PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — It’s been the wettest December on record for the Portland area, and the rain and mountain snow will only continue to fall as Christmas approaches.
A Winter Storm Warning for the Coast Range, Cascade Foothills and Cascades will make holiday travel tricky for some.
The warning went into effect Tuesday night and ends Wednesday night, when travel is expected to be the busiest.
Snow levels will drop between 1500-2500 feet on Wednesday. That means snowy and slick conditions for drivers going over mountain passes.
Wind speeds for the Coast Range will gust up to 45 mph, which could mean even more snow blowing onto the roads.
The Coast Range will get 8-15 inches of snow Tuesday and Wednesday.
If you’re traveling to the coast be prepared to drive through severe winter conditions, especially Wednesday night. Travel during that time isn’t advised, and if you’re going out of town it may be best to leave sooner rather than later.
For those heading to California, the drive through the Siskiwou Mountain Pass is likely going to be snowy. There is a Winter Weather Advisory in effect for the region, and around 6-12 inches of snow will fall between Tuesday and Wednesday night.
This is all a result of a series of systems that moved in late Tuesday.
KOIN 6 Meteorologist Kristen Van Dyke says the Cascades will be hit the hardest between Tuesday night and Wednesday night. The region will get up to 6 inches of snow overnight Tuesday and 1-3 feet by Wednesday night.
Snow levels on Mount Hood will drop to 1500-2500 feet during that time and wind speeds will reach 45 mph.
If you’re heading up to the ski resorts make sure you carry chains or traction tires. Drivers are encouraged to avoid travel during the Winter Storm if possible.
Portland’s temperatures averaged in the mid-40s on Tuesday with rain chances ramping back up through Wednesday night.
Christmas will bring a cool down with highs struggling to hit 40 degrees. It will stay mainly dry on Christmas with slight chances of rain mixed with a few wet flakes at night.