Lingering moisture and instability will result in scattered snow showers across the PNW on Sat & Sun with the most widespread activity during the afternoon hours. Snow totals will generally be light and variable. The next storm will move into OR on Mon-Tue with moderate snow totals expected, while this storm will largely miss WA. Following a midweek break, another storm is possible Mar 31-Apr 1.
Short Term Forecast
Ski resorts across the PNW are reporting deep snow totals from our most recent storm cycle, especially in Oregon! Cold temperatures have resulted in good-quality snow as well, so get out there and enjoy this weekend!
Here are the latest 3-day snow totals by region, ending Saturday AM:
Oregon 3-Day Snow Totals:
- 39" - Timberline
- 33" - Mt. Bachelor
- 29" - Mt. Hood Meadows
- 25" - Mt. Hood Skibowl
- 24" - Willamette Pass
- 17" - Hoodoo
- 14" - Anthony Lakes
- 11" - Mt. Ashland
Western Washington 3-Day Snow Totals:
- 18" - Mt. Baker
- 18" - White Pass
- 15" - Alpental
- 9" - Stevens Pass
- 8" - Crystal Mountain
- 7" - Snoqualmie West
Eastern Washington/Northern Idaho 3-Day Snow Totals:
- 17" - Bluewood
- 6" - Silver Mountain
- 6" - Lookout Pass
- 6" - 49º North
- 4" - Schweitzer
- 2.5" - Mt. Spokane
Forecast for Saturday to Sunday:
A broad trough of low pressure will linger across the Western U.S. while most of the moisture and energy from the previous storm has already moved well to the east. Across the PNW, lingering moisture along with an unstable atmosphere due to cold air aloft and sun heating up the lower atmosphere will lead to scattered snow showers on both Saturday and Sunday.
Snow showers will be possible day and night, but most of the activity is expected during the afternoon hours when instability is greatest. Snow totals will be highly variable each day, ranging from zero to 4 inches. Periods of sunshine mixed with clouds can also be expected, while winds will be relatively light.
Cold air in place will result in low snow levels, ranging from 1,000-2,000 feet during the midday to afternoon hours and sea level to 500 feet during the overnight and morning hours. Across the Inland Northwest, snow levels will be at valley bottoms during the mornings and 2,000-3,000 feet during the afternoons.
Forecast for Monday to Tuesday:
The next storm will involve a closed low pressure system, which will be cut off from the main flow and will be more wobbly in nature as it tracks from northwest to southeast toward the California Coast.
The low will make landfall somewhere in Northern California with southerly winds transporting moisture into Oregon where snow can be expected starting during the day on Monday and continuing through Tuesday and Tuesday night.
This storm will mostly miss Washington to the south, except for far Southwest Washington around Mt. Saint Helens where light accumulations couldn't be ruled out. Further north, some flurries could potentially reach the White Pass-Crystal Mountain area, but that's about it. Strong winds are possible across the WA Cascades on Tuesday, however.
This storm will also miss the Inland Northwest except for perhaps some flurries around Bluewood.
Despite the overall miss for northern areas, a weak disturbance moving across BC and into the Inland Northwest could potentially result in some flurries across the Central/Northern Washington Cascades and the Inland Northwest, but this will be a different feature versus the storm impacting Oregon.
Across Oregon, snow totals from the Monday-Tuesday storm will likely end up ranging from 4-10 inches across the Cascades from Mt. Ashland to Mt. Bachelor and Hoodoo, and 2-6 inches across Northern Oregon including Mt. Hood and Anthony Lakes.
If the storm tracks a little further north than currently projected, then snow totals could be higher for all areas of Oregon (while the opposite is true if the storm tracks further south).
Snow levels are expected to stay on the lower side during this storm, ranging from 1,500-3,500 feet. Winds will also be gusty at times, especially on Tuesday.
A break in the pattern is expected on Wednesday (March 29) and Thursday (March 30) with seasonally cool temperatures as highs reach the mid/upper 30s at ski resorts. This is still warm enough in combination with more abundant sunshine for spring skiing conditions to take hold.
Toward the end of next week, a storm could potentially arrive from the northwest around Friday-Saturday (March 31-April 1). Snow levels are also projected to stay on the lower side for this late in the year, likely near to below base areas of most resorts.
Heading into the first week of April, an active pattern is expected to continue with gradually moderating temperatures, though we should still remain cooler than average for this time of year.
Thanks so much for reading! Next update on Monday (March 27).
Projected Ski Resort Closing Dates:
Mt. Hood Skibowl
Summit at Snoqualmie
Mt. Hood Meadows