Powder Alert

It looks this season is going to turn around and start delivering!
February 14, 2018

Powder Alert February 14 — Winter storms are lining up—it’s finally happening!

This page will be updated frequently throughout the winter to alert you of approaching storm systems and powder.

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Snow-Starved skiers and riders are finally going to get more than a few morsels! This change in the weather pattern from warm and occasionally wet to cold and dumping diamond dust is just in time to feed your Olympic Fever.

I’m really excited about this pattern change! This is more typical of a La Nina, and honestly one we’ve not been that far from for most of the winter. We just needed the high pressure that’s been sitting on us for much of the winter like an Olympic sumo wrestler to move its mass just a little west, and it finally is.

So here’s the quick upshot, followed by more detail:

POWDER PICKS:

Wednesday, Thursday and Monday! Sunday’s not bad either.

There’s a storm dropping down from the north as I write this at 1:30 Wednesday morning. We’ll see a rapid drop in the snow level, all the way down to 2,500 feet by Wednesday afternoon, which will bring snow to all our Mt. Hood Ski Areas including Timberline, Mt. Hood Meadows and Skibowl, on down to Hoodoo  and Mt. Bachelor, even reaching Willamette Pass and Mt. Ashland further south.

For Wednesday riders, there should be 3-6 inches of new snow by the end of the day. This will really improve the groomers and begin to cover the side and backcountry crust.

By Thursday morning, we should be looking at as much as 10 inches of new snow from the this storm, with improving weather. That is, less wind, some sun, and it stays cold. I favor Thursday over Wednesday.

The snow level rises a bit Friday up to about 4,500 feet. Oregon’s ski areas should pick up a few inches of new, but this is a weak system, I’m not expecting much from it.

There’s also not much going on Saturday, but on Sunday, things start to pop.

A much colder system drops straight down the BC coast. This will bring modified Arctic air west of the Cascades while the storm also picks up Pacific moisture. Do you know what that means?! It means we have a good solid flirt with valley snow, and THAT means POWDER for the Cascades. This may be the highest quality snow we’ve had all year, and there should be good quantity, too. By Monday, if things line up right, there may be a foot of new snow across Oregon’s mountain as this system spins through. With this falling on top of the new snow from earlier in the week, we should be looking at our best conditions of the year early next week.

But I’m also totally psyched that this does not look like a one trick powder pony. After a few more days, a similar storm may tumble down the coast at the end of next week, followed by a couple more as we roll into March. All cold, with snow levels in the 1,000 to 2,000 foot range, and with potentially heavy snowfall. Keep in mind that I’m getting WAY far out in the future, so forecast certainty drops off with time. But I’m starting to see some consistency in the guidance that is making me a little more confident that the end of February and early March will do wonders for our ski season.

I’ve always loved March skiing, with its deep snow and longer days. Hopefully we can keep Olympic fever running high into next month.

Be sure to check the Ski Areas & Sno-Parks homepage where we’ll have frequently updated snowfall totals for all the ski areas across Oregon. 

Timberline Lodge & Ski and Snowboard Area

About The
Author

Matt Zaffino
KGW News Chief Meteorologist Matt Zaffino has been forecasting weather in Oregon for 32 years. He’s an avid skier and outdoor lover who’s summited most of the major Cascade peaks and run sixteen marathons. Matt lives in Portland with his wife and five-year-old son who’s been on skis ever since he could walk.

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