PORTLAND, Ore. -- The National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning for heavy snow in the Oregon Cascades through Thursday night.
Forecasters say the snow level is dropping to 1,500 feet and accumulations of 10-to-14 inches are expected.
“It will really increase the wind Wednesday at the coast before the rain even gets here, then we'll see rain by the afternoon at the coast,” said KGW Meteorologist Nick Allard. “Inland, we'll see the rain by about 5 p.m. Wednesday and then snow levels will take a big dip down below 2,000 feet on Thursday.”
The National Weather Service issued a Special Weather Statement, warning that "the coldest Fall storm of the season" was on its way.
"If you have any travel planned during the second half of the week, be sure to monitor the latest forecasts carefully and be prepared for the change to much colder weather with snow over the Cascades," the weather statement warned.
Allard predicted that the Cascades will get a dump of snow on Thursday. Then, he said the snow levels will drop even lower on Friday and over the weekend.
“We're talking around a foot or more on Thursday" in the mountains, he explained. “From there, the snow level will stay at about 1,500 feet through Friday and hover around 1,500 feet on Saturday and Sunday, too.”
The Oregon Department of Transportation is putting shifts on standby starting Wednesday night in case snow hits Portland.
Over the weekend, forecasters say Arctic air may filter into northwest Oregon and bring possible valley snow.
KGW Meteorolists have forecast that this winter is shaping up as a strong La Nina weather pattern. La Nina patterns have traditionally been associated with above average precipitation and heavier snow accumulations. More: La Nina winter expected