Best Skiing Of Winter On The Way

February 14, 2014

Take a look at our forecast for snow and snow levels on Mt. Hood for the next week:

MarkSnow_MtHoodFcst_2013

This is the snowiest forecast I’ve made so far this winter…funny that it took until the 2nd half of February to finally do it.  Well, I guess it’s not funny if you are s ski resort operator, but you know what I mean.  It should be obvious that out of the 3 day weekend Saturday is not the best day to ski.  That’s because we’ll see the first of two storms this weekend; and it’ll be a relatively warm storm with snow levels rising up closer to 6,000′ in the afternoon.  But don’t fret, the snow level will dip down around 2,000′ by Sunday morning as the cold front moves through.  So there should be a nice dumping of new snow on the ground Sunday morning with temps way down in the 20s.

Then on Sunday it should be mostly dry through midday to early afternoon…very nice ski conditions.

Sunday evening a much wetter and cooler storm arrives.  This one should be all snow in the mountains.  At this point I’m thinking we could see 15-20″ between Sunday evening and Monday evening!  It’s going to be a crazy Presidents Day on the mountain!  Beyond that, one more organized system later Tuesday and Wednesday, then much colder powder snow Thursday and some leftovers Friday.  So it’s very likely we’ll see 3-6′ of new snow in the Cascades between right now and when it dries out at the end of next week.  And a good chunk of that will fall with temps in the 20s…very good!  Best days next week will be Wednesday-Friday with the colder temps and not such intense snowfall.

For those of us in the lowlands, we’ve got the Saturday storm and the late Sunday storm on the way.  Tomorrow’s won’t give much wind to the valleys; and for the first part of it the flow is far too “southeasterly” to get good wind into the valley anyway.  Still, lots of rain with this one.

Then the Sunday night storm appears to be much more impressive.  The 00z models are a little weaker with the wind field and pressure gradient, so I’m thinking gusts around 70 mph at the beaches and 40-45 mph here in the valleys.  Neither is generally a damaging wind for either location, but a very wet and windy night!  In fact the rain looks quite intense for a few hours as the cold front passes from the northwest to the southeast across the area.  Looks like the type of setup that will give us localized urban flooding later Sunday night or for the Monday morning commute.

Snow levels look to be somewhere in the surface to 1,000′ level late next week.  Don’t get too excited, it’s going to be one of those “snow in the barkdust” setups where we see areas of patchy snow in the morning then it’s in the low-mid 40s in the afternoon.  At least right now it’s looking that way.  Plus the bar was set pretty high one week ago when we had 3 different snow storms!

Have a good weekend and enjoy the wind/rain.  I’m working tomorrow…it’ll be Day 14 due to Superbowl, snow, and a day to cover this weekend.  Finally a day off Sunday, so I will only blog if Sunday’s storm looks stronger.

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen