Larch Mountain Snow Gate Open: June 28th!

 The Larch Mountain snow gate is open.  While flying into PDX Saturday evening, I could look down and see the parking lot covered in snow, but the road appeared to be clear. Multnomah county crews cleared the snow and put up the sign that says “Road Closed by snow 10 miles ahead” just yesterday. 

Larch Mountain Road is the highest paved road in Multnomah County (up to about 4,000′), but a snow gate at the 2,600′ elevation is closed each Fall since the road is not plowed higher up during the winter.  The top is about 17 miles off of Exit 22 on I-84.  That’s maybe 50 minutes from downtown Portland.

65 Responses to Larch Mountain Snow Gate Open: June 28th!

  1. Timmy_Supercell (Klamath Falls @ 4200') says:

    Well, i know this will always continue, but actually the sarcasm and dumb jokes should just stop. It probably wouldn’t mean much saying this. But oh well.

    • PaulO says:

      It means something to those who use the blog the way Mark meant it to be used – respectful at all times and all levels of knowledge deserve respect.

      More power to us 🙂 🙂

    • Mike near Clackamas Town Center says:

      It’s probably the only way to handle the issues on the blog. The problem with the sarcasm and jokes is that one has to walk a fine line while commenting like that. Sarcasm and jokes have to be used properly or it will offend a lot of people..

  2. Timmy_Supercell (Klamath Falls @ 4200') says:

    Well i think ill take a breather from the computer for a while. Not sure when I’ll be back to post. Maybe when we get more heat/thunderstorms. Looking forward to that

  3. wwm says:

    Mark, I am just curious what the latest opening of that Larch road ever was? or do you know off hand?

    • Mark Nelsen says:

      In the past 18 years that I’ve lived nearby I think it has always opened by the last week of June. As Jesse mentioned earlier, May is far more common for an opening. I see Timberline still has 9 ft. of snow on the ground!

    • Karl Bonner says:

      9 feet at the Lodge, Mark? I was there a week ago and while there was a lot of snow around, it couldn’t have been more than 9 feet deep. And that implies it should be much shallower by now.

      That number would be far more reasonable if we’re talking about the upper ski areas, though.

    • Jesse-Orchards says:

      Karl, I’m pretty sure that 9ft is measured at the lodge. And no offense but I trust their official measurements more than your “eyeballing” of it. 😉

      And the last week hasn’t been hot, so it’s not like 4 and a half feet of snow has melted since you were up there. The melt has probably been pretty minimal up at 6,000.

    • Boydo3 N. Albany 500' says:

      In my 50+ years of skiing I always wondered where the hell the ski areas took their readings. As my dad would say, “they must be measuring in a hole because their isn’t that much so on the level”!

      • Mark Nelsen says:

        Ski areas measure the snow in a calm, protected place where no one can walk on it. So a 60″ base (5 feet) could easily just be 2-3′ on the slopes. The Timberline measurement is taken close to the top of the Pucci Chairlift near the lodge…I think I’ve seen it to the right as you go up the lift. It’s well hidden in the trees.

    • Punxsutawney aka HIOPHIL says:

      Old Baldy (Mt. San Antonio 10000’+ elev) still has snow on it down here SE of LA! (Unbelievable!) There was snow visible last Saturday in the Coast Range east of Redbluff in Ca.There is water everywhere, even in the desert. Every reservoir in the state that I saw is full to overflowing, from Shasta to Pyramid Lake here N of LA!

  4. Karl Bonner says:

    You mean there’s still snow at 4,000 feet on Larch Mountain? It must be in a microclimate that’s prone to snow lingering longer at lower elevations (perhaps a wet microclimate with more total snow moisture to accumulate?)

    • Jesse-Orchards says:

      There’s still snow at or below 4,000 all over the place, Karl.

    • Karl Bonner says:

      What do you mean by “all over the place” Jesse?

      Given how snowless the areas around 4000′ were one week ago, the snowline should be higher yet now. Even after accounting for Govt. Camp’s south-facing, “let’s pretend we’re at 4000 feet in the Sierras” microclimate.

