For a week or so, the weather was looking good. After weeks of cold, snow and ice, being outside was, at long last, tolerable. The sun even came out for a few days. At times, it was downright balmy.

Perhaps, you dared to dream, it was finally over.

Well, that was wishful thinking.

The National Weather Service in Portland issued a winter storm watch for Thursday evening through Friday night. Another round of snow and freezing rain is expected to hit the Portland area as wet, low-pressure systems from the south collide with a cold system from the north, the weather service said.  

The flurries could begin as early as Wednesday before increasing Thursday evening. By Friday, up to two inches of snow is expected to accumulate before the precipitation turns to freezing rain.

The latest bout of winter weather will begin as strong east winds develop Tuesday night in the Columbia River Gorge, bringing cold air into the region, forecasters said. The weather service issued a wind advisory for the Portland area from 4 a.m. Wednesday to early Friday morning.

The first of two moist systems will arrive Wednesday, bringing flurries of snow to the Portland area. The second system will arrive Thursday evening, forecasters said, when snow will begin falling in earnest.

Up to two inches could accumulate before the flakes turn to freezing rain later Thursday night, weather service models show. Between a quarter inch and a half inch of ice will accumulate Friday, meteorologist Betorder Gerald Macke said. 

Friday will be the worst day of the winter storm, Macke said.

“Friday doesn’t look like a very nice day at all to be outside,” he said. “The main thing for Portland won’t be the snow, but the ice that will come after.”

However, this round of weather won’t linger as long as the snow and ice from the last storm, Macke said. Rain and higher temperatures over the weekend will clear any accumulated ice before next week, he said.

Even the minimal snow and freezing rain could shut the city down, though, Macke said. If the snow starts a few hours earlier Thursday, it could make the evening commute difficult, he said.

“It doesn’t take much to make a mess out of the roads here in the evening,” he said.

Once the snow and ice melts, it’ll be back to regular rain for Portland, Macke said.

“We gotta get through Friday,” Macke said. “If we can get through Friday without much damage, then we’re home free for a few days.” 

Don’t let the weather lull you into a false sense of security again, though. There’s still one more month of winter to go, Macke said, and Portland could have more snow before the season is over. 

— Samantha Matsumoto

503-294-4001; @SMatsumoto55

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