Winter weather is on its way to Central Oregon starting Friday with heavy snowfall in the forecast.
Meteorologists are measuring the impending snow in terms of inches — specifically 8 to 16 inches is expected to fall through Sunday in the High Desert.
Ski shops in Bend are measuring the impending storm another way.
“The stoke is high,” said Marshall Holmes, employee at Skjersaa’s ski shop in Bend. “People are putting away their rock boards and getting ready for the fresh snow.”
Holmes said the shop has been busy this week tuning people’s boards and skies, and selling new equipment to people who have been waiting for the snow to fall.
“It should be a nice couple of days out there, and really change the tone of the season,” Holmes said. “Better late than never.”
For ski areas in the region, the snowstorm is expected to bring ideal conditions.
Two to 3 feet of snow could fall in the mountains this weekend, which would add to the 57 inches of snow depth at Mt. Bachelor ski area and 36.9 inches of snow depth at Hoodoo Ski Area.
“The fun part about conditions like this is every hour or so as you are skiing you can get fresh tracks,” said Leif Williams, vice president of marketing at Hoodoo. “We call that in the industry free refills.”
Williams is encouraging skiers and snowboarders to be prepared for the snowy conditions.
As snow falls nonstop during the day, it can pile up around people’s parked cars, Williams said. People should bring shovels to dig themselves out of their parking spots.
“If you are there all day and we get a foot of snow, it’s going to be hard to leave the parking lot and make your way down the hill,” Williams said. “It’s one thing to make it in there but another to make it out.”
The National Weather Service's winter weather advisory issued Thursday starts at 10 a.m. Friday and continues through 4 p.m. Saturday. Up to 5 inches of snow could fall in Bend on Friday, according to the weather service.
Brandon Lawhorn, a weather service meteorologist in Pendleton, said another 3 to 5 inches of snow could fall in Bend on Saturday into Sunday, making the total weekend snowfall up to 10 inches. Up to 16 inches could fall this weekend in Sunriver, Lawhorn said.
Travelers over the weekend can expect slippery road conditions and are asked to slow down and use caution while driving, according to the winter weather advisory.
In addition, areas of blowing snow could significantly reduce visibility on the roads, the advisory warns.
As the snowfall accumulates, it will likely stay on the ground through next week, when high temperatures are expected to stay below freezing, Lawhorn said.
Monday’s high temperature of 35 degrees will be the highest of the week, Lawhorn said. The following days will have high temperatures in the mid-20s and lows in the teens, he said.
“It’s definitely going to be the coldest I’ve ever seen,” said Lawhorn, who recently moved from Arizona. “The snow is going to stay until we warm up again.”