Does it snow in Oregon? My friends have been asking this question for quite a while as they plan to visit this state during the winter months.
The answer is YES, Oregon does experience snow.
Oregon is blessed with a physically diversified scenery that delivers an adrenaline rush of adventure that most vacationers will kill for, ranging from deserts and semi-arid shrublands to deep evergreen forests, volcanic mountains, and large water bodies.
This state, which also boasts the deepest lake in the United States, Crater Lake, stands on 250,000 square kilometers of territory and has a population of 4 million people.
Mount Hood at 11,249 feet (3428.8 meters) is Oregon’s highest point, while the Pacific Ocean at sea level is its lowest. Does it, however, snow in Oregon?
In this article, I will answer in detail the questions “does it snow in Oregon?” and “how often does it snow in Oregon?”
So, let’s get started.
Does it Snow in Oregon?
If you’re planning a trip to visit the many attractions in this state, you might ask yourself the question “does Oregon get snow?”
Winter snow is experienced in several cities and towns throughout Oregon!
Sure, you won’t witness the dense sheets of snow that arrive in areas like New York in Oregon, but you should see some snowfall and settling in various Oregon cities.
Each year, Oregon receives approximately 4 inches of snow.
Although not substantial, it is sufficient to merit waterproof footwear and lots of winter clothing.
Even if there isn’t a lot of snow in Oregon, you should be ready to deal with it!
It’s important to understand that answering the question “does it snow in Oregon?” is more difficult than it appears.
Some locations in the state receive significantly more snow than others.
Snow, for example, is considerably more likely to fall in the Cascade Mountains than it is to fall in Portland.
Both places receive adequate snowfall each year, but the Cascade Mountains frequently receive blankets of ski-worthy powder that will delight any alpinist.
Similarly, if we look geographically, Central Oregon is considerably more likely to receive snowfall than the Oregon Coast.
How Often Does it Snow in Oregon?
Oregon’s climate is diverse, and the amount of snowfall varies depending on the region.
Generally, the state experiences snowfall during the winter months, particularly from November through February.
Some areas, such as the Cascade Range, experience a significant amount of snowfall each year, with ski resorts opening for the season in late November or early December.
The lower elevations and coastal areas, however, see less snow, and some years may not receive any significant snowfall at all.
Some regions, particularly the eastern side of the state, can experience snowfall in the shoulder seasons of fall and spring.
Overall, Oregon typically experiences snowfall at least a few times each winter season, but the amount and frequency of snowfall varies significantly depending on the region.
When Does it Snow in Oregon?
In Oregon, the fall season ends in November.
Temperatures in the entire state range from 57 degrees Fahrenheit (13.9 degrees Celsius) to 27 degrees Fahrenheit (-2.8 degrees Celsius) as the winter season starts to take shape.
The high-altitude areas like the mountains start recording heavy snowfall, with the Cascade Mountains receiving 15 inches (381 millimeters) to 20 inches (508 millimeters) on average.
In December, the average low temperature in Oregon ranges between 11 degrees Fahrenheit (-11.7 degrees Celsius) to 42 degrees Fahrenheit (5.6 degrees Celsius).
The coastal region receives the least amount of snowfall, with areas next to the ocean receiving no precipitation during this time period.
The amount of snowfall falling on the state rises as you move away from the coastal regions, peaking in the Cascade mountains, where snow accumulates to depths of 91.1 inches (2,314 millimeters).
January marks the coldest time of the year in the state, with temperatures plummeting to as low as 10 degrees Fahrenheit (-12.2 degrees Celsius) in certain areas.
Astoria, on the coast, receives 0.4 inches (10 millimeters) of snow over 0.6 snowfall days.
At the same time, Crater Lake Park in the Cascade Mountains experiences 15.9 snowfall days with an accumulation of 87.4 inches (2,220 millimeters).
In the high-altitude sections of Oregon, February brings cold temperatures and a few snowstorms.
