Update at 7:12 a.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 14:
Low-elevation snow arrived in western Oregon mostly as expected Tuesday morning, bringing a dusting to a half inch of snow in Salem, Eugene and other Mid-Willamette Valley cities while dropping considerably more in the foothills and mountains.
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A major snowstorm is likely to make travel on Oregon’s mountain roads difficult while also bringing the strong possibility for Willamette Valley snow Monday through Tuesday.
Snow in the Willamette Valley
Snow at the lowest elevations of the Willamette Valley — including in Portland, Salem and Eugene — is expected to be light, around an inch or less. However, in the hills and at higher city elevations, above 500 feet, around 1 to 3 inches of snow is forecast, according to the National Weather Service in Portland.
The valley snow will be possible between 10 p.m. Monday and 10 a.m. on Tuesday. The greatest threat of snow accumulation should end by 7 a.m., NWS said.
“Plan on slippery road conditions,” a winter weather advisory said. “The hazardous conditions could impact the (Tuesday) morning commute.”
“Accumulations will vary in space and time,” NWS continued. “Most elevations below 500 feet will see a trace of snow and up to 0.5 inches, however, a heavier snow shower could bring over an inch.”
Major snow expected in foothills and mountain passes
The amount of snow forecast increases into the Cascade Foothills and Coast Range, according to multiple winter weather warnings.
Snow will arrive first in Oregon Coast Range towns and mountain roads, with 2 to 8 inches forecast below 2,000 feet and 6 to 11 at higher elevations, mainly taking place between noon on Monday to 10 a.m. on Tuesday. Impacted cities could include Vernonia, Grande Ronde and Veneta, among others, according to NWS.
On the Cascade Range side of the Willamette Valley, in cities such as Mill City, McKenzie Bridge and Oakridge, anywhere from 2 to 9 inches is forecast below 1,500 feet, mainly between 4 a.m. Monday to 1 p.m. on Tuesday.
At slightly higher elevations in the Cascades, between 1,500 and 3,000 feet, in areas like Detroit and Marion Forks, about 4 to 12 inches of snow will be possible, with winds gusting as high as 40 mph.
At the higher elevations above 3,000 feet and at Cascade Range passes, including Santiam Pass (Highway 20), Willamette Pass (Highway 58) and Government Camp (Highway 26) around 12 to 20 inches is forecast.
“If you must travel (in the mountains), keep an extra flashlight, food, and water in your vehicle in case of an emergency,” NWS said.
Live info for conditions can be found at TripCheck.com.
More snow forecast for I-5 corridor into southern Oregon
Those traveling south on Interstate 5 could see a bit more white and challenging conditions. Roseburg and the Siskiyou Mountain passes along I-5 are forecast to see 1 to 4 inches of snow, while the highest passes, Siskyou Summit and Canyon Mountain Pass, could see 2 to 7 inches.
More snow later in the week?
Temperatures are expected to stay cool throughout the week, with additional low-elevation snow possible later in the week.
This story will be updated as more information about the forecast becomes available.