EUGENE, Ore. -- A blizzard warning went into effect Sunday night for much of central Oregon and parts of Lane County, the National Weather Service said.
The warning is scheduled from 6 p.m. Sunday until the same time on Monday evening.
The rarely seen blizzard warning is only expected to hit higher elevation areas of the Cascade range and parts of Central Oregon.
Locally, a wind advisory is in effect for the lower Willamette Valley, including parts of Benton, Linn and Lane Counties. The advisory is scheduled to last until 12 p.m. Monday.
The weather service reports that gusts could be as strong as 40 miles per hour in the valley, and upwards of 60 MPH in the passes.
Officials from the Oregon Department of Transportation and Lane County Sheriff's Office say that the stormy weather could cause hazards on many of Oregon's roads. They advise people to stay off the roads Sunday night, as there have already been numerous downed trees and powerlines.
On Sunday night, officials from Lane and Douglas Electric have reported outages to their customers. They said that the early-evening storm front downed trees and lines across the two counties.
If your power is out, call your local company to report the outage. (Numbers can be found here)
Officials sent out the blizzard warning to inform people of a weather front that could bring heavy snow and strong winds to the Cascades in eastern Lane County and central Oregon. Blizzard warnings are issued when heavy snow is expected in combination with winds over 35 mph.
Many residents in the area received a "Blizzard warning in this area" alert on their smart phones shortly after the NWS issued the warning.
While the cell phone advisory did say that a blizzard was in "this area", the recipient might not actually see the stormy weather locally. The National Weather Service sends out the update to people within the county lines, even if the warning or watch affects only a portion of the county.
The possibility of high winds and snow could make for hazardous road conditions, so officials are asking people to stay off the roads if at all possible.
In the release, the NWS included Oakridge as one of the cities likely to experience stormy weather.
The weather advisory said that heavy snow is likely to fall overnight and into Monday. They added that there will likely be an accumulation of 1 to 2 feet in areas above 3,000 feet. The snow level could fall as low as 1,500 to 2,000 feet by Monday morning in eastern Lane County.
Strong winds are predicted across the northwest as southwest Washington and northwest Oregon prepare for a high wind advisory.
Coastal routes and Coast Range roads such as U.S. 101, U.S. 30, U.S. 26 and OR 6 are expected to receive the full force of these winds.
Motorists may want to delay trips on these roads or expect difficult driving conditions. Be careful and drive with caution.
Lane County Sheriff's Office advises residents to "Hunker Down":
The Lane County Sheriff's Office advises resident to stay home tonight and only travel if necessary.
The National Weather Service has issued severe weather warnings for all areas of Lane County in effect until 6 am Monday morning.
Strong winds may bring down trees, limbs and power lines making travel conditions hazardous. DO NOT touch downed power lines. If trapped in your car by a downed power line sit tight, do not touch anything until the power line has been cleared of electricity.
Residents should expect intermittent power outages. Blizzard conditions are expected in the Cascades. DO NOT travel over the passes.
Lane County Sheriff's Office Emergency Manager, Linda Cook, says, "This is a good time to hunker down and check your emergency preparedness kits".
Check ODOT's Tripcheck to check for road closures and other severe weather warnings.
Please be patient with road closures and do not try to circumvent travel routes by taking alternate routes along poorly maintainedor lesser traveled forest roads; you may get trapped on the road for several hours until emergency crews arrive.
Strong damaging winds along the coast will cause high seas, sneaker waves and debris such as logs to be washed on shore. Keep children away from the surf.