Worst Start To Ski Season in 30+ Years: What’s Ahead?

I never thought we’d see 2 consecutive Christmas Breaks with little to no skiing in Oregon…but it appears that may be about to happen, at least to start the two-week period.  It’s heartbreaking looking at the maps/models and knowing so many people’s paychecks, stores, & life dreams are wrapped up in what happens over the next three weeks.  I know last winter must have been a huge financial hit, especially for Oregon’s smaller ski areas and I fear what a repeat could do.  Hang in there!

This is what we have right now; about 25% of normal snowpack (for this date) on the ground in the Cascades.  It’s especially bad in the Mt. Hood area with only 8% of normal!  Dec15_SnowWaterBad

The Mt. Hood Test Site, at 5,400′ within the Timberline Ski Area, has been in operation since around 1980.  There has never been less than 2.7″ Snow Water Equivalent (water in the snowpack if you melt it all down).  That low was in 2002. Right now that location has 6″ of snow on the ground and 2.5″ SWE which means it’s the lowest ever recorded on that sensor on this date.

It’s probably safe to say this is the worst snowpack at this location in mid-December since the great 1976-’77 drought year.  It’s really bad…at this point in time.  No ski area other than Mt. Bachelor has more than 11″ of snow on the ground.  Bachelor got lucky because they are higher up (start at 6,000′) and some of the warmer storms gave them snow when others had rain.

Even last year (which was bad through January) was slightly better.  Here’s a quote from my blog posting last year on this date: “Timberline is reporting 27″ of snow, which is the least of any December 15th since 1989!  Most of you skiers probably remember the winter of 2004-2005…really bad.  That year was a skiing disaster with Skibowl only able to open for a few weeks and I think even Meadows was closed at times mid-winter.  That year we had 47″ on the ground in mid-December at Timberline.  BUT, there were 3 pineapple express events the following couple of months that kept destroying the fresh snow.  We’ll hope that’s not the case this time around.”

To borrow a bit more from last year, with last year itself added in:

This is one of just 5 times that Timberline has seen 30″ or less on the ground on December 15th.  So what happened in the other 5 years?  The following includes snow depth on the 15th and the results:

2013-2014  
27″,   25″+ by January 1st, 1 two foot storm in mid-January otherwise drought continued through first week of February. Big snow finally returned after first week of February

2002-2003  

30″,   80″+ by January 1st, but then not a very good ski season, poor conditions

1989-1990
15″,   18″ by January 1st, then 105″ by February 1st, massive snowstorms commenced in mid-January

1979-1980
30″,   41″ by January 1st, 85″ by February 1st, ski season limped along…not too bad

1976-1977
2″,  8″  by January 1st,   10″ on February 1st.  Worst drought and ski season (or no skiing) in years.  Hasn’t happened since, hopefully won’t occur again!

So you can see what we’ve had so far is no guarantee of what will come for the rest of the winter.  Although only 2 of the 5 really bad years recovered to a reasonable ski season.

LOOKING AHEAD

Why do I think there isn’t much hope starting this weekend, the start of the Christmas Break?  Because we have weak systems the rest of this week that will produce less than 1 foot of snow and then…another round of warm rain at the ski areas.  First, the WRF-GFS model’s snow forecast from now through Friday morning…just 2-5″ on Mt. Hood:

or_snow_Friam

Then the following three days look how much precipitation is forecast…2-5″ liquid.  If it were snow it would be 20-50″ snow depth!

or_pcp72.156.0000

But the snow forecast tells the story from Friday through Monday morning:

or_snow72.156.0000

Little to nothing.  That’s because a strong warm front arrives Saturday along with several days of warm weather and freezing levels around 7,000-8,000′.  It’ll all be rain from later Saturday through Monday.  What little snow we get this week would wash away and we’d have little or no snow on the ground at the Mt. Hood Ski Resorts by Tuesday the 23rd.  Wow…it doesn’t get any worse than this.  To top it off, the pattern looks relatively dry after that point with upper-level ridging along the West Coast.

To sum it up, I don’t see a pattern or sequence of weather events that could get a bunch of lifts open at ski areas for the next 7-10 days.

Of course I could be wrong.   But all models, through at least the next 7 days, agree with the general scenario above.

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

105 Responses to Worst Start To Ski Season in 30+ Years: What’s Ahead?

  1. Sapo says:