Flip a coin before you go to bed, Portlanders: Heads, you'll wake up to snow (or a rain-snow mix) falling outside your window Friday. Tails, you'll avoid the white stuff for now.
It's not quite a 50-50 chance, but a National Weather Service meteorologist said there are decent odds -- 60 percent -- Portlanders will see snow or a rain-snow mix in the morning. Westside commuters are more likely to see morning snowfall than their easterly counterparts, the meteorologist said, and any road problems should be rapidly improving by 10 a.m. or noon.
Meteorologist Colby Neuman said if you look outside Friday morning and the roads are becoming snowy, you should consider delaying your travel. It's a good idea for commuters to allot extra travel time, he said, and drivers should carry chains or consider other means of transportation.
The weather service says, all in all, less than a half-inch of snow accumulation is possible at Portland International Airport on Friday. Little or no accumulation is expected Friday night, as well.
Neuman said the odds of steady morning snow showers are best in an area defined by McMinnville to the south, the Portland area to the east and Clark County to the north. Pretty much anyone in the Willamette Valley could see snow, graupel or hail, mixing with rain, during the afternoon, he said, but any accumulation would be short-lived and melt fast.
People going up and down the coast on U.S. 101 or traveling between the valley and coast on Oregon 6, U.S. 20 and U.S. 26 will encounter the biggest morning travel headaches, Neuman said. People making those trips could encounter the region's most serious problems with snow-covered roads, he said.
-- Jim Ryan
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