Oregon Cascades Braces for Severe Snowstorm with Rare Blizzard Alert

blizzard oregon
Snowplows operated by the Oregon Department of Transportation, similar to those captured in a photograph from February 13, 2023, are gearing up for intensive clearing operations in the Cascades in anticipation of an approaching significant winter storm. (Image courtesy of ODOT)

A severe weather alert has been issued for the Oregon Cascades and Southwest Washington as a major blizzard is expected to hit the region early Tuesday morning. This rare blizzard warning, coupled with high winds and heavy snowfall, is anticipated to create hazardous conditions, particularly at elevations as low as 1,500 feet.

The National Weather Service predicts that travel through mountain passes will be extremely challenging on Tuesday and Wednesday. Wind gusts could reach up to 45 mph, and snowfall rates may approach 2 inches per hour, leading to potential whiteout conditions. The blizzard warning is set to remain in effect through Wednesday afternoon.

In addition to the blizzard warning, weather alerts are active across Oregon, with winter storm warnings in most of Southern Oregon and wind advisories in the Willamette Valley and Eastern Oregon. The Cascade and Olympic Mountains are expected to be heavily impacted by snow for the next two days, with the Winter Storm Warning in effect for the Olympics and Cascades through early Tuesday above 2,000 feet.

Snow accumulations could reach up to a foot in the Olympics and between 6 and 15 inches in the Cascades. Following the Winter Storm Warning, a Blizzard Warning will take effect, lasting through Wednesday morning. During this period, wind speeds could exceed 60 mph, and the Cascades could receive up to 4 feet of snow, while the Olympics might see between 2 and 3 feet. Visibility could be reduced to below a quarter of a mile due to widespread blowing snow, and strong winds may cause extensive tree damage.

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In areas like La Pine and Sunriver, the east slopes of the Cascades are also under a blizzard warning, with forecasts indicating up to three feet of snow and 60 mph gusts. Travelers are advised to prepare for difficult conditions or to consider altering their plans.

Residents are also advised to prepare for icy conditions and potential power outages. Safety measures like staying off roads, having a winter survival kit, and heating homes safely are recommended. Emergency shelters will be available for those in need due to the below-freezing temperatures forecasted.

Overall, the region is bracing for potentially paralyzing weather conditions, and authorities are urging residents to take all necessary precautions to ensure safety during this severe weather event.

about road conditions, especially in areas affected by the blizzard. A valuable resource for this is TripCheck, which provides real-time updates on road conditions, closures, and traffic incidents. By visiting TripCheck, you can make informed decisions about your travel plans, ensuring your safety and avoiding any unnecessary risks during this period of extreme weather. Whether you're planning essential travel or just keeping an eye on the situation, TripCheck is an indispensable tool for staying up-to-date with the latest road conditions.

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Tyler James, founder of That Oregon Life, is a true Oregon native whose love for his state runs deep. Since the inception of the blog in 2013, his unbridled passion for outdoor adventures and the natural beauty of Oregon has been the cornerstone of his work. As a father to two beautiful children, Tyler is always in pursuit of new experiences to enrich his family’s life. He curates content that not only reflects his adventures but also encourages others to set out and create precious memories in the majestic landscapes of Oregon. Tyler's vision and guidance are integral to his role as publisher and editor, shaping the blog into a source of inspiration for exploring the wonders of Oregon.