    • Jesse-Orchards says:

      I do a lot of hiking, and there is still snow down as low as 3,500 in areas around Indian Heaven in the South Washington Cascades.

      This is also true in backcountry areas on the Oregon side of the Gorge. I was reading a trip report on a hiking forum from someone who tried to to an “Across the Gorge” backpack last week and they hit a ton of snow around Wahtum Lake and near the headwaters of Herman Creek, both places which are 4,000 and lower.

      Government camp isn’t the be all end all for High Cascade snow conditons. There are plenty of microclimates tucked away everywhere. For instance, a lot of sheer North-facing cliffs in the Dark Divide (an area between Mt. St. Helens and Mt. Adams) still have snow as low as 3,000.

    • My brother hiked Table Rock SE of Molalla on Monday and there was still quite a bit of snow on it. The summit is 4881′, but the trailhead starts around 3300′ I believe. He said there were some patches of snow near the trailhead and on the north side of the mountain there was 3-4′ of snow at least over a large area. He said most south and west facing slopes in that area were clear of snow, but most north and east facing slopes above 3500-4000′ had quite a bit of snow visible still.

    • Timmy_Supercell (Klamath Falls @ 4200') says:

      Im snow-free at the moment. I’m at 4,200 feet, strange. 😉

  5. Timmy_Supercell (Klamath Falls @ 4200') says:

    Alright, plan ‘B’

    For those who annoy each other, don’t reply to each other. Sorry bgb for provoking anything earlier. Just a little advice i tried giving, but that didnt work. I wish to stay on the Facebook discussions 🙂

    • Mark Nelsen says:

      OR, maybe people don’t have to be so annoying?

    • Timmy_Supercell (Klamath Falls @ 4200') says:

      Right, Mark. My way of avoiding fights is sometimes I just laugh certain things off and go with the flow. Or maybe i shouldn’t post like I had been…… 🙂

    • Mark Nelsen says:

      I actually meant that if some people didn’t regularly prod and poke others, maybe we wouldn’t have such a problem. Of course blowing up and freaking out doesn’t help either.

    • pappoose in scappoose says:

      Seems to start with nit-picking/hair-splitting, and morphs into one-upmanship which morphs into “blowing up and freaking out” as Mark puts it. The GREAT majority of attempts at giving advice will be viewed as an attack.

  6. Jeremy says:

    Curious where the tipping point is. Last year our first significant Cascade snow was August 30th. That’s a little over ten weeks from now. We still have a lot of snow in the hills. What kind of year after year summer weather would it take to create a pattern of glacier and snow pack growth?

  7. Austin (Cornelius) says:

    I would like a stray albino donkey soon.

  8. Timmy_Supercell (Klamath Falls @ 4200') says:

    bgb, you let your nerve get struck easily, Jesse is just trying to have a fun time on a weatherblog, apparently thats how I see it 😆

  9. jbpdx says:

    Didn’t even take one to for the sunny warm holiday weekend to break down. KATU is saying 69 and cloudy for Sunday (uh I think that’s what it was today.) Rod Hill slipped (I hope) and said “July 4th might see a 70 degree temperature!” That’s a far cry from the 85 most 7-day panels had yesterday. Wish I had a dollar for every time someone’s told me, “Wait a few days (or a week). It’ll get better…”

    Jack Bigeh from Al’s Garden Centers on Mike Darcy’s radio show last Saturday summed up this spring: M-I-S-E-R-A-B-L-E. Said in his 50 years in the business here he has never seen anything like this.

  10. thejory (Sandy) says:

    Things out here are getting quite breezy! No sun in sight. 😦

  11. Mike near Clackamas Town Center says:

    I’m not giving up on 85-90F temps this summer 🙂 Oh and the behavior of some on here with the cussing has become quite a joke in recent weeks. I think Mark needs to ban a few more creative cuss words IMO 😦

    • Jesse-Orchards says:

      I’ve e-mailed Mark a couple times about both Rob’s and Brian’s occasional cursing but he hasn’t done anything. Neither of them really seem to hold back.

