Snowy weather system on track for Sunday arrival

Snowy weather system on track for Sunday arrival
This file photo is a good example of what lower-elevation residents should expect from the incoming weather system, according to KATU meteorologists. Upper elevations should get a few inches of snow.

Watch a weather update at the bottom of this story.

PORTLAND, Ore. – A possible snow-maker continues to march towards the Northwest and KATU’s Storm Tracker weather team says lower elevations will likely see a classic Portland “snow storm” with light precipitation that quickly melts away.

For upper elevations, however, it’s a different story.

Meteorologist Rhonda Shelby says forecast models of the storm have stayed consistent and are calling for rain to begin on Saturday as the system moves in and then snow showers to fall Sunday into Monday, which is the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.

She says Saturday after midnight is the most likely time for the snow to fall and after that it will just be showery periods that may dust lawns and roofs. Daytime temperatures will be above freezing in most lower-elevation locations west of the Cascades.

The Portland Bureau of Transportation issued a press release Friday saying "the traveling public is advised to be alert for snow and ice on streets and sidewalks and limited visibility Sunday morning through Wednesday morning."

Most schools and government offices will be closed Monday, lessening the commute problems for the region – if any snow actually hangs around at lower elevations, which Shelby says is unlikely.

But above 500 feet in elevation, Shelby says some snow could pile up and above 1,000 feet, it’s possible a few inches of the white stuff could accumulate. Heavier amounts should blanket ski resorts as the system moves through the Cascades.

The snow pack in the Cascades is running far below normal so far this winter following unusually long stretches of warm and dry weather.

By Tuesday, it should be all over but Shelby says they are looking at another storm system on the heels of the current system that may bring lots of rain to the lowlands and needed mountain snow in the Cascades.

KATU News will and the Storm Tracker weather team will be updating the forecast as needed all weekend and you can get updates here on KATU.com and on Twitter from Rhonda and Dave Salesky,

If you snap photos of the snow, share them with us on YouNews.