Snow not likely to melt before next week

Snow not likely to melt before next week »Play Video
Two photos by Jarl Berg show the progress of Friday's snowstorm

EUGENE, Ore. - The snow didn't just stick - it's going to stick around.

The Eugene area isn't forecast to get above freezing until Tuesday at the earliest, meaning the 7 inches of snow that fell won't be melting any time soon.

The National Weather Service extended a winter weather advisory until 7 p.m. Friday.

The storm will pass by Saturday afternoon, replaced by sun after a period of freezing fog. But despite the sunshine, the high temperature is only forecast to hit 24 Saturday, 26 Sunday and 30 on Monday. Overnight lows will dip down to the single digits.

That means snow will likely cause more problems for weekend events like the Springfield Christmas Parade, postponed one week due to the weather.

Whether school districts will hold class Monday will remain to be seen.

The snowstorm Friday caught southwest Oregon by surprise. While forecasters started talking snow as early as Monday, the forecast 1 to 3 inches turned into much, much more.

By 4 p.m. Friday, Eugene got 7 inches of snow, as did Oakridge. Corvallis got 8 inches; Philomath got 9.

The southern Oregon Coast, predicted to get hit harder, actually got spared. Florence only saw a trace of snow; Newport got at least 3 inches.

The snow also means transportation will be a challenge. Eugene 911 got more than 250 accident reports on Friday.

On Interstate 5, chain requirements will remain in effect for parts of Douglas, Lane and Linn Counties as ODOT crews continue to pave and sand the highway through the night. Vehicles larger than 10,000 pounds GVW must use chains.

Vehicles smaller than 10,000 pounds GVW may use traction tires in place of chains.

Oregon DOT said Friday's heavy snowfall, combined with the subfreezing temperatures, created a snow pack that can not be removed in a single night.