Portland Bureau of Transportation this morning issued a travel advisory, warning Portland commuters to prepare for potentially treacherous road conditions next week.
"With a variety of forecasts all calling for freezing temperatures and the potential for snow next week, PBOT urges the traveling public to get ready for winter this weekend," the agency wrote, adding that road crews will go to work Sunday preparing equipment for snow and ice responses.
Amid the forecast uncertainty, TriMet also issued an assurance that it has "coordinated the staff, supplies and equipment necessary to keep our buses and trains rolling if snow begins to fall."
"All of these preparations are intended to keep our buses and trains moving," TriMet wrote. "However, if conditions become unsafe for our riders, employees or equipment, we will temporarily adjust service. Riders should plan ahead for possible delays during winter weather events and check trimet.org/alerts before they head out."
And, in the case of power outages, Pacific Power has warned Portlanders to prepare emergency outage kits (including a flashlight, a battery-operated radio, batteries, non-perishable foods, a manual can opener, bottled water and blankets), keep mobile phones charged and to avoid downed lines.
"We are monitoring the situation closely and are ready to deploy crews as needed should the storm cause any substantial outages," said David Lucas, vice president of operations. "We work throughout the year pruning trees and making sure dangerous limbs are not too close to powerlines. Wet heavy snow on tree limbs is the biggest power outage risk with a storm like this."
It's still not clear what next week's forecast will bring. David Elson, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service Portland, says it's still too soon for a detailed forecast to be available.
"During the course of the week it's looking likely that we'll see something," Elson says. "We're just not able to provide a lot more detail yet."
But Oregon's Cascade mountain passes are predicted to get four feet of snow accumulation from Friday to Sunday, the Statesman Journal reports. Maybe this is a good weekend to stay in town.