EUGENE, Ore. - First, we were told to watch for snow.
Now, consider yourself warned.
The National Weather Service upgraded a winter weather watch to a winter storm warning on Tuesday.
The warning applies to a wide swath of Western Oregon, from the Cascades to the Coast and from Cottage Grove north into Washington state.
The warning is in effect from 2 p.m. Wednesday through 10 p.m. Thursday.
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The upgrade from a watch reflects growing certainty that snow will fall on the Oregon Coast and Willamette Valley as well as the Cascade and Coastal mountain ranges.
"Unseasonably cold weather for late February is causing the snow level to fall to the lower elevations of the Cascade foothills and Coast Range," forecasters wrote in the warning. "As much colder air moves into the region Wednesday and Thursday, accumulating snow will become likely down to the beaches and valley floor."
Seth Wayne in the KVAL Weather Center said anticipated snow fall breaks down as follows:
- 2-5 inches on valley floor
- 5-12 inches above 1,000'
- 12+ inches in the Cascades
Emphasis on the plus.
"By the end of the week," the Weather Service says, "snowfall accumulations in the Cascades will be measured in feet."
The storm will start will snow showers down to 500 feet Tuesday night into Wednesday morning. Then rain mixed with snow is likely to move across the region Wednesday, followed by heavier snow Wednesday evening that will continue into Thursday.