Weather forecast includes freezing rain, flooding

Next severe weather system will arrive Tuesday

Another bout of extreme weather, this time in the form of freezing rain and flooding, is expected to pummel the Portland and Southwest Washington areas starting Tuesday.

The Portland office of the National Weather Service issued a winter storm watch for Tuesday and Wednesday, as well as flood watch warnings for Tuesday through Thursday.

What is being described as a “major ice storm,” is predicted to hit the Columbia River Gorge, as well as the Portland and Vancouver Metro areas Tuesday. Temperatures will remain at or below freezing.

“Temperatures will be slow to recover from several days of subfreezing weather,” the winter storm watch states, “especially where there is snow left on the ground from last week’s Portland area snow storm.”

Freezing rain will push through the area early Tuesday morning, and increase throughout the day,” the watch states, adding that accumulations of two-tenths to four-tenths of an inch of ice is expected.

“Several days of very cold temperatures will make ground surfaces like roads and sidewalks very receptive to ice accumulation,” the watch states. “It may take a couple of hours of temperatures above freezing to completely end the freezing rain threat at any given location.”

Travelers should use caution.

“Roads may again become difficult for travel across the greater Portland and Vancouver metro areas Tuesday,” the watch states. “Ice accumulation on trees and power lines may result in downed branches and lines, which could bring the threat of power outages Tuesday and into Tuesday night.”

As if that wasn’t enough, temperatures warming later this week will cause snow and ice to melt rapidly and combined with rain will likely introduce flooding as local river and creek levels will rise.

The NWS’s flood watch begins continues through Thursday. Forecasters are calling for 1.5 to 3 inches of rain in the Portland and Vancouver metro areas.

“Street flooding is possible in urban areas where ice and snow may block storm drains,” the flood watch stated.

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