Rain, snow showers expected overnight in Portland metro, Willamette Valley; roads may be icy

KGW chief meteorologist Matt Zaffino said some areas may freeze overnight, which could lead to icy roads.

PORTLAND, Ore. — Snow turned into rain Tuesday evening after the Portland metro area and Willamette Valley saw a steady stream of flurries during the afternoon that resulted in moderate accumulations in some locations.

KGW chief meteorologist Matt Zaffino said the Willamette Valley floor shouldn’t get accumulating snow Tuesday night. Areas above 500 feet may see another half-inch to an inch of snow.

Although more snow is not expected overnight, winter weather advisories are in effect across the Portland-Vancouver metro area and other parts of Oregon through Wednesday morning.

See weather alerts for counties in Oregon and Washington

The weather advisories remain in place partly because of the impact the snowfall may have on driving.

Zaffino said areas where snow is on the ground may stay cold enough to freeze overnight. If that happens, there will be icy roads in some areas Tuesday night and Wednesday morning.

Law enforcement agencies across the region have warned of slick roads and recommended people not drive if possible. If driving is necessary, they advised drivers to slow down and take caution. The snowy conditions have led to road closures in some areas. Highway 26 was temporarily closed in the Coast Range due to snowy conditions but later reopened. Check the latest traffic updates on TripCheck

The system that brought snow made its way across Western Oregon from the west to the east. Temperatures dropped quickly in the early afternoon, which contributed to the snowfall, according to Zaffino.

“The heavy precipitation rates with the incoming Pacific front are responsible for the temperatures dropping low enough to turn rain to snow in most areas,” he said.

Zaffino expected areas above 1,000 feet in elevation, including the Coast Range and Cascade foothills, to end up with the most accumulation, possibly between 3 and 6 inches.

He said areas between 500 and 1,000 feet in elevation got an inch or two. The snow in areas below 500 feet, including downtown Portland, mainly melted after it fell, with the exception of grass surfaces.

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