The National Weather Service has notified the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) of the potential for accumulating snow of up to 1 inch to create slick road conditions for this evening's rush hour commute, from 4 to 7 p.m. The Service also advises the public to expect freezing temperatures to produce black ice Monday night, lasting into Tuesday morning commute hours.
PBOT advises the public to be aware of forecasts, use caution, delay your travel to avoid traveling during forecast snow or ice. Consider public transit, and check trimet.org/alerts and portlandstreetcar.org for service alerts before you go.
Temperatures are expected to freeze overnight on Tuesday night as well, potentially freezing any moisture on the roads at that time. Monday night may reach a low of 28 degrees in Portland, with wet streets that may freeze. Tuesday night lows may reach 20 to 25 degrees, but with less moisture on area roadways, so less chance of icy conditions on Wednesday morning.
In icy conditions, PBOT strongly advises delaying travel if possible. If people must travel, PBOT recommends taking public transit.
PBOT also reminds property owners, tenants and businesses that they are responsible for clearing sidewalks of snow and ice. It is important that sidewalks are clear so that people who are walking to transit and people with disabilities can move about safely.
While the forecast is still unclear, there are some simple things all Portlanders can do to prepare themselves for winter weather.
- Make a checklist for your home, business, and/or vehicle. Property owners, tenants and businesses should have supplies on hand, such as ice melt and snow shovels to clear sidewalks as well as pathways across their driveways. People driving should carry snow chains and an emergency kit.
- Create an emergency plan with your family or work colleagues that emphasizes telecommuting, public transit and emergency meeting locations for your Monday morning commute. Check our Winter Weather Center to see the priority snow and ice routes nearest you.
- Know your elevation, and the elevation of areas you are traveling to and through. Check the interactive elevation map in the "Elevation, Weather and Traffic" section of PBOT’s Winter Weather Center to see if your area is located at 500 feet or 1,000 above sea level. Use PortlandMaps.com to look up any address in Portland and find the approximate elevation.
- Stay informed.Sign up at Public Alerts for emergency notifications from all regional agencies via text, email or phone. Go to PBOT’s Winter Weather Center to track real-time weather, traffic, road closures and plow information. Sign up for PBOT alerts via text or email.
- Never abandon your vehicle in a travel lane. If you choose to drive and your vehicle loses traction, pull over into a shoulder or legal parking space. You can call for a tow truck and remain with your vehicle. Or you can leave your vehicle legally parked and walk carefully to a public transit stop or other safe place. Any vehicle creating a safety hazard is subject to citation, tow and impound. The cost of a citation and tow for abandoned vehicles preventing free passage (blocking a travel lane) is $201. Additional costs to store a towed vehicle longer than four hours is $27 per day.
At this time forecasts are changing and variable. Please monitor the weather forecast for both your home, your travel destination and your route, as road conditions could vary throughout the city beginning Sunday evening.
The City of Portland’s Snow and Ice Plan discourages private vehicle use and encourages public transit use instead. Plan ahead for your public transit commute by calling 503-238-RIDE (7433), visiting TriMet.org for bus and MAX light rail schedules and alerts or PortlandStreetcar.org for streetcar schedules and alerts. In snow and ice, plan for bus delays of 20 to 30 minutes. Know where your transit stops are before venturing out.
PBOT provides tips for winter travel for people walking, biking or driving. Learn more at: https://www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation/snow