High winds subside, snow headed to lower elevations

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by KGW staff

NWCN.com

Posted on December 17, 2012 at 10:04 AM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 30 at 8:08 AM

PORTLAND -- High winds that battered the Oregon Coast inland to the Cascades subsided early Monday morning but a high surf advisory remained in effect for all beaches, and snow is headed for lower elevations Monday afternoon.

More: KGW forecast

Gusty, rainy conditions will continue through Monday in Portland with a high of 47 degrees, said KGW meteorologist Nick Allard. Gusts hit 48 mph in Portland overnight Sunday.

The snow level may drop to 1,000 Monday afternoon, with pockets of snow possible in low-lying areas around Portland, he said. Tuesday morning will bring snow levels as low as 500 feet, he said.

The winds caused power outages throughout the Portland metro area, the Willamette Valley and the Oregon Coast. Portland General Electric was still working on a number of outages in the Portland area Monday morning.

More: Widespread power outages

A blizzard warning remains in effect for the Cascades through Monday evening. Up to three feet of snow could fall in the mountains from the current storm, according to the National Weather Service.

Allard said more than a foot fell overnight Sunday at Timberline and Mount Hood Meadows and more than another foot could easily fall Monday.  Winds will be from 20 to 45 mph on the mountain, with gusts to 60 mph possible, he said.

The Oregon State Police advised motorists to avoid driving over the Cascades until at least Tuesday.

7-Day Forecast | Live Doppler Radar | Maps

The Klickitat School District was on snow routes Monday morning and Estacada was opening two hours late. More: List of school delays, closures

A high surf advisory was to remain in effect along the Oregon Coast until noon Monday. The beach should be avoided. Sneaker waves and debris will be commonplace, the Weather Service said. Wind gusts hit 80 mph overnight Sunday in Lincoln county, Allard said.

A confusing blizzard warning was sent out from the National Weather Service to cell phone customers in the valley and metro area. The warning did not specify that the blizzard alert was for Bend and the east side of the Cascades.

According to Tyree Wilde with the National Weather Service, the alert was part of a new system that went into effect in June. The alerts are broadcast county-wide as part of a program through FEMA, the NWS and cell phone providers.

Information: Commercial Mobile Alert System

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