Cold, wet weather is coming this weekend and early next week just as autumn gets underway.
The National Weather service reports a cold front is moving into the region. Colder temperatures with rain and even, at higher elevations, snow is possible in some parts of Southeast Washington and Northeast Oregon.
Much colder weather is expected Saturday through Tuesday as a low-pressure system moves into the Pacific Northwest. Daytime highs will be in the 40s to mid-50s. Overnight lows will be in the 20s to mid-30s.
This storm will bring periods of rain and snow through Monday. Snow levels will be in the 2,000- to 4,000-foot range. The lower snow levels will likely occur at night. Accumulations are expected for the mid- and higher elevations.
The Oregon Department of Transportation issued a safety alert Thursday afternoon warning drivers to be prepared for winter conditions in the midst of maintenance crews still working on various projects around Eastern Oregon.
Drivers should be prepared for snow and winter weather and drive according to the conditions of the road, ODOT said. Chains may be required, and drivers will need to watch for and obey posted chain requirements or wait out the storm in a safe location.
Along with winter weather, drivers may also encounter a few construction work zones that typically don’t shut down until late October, ODOT said.
Be prepared for lane closures and possibly construction activities and delays along Interstate 84 east of Pendleton along Cabbage Hill between mileposts 218 and 226, and near Ladd Canyon east of La Grande between milepost 270 and 272.
Along Highway 82 (Wallowa Lake Highway), watch for flaggers and/or lane closures about 10 miles east of Elgin at the Minam curve and bank stabilization work sites near mileposts 30 and 32.
Winter storm watches have also been posted for parts of Northeastern Washington, Northern Idaho and Western and North-central Montana.