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Eugene area should have a rainy Christmas, but snow likely on Sunday

Eugene snow 2019
Rachael McDonald
This photo is from a snowfall in Eugene in 2019. Meteorologists say the scene could be replicated in the coming days.

Most people in the Willamette Valley and the coast won’t wake up to snow on Christmas morning.

"You're just going to see rain through Saturday morning, and probably a good part of the day Saturday will just be rain," said Clinton Rocky, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Portland. "You might see some wet flakes mixed in, but I wouldn't expect any accumulation."

But snow could start falling in earnest soon afterwards, perhaps by late Saturday night.

“The higher up in elevation you get, the better threat of having heavier snows," said Rocky. "But still, along I-5, including the Eugene-Springfield area, Cottage Grove, (we're) looking for a possibility of several inches of snow as we get into Sunday. And probably even more snow as you get into Monday for everyone.”

Rocky says even the central Oregon coast could get a few inches of snow. And whatever falls will likely stick around for a few days. Much of western Oregon is expected to have below-freezing temperatures well into next week.

The city of Eugene says it will have crews on standby to deal with the expected winter weather. The city’s Public Works Department is reminding people to avoid parking their vehicles on designated snow routes when snow is in the forecast.

Road conditions on major highways can be viewed on ODOT”s website, tripcheck.com.

Chris Lehman has been reporting on Oregon issues since 2006. He joined the KLCC news department in December, 2018. Chris was born and raised in Pennsylvania, and graduated from Temple University with a degree in journalism. His public broadcasting career includes stops in Louisiana and Illinois. Chris has filed for national programs including “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered.”