By Nicole Montesano • Staff Writer • 

Winter storm warning issued


The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning for the region at 10 o'clock tonight, and lasting until 10 p.m. on Saturday.

However, also on Friday shortly before noon, the Weather Service put a notice on Facebook warning "flash freeze on the way; watch for black ice." The notice said the Friday evening commute may be a hazardous one, as temperatures plummet while roads are still wet from the rainfall of the past few days.

"If you must travel, keep an extra flashlight, food, and water in your vehicle in case of an emergency," the Weather Service said in its storm warning.

According to the forecast on Friday, the county could see less than a half-inch of snow accumulate this afternoon, with temperatures dropping throughout the day, to well below freezing by midnight. Forecasters predict a low of 16 degrees tonight, rising to only 18 degrees F. on Saturday. With rain, snow and sleet in the forecast, the county may see up to three inches of accumulated snow and sleet on Saturday. 

"While confidence is high for a prolonged period of widespread below freezing temperatures beginning Friday night and continuing through at least Tuesday morning, confidence remains low regarding exact snow and ice amounts Friday night through Saturday night, even this close to the event," forecasters said on the website of the NWS's Portland office. "This is mainly due to uncertainty regarding the exact track and timing of the surface low responsible for the upcoming winter storm, as well as mesolows rotating around the parent low. As is often the case leading up to winter storms like this one, models and their ensembles are a bit all over the place regarding the exact track of the low and which areas will be hit hardest by snow and/or freezing rain. There will almost certainly be accumulating snow and freezing rain in the area, it`s just a matter of figuring out which locations see how much snow and/or freezing rain."

Blizzard conditions are possible in the Gorge, forecasters said, warning that "Anyone with travel plans Friday night through Saturday night should either reconsider their plans, or make sure to pay very close attention to the forecast and road conditions."

Things are expected to dry out by Sunday morning, but temperatures will remain icy for several days, with a high of around 29 on Sunday, and a low of 17, followed by a high of around 29 on Monday, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and a low of 15 degrees. 

Temperatures are expected to finally creep just above freezing Tuesday, with a high near 33 degrees, and a chance of snow, before dropping to a low around 28 degrees Tuesday night. On Wednesday, the high is predicted to be around 43, with a Wednesday night low around 34.

Several overnight shelters will be opening to accommodate people without homes; see list in sidebar. Some libraries, along with the Second Street Drop-in Center in Newberg and Youth Outreach in Newberg will be open as daytime warming centers.

Portland General Electric said in a press release on Jan. 8 that it  "encourages customers to prepare for potential service interruptions." Keeping devices such as cell phones fully charged before the event will help ensure they are available in the event of an outage.

The utility urges customers to prepare outage kits containing the following items:

    • Flashlight or headlamps

    • Battery-powered or hand crank radio and alarm clock or watch

    • Car charger for your cell phone, laptops and/or tablets

    • 72-hour supply of ready-to-eat food and water

    • Extra blankets

    • Bottled water for people and animals (for those who rely on electricity to pump water)

  • For customers with an electric garage door opener, learn how to operate it manually.

  • Protect home electronics by investing in surge protection equipment. See options at

  • Be familiar with safe cooking, heating, and lighting practices. Information on safe generator use and other tips are available on


The Evergreen Aviation Museum’s new F-117 Nighthawk event, scheduled for Jan. 13, has been postponed, due to weather. The event is now scheduled for 1 to 4 p.m. on March 2; event details including guest speakers remain the same.

McMinnville Library book sale, scheduled for Jan. 13, has been cancelled and rescheduled for Feb. 10.


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