Winter Storm Watch: 'Be prepared for snowy and icy conditions'

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      EUGENE, Ore. - Forecasters issued a Winter Storm Watch for heavy snow for the southern Willamette Valley.

      The watch starts late Wednesday and extends through Thursday night, the National Weather Service in Portland said.

      "A period of heavy snow will make travel difficult, especially Thursday afternoon and evening," forecasters said. "A Winter Storm Watch means there is a potential for significant
      snow, sleet or ice accumulations that may impact travel."

      Snow accumulations of 3 to 6 inches in the valley and 4 to 8 inches in the Lane County foothills are possible, forecasters said.

      Snow is forecast to start falling before sunrise Thursday, become steady through the morning and peak in the afternoon and evening before easing overnight into Friday, forecasters said.

      "Snow showers will decrease on Friday and be primarily confined to the Cascades," forecasters said. "Another storm will bring more significant snow Friday night and Saturday. This storm will gradually warm the airmass, and freezing rain will replace the snow.

      "Confidence on the timing of these transitions are low, but there is fair confidence that a layer of ice will form on top of the snow Saturday orSaturday night and result in extra slippery roads and walking paths.

      "Residents on the west side of the Cascades should be prepared for snowy and icy conditions this weekend," forecasters cautioned. "Those planning travel or outdoor activities should consider rescheduling."

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