Oregon Daily Snow
By Zach Butler, Meteorologist Posted 14 days ago February 13, 2024
Tuesday will be clear and dry with a storm bringing an atmospheric river into Oregon on Wednesday through Friday morning. This storm will have snow levels range across the Cascades but stay below 4,500 feet, have gusty winds, and bring snow accumulations of 18-30 inches of snow. Big changes are possible by the weekend with more moisture and rising snow levels.
Short Term Forecast
Sun is back on the slopes across Oregon after light snow fell around Mt. Hood on Monday. Check out Timberline on Tuesday morning with 4-6 inches of fresh snow.
Tuesday, February 13th will be mostly clear and dry throughout Oregon. Soak up the sun before we turn stormy for several days.
Forecast from Wednesday, February 14th through Friday, February 16th:
Confidence continues to grow of a large storm system and atmospheric river (AR) impacting Oregon with moderate and heavy amounts of snow. This storm and AR are approaching from the southwest and will be cold enough to bring snow to all resorts.
Precipitation and snow will move into Oregon after 7 am on Wednesday and be consistent throughout the day. Snow will start around Mt. Hood during the late morning and or early afternoon. Northeastern Oregon won't see snow until Wednesday evening.
Snow will weaken a bit overnight but another wave of heavier precipitation will move in Thursday morning, setting up some very fresh first tracks on the slopes. Snow will be on and off throughout Oregon on Thursday with several hours of moderate snowfall rates (~1 in/hr) and some dry pockets here and there.
The last heavy wave of snow will move through western Oregon Thursday night into Friday early morning. This snow is most likely to be through the Cascades's northern half, although this could change. This last area of snow will bring another 4-8 inches.
Friday could start with a few snow showers around Mt. Hood but it will be clear and dry elsewhere. The next storm off the coast will move in clouds throughout the day.
Winds will increase throughout the storm on Wednesday and be sustained at 20-30 mph with gusts around 50 mph. On Thursday, winds will weaken slightly but still have occasional gusts around 50 mph.
Snow Levels and Snow Ratios:
Snow levels will be slightly different throughout the state but will be low enough to bring snow to all resorts. In the northern half of the Cascades expect snow levels to slowly climb from 1,500 to 3,000 feet from Wednesday to Thursday. In the southern half of the Cascades, expected snow levels rise from 2,000 to 4,500 feet.
Snow ratios follow the snow levels in that they will be higher where the snow levels are to the north. Expect ratios around 12-14:1 toward Mt. Hood and 10-12:1 further south toward Mt. Bachelor. Below is a look at the OpenSnow Blend of Model’s prediction snow levels (black line) and the 3-hourly snowfall rates (blue bars) @ Mt. Hood Meadows and Mt. Bachelor from Wednesday, February 14th through Friday, February 16th.
Snow Accumulations and Uncertainty:
Snow accumulations will range from 18-30 inches and be highest in the northern half of the Cascades due to the last area of snow that will move through Thursday evening and Friday morning. If this band changes orientation or intensity, that will affect snow accumulations.
The greatest area of uncertainty is where and how snow levels change with this storm. As mentioned snow levels will be lower to the north, which will make snow ratios higher. This is due to colder air to the north and where the warm tongue of the AR is impacting the Cascades further south. If cold air or the warm tongue of the AR changes, it will affect who sees the high or low end of the 18-30 inch range.
Below is a look at the National Blend of Model’s (NBM) forecasted snow accumulations from Wednesday, February 14th through Friday, February 16th.
Forecast on Saturday, February 17th and Sunday, February 18th:
The next storm will move into the PNW this weekend but timing and precipitation intensity is uncertain. What is more certain though is the warmer air that will be associated with rounds of precipitation with a significant rise in snow levels up to around 6,000 feet possible. The exact rise is uncertain but many bases could see rain with a much wetter and denser snow expected.
If you are skiing in the next week, get the powder flu and hit the mid-week turns.
Next week starting on Monday, February 19th will likely stay active although storm intensity and timing are uncertain. The Pacific jet stream will remain active and keep sending moisture to the West Coast. Toward the latter half of the week, we could turn dry with a warming trend although the long-range forecast is very hard to pinpoint this far out with no consistent weather pattern.
Thanks for reading, I'll have the next storm update on Wednesday @ 8 am.
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