Bundle up before breaking out the snow shovel or snow blower this weekend. A Winter Storm Warning and a Wind Chill Watch are both in effect for Central Oregon.
Ten to 20 inches of snow is expected in the Bend, Redmond, Madras and Prineville region between 1 a.m. Friday and 4 a.m. Sunday. The National Weather Services has also issued Wind Chill Watch Friday and Saturday, warning of wind chills to 15-below-zero.
Central Oregon Daily News Chief Meteorologist Dorrell Wennger says one-to-four inches is expected Thursday night across Central Oregon with more than a foot in the mountains. Another one to four inches could fall Friday with some areas possibly getting up to 12 inches by Friday night.
“But going through the day on Saturday, even more accumulation is expected. And by 11 p.m. Saturday, parts of the tri-county area could have already seen 10 to 20 inches,” Wenninger said. But he says that won’t be for everybody.
La Pine, Sunriver and the east slopes of the Cascades are facing 16 to 40 inches of snow and wind chills as low as 25-below through early Sunday morning, according to the National Weather Service..
Deschutes County Health is warning the public about the dangers of hypothermia and frostbite in the unusually low temperatures. The NWS said frostbite on exposed skin can happen in as little as 30 minutes.
“It results in a loss of feeling and color in affected areas. It often affects the nose, ears, cheeks, chin, fingers or toes. Frostbite can permanently damage the body. Severe cases can lead to amputation. If you have reduced blood circulation, or do not dress well for extremely cold temperatures, you are at higher risk of frostbite than others are,” Deschutes County Health said.
There are multiple warming shelters around Central Oregon. You can find a list here.
The Humane Society of Central Oregon has tips on how to keep your pets safe and remind you that even they can catch frostbite.
For those braving the mountain passes and hoping for a trip to the west side of the state, the Oregon Department of Transportation warns that the storm will affect travel there as well, including the possibility of landslides, rock fall, downed trees and high water on the road.