LA GRANDE — The National Weather Service in Pendleton is forecasting more snow through Tuesday, Feb. 16, as another winter storm moves through the region.
“So we’re going on the third storm,” said meteorologist Jim Smith, speaking Sunday from the agency’s office in Pendleton.
The NWS issued a winter storm warning that is in effect until Tuesday at 4 p.m. Temperatures Monday look to crest in the upper 30s, Smith said, and Tuesday’s highs are likely to be in the mid 30s.
While temperatures rise for the next couple of days, there also will be more snow.
“We’re expecting snow to continue on through tonight, tomorrow and right on through Tuesday,” he said.
Locals in the Grande Ronde Valley and Wallowa County can expect 5-10 inches of snowfall through then, according to the storm warning.
However, Smith explained, that does not necessarily translate to accumulation totals on the ground. Melting and compression can lead to lower measurements on surfaces, Smith said, and volunteer weather observers are trying to measure the snow when it’s at a maximum depth.
“That’s what we’re trying to catch,” he said.
Sunday morning, snow was about 12 inches deep in Cove, 9 inches deep in Union and up to a foot in La Grande. Smith said the record snowfall for La Grande for the month of February was 19.7 inches in 1966.
Rob Brooks, another meteorologist for the Weather Service in Pendleton, said on Saturday if residents should choose to travel, they should prepare their vehicles, bring warm clothing and remain cautious while driving.
The weather service has warnings and advisories along Highway 97 and throughout the foothills of the Blue and Cascade mountains, Brooks said.
Local roads proved treacherous at times during the weekend. The La Grande Police Department and Union County Sheriff’s Office according to daily police reports responded to approximately 20 calls about disabled vehicles, cars causing a traffic hazard or stuck in snow and minor collisions due to the winter driving conditions.
— East Oregonian reporter Bryce Dole contributed to this report.