powder

Snow, baby, snow! Photo by Grant Myrdal. Rider's name: James Brown. Get on up!

UPDATE 5 PM FRIDAY: The rain finally has turned to snow at all three resorts including Skibowl, where it is filling in puddles and lakes created by severe rainfall earlier in the day.

It ain't over till it's over.

KGW Chief Meteorologist and diehard telemark skier Matt Zaffino is predicting 4-8 inches of snow on Mount Hood Sunday, followed by "non-stop" snow from 3,000 feet up next week.

"There will be wind with all of these storms, and I don’t really see any bluebird days on the way," Zaffino wrote in a Thursday morning powder alert for Ski Oregon. "But we’ve had plenty of those. Time to bring on big time snowfall. The Oregon Cascades will probably pick up four feet of snow in the next week."

It has been a wild couple of weeks on Mount Hood, with extremely cold temperatures followed by delicious Utah-like powder, followed by Pineapple Express rain at lower elevations and wet, heavy snow up above.

Mt. Hood Meadows is reporting four feet of new snow since Groundhog Day with the mid-mountain base finally topping 100 inches.

Timberline's base is also looking better, with 95 inches built up at 5880 feet as of Thursday morning.

Unfortunately Skibowl is still suffering from its lower elevation location, with rain eating away at the base rather than snow building it. That is expected to change with next week's storm, which is looking extremely promising for all three Mount Hood resorts and could finally lead to the long waited opening of Upper Bowl and Outback terrain at Skibowl and the steeps of Heather Canyon at Meadows.

As for the coming President's Day weekend, it's looking like rain at Skibowl Saturday and a mix of rain and snow at Timberline and Meadows. By Sunday or Monday we should be getting snow all over the mountain, and if Zaffino is correct, this could be exactly the type of storm we need to make up for the rains of November and the drought of December and January: heavy mid-February Cascade snow, persistent and relentless.

Hood River-based windsurfer, skier and weather blogger Temira Lital is predicting that by Monday morning we should have 12 inches of new snow. "At this point," she wrote Friday, "it looks like the temps on Monday will be on the right side of freezing, for massive new snowfall."

Let's hope so.