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Weather Eye: Winter’s chill is on our doorstep, but snow likely to remain elusive

Welcome to winter, a few days early. Of course, the meteorological winter begins Sunday, while the calendar lags a few weeks. However, it will certainly feel like winter with gusty easterly winds, low snow levels and frost conditions overnight.

A huge storm developed and is moving inland over southern Oregon today. It will pull loads of cold air our way from the north and east. For you snow lovers, little if any snow will fall here at city levels today or tomorrow. I do expect a dusting to an inch or two in our foothills. Otherwise, chilly showers will be on the light side.

If traveling south or east for Thanksgiving, be prepared for winter driving. Heavy snow and high winds will make driving nearly impossible over the mountains of southern Oregon and northern California. Also, a good amount of snow will be falling over the Cascades, lighter amounts over Mount Hood but heavy amounts from Santiam Pass southward.

Eastern and especially central Oregon will be clobbered with upward of a foot of snow. It will be a white Thanksgiving over and east of the Cascades in Oregon. Scant light snow is predicted for the Columbia Basin.

Locally Wednesday through Saturday we will have mostly clear conditions, breezy and cold. Expect lows in wind-sheltered areas between 18 and 23 degrees, and freezing along the Columbia with east winds. Sunshine may prevail but highs will struggle to make 40 degrees and may stay in the 30s.

The storm that reaches the southwest coast of Oregon today was expected to have rapid pressure falls and would be the equivalent of a Category 2 hurricane with winds over the ocean of more than 100 mph. Winds on the headlands might be 80 to 90 mph. We haven’t seen a storm like that in that position in more than 20 years.

To sum things up, winter cold is here this week and will linger. There could be a few snowflakes in the city as snow levels drop to 200 feet tonight and Wednesday, plus a dusting in the foothills. Keep warm!


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