      I don’t make cursing here a habit, and a quick glance over my posts would show this. The one where I was paraphrasing Brian was an ironic exception.

      Not trying to start anything, just making it clear that we are of the same mind regarding that topic. This is supposed to be a “family blog” after all. I curse just like the next guy but try to be respectful here.

    • Mike near Clackamas Town Center says:

      I think the cursing is what really gets disputes going and keeping that from happening would stop blog fights before they even start.

    • Boydo3 N. Albany 500' says:

      You could be right about the words used, but I think it is more like the “tone” that people use when responding to something someone said. If you were in a situation where somebody used a derogatory reference toward another person in the room, that person might just get a bit upset. And if it happened over and over again……

    • bgb41 says:

      And this statement is coming from the guy who has been suspended more than anyone on here for conduct. Funny Jesse how Mark has never even warned me one time for my comments isn’t it? LMAO

      I guess maybe the reason he doesn’t reply to your emails might because he doesn’t like you. Did that ever occur to you?

      FYI Jesse, every time I have emailed Mark I always get an immediate response. What does that mean?? 🙂

    • Jesse-Orchards says:

      Is “tone” something that is possible to even accurately convey online?

      I think cursing gives the blog a trashy, 4-chan-esque feel. Having factually based disagreements with others and civil arguments should be the bread and butter of a science-based blog like this one though, IMO. Some people just need to toughen up. If you’re going to throw BS out there don’t expect it to not be challenged!

    • Jesse-Orchards says:

      Brian, I said I’ve e-mailed him about it and he hasn’t done anything, not that he hasn’t replied. Mark is very good at responding to e-mails for the most part. We actually have spoken back and fourth quite a bit and have a lot of common ground on how we view things, believe it or not.

      Your attempt trying to egg me on by playing the “Mark likes me more than he like you!” game is pretty transparent and a bit pathetic.

      I’m jumping off this thread starting here, btw. We seem to clash for some reason BGB, and I don’t want another blog-marring Jerry Springer episode set off.

    • bgb41 says:

      Well it looks like I struck a nerve Jesse and I am not sorry.
      Maybe if you’d stop bringing up my name or just not comment on my posts then things would be just fine. But we all know you cannot survive without trolling. Like I said before, thanks to you, most people are going to the facebook group to get away from your rude comments. BTW, I am sure you fabricated everything in that last comment to attempt to make yourself look better but it didn’t work and nobody is buying your BS statements.

    • Mike near Clackamas Town Center says:

      An attempt to cool things off on this blog apparently didn’t go over too well. Maybe you guys need to step into a boxing ring to settle it 🙂

    • bgb41 says:

      In a heartbeat 🙂

    • Josh (Gresham) says:

      Okay, this has gone from annoying, to funny, to downright ridiculas, you two are grown adults right? Just get over it so this blog can actually be something for weather and not look just like my news feed. Personally as a incoming sophmore next year isee WAY more than enough drama on my facebook newsfeed LMAO.

  12. Timmy_Supercell (Klamath Falls @ 4200') says:

    Okay, Tinypic finally uploads a radar loop, its not the same one so I have this really zoomed in and only 12 frames are animated. This is the storm I was talking about last night, in Lemoore Nas (Kings County), California. 2.50″ diameter hail was produced by a tornadic supercell on November 22nd, 1996.

  13. bgb41 says:

    Here is the public information statement issued yesterday from NWS PDX discussing the cool weather.

    http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/total_forecast/getprod.php?wfo=pqr&sid=PQR&pil=PNS

    • bgb41 says:

      The table in this reports states that Portland receives 9 days above 80 on average by June 30th, but if you integrate the 1981-2010 period the average is actually higher (11.8 days). Its obvious that many warm springs the last decade have increased this number for this latest 30 year normal segment at PDX.

