First Alert: Tons of snow coming to the Cascades

Published: Mar. 31, 2023 at 3:23 AM PDT
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Good morning! It’s a cool & cloudy start to the day across northwest Oregon and southwest Washington. Scattered showers are beginning to push onshore. Expect conditions to turn more rainy as we head into the afternoon. Temperatures will reach about 50 degrees, but should cool back down as rain cools our air. The cold front will move in between tonight and early tomorrow. Soaking rain & heavy mountain snow will be around basically all night.

The snow level should be hovering around 3,000 feet today, but will be closer to 2,000 feet by Saturday morning. A Winter Storm Warning goes into effect for the Cascades (above 2,500 feet) starting this evening, and lasts through at least Sunday night. We’ll be measuring new snow in feet when all is said and done. By Monday morning, elevations above 2,500 feet will have about 2-3+ feet of new snow on the ground. There is also a Winter Weather Advisory going into effect for the Coast Range (above 2,000 feet) starting this evening and lasting through Sunday evening. The higher slopes of the Coast Range could end up with 4-8+ inches of snow. This shouldn’t affect the highways too much considering the highest points only reach about 1,500 feet. Having said that, there will be a few mornings starting Sunday that could bring dustings down to 1,000-1,500 feet.

There will be a lot of showers passing through western Oregon and southwest Washington this weekend. Our air is expected to turn more unstable, so downpours and isolated thunderstorms are likely. A lot of these showers will probably contain hail, and the heavier downpours could briefly lower our snow level (especially during the coolest times of day). As mentioned above, there will probably be a few mornings Sunday-Tuesday where the snow level temporarily dips to about 500-1,000 feet. Highs should still reach the upper 40s and low 50s in the lowlands, even with the chilly showers around. April sunshine is much different than February or March.

Rain and mountain snow should finally wind down Tuesday afternoon, and a warm up is forecast beyond that. Between Wednesday & Thursday, high temperatures should rebound back into the upper 50s and low 60s.

Stay safe out there if you have to travel through the mountains this weekend!