Oregon’s Cascades Bracing for Major Snow this Weekend

snow man mt hood
Tiny Snow Man And Mt. Hood (Adobe Stock)

Hey there, fellow Oregonians! So, here's the scoop on our wacky weather lately. December was a bit of a tease, right? We got more rain than we usually do, but it was also warmer. Think 5 degrees toastier than what we're used to this time of year. The result? Not much snow, especially in our beloved Cascades. By early January, the snowpack was hanging out at less than 40% of its usual glory.

But hold onto your hats, because things are about to change. This weekend, the mountains are gearing up for a major snowy comeback. Andy Bryant, a hydrologist with the National Weather Service in Portland, is talking big numbers. We're expecting snow by the feet at ski resorts like Timberline and Mt. Hood Meadows – that's anywhere from 12 to 24 inches! From now through the weekend, it's cold enough for snow up there, and we might see daily dumps of 3 to 6 inches. Friday night and Saturday could even bring heavier falls.

Good news for snow lovers, but a heads-up for travelers. The snow level's dropping to between 2,000 and 4,000 feet, so mountain passes might get tricky. If you're headed to ski spots or cruising through passes like Highway 26 over Government Camp or Santiam Pass, keep an eye on road conditions and be ready for winter travel.

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There are also a bunch of winter weather advisories in place for the Cascades in Lane County and Southern Oregon from late Friday to late Saturday.

For those living below 2,000 feet, expect a rainy weekend. But hey, we might see things cool down again with another weather system on the horizon. By the weekend of January 13, snow levels could drop once more. So, if you've got travel plans then, stay tuned to the forecast.

And for the snowpack situation? There's still time to catch up to normal levels if this winter weather sticks around. Andy Bryant says we should look at where we stand in March and early April. The next couple of weeks could be really good for our ski resorts, with some much-needed snow on the way. Stay safe, stay warm, and enjoy the winter wonderland, Oregon!

Source: OPB