Wind Chill Could Be Life-Threatening Tonight, County Officials Warn as They Open Shelters

Also, this is not the weekend to take the Subaru to the mountain.

CHILLY: Snow on a tent in Northeast Portland. (Blake Benard)

Multnomah County officials warned that overnight lows and high winds this weekend could be life-threatening to people sleeping outdoors, and pledged to open four severe weather shelters tonight.

The National Weather Service’s Portland office says tonight could see a dusting of snow in scattered locations across the Willamette Valley—but the more significant danger is temperatures plunging into the low 20s as winds gust up to 35 miles per hour.

Meteorologists warned people traveling over the Cascade passes that the wind chill there could be as severe as minus-15 degrees, a life-threatening temperature if a car breaks down in the mountains. Closer to home, the wind chill will be in the teens, but officials are urging people to get indoors if they can—both tonight and Sunday night.

“Sunday night should be the coldest night as temperatures fall into the low 20s in the Willamette Valley and the mid-20s at the coast, supporting another night of wind-chill values in the teens even as winds start to drop off,” the National Weather Service wrote.

Update, 1:30 pm Sunday, Jan. 29: Local officials have opened a fifth shelter, bringing Sunday night’s capacity to about 400 beds. Multnomah County says 220 people used cold-weather shelters on Saturday night.

Here are the five severe weather shelters opening Sunday night at 8 pm.

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