Oregon Daily Snow

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By Zach Butler, Meteorologist Posted 4 months ago October 10, 2023

Widespread High Elevation Snow Tuesday PM - Thursday AM


Winter makes an early appearance with expected snow accumulations of 4-12+ inches along the Cascades for elevations above 6,000 feet from Tuesday morning through Thursday morning. Warm air returns following this storm with rounds of rain showers for the upcoming weekend.

Short Term Forecast

The Oregon Daily Snow is here and ready to get us stoked for the upcoming winter season. If you missed it, check out the Winter Preview where I detailed how El Niño could affect the upcoming winter season.

September saw a return of precipitation and even some light high-elevation snow along the Cascades. As we enter October, fall colors have arrived, and so will high-elevation snow in a big way over the coming days. 

Forecast for Tuesday to Thursday: 

A large and cold storm system will move through the Pacific Northwest beginning on Tuesday and exiting by Thursday, October 12th. This storm system will bring the most significant amount of snow so far this season for higher elevations.

Precipitation is already becoming widespread as of Tuesday morning with light snow falling for elevations above 6,000 feet. Precipitation will become scattered through the afternoon with more consistent rain and snow returning by the evening. 

From Tuesday evening through Wednesday morning, high-elevation snow will become heavy for elevations above 6,000-7,000 feet. Scattered precipitation will continue on Wednesday as snow levels stay consistent. Precipitation will clear by Thursday morning. 

  • Expect snow to fall but not accumulate much (< 3in) from 5,000 - 6,000 feet 
  • Snow will accumulate above 6,000 feet

Check out the HRRR model's depiction of precipitation type and intensity from 7 am Tuesday through 4 pm Wednesday. 

This gives a good idea of the timing of precipitation from Tuesday morning through Wednesday early evening.  

Below is the HRRR model's depiction of snow accumulations from Tuesday through Wednesday evening. I think the HRRR is a bit aggressive for snow accumulations but gives a good idea of the elevations that will see snow accumulations. 

Snow will accumulate lightly above 5,000 feet, but the heaviest accumulations will be in areas above 6,000 feet with 4-12 inches expected. The highest elevations in the Cascades will see more than a foot of snow with some of the peaks receiving up to 3 feet of snow. 

If you are chasing some early season turns, head to elevations above 7,500 feet on Thursday early morning. If you are chasing the snow-liage shots (fall foliage and snow), head out Thursday late morning or in the afternoon to get a good view of the high peaks that will be covered in snow.

Thursday will be a stellar day otherwise as temperatures warm and clouds clear. 

Friday will be warm and dry with more opportunities for high elevation turns and snow-liage photos. 

Extended Forecast

The next round of storms will move in for the weekend on Saturday and Sunday, October 14/15, as well as into early next week. These storms will have warmer air associated with them and cause snow levels to rise above most of the ski summits.

The storm on Saturday, October 14th will be the weakest of the next storm train and only bring light rain showers. 

The storm on Sunday, October 15th will bring consistent rain in the afternoon and evening, but model uncertainty regarding the timing of the rain makes Sunday's rain forecast a bit uncertain.

Model uncertainty regarding the timing of large swaths of rain will continue to make the forecast uncertain into next week on Monday, October 16th, and Tuesday, October 17th. 

The rest of next week will see a warming trend of temperatures with a mixed bag of precipitation chances. There will be sun and dry weather, but also periods of rain as rounds of weak storm systems move off of the Pacific Ocean. Chances of rain will increase the closer you are to the coast and for northwestern Oregon.

Below is a look at the Climate Prediction Center (CPC) temperature (top) and precipitation (bottom) probabilities from Tuesday, October 17th through Monday, October 23rd. 

Warmer temperatures and some precipitation chances will be the weather pattern next week starting on Monday, October 16th. 

Early Season Posts

I will provide 1-2 posts a week for the early season reader and provide daily updates starting in November. The next post is on Friday, October 13th.

Send your snow photos to me and I'll post them in the next forecast ([email protected])

Zach Butler


P.S. We now have iOS widgets!

It will take you 30-60 seconds to set up, and then you'll be able to see current conditions, check the forecast, and keep an eye on your favorite cams right on your home screen(s), without opening our app.

Our new “Current Conditions”, “Snow Summary”, and “Mountain Cams” widgets are available exclusively to All-Access subscribers with the latest version (5.4.2) of the OpenSnow iOS app installed.

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About Our Forecaster

Zach Butler


Zach Butler is currently a PhD student in Water Resources Science at Oregon State University. He just finished his master's in Applied Meteorology at Plymouth State University in New Hampshire. Originally from Maryland, he has grown up hiking and skiing up and down the East Coast. When not doing coursework, he enjoys cooking and exploring the pacific northwest on his bike.

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