The cold, wintry weather that caused some Cowlitz County schools to delay classes this week will continue into the weekend, with a high likelihood for snow Friday and Saturday.
“People will see snow in the air, almost guaranteed. The bigger uncertainty is just how much will accumulate,” said Colby Neuman, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Portland.
A mix of rain and snow is forecast for Friday morning between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m., with rain showers continuing into the afternoon. As temperatures drop into the low 30s that evening, precipitation will turn back to snow, with a 90 percent chance for snow showers in Kelso-Longview Friday night.
Snow is expected to continue falling Saturday morning, with daytime temperatures a bit above freezing and unlikely to get above 36 degrees.
The back-to-back snow showers should result in a “pretty light accumulation” of about 1 inch or less, Neuman said.
The chance of more snow Saturday decreases as the day goes on, but evening temperatures will dip as low as 20 degrees. Any wet or slushy roadways are expected to freeze quickly overnight, likely remaining frozen well into the day Sunday, according to the weather service.
The accumulated snow will also stick around, as there will be few opportunities for “a whole lot of melting” Sunday, Neuman said.
“Most locations will see that snow persist at least into early next week, and there are additional chances of snow possible in the upcoming week,” Neuman said. “This won’t necessarily be the only time we get snow.”
Light snowfall and below-freezing evening temperatures earlier in the week led Kalama and Woodland to delay the start of school by two hours Tuesday morning. Kelso School District ran bus snow routes the first two days of the week.
The weekend precipitation, paired with continued low temperatures, could cause travel issues for commuters, according to the weather service. The biggest window of concern is late Friday evening and early Saturday morning, Nueman said.
“The bottom line is people should be prepared. If they can avoid traveling late Friday night, Saturday morning … that would probably be preferable,” Neuman said. “If you do have to travel, be prepared because roads could become snow covered.”