Inclement weather is forecast for Southwest Washington

Wintry mix is expected Thursday

The National Weather Service has issued an advisory regarding this area’s first bout of winter weather.

An arctic front has brought strong East winds and a colder and dry air mass to Southwest Washington and Northwest Oregon.

A wintry mix of precipitation is expected to arrive, with continuing brisk winds, late tonight into Thursday, in Clark County, the Northwest Oregon coast range, North and central Willamette Valley, Southwest Washington and the Northwest Oregon cascades and cascade foothills.

The precipitation is expected to begin as snow, then transition to sleet and/or freezing rain Thursday afternoon into Friday morning.

The winter storm watch will be replaced by a blizzard watch, in effect from Thursday morning through that night for the Western Columbia River Gorge. The watch will be for strong East winds, snow and freezing rain.

Precipitation is expected to begin around daybreak Thursday, in the Western part of the gorge, starting mostly as snow or a mix of snow and freezing rain. The heaviest precipitation amounts are expected to occur through midday. Strong east winds will persist into Friday night.

Snow accumulations in the Western area of the gorge could reach five to 10 inches. The transition to freezing rain is expected to occur Thursday night and early Friday, with a quarter to half an inch of ice possible.

The windchill, with gusts to 65 or 70 miles per hour, could fall below zero.

Blizzard like conditions are expected in the western part of the gorge, making travel very difficult for the morning and evening commutes Thursday. That could include falling and/or blowing snow with strong winds and extremely poor visibilities.

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