Portland - A powerful system may bring snow into the Portland Metro area Thursday, with even heavier snowfall in Salem, according to KGW Chief Meteorologist Matt Zaffino.

For Portland and Vancouver, 1-2 inches is likely, but as much as 5 to 8 inches possible near and south of Salem, Zaffino said. He said snow would likely start mid-morning in the central Willamette Valley and move into the Portland Metro area Thursday afternoon.

The National Weather Service issued a Winter Storm Watch for Thursday morning through Friday morning for the entire Portland and Vancouver Metro areas. The alert warned of snow and blowing snow, combined with powerful east winds.

A second storm was setting up to hit Portland even harder on Saturday.

We could see snow or freezing rain all day long on Saturday, Zaffino said. Parts of the mid valley may get 6 to 12 inches of snow and the Columbia River Gorge could be very bad.

Zaffino added that the length of time that each type of precipitation lasts will be key.

It's possible Portland will see 2-6 inches of snow and a quarter to a half-inch of ice, he said.

The NWS also issued a Wind Advisory for the Portland Metro Area, effective through Thursday at 10 p.m., which warned motorists to be especially careful on the Interstate 5 bridge and the Glenn Jackson Bridge

Seattle (AP) -- Below-normal, frigid temperatures are forecast to continue into the weekend in Washington and then begin to moderate next week.

The National Weather Service says lows in Western Washington will be around freezing or below. Lows in Eastern Washington will be in single digits.

Forecasters say there's a chance of light snow in places Thursday night and Friday night in Western Washington and through the weekend in Eastern Washington.

A warmer, wetter pattern is expected to move into Washington next week with temperatures returning to seasonal norms.

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