Strong Storm Strikes Pac NW, Low Elevation Snow To Follow
A strong late season storm is making landfall this afternoon along the Oregon and Washington coast. Winds have gusted to as high as nearly 90 mph along the northern Oregon coast and 45-60 mph at some locations in the Willamette Valley today. The airport at Salem, Oregon recorded a preliminary gust of 52 mph late this morning along with a mesowest station in Salem reporting 62 mph. The Portland airport reported a gust to nearly 50 mph as well. Today’s strong storm is more reminiscent of something we would see in December rather than March.
After the front passes by the region this afternoon, snow levels will fall dramatically this evening. Overnight tonight into Tuesday, snow could fall as low as the valley floor. Late tonight, an area of organized showers will rotate around the upper level low into western Oregon and Washington. All elevations west of the Cascades could see anywhere from a dusting to as much as 3″ of snow in the higher foothills from Medford, Oregon north to Bellingham, Washington and points east. This is a rare and cold late season storm. Snow at sea level west of the Cascades in the month of March is rare. Overnight low temperatures Monday night are forecast to remain just above freezing at most valley locations west of the Cascades. This will be the third time in the past month where locations such as Portland and Seattle will likely see some snow in their respective metropolitan areas overnight tonight.
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