More snow is headed for Oregon’s mountain passes and roads into this weekend.
A winter storm warning has been issued for Friday and Saturday due to a forecast of 12 to 24 inches of snow above 2,000 feet but with the greatest impact coming above 4,000 feet, mainly between Mount Hood and Mount Jefferson, according to the National Weather Service in Portland.
That will mean difficult driving conditions around Government Camp (Highway 26) and Santiam Pass (Highway 20). Willamette Pass (Highway 58), southeast of Eugene, will also see around 10 to 15 inches of snow.
However, the heaviest snowfall appears headed to the Mount Hood area.
The snow level will start low, around 2,000 to 2,500 feet on Friday, before rising to 3,000 to 3,500 feet overnight and holding near 4,000 feet into Saturday.
Anyone headed to ski areas early on Saturday will want to be prepared for winter driving, NWS said.
The storm will add to Oregon’s fast start to the snow season. A Thursday storm brought 10 to 15 inches of snow and this system will mostly build on it. Oregon’s snowpack is generally at 150% to 200% of normal thanks to cool and wet weather in late November and early December.
All Oregon ski areas are open.
Zach Urness has been an outdoors reporter in Oregon for 15 years and is host of the Explore Oregon Podcast. To support his work, subscribe to the Statesman Journal. Urness is the author of “Best Hikes with Kids: Oregon” and “Hiking Southern Oregon.” He can be reached at zurness@StatesmanJournal.com or 503-399-6801. Find him on Twitter at @ZachsORoutdoors.