Snow Keeps Piling Up…

January 31, 2008

SnapshotI’ve just been amazed at the numbers this evening.  The snow depths and snow water increases just today.  Looks like Mt. Hood Meadows has had 3 feet of snow in less than 2 days…16" of that just since 5am today!   That graphic down below, from last night’s post?  I notice Saddle Mountain now has over 28" of snow water.  That’s about 3" of precipitation since last night at this time…all falling in the form of snow.  By the way, ever wonder how they measure precipitation at these remote sites with no electricity to warm the gauge?  It’s an open container/gauge that uses an anti-freeze type solution.  The snow falls into it and melts, gradually filling up the thing as the winter goes on.  That depth is then measured (or it might be by weight, I’m not sure).  Either way they go up there and swap out the fluid each summer.

Our weather?  Rainy and breezy this evening…with the trough moving through.  Snow levels have fallen a bit below 2,000′ again and probably bottom out around 1,500′ tomorrow under much lighter showers. 

Our model indicates steady stratiform precipitation arrives from the next system by midnight tomorrow night.  00z models are a bit more similar on the Saturday low pressure placement.  They seem to agree on a strange "double-low" setup that brings a negative-tilt front up towards us from the southwest early Saturday morning.  WInd turns a bit more southerly behind that feature as we then get a secondary low that moves almost directly over us late Saturday.  Since we don’t have really cold air already in place, I think it’s going to be tough to get sticking snow down to the Valley floor.  This MIGHT be a good time for a quick snowfall up against the Coast Range.  It’s a brief easterly flow ahead of that first wave, and southeasterly flow around 2,000-5,000′.  That pattern in the past has produced "unexpected" snowfall at Forest Grove, Banks, and Gaston.  We’ll see.  In general I’m just not too excited about any "event" Saturday.  Just not quite cold enough.  There IS one more day to take a look at things, so no need to make any prophetic announcements on the air.
It IS going to be a great snowstorm in the foothills and Cascades though…just what we need, more snow…Mark Nelsen