As I mentioned in a post late last week, the brand new snowpack was going to have to endure several days of warm temps and rain this week before we get back to cooler weather.
It’s not doing well. In just 24 hours or so, we’ve seen the nearly 2 feet of snow compress/melt down to 10″ or less.
That’s due to unusually warm weather (45-50 degrees at Gov’t Camp) and heavy rain. It appears at least 2″ has fallen on Mt. Hood, possibly 3-4″ in spots too. A 5 foot deep snowpack in midwinter could absorb that much rain and not lose too much depth. But this rain is falling on fresh snow which can’t handle a deluge.
We have one more warm (but dry) day in the mountains, then another warm/rainy system for Thursday. So most of the last 10″ will be gone by the time sunrise hits Friday. At that point all three ski areas on Mt. Hood should only see patches here/there along with any snow harvested from parking lots or created through snow making during that cold weather. Skibowl tells me they made 3 feet of snow on the tubing run during the cold weather, so that should survive. Meadows has some new toys that allow them to move all the parking lot snow onto the slopes…that’s pretty clever. This is not all that unusual to see a miniscule snowpack in late November…check out the numbers for the past 8 years:
So when DO we get new snow up there? Possibly some on Friday…maybe. Then forecast models are all over the place Saturday and beyond. For now, you can assume there won’t be any big ski area openings through this weekend. By that I mean 30% or more of the runs open.
Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen