Late winter storm slams into Washington, Oregon

Mar 12, 2012

Spring arrives next week, but this week still looks like winter in Washington.

The National Weather Service says a front moving through the state Monday is bringing strong winds and rain to Western Washington, heavy snow to the Cascades and snow in much of north central and northeast Washington.

High winds knocked out power for tens of thousands of people in northwest Oregon and western Washington on Monday.

Forecasters issued a winter storm warning for the Cascades where they expect up to 18 inches of snow Monday. Forecasters also expect significant snow in the northern portions of Eastern Washington.

The Weather Service predicts more cool, showery weather through the week.

Gusts on the Oregon coast

The National Weather Service reported gusts of more than 80 miles-per-hour on the Oregon coast. Inland valleys weren't spared. Some gusts topped 50 miles-per-hour in Salem, where falling limbs damaged cars and homes. And more unsettled weather could be on the way.

"As the front kind of moves through and we kind of get rid of the wind threat, very cold air is going to move into the area, so we have some threat of low-elevation snow again, which is kind of odd to be talking about low elevation snow in the middle of March," said Tyree Wild, a forecaster with the National Weather Service in Portland.

Heavy snow is forecast in the Cascade mountains. Winter storm warnings are in effect Monday night for both the Cascades and Coast Range in Oregon and Washington. The weather is expected to return to more typical mid-March form later this week.

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