Get the skis ready: 2 springtime Cascade snowstorms in 1 week


PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – It may be officially spring, but the Cascades are seeing its second winter weather advisory this week.

A round of snow came through Monday, bringing a foot for the mountains. Why not bring another round of mountain snow for our midweek? Mother Nature is really setting up the mountain for a weekend of fun at Mt. Hood Meadows.

Our winter weather advisory is now in effect and it will be in place until 7 a.m. Thursday morning. As our system moves through today, snow will pick up for the mountains and that will drop nearly another foot of snow for the ski resorts.

What is different this time around?

The snow level will be higher than it was on Monday. We are looking at the snow level closer to 3,500 feet, which will be around Government Camp and points higher. It should still be gusty, but likely not as strong as earlier in the week too. Overall, this system is slightly weaker, but it will produce heavy enough snow to warrant the winter weather advisory. The wind may push the mid-30s and we are looking at 5 to 10 inches of snow above 4,000 feet. The heaviest snow will occur later in the afternoon and it will continue into the evening hours.

That means the passes will be snowy! Another 3 to 5 inches of snow for US 26 at Government Camp is in the forecast. Potential for larger totals to south for Willamette Pass, where the elevation is higher.

Mt. Hood Meadows 3.24.21

Check out the view of Mt. Hood Meadows as of mid-day. The snow is coming down and it will snow at a moderate level through the remainder of the afternoon. Talk about awesome spring snow for the ski resorts.

From early this morning to this afternoon, we have collected two inches of snowfall at the base of Mt. Hood Meadows, with the heaviest snow to still come. Right now the base is coming in at 153 inches and we can probably crack the 160 inches mark by tonight. A trough is moving through the region and the front associated with this trough is in the act of moving through this afternoon, enhancing the snowfall for the mountains. Temperatures in the upper 20s around the base of Mt. Hood Meadows, cooling down tonight. Snow levels will drop to the 2,500 feet range by tonight.

By Thursday morning, we may have some lingering snow, bringing another inch or so for the mountains. This system will be departing through the course of the day on Thursday. Weather models are overplaying Baker City, but it is possible for half an inch or a dusting for the lower elevations there. If you are higher in elevation then it is definitely possible for that snow total to be higher.

The mountains, including the Anthony Lakes, will pick up some fresh snow for enjoyment. Speaking of an enjoying snowy scene, look at Mirror Lake, outside of Mt. Hood on Tuesday. This is going to look very similar come Thursday, as conditions remain snowy from our event today.

Courtesy: Donald Slakie Mirror Lake, Mt. Hood 3.23.2021

What does this all mean for the valley? Well we are going to stick with just rain. This disturbance will drop close to a quarter of an inch up and down the Willamette Valley. You can see that the higher totals in the blue shade are concentrated to the Oregon coast and the Cascades. These are the prone spots because of the direction of our system and the aid of the mountains. Lastly, if you’re just thinking about traveling to Bend, you’re going to cross that snow in the passes. If you want to avoid that, you’ll want to travel through the Gorge and then south through The Dalles on 197 to 97 to get to those central Oregon locations.

We warm up by the end of the week, but we keep a close on a system that arrives later on Sunday, which could bring in more snow for the mountains!

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