm of the season.”

OMINOUS SIGN?

The wintry blast stirred fears of a repeat of last year’s bitter season, but the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration doesn’t expect it. Federal forecasters have predicted this winter will be fairly average.

That doesn’t mean it won’t be cold, and other private weather forecasters are predicting a slightly cooler winter than NOAA.

This week’s storm is part of a powerful system being pushed in by the remnants of Typhoon Nuri that hit Alaska’s sparsely populated Aleutian Islands.

___

Associated Press writers Amy Forliti in Minneapolis and Kerry Lester in Chicago contributed to this report.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s