Temperatures throughout the day range from 55 degrees Fahrenheit (12.8 degrees Celsius) to 25 degrees Fahrenheit (-3.9 degrees Celsius) during nighttime.
Snowfall in the mountains has been persistent, with up to 75 inches (1,905 millimeters) of snow documented in Crater Lake Park.
In most parts of Oregon, March is the last month of winter.
In the state’s central region, temperatures range from 59 degrees Fahrenheit (15 degrees Celsius) to 37 degrees Fahrenheit (3 degrees Celsius).
The snow begins to thaw in most locations as the state prepares for spring, although it remains in the mountains until late April.
While coastal communities get zero snowfall, Crater Lake experiences 15.6 snowfall days and an accumulation of 73.2 inches (1,859 millimeters) of snow.
Where Does it Snow in Oregon?
Does it Snow in Portland, Oregon?
The answer is YES. Portland, Oregon does experience snow.
Nevertheless, snowfall is extremely unpredictable and typically significantly lower than in neighboring mountain towns.
Portland receives only 15 inches of snow per year, far less than ski destinations like Mount Hood (which receive up to 350 inches per year).
In Portland, as in other parts of the Pacific Northwest, rain is more probable than snow.
However, there are certain years when the city experiences more than its usual amount of winter storms.
Portland, for example, saw an unprecedented snowfall of over 11 inches in only one day in 2017.
Therefore, while it may not snow as frequently in Portland as it does in other regions of Oregon, it does snow in the city Portland.
Does it Snow in Salem, Oregon?
YES, it does snow in Salem.
Salem is the second-largest city in the state of Oregon and the state’s capital.
It has a population of approximately 400,000 people and encompasses an area of 127.51 square kilometers.
The city sees snow for the first time in November and the last time in March.
December has the most snow in Salem, with an average snowfall of 1.4 inches.
The snow-free season lasts 9.7 months, from February to December.
The least amount of snow falls around July 20, with a total accumulation of 0.0 inches.
Does it Snow in Crater Lake?
YES, it does snow in Crater Lake.
Although Crater Lake is not exactly a town or city, it is one of the best sites in Oregon for experiencing snow.
Crater Lake National Park is stunning in the snow and should be on everyone’s Oregon bucket list.
This is an excellent response to the question, “Does it snow in Oregon?”
Although I don’t encourage swimming in the icy waters because it may have adverse effects on your health, I encourage you to take part in snowshoeing, hiking, and camping.
Yes, it gets really chilly over here.
However, if you have the correct gear, you should have a fantastic outdoor excursion that you’ll remember for years.
Does it Snow in the Cascade Mountains?
YES, it does snow in the Cascade Mountains.
With up to 482.5 inches of snow every year, the Cascade Mountains are unrivaled in terms of snowfall.
Unlike other places on our list, the Cascade Mountains provide thick, luxuriant snow that doesn’t evaporate before it lands.
You’re unlikely to be dissatisfied whether you want to see them from afar or get up close and personal on a ski vacation.
This is a fantastic spot in Oregon to experience some snow.
Does it Snow in Timberline Lodge?
YES, it does snow in Timberline Lodge.
Because of the depth of the annual snowfall, this magnificent resort is ideal for snowshoers and Nordic skiers.
With glacial snow being so regular at Timberline Lodge, it’s no surprise that this site is often full with athletic travelers eager to get their hands on the slopes.
If you like to keep things low-key, why not take full advantage of the Après Ski facilities?
Timberline Lodge has a superb reputation, so you’ll be well taken care of during your stay.
Does it Snow in Baker City, Oregon?
YES, it does snow in Baker City.
I love this city because of its unique historical vibe.
The city is home to the famous Heritage Museum and the Copper Belt Wines.
Monthly snowfall in Baker City varies significantly seasonally.
From November until mid-March, the snowy season lasts more than four months, with a typical 31-day snowfall of at least 1 inch.
December has the most snow in Baker City, with a mean snowfall of 8.1 inches.
The snowless season lasts more than 7 months, from mid-March to the beginning of November.
Ski Resorts in Oregon
Having answered the question “does it snow in Oregon?”, let’s now look at the ski resorts in this state.
Oregon has a vibrant skiing scene, with over 12 ski areas catering to a big and diversified group of winter sports lovers that visit the state each winter season.
The ski locations range from luxury resorts to small-town ski regions.
Here are the top ski resorts in the state.
Mount Bachelor Ski Resort
Mount Bachelor ski resort is situated in Central Oregon, about 22 miles west of Bend on Century Drive Highway.
The ski area is located on the northern side of Mount Bachelor, a stratovolcano in the Cascade Range that rises atop a volcanic shield.
Mount Bachelor is an Oregon ski resort with 100 kilometers of slopes and 25 kilometers of ski trails for skiing and snowboarding.
The resort has 11 ski lifts and can accommodate skiers of all skill levels.
Mount Hood Meadows Ski Resort
Mount Hood Meadows is the largest of Mount Hood’s ski resorts, located on the mountain’s southeastern face in northern Oregon.
It’s roughly 67 miles east of Portland and 35 miles south of Hood River on Oregon Route 35.
Mount Hood Meadows ski resort has 90 kilometers of skiable slope, which makes it popular among skiers and snowboarders.
The winter sports area of the resort is located between 1,378 and 2,225 meters above sea level and is served by 11 ski lifts.
Hoodoo Ski Resort
Hoodoo ski resort is located in Oregon’s Cascade Range, 150 kilometers northwest of Salem.
It was founded as a private operation in 1938 and has 3.26 square kilometers of skiable terrain with a vertical drop of 315 meters.
During the winter, the resort averages 360 inches (9,100 millimeters) of snow and is open from mid-December until late March.
On Fridays and Saturdays at this time, the resort offers night skiing.
Final Thoughts on the Question “Does it Snow in Oregon?”
Does it snow in Oregon? The answer is YES.
As you can see, there is a lot of snow in Oregon throughout the winter months.
The most high-altitude areas of Oregon’s Cascade Mountains often receive the most snow.
Other sections of Oregon may not get as much snow, but they can still have major winter storms on occasion.
So, pack your winter itinerary and head over to Oregon for a unique snowy experience.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does Oregon get winter?
YES, Oregon does get winter. The winters are cold, snowy, and windy. The snowy season lasts 5 months, from November to April, with a normal 31-day snowfall of at least 1.0 inch. The month with the most snow in Oregon is December, with an average snowfall of 5.1 inches.
What is the snowiest city in Oregon?
The snowiest city in Oregon is without a doubt, the city of Bend, located in central Oregon. The month with the most snow in Bend is December, with an average snowfall of 8.5 inches.
Does Portland get snow?
YES, Portland does experience snow. Average snowfall in Portland is around 3 inches (8 cm) of snow annually, well below the country's average of 28 inches (71 cm).
Is Portland cold in the winter?
YES. The frigid easterly winds also bring Portland the coldest air of the year. Temperatures below 0 degrees Celsius are extremely rare, having occurred only six times since 1871. During the winter, most temperatures reach the 40s and lower 50s during the day and dip into the 30s at night.
What is the coldest month in Oregon?
The coldest month in Oregon depends on the specific location within the state. In general, the coldest month is typically December or January or February, when temperatures can drop below freezing and snowfall is common. For example, in Portland, the average low temperature in December is around 35°F (2°C) and average high temperature is around 46°F (8°C). January and February are very similar, averaging 36–47°F (2–8°C) and 36–51°F (2–11°C) respectively.
Are winters bad in Oregon?
In general, winters in Oregon are considered mild compared to many other parts of the country. However, the amount of precipitation varies widely across the state, with some areas experiencing heavy snowfall and others seeing mostly rain. Overall, while winters in Oregon may not be as mild as some parts of the West Coast, they are generally considered manageable and not excessively harsh.