Snow is expected on Cascade Range roads this weekend and early next week.

The wildest weather of the season is expected to hit Oregon beginning Friday and lasting through the weekend, according to the National Weather Service in Portland.  

An atmospheric river is forecast to dump 1 to 2 inches of rain in the Willamette Valley and 3 to 5 inches in the mountains while heavy snow piles up on Cascade Range passes.

No significant flooding is expected, as most river levels are currently low, but smaller coastal streams such as the Wilson River could reach “action” or “minor flood stage,” meteorologists said. Power outages might also be possible given winds gusting as high as 40 mph, mainly on Friday, with winder conditions in the mountains.

Travel is likely to be hazardous due to periods of major downpours, particularly Friday afternoon, while the heaviest snowfall on mountain passes is expected Sunday morning, meteorologists said.

Weather outlook

Snow will be heavy in the Cascade Range, with up to 25 inches forecast for Santiam Pass (Highway 20) and Willamette Pass (Highway 58), while Government Camp could see closer to 17 inches, between Saturday and Wednesday, said meteorologists. The day of heaviest snowfall appears to be late Saturday evening and Sunday morning.

“Those who plan on traveling over the Cascade passes should be prepared for winter driving conditions with snow showers,” the National Weather Service in Portland said in a statement.

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