We’re Calling It Free Refills February
Note: This page will be updated frequently throughout the ski season to alert you of approaching storm systems and powder.
UPDATED Feb. 22, 2019:
It seems like we’ve been in a perpetual state of Powder Alert all month. And we love that.
We’ve got another epic weekend, and beyond, on the way.
We may be at the front end of a pattern change that will take us out of the cold northerly flow, where the snow level rarely got above 1,500 feet. But that change to snow levels in the 3,000 to 4,000 foot range won’t happen until the middle of next week.
For the weekend, an incredibly productive snowfall pattern is developing for the entire state! I’m seeing model forecasts of 30 to 50 inches over the next five days for not just the Cascades, but the mountains of NE Oregon, too. The set up for this productivity is an overrunning pattern that brings copious amounts of moisture in from the west and southwest, over the top of the cold air that already resides over Oregon.
Dig Into The Details:
This is dump city. Check out the snowfall accumulation map (right) from Friday through Monday afternoon. The white areas over the Cascades surrounded by yellow are five feet totals. I’ve also looked at 10 day totals over 80 inches over the Cascades. Impressive is an understatement.
From today to Saturday morning, most areas will pick up 8-to-15 inches of fresh powder. Winds and snowfall will back off a bit Saturday, but make sure the goggles are good to go and you’ve got traction tires or chains. Don’t be the one that causes a traffic problem that makes everyone late to the slopes.
Sunday … it just keeps hammering snow, and should pick up through the day. Sunday night is when the snow will becomes really heavy, and parts of the Cascades may be looking at snowfall rates of 2 to 3 inches an hour!
The weekend. Okay, Sunday if you like free refills.
Über powder pick: Monday. It’s going to be deep! It’s going to be cold!
Southern Oregon ski areas including Mt. Ashland, Willamette Pass and Warner Canyon will begin to see warmer air push the snow level up Sunday, so for those areas, earlier in the weekend is probably better.
From Mt. Bachelor north, you can’t go wrong Saturday through Monday.
As mentioned above, the snow continues through much of next week, to finish off what will be an epic month of snowfall in Oregon. But snow levels will begin to rise Monday, so get the fluffy stuff this weekend while you can.
Also of note … with all the new snow, the avalanche danger will become very high. Avalanche forecasts are available through the Northwest Avalanche Center (Mt. Hood), Central Oregon Avalanche Center, and Wallowa Avalanche Center in Eastern Oregon. Also educate yourself about tree well and snow immersion hazards and always ski or snowboard with a partner.
See ya on the slopes.
KGW Chief Meteorologist
Be sure to also check the Conditions Report for current info on ski area operations and upcoming events.