: Matthias Giraud by Mt. Bachelor Ski Resort

Powder Alert

We are loving this "Spring" forecast!
Matt Zaffino, Guest Author
March 23, 2023

A Snowy Spring Break Ahead!

Note: This page will be updated frequently throughout the ski season to alert you of approaching storm systems and powder.

Please be sure to also check the Conditions Report for info on ski area operations (including closures due to storms and weather, as well as notices on current  avalanche forecasts).



UPDATED Mar. 23, 2023:

Greetings skiers and boarders. A lot of you may be thinking about putting your boards away for the season as March winds down. Think twice about that. The amount of snow and the quality of the snow coming our way over the next couple of weeks is truly impressive. I could issue a POWDER ALERT for the whole week ahead, but I don’t want to get too far over my skis on that. Ha!

So here goes: POWDER ALERT FOR FRIDAY (March 24)

The Oregon Cascades is looking at 12-to-27 inches of new snow by Friday afternoon. Yes, I know that’s a wide range, but Mt. Hood will see over two feet of new snow while Southern Oregon is on the lower side of the range. Mt. Bachelor will receive around 12-to-15 inches of new by Friday with more on the way this weekend. And, with the snow level dropping below 1,000 feet, this will be prime powder for Oregon. It will come with wind, so west facing slopes will be a bit wind-scoured while east facing slopes receive the benefit of that scouring, as the snow picked up on the west slopes will be dropped on the lee of any ridges or terrain features. Visibility will be challenging, so stick near the trees if you can for better depth perception.

Northeastern Oregon will be joining the powder party, too. Amounts will be lighter, but so will the snow, as usual. Anthony Lakes should see 6-to-10 inches of fresh snow by Friday morning, with another 6-to-8 inches coming Friday night for fresh tracks on Saturday.

What about the weekend? 

We stay cold, in fact it gets colder, so the powder will be preserved through the weekend. But more snow falls Saturday throughout the state. Friday night brings another 4-to-8 inches to the Cascades, and another 3-to-6 inches in Northeastern Oregon. Saturday will be an epic powder day, too, as the winds lighten up.

The snowfall lightens up Sunday, and there may be a few sunbreaks and lighter winds, but there should still be 3-to-6 inches new at ski areas state-wide Sunday morning. What a weekend!

Check out the accumulated snowfall map below. That’s a 45-inch bullseye over Mt. Hood and the Central Oregon Cascades for total snowfall from today through Sunday morning!


Snowfall map

Going into Spring Break Week

And then, it all ramps up again Monday. A new storm drops south off the Oregon coast Monday. This is an interesting storm, as the south dropping system joins forces with a warmer but moisture rich system coming in from the west. This merger will spin up a strong area of low pressure that looks to head into Northern California. That means the heaviest snowfall Monday through Wednesday will favor Southern Oregon. Mt. Ashland will get one of its heaviest snowfalls of the season Monday into Tuesday, possibly a couple of feet. For Central and Northern Oregon, cold offshore flow will keep the powder fluffy even though the new snow totals will “only” be in the 3-to-8 inch range.

The snow level rises a little for the middle and end of the week, but only to about 2,000 to 3,000 feet.

We should get a break from the stormy weather Thursday and Friday and score some bluebird. But that looks temporary, as yet another cold storm looks poised to drop in as April begins Saturday!

Overall, this may be the best week of Spring Break skiing Oregon has seen in years. Last year was really good, but this year looks even better.

Be safe and have fun out there!

Matt Zaffino

KGW Chief Meteorologist

Facebook: Facebook.com/MattZaffinoPortland
Twitter: @Zaffino
Instagram: MattZaffino

Ski and Snowboard Safety

Those skiing in steep and ungroomed terrain should be familiar with Deep Snow Safety and become informed on traveling and recreating in avalanche terrain. Find more tips on skiing and snowboarding safety here. Avalanche forecasts are available through the Northwest Avalanche Center (Mt. Hood), Central Oregon Avalanche Center, and Wallowa Avalanche Center in Eastern Oregon.

Skiers and snowboarders should always follow the Skier’s Responsibility Code, which exists to raise awareness that there are elements of risk in snow sports that common sense and personal awareness can help reduce:

  1. Always stay in control and be able to stop or avoid other people or objects.
  2. People ahead of you have the right of way. It is your responsibility to avoid them.
  3. You must not stop where you obstruct a trail or are not visible from above.
  4. Whenever starting downhill or merging into a trail, look uphill and yield to others.
  5. Always use devices to help prevent runaway equipment.
  6. Observe all posted signs and warnings. Keep off closed trails and out of closed areas.
  7. Prior to using any lift, you must have the knowledge and ability to load, ride and unload safely.


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