December Starts Warm

December 1, 2008

Meadows_12_01_08 Nice image for September isn't it?  This is the base of Mt. Hood Meadows on December 1st.  There SHOULD be a decent amount of snow at this spot (5,400') this time of year, but apparently the ski season is going to start quite late this season.

Before anyone gets too worked up though, remember what happened the winter of 1989-1990.  Very little or no snow fell at pass elevations through the ENTIRE month of December.  Government Camp officially received no snow that month;  the only snowless December on record there.  Then precipitation arrived right around January 1st and the floodgate (or skies) opened up.  Frequent storms moved in for most of the following 6 weeks.  At the same elevation as the picture above (Mt. Hood Test Site), the water in the snowpack went from 7.40" to 31.30" in the month of January.  About 23" of melted precipitation fell, raising the 18" on the ground January 1st up to 105" at the end of the month.  The point is, that the very slow start to the ski season sure doesn't mean it'll be a bad year.  Of course that's what happened in 2000-2001, so who knows?

For the rest of us, the clear message on the short and long range weather maps is slow, slow, slow and boring, boring, boring.  More fog, sun, and occasional east wind.  The first ten days of December are going to be uneventful.  But we can always hope that the arctic blast of the decade is just 5 days after that right?  All I really want is a freeze.  I still have not hit freezing at my home up at 1,000'.  I've had frost on the deck a few times, but only 33 degrees.  None of my plants show any sort of frost damage.  The banana plants are still green and nasturtiums are still growing slowly.  I started early today (8am) and visited four schools down the Valley.  Mt. Angel, S. Salem, Scio, and N. Salem were the stops and then it was back to Beaverton for work.  So it's time to go home, I'll leave the evening forecast in the capable hands of Drew Jackson…heck, maybe I'll even hop on the blog when the 00z comes in just for fun…Mark Nelsen