(Feb. 26, 2023) The National Weather Service has advised the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) to expect the potential for snow that could create hazardous traveling conditions across the city, at all elevations on Monday and Tuesday mornings.
The Weather Service says the city is likely to see 1 inch of snow at all elevations including downtown Portland and other areas at sea level, with the heaviest snowfall expected from 3 to 9 a.m. on Monday and 4 to 9 a.m. on Tuesday.
Areas at 500 feet or higher above sea level may have more snow accumulation on both days. The storm on Tuesday is expected to produce more snow than the Monday storm, with as much as 2 inches that day east of Interstate 205, in addition to the West Hills.
The public should be prepared for worse conditions than is forecast, including more snow and snowfall that arrives earlier or later than expected. Forecasts come with uncertainty, and weather forecasters have difficulty predicting snow in the Portland area.
Be prepared to travel based on the conditions you encounter during your trip, including carrying traction devices like chains and an emergency weather kit in your vehicle. Helpful items to include in addition to chains are a snow shovel, bag of sand, jumper cables, first aid kit, basic tools (pliers, wrench, screwdriver and knife), blanket and warm clothing, extra food and water, cell phone and extra charger, and a flashlight. View additional winter weather travel tips online at Get Home Safe.
PBOT has been in 24-hour emergency operations for the last five days and the bureau's work plowing, salting and sanding streets is showing results for Portlanders. By Friday afternoon, most of the city's emergency transportation routes were drivable and conditions improved through the weekend. On Sunday morning, the requirement for chains or traction devices on West Burnside and on SW Sam Jackson Park Road were lifted.
Since Friday, PBOT crews reopened dozens of streets that had been closed. Crews sent plow trucks and salt to trouble spots as needed, to reopen roads. Many streets were closed due to vehicles blocking streets, and this weekend members of the public recovered their vehicles and tow companies removed some vehicles, making it possible to reopen the roads.
In light of the continued winter weather, PBOT will not issue parking citations for vehicles that overstay parking time limits at parking meters and at other public parking spaces with time limits through noon on Tuesday, Feb. 28. Any vehicle parked illegally may face a tow, especially any vehicle blocking a travel lane or public transit route. During snow and ice emergencies, PBOT prioritizes routes for public transit, and police, fire and medical first responders. Abandoned vehicles that block travel lanes can slow down emergency responders and the snowplow operators who make safe passage for them.
During winter weather, PBOT works to keep vital transit lines and emergency routes open. These snow and ice routes are the most critical for our city’s police and fire stations, hospitals, schools, frequent bus routes, the downtown core, and major business districts -- about a third of our entire street grid. PBOT’s mission is to provide at least one passable lane in each direction on these routes so that vehicles with front wheel drive or traction devices can get through. Depending on the severity of snow and ice, it can take up to three 12-hour shifts for our crews to sufficiently treat our routes with anti-icer. In a major snowfall, it can take our crews up to one 12-hour shift to plow our routes. See our Winter Weather Center for a full interactive map of our routes.
Preparing for severe weather travel:
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.
Build a severe weather travel plan. Before the inclement weather hits, plan ahead for how you'll travel in severe weather. Our "Get Home Safe" travel checklist provides essential tips for taking transit, walking, biking, and driving in winter weather. 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.
No time for inaction, find some traction. Traveling in snow and ice can be challenging, and at times dangerous and slippery. Immediately after snow and ice, Portlanders are encouraged to limit their travel and stay close to home.Traction devices for your shoes will help navigate your neighborhood streets.
Have you purchased chains yet for your vehicle? Take the time to practice putting them on your car while the weather is nice! You'll be glad you did. PBOT has additional winter weather travel travels for pedestrians and people biking and driving.
During a winter weather event:
If you need to travel, consider TriMet: If you cannot delay travel during periods of snowy conditions, consider public transit as your first option, and be prepared for delays, and look for alerts and changes to transit routes. Public transportation schedules can be found via TriMet’s website, as well as PortlandStreetcar.org/schedules.
Monitor road closures: Current PBOT winter weather road closures and chain advisories
Do not abandon your vehicle in a travel lane: It disrupts snowplows, police and fire responders, public transit and will likely result in your vehicle being towed with a citation.
Report downed trees. Did you see a downed tree or large limb on City property or public streets? Report it by calling 503-823-TREE (8733). Please be patient; Urban Forestry crews are minimizing safety risks and clearing the largest debris first. Emergency dispatchers are available 24 hours per day, seven days a week.
Report Road Hazards Call PBOT Maintenance emergency dispatch 24/7 at 503-823-1700