Freezing rain will be possible as arctic air mixes with a warm front Thursday night into Friday Morning in the local Klamath Falls and surrounding areas. A widespread ice storm is expected for the Portland metro area down to just north of Roseburg and in the Columbia Gorge and other areas of Oregon for those traveling. We recommend checking with local weather sources and before venturing out.

Winter weather alerts, traffic alerts, road closures and more are updated live in our Breaking News Service. Sign up for alerts here. 


Next Week: An atmospheric river event is expected early next week with moderate to heavy rain and high snow levels.


From the NWS Medford:
An active weather pattern is expected through New Year’s Day. Late Thursday and early Friday, there is a potential for
freezing rain and a wintery mix (rain/snow/freezing rain) for areas north of Sutherlin and valleys east of the Cascades.
After Friday morning, snow levels will remain high well into next week, so wintry impacts will be limited to the highest passes and
mountains. A weak system is expected on Saturday, and though rain chances linger along the coast through Sunday, the
overall trend is for drying conditions for Christmas Day. Next week, a couple strong and very moist fronts will move through
the area bringing moderate to heavy rain. This may result in significant river rises by mid week, especially for rivers and
streams along and just inland of the coast. Additional strong storms are possible late next week.

Medium to high chance for freezing rain Thursday afternoon through Thursday night in northwest and north-
central Douglas County, including for areas north of Sutherlin and from Curtain and Yoncalla west to Scottsburg.

Medium chance for a wintery mix (rain/snow/freezing rain) with areas of freezing rain in valleys east of the
Cascades Thursday evening through early Friday morning

Light snow in the mountains from the Cascades east with light rain west of the Cascades Thursday & Friday

Two, very moist fronts Sunday night through Tuesday night will bring moderate to heavy rain, especially west of
the Cascades

High snow levels of 6000-8000 ft Sunday night through Tuesday, potentially lowering to 5000-6000 feet Tuesday
night and Wednesday.

Strongest system will likely be Tuesday into Tuesday night with heaviest rain for Coos, Curry, Josephine, and
western and southern Siskiyou counties.

Potential for strong, gusty winds, especially at the coast and over the mountains Monday and Tuesday
Additional strong, moist storms through late next week.


Special Statement From ODOT 

Anyone planning holiday travels should get on and off the road before the coming ice storm hits the roads.

Forecasts say the ice storm will start Thursday night and reach large parts of Oregon. Travelers should complete their journeys before the storm arrives to have a safe and happy holiday.

Often ice hits briefly and in one location. This storm may have a broad impact across many sections of the state. That means if portions of Interstate 84 are closed in the Columbia River Gorge, many of the usual alternate routes may be icy as well.

Ice is the most dangerous of all road conditions and we have few effective tools to deal with freezing rain or ice. Even fully chained-up trucks slide off icy roads. The safest step for dealing with an ice storm is to stay inside.

Here are some things you need to know about driving in icy conditions:

  • Know before you go. The cameras often have helpful information aside from video images. This can include elevation and temperature to help you know more about conditions on your route.
  • Ice can bring down trees and power lines. When traffic signals go dark, treat intersections like a four-way stop.
  • Deicer and salt lose effectiveness as temperatures drop. The deicer we use – magnesium chloride with rust inhibitor – works slower in the upper teens. Below 18 degrees salt is less effective.
  • Increase your following distanceto 5-6 seconds. This increased margin of safety will provide the longer distance needed if you have to stop.
  • Know your brakes. Whether you have antilock brakes or not, keep the heel of your foot on the floor and use the ball of your foot to apply firm, steady pressure on the brake pedal.
  • Don’t stop if you can avoid it. If you can slow down enough to keep rolling until a traffic light changes, do it. There’s a big difference in the amount of inertia it takes to start moving from a full stop versus how much it takes to get moving while still rolling.
  • Accelerate and decelerate slowly. Apply the gas slowly to regain traction and avoid skids. Don’t try to get moving in a hurry and take time to slow down for a stoplight. Remember: It takes longer to slow down on icy roads.
  • Make way for our trucks. If you see one of our salt, deicer or sand trucks, give them plenty of room and don’t pass them on the right. The quicker they can get to the job, the quicker we can get the roads clear and operating safely again.