: Randal Seaton at Mt. Bachelor. Photo credit: Mt. Bachelor

Powder Alert

More snow is on the way!
January 18, 2020

One Day of Sunshine & Then Snow Snow Snow

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

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UPDATED Jan. 18, 2020:

Well now, this is much more like it! The snowfall in the Cascades and across Oregon over the first two weeks of January was impressive to say the least. It’s like we’d been living on frozen popsicles and mother nature drove up in an ice cream truck and offered giant tubs of free smoothies and soft serve to all the skiers and boarders in Oregon.

Here’s a comparison, (with percent of average to date), of snowpack for a few sites in the Northwest:

And that same creamy theme was slathered from the Siskiyous in southern Oregon to the Elkhorns in northeast Oregon as well.

So now that we have a more than healthy base, it’s all about the new on the way, right?

The premium powder that comes whenever the snow level drops close to sea level, like it did early last week, is being covered by more snow as I write. The snow level is rising, but not to devastating levels above the slopes. It goes to about 6,000 feet Sunday, but that’s not a bad thing if you like skiing in sunshine and pleasant conditions, which is what we get for the rest of the holiday weekend.

The snow level drops back down to about 4,5000 feet Monday as our next powder producing storm arrives. The snow picks up Tuesday into Wednesday. My powder pick for the week ahead is definitely Wednesday. That’s when we have the most new snow and also when the snow level will be lowest around 3,000 feet.

Mt. Hood Resorts: 5 to 7 inches new Tuesday, 8 to 12 inches new Wednesday. Which means plying the pow Thursday will also be grand.

Mt. Bachelor: Ground zero for the next storm. 10 to 14 inches of new Tuesday and Tuesday night, another 4 inches of new snow Wednesday. Sweet!

Anthony Lakes Mountain Resort: A couple inches of new snow Tuesday, but the snow ramps up Tuesday night and Wednesday. Storm totals will be around a foot, so skiing Thursday and Friday should be all freshies.

Mt. Ashland: Tuesday’s the big day with 6 to 8 inches of new, followed by a couple more on Wednesday. Wednesday is the powder pick!

The strong winds of the last couple weeks are also backing off, which will make for a more pleasant experiences on the slopes. Looking ahead, I see a series of moderately powerful storms coming every few days that will be interspersed with bluebird days. The snow level won’t get as low as it did in early January, but it will be low enough to ensure snow and keep the freshie opportunities coming. And the snowpack keeps growing into February.

When you hear Mother Nature’s ice cream truck coming, heed the call.

Matt Zaffino

KGW Chief Meteorologist

Be sure to also check the Conditions Report for current info on ski area operations and upcoming events.

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.

 

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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