Sleet and rain arrive during morning commute

Sleet and rain arrive during morning commute
The Vancouver area saw a mix of rain and snow Friday morning.

PORTLAND, Ore. – Drivers saw mostly sleet during the Friday morning commute, especially north of the Columbia River.

Forecasters expected up to 2 inches of snow in the region, along with areas above 1,000 feet, KATU Meteorologist Rhonda Shelby said. A Winter Weather Advisory for areas north of the Columbia River and the coast range was canceled at 9 a.m.

The National Weather Service issued a special weather statement calling for sleet and possibly freezing rain early Friday morning.

Drivers are advised to go slowly and with caution.

Portlanders saw a mix of snow and sleet, depending on where they lived, from around 6 a.m. to 9 a.m., Shelby said.

The snow won't stick around for long. It’s expected to transition to rain by mid-morning.

Shelby said conditions were improving by 8:45 a.m.

KATU Weather Resources

Getting the roads ready

In the Portland-metro, area ODOT has plows, gravel, and deicer trucks ready to go. Crews will headed out between midnight and 4 a.m. to start evaluating the roadways. Their priorities are Interstate 5, I-205, I-84 and Highway 26. They will focus on overpasses, on and off ramps, and hilly areas. And then move to other areas where needed.

In Vancouver, road crews spent Thursday getting ready for whatever happens Friday morning. Washington Department of Transportation crews loaded salt and deicing solution into trucks. If things get bad, they will focus their efforts on major travel routes first.

Busy morning at the airport

While there were long lines Friday morning, there were no reports of delays or cancelations at the Portland Airport. The airport said Friday was expected to be the busiest travel day before the Christmas holiday.

This story will be updated with more information as we learn it.