March is STILL my favorite month for skiing. Yeah, I know it's been 60-degrees in the valleys and near 50-degrees on the mountain. Whatever. The days are long, the base is deep and we STILL keep getting fresh snow! We're about to, anyway.
That's the pre-amble, here's the... amble:
Snow levels in Oregon will drop dramatically tonight and be down around 4,000 feet Saturday morning on Mt. Hood, and around 5,000 feet for the rest of the state. By Saturday night, it should be snowing in Bend at 3,000 feet as the snow level continues to drop to about 2,000 feet on Mt. Hood by Sunday morning.
Snow will be flying Saturday at the resorts. We should see 2-4 inches new during the day Saturday on Mt. Hood, and I'm leaning more toward the four. Another 2-4 inches falls Saturday night into Sunday morning, so if the flakes fall right, we could be skiing 8 inches of fluff Sunday morning.
Sunday is my powder pick for the weekend, but Saturday will be good too. With all the warm weather lately, make sure you gear up for winter conditions in the mountains. Cold, snow, wind.
If you can ski Monday too, you'll be treated to some sunshine and calm winds, and mid-winter conditions. Except for the strong almost-spring sun. It's super important to remember sunscreen this time of year, now that the sun angle is higher, you can burn really fast and severely. Snow, especially new, freshly fallen highly coveted snow, reflects the suns burning rays onto your pasty-white winter face. Protect it. The sunshine continues into Tuesday.
Spring begins Wednesday at 4:02 am PDT. It should be dumping again by then. The snow level will rise ahead of the Wednesday storm to 5,000 or 6,000 feet, but by Wednesday afternoon it's back down to 3,000 feet. Major dumpage Wednesday night should lead to some brilliantly awesome first-full-day-of-spring skiing Thursday. Which is not to be confused with spring skiing. Because it'll definitely be mid-winter conditions. At this point, I'm thinking another 8 inches of fresh joyful powder in the Oregon Cascades Thursday.
After that, spring skiing conditions are likely to set in, at least for a while. Which simply means it's time to get corny. As in corn-snow bring it on. If you've read any of my ski-scribes, you know I'm more than capable of that.
In the meantime enjoy March Madness, mountain-style!
Happy Trails and Turns,
(Matt Zaffino has been forecasting powder days in Oregon for over 25 years. An avid back-country telemark skier, he’s hit the slopes of Oregon from his previous home near Mt Ashland to secret powder stashes in the Wallowa’s, while logging as many runs as possible at all of the resorts in the Oregon Cascades.)