UPDATE: Snow accumulation expected in Vancouver starting at 6 p.m. tonight, say experts

Snow to continue through tonight and greet you Thursday morning




Brace yourselves. OK, if that’s too dramatic, make a mental note: The snow is on its way, according to experts.

More specifically, snow should start accumulating on Clark County’s floor at 6 p.m. this evening, a meterologist said this afternoon.

Up to 2 to 4 inches of snow are expected to pack up tonight on the Clark County floor, and folks who live at low elevations should wake up Thursday morning to a snow day, said Liana Ramirez, a meterorlogist with the National Weather Service in Portland.

Snow has already fallen today in the Salmon Creek and Sifton areas of Vancouver, as well as in La Center and Ridgefield and other cities in northern Clark County, pushing school officials throughout much of the area to put buses on snow routes.

At Larch Corrections Center, a minimum-security prison five miles east of Hockinson, high in the foothills, an inch or two of snow were sticking on roads and parking lots, employees said about 3:15 p.m. today.

The National Weather Service predicts a 40-degree high, evening snow showers and southwest winds between 9 miles per hour and 11 miles per hour, with stronger gusts. Up in the foothills, such as around Washougal and Hockinson, 5 or more inches are expected to fall.

As of 6:15 a.m. today it was 37 degrees at Pearson Field. The snow coming down now is part of a wintry mix that includes rain, save for higher elevations where they’re already getting the real deal.

City and county public works crews are at the ready with de-icers and snow plows. If snow falls this afternoon, expect them to focus first on major arterials and other high-priority streets.

On Thursday, with some snow on the county floor, sporadic snow showers are expected through Thursday night, Ramirez said this afternoon.

Friday should be clear and cold, with some sun, Ramirez said.

By Saturday night, however, the next system is expected with rain and snow mixed and then rain and warmer Sunday and Monday.

Stay tuned for the latest weather-related news and updates.

John Branton: 360-735-4513 or john.branton@columbian.com.