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Winter Storm Orion Forecast: Light Snow in the Midwest, Northeast

Chris Dolce
Published: February 9, 2014

Winter Storm Orion will bring some light snow to parts of the Midwest and Northeast through Monday morning. Meanwhile, snow will continue across the mountains of the West, but that activity is no longer connected to the atmospheric disturbance that prompted the naming of Winter Storm Orion.

(MORE: Orion Creates Traffic Mess in Oregon | State-by-State News)

Western Snow, Ice, and Rain

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Current Radar

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The first in a series of disturbances moved into the Northwest on Thursday. Another disturbance followed closely on its heels Friday into early Saturday, spreading more wintry weather into the Willamette Valley of Oregon as well as the interior of southeast Washington and northeast Oregon.

With cold air in place, snow fell in the lower elevations of Oregon and southern Washington from Portland, Ore. and Vancouver, Wash. to Eugene, Ore., Pullman, Wash. and Pendleton, Ore.

A two-day total of 5.5 inches of snow was measured in downtown Portland. Of that total, 3.8 inches fell Thursday, making it the fifth greatest single-day snowfall total in the city dating back to 1940, and the city's snowiest February in 21 years.

Up to 18 inches of snow was reported in Bend, up to 16 inches was measured in CorvallisEugene tallied 8.7 inches, and The Dalles picked up 10 inches.

While Winter Storm Orion has moved on into the Midwest and Northeast, there is still a steady stream of moist Pacific air moving in and interacting with cold air near ground level. As a result, some light freezing rain has fallen Sunday in parts of northwest Oregon around Portland.

Meanwhile, scattered mountain snows will continue in this regime from the Sierra Nevada to the Rockies. Notably, snow will fall as low as 6,500 feet Sunday over the Sierra, bringing snow to Donner Summit and a section of Interstate 80. In addition, heavy snow will affect Interstate 70 in Colorado around Vail and the Eisenhower Tunnel area west of Denver, causing major delays in combination with ski traffic Sunday.

Avalanche warnings have been posted for parts of the Sierra Nevada as well as the mountains of central and southeast Idaho, western Wyoming, western Colorado, and central and northern Utah. This mainly applies to backcountry areas.

(MORE: Winter Storm Orion Snowfall Totals | Northwest Winter Alerts)

Fortunately, Orion and the ensuing moist pattern have also brought welcome rainfall to California.

Weather Underground historian Christopher C. Burt told weather.com that over 14 inches of rain fell on Mount Tamalpais in Marin County, with 8 inches of that in just 12 hours Friday night and Saturday morning. Over 5 inches of rain fell in the lower elevations of Marin County, with 1 to 2 inches of rain common south of the Golden Gate in places such as San Francisco and Oakland, Burt said.

The rain comes on the heels of a nearly rainless January for much of the Golden State.

Midwest, Northeast Snow

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Additional Snowfall Forecast

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Sunday Night Forecast

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Sunday Night Forecast

The original disturbance that brought the severe winter weather to the Northwest late last week is now spreading light snow through the Midwest and Northeast.

The light snow will continue in parts of the Ohio Valley through the very early morning hours of Monday, but should be nearly gone by sunrise. Only minor accumulations are expected. 

(SNOWFALL FORECAST: Midwest | Northeast)

By the wee hours of Monday morning most of the snow will be confined to New England. The last of the light snow showers should wind down by late Monday, in Maine.

Total accumulations will generally be 3 inches or less from this fast-moving final phase of Winter Storm Orion.

This freshly-fallen snow may lead to some slippery roads Monday morning in New England and the interior Northeast, possibly including parts of the New York City metro area. However, we expect the snow to have largely ended by the Monday morning commute.

MORE: Winter Storm Orion in Pictures

A police official looks around during a snowy day in Evanston, Ill., Saturday, Feb. 8, 2014. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)


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