Meteorologist Melissa Frey’s Forecast Discussion:
Round #2 of our three storm series is here and it’s likely going to be one of the top 5 snow storms we’ve seen in February since 1893.The last time we saw more that 6″ of snow in February was 21 years ago, back in 1993. We picked up 8.2″ that month in Eugene. The last time we got more than 9″ (which is going to be close with this storm) you have to go back to 1917 when we got 22.7″!
Winter Storm Warnings are in effect for most of Lane County through Portland along with Central Oregon. The snow started falling with this second storm in Eugene at about 6 a.m. Friday and hasn’t let up through 1:30 p.m. Eugene has now picked up over 6″ of snow. It’s likely that we’ll top the 7″ we had back in December making this one of the biggest snow events we’ve seen in awhile. Even if this were all rain, it would still have been the most we’ve seen in about 2 weeks, totaling 0.48″.
This snow will continue through the afternoon into the evening. As warmer air continues to move in with this storm more locations are going to see the snow transition to freezing rain into this afternoon. Roseburg and Florence are already seeing just plain rain and that transition to snow happens at about Creswell on I-5 and near Yachats on HWY 101. As this storm moves north, so will the snow, but also will the warmer air.
For the extreme southern Willamette Valley: You can expect heavy snow through the afternoon, which will gradually switch to more sleet and freezing rain through the day. By the end of the day we should see 5-8″ of new snow topped with .1-.25 inches of ice.
For the central Willamette Valley: Heavy snow will continue through tonight, not tapering off until after 7 p.m.
For the south Coast and Umpqua Basin, mostly rain today, although heavy at times. Also, this storm will bring in strong winds tonight. A High Wind Warning is in effect through 1 a.m. tonight for gusts to 65 mph in western Douglas and Coos Counties.
For the Cascades, the passes have already seen 8+ inches of snow in the past 24 hours and heavy snow will continue through the day. An additional 6-12” can be expected by tonight with more to come on Saturday.
Storm #3 moves in Saturday. This storm will deliver even more moisture, but will also be much warmer. This means initially we’ll likely see another round of heavy snow initially before it quickly switches to a combination of snow, freezing rain and/or sleet below 1,000′ by Saturday midday.
By Sunday afternoon highs will be back to the low 40s and rain showers will continue.
Stay tuned to the Stormtracker 9 Weather team during this winter weather and we’ll continue to update the forecast throughout the day.
Stay safe and warm!
~Meteorologist Melissa Frey
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