  14. bgb41 says:

    12Z GFS @ KTTD – http://i52.tinypic.com/29iz3b.jpg

    ‎12Z GFS at Troudale…Weather returns to a cool cloudy regime for a 5-day period between July 7-11. This is basically a punch in the gut to all of us hoping for summer to start July 5th. IMO this is a deal sealer. A cool summer is imminent. Get ready for lots of low clouds with very short warm spells. If you look at 1964 & 1980, both of them were below normal July, Aug & Sept and there is no reason to believe that the same thing won’t happen in 2011.

    • Jesse-Orchards says:

      Brian, your back and fourth is making me seasick. You’ve got to take a break from the model riding bro. Just last week you were talking about how Summer weather was here to stay for good.

      The weather’s gonna do what it’s gonna do, and one model run you dislike won’t change that, and doen’t necessitate making sweeping pronouncements about an entire three month period, IMO.

      You’ll probably call me a troll or a dickhead or whatever for this like you usually do, but I’m not trying to be either one. Just attempting to be a voice of reason.

    • bgb41 says:

      Ok, Last week I was a fool for believing the GFS/EURO. You have to admit it did look promising. Now that I have seen about 4 strong ridge scenarios collapse in the long range since about April and we are approaching the warmest days of the year, I have decided not to believe any solutions that show above normal conditions for any length of time. I looked at past analog years before I made that statement and it seemed logical to me.

    • Boydo3 N. Albany 500' says:

      While I wouldn’t agree with Jesse’s approach in the way he handles his opinions and comments, I do agree that just because medium range models flip flop, it really doesn’t mean that the long term trend is set. BTW Jesse, you’ve got a spelling error in your reply. 😉

    • Kyle From Silverton says:

      Jesse never once called people a fool except in their own minds and the false accusations only happen when the models point towards cool and cloudy and not the other way around.

      Whenever we have warm weather everybody suddenly starts liking each other.
      I know this pattern sucks !#@$!$ but we should not bite each other because of it.

      It’s like everybody on here is a bunch of ego maniacs.

    • bgb41 says:

      Well NCEP yesterday took away above normal on its long range charts for the NW so that was another reason I have decided that its gonna be a cool summer.

    • Kyle From Silverton says:

      Lucky I don’t get sea sick or with Brian going back n forth I would throw up my lunch on myself. 🙂

      Amazing just a few days ago Brian was all optomistic about heat for most of the summer with above average temps and now he is singing a different tune.

    • Kyle From Silverton says:

      So even the NECP is going for a cool period this summer. Intresting so that’s why this ship has been rough due to basing moods off of forecasting.

      I am going to go down to storage and get bolts to bolt the whole blog to the floor.

    • Jesse-Orchards says:

      Boydo, I don’t see anything wrong with my comment but whatev. Par for the course I guess, since you’re one of the handfull of people here who seem to find everything I post offensive in some way.

      And was my typo this misspeling of “doesn’t”? 😆

    • Timmy_Supercell (Klamath Falls @ 4200') says:

      Pointing out typos I guess is boydo’s way of escaping the argument. But then again, this isn’t really an argument in my dictionary 🙂

      New line of the day: “It doen’t necessitate!”

  15. jbpdx says:

    Does anyone really believe it’s going to get sunny and warmer? I’ll be watching those TV 7-day panels for deteriorating conditions the next few days. I haven’t heard anything about Mount China’s eruption subsiding….

    Looks like for June/Hillsboro: 25 days below average temps, 2 days average, and 3 above average. Today could end up average because of the higher overnight low temp. So roughly 83% of June days BELOW AVERAGE. That’s 4 months in a row.

  16. Denny says:

    What are the chances its going to rain today? I need to seal the roof on my motorhome and can’t do it if its going to rain….Thanks for the info

  17. thejory (Sandy) says:

    The road (at least up to the snow gate) has lots of potholes and ruts.
    Some caused by logging trucks, and some by the freeze / melt cycle.

  18. Jesse-Orchards says:

    It’s finally open! I’m gonna have to take a trip up there on the next clear day.

    I can’t remember the last time it took until just short of July for the gate to open up. There have been years the road to the top has been open as early as the beginning of May.

  19. bgb41 says:

    Raining at 57 here this morning. I am sure its socked in with fog and 40’s at Larch right now.

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