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Winter Wallop Coming Tonight

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Chief Meteorologist Justin Stapleton‘s Daily Forecast Discussion: 

The first big winter storm of 2014 is almost here and will bring a walloping of wind, rain and snow. Let’s break things down for the next 24 hours:

TONIGHT/SATURDAY: 

-COAST: The coast is under a High Wind Warning through 10 p.m. Saturday. There will be two batches of strong winds, the first from 12am to around 6am, then again after the front moves through, mainly through the afternoon. South winds will increase to 30-45 mph with gusts of 65-75 mph early Saturday. The second wave of strong winds will be west/southwest at 25-40 mph with gusts to 60 mph. Heavy rain will also fall with 1-2″ are expected through Saturday evening. There is also the chance for isolated thunderstorms Saturday afternoon and evening as the cold and unstable air spills in.

-VALLEY: The Valley is under a Wind Advisory from midnight through 10 p.m. Saturday. The highest winds will be from 3-7 a.m. and again 1-6 p.m. South winds will increase to 15-30 mph with gusts of 40-50 mph. We’ll see heavy rain early Saturday morning, tapering off to showers and sun breaks by the afternoon. Winds won’t be as strong as early morning but still breezy overall with gusts 25-30mph in the afternoon. There is also the chance for isolated thunderstorms Saturday afternoon and evening.

-CASCADES: The Cascades are under a Winter Storm Warning from Saturday morning through late Saturday night. The mountains will start off seeing rain tonight and early Saturday. However, the snow level will drop from 7,000′ Saturday morning to 3,500′ by noon and as low as 2,500′ by Saturday night. The passes will see 12-18″ and the ski resorts will see 18-30″. Winds will also be strong Saturday creating blowing snow. We’ll see w/sw winds of 20-35 mph with gusts of 50 mph Saturday afternoon. Travel over the passes will be very wintry through late Sunday.

Conditions quiet down by Sunday and high pressure moves the rain out of the picture for most of next week. However, that means the thick valley fog will likely be back as a temperature inversion will sit across much of the central and southern valley. The ski resorts will be sunny and mild and hopefully this storm will allow both Willamette Pass and Hoodoo to finally get back to full openings for the year.

Have a great weekend!

– Chief Meteorologist Justin Stapleton

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