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Potentially heavy snow heading for Cascade mountains

A snowy road, seen from above

The wintry weather over this spring break week has provided skiers with great conditions. But if you’re heading over mountain passes this weekend, you’ll want to have flexible plans.

The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm watch from 5 pm Friday through Sunday afternoon for the upper slopes of the Cascades, with 10 to 20 inches of snow possible in La Pine, Sunriver, and eastern Douglas County over 3,000 feet.

Over the McKenzie and Willamette Passes, the snow forecast is even heavier, with 19 to 43 inches possible, and winds gusting as high as 40 miles per hour.

David Bishop is a meteorologist with the National Weather Service. He told KLCC, “These values, while very high, especially for this time of year, given the pattern that’s coming down and is forecasted to impact the area, these values are not far-fetched.”

Bishop said the best thing to do is avoid risky travel times. If that’s not possible, keep an eye on TripCheck dot com to see if roads are closed or if chains are required.

Karen Richards joined KLCC as a volunteer reporter in 2012, and became a freelance reporter at the station in 2015. In addition to news reporting, she’s contributed to several feature series for the station, earning multiple awards for her reporting.