By Dylan J. Darling

The Bulletin

Rolling into Central Oregon from the Gulf of Alaska, a strong storm system this weekend is expected to bring snow and wind.

“It is a pretty impressive system,” said Douglas Weber, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Pendleton.

The storm is expected to arrive in Central Oregon from the northwest Friday night and keep churning throughout the weekend.

Word of the storm comes as a relief to ski area managers here, particularly Hoodoo Ski Area west of Sisters. Hoodoo has yet to open this ski season due to lack of snow. This storm could provide the base layer needed to get the lifts going.

“We could get all we need in just a couple of days,” said Daidre Streeter, office manager at Hoodoo.

She said Hoodoo officials haven’t picked a planned opening date yet. They’re waiting to see the results of the storm before they decide.

The storm could drop a foot to 22 inches over the weekend. As of Friday, Hoodoo had about 10 inches of snow on the ground, Streeter said. Officials there have said they want to have 30 inches before they open.

At Mount Bachelor near Bend, the storm could drop 14 to 22 inches of snow Saturday, according to the Weather Service, with more snow showers possible Sunday. Mt. Bachelor Ski Area was already reporting a base Thursday night of 39 inches. Both ski areas benefited from snowfall late Wednesday and Thursday.

Hoodoo reported just under 7 new inches Thursday night and Mt. Bachelor reported 8 new inches.

Saturday should be particularly windy on the mountain, according to the Weather Service. The forecast calls for a west wind of about 50 mph on Mount Bachelor, with gusts as high as 70 mph. Hoodoo’s Saturday forecast calls for a west or southwest wind of about 37 mph and gusts up to 60 mph.

While not as strong, Weber said there’d likely be wind around Bend and elsewhere in Central Oregon between Saturday and Sunday morning, with sustained wind of about 30 mph in town and gusts up to 50 mph.

“Everybody is going to be windy,” he said.

Rain is likely in Bend on Saturday before 11 a.m., according to the Weather Service, and then a mix of rain and snow is likely later in the day. As much as 3 inches of snow could fall in town over the weekend.

— Reporter: 541-617-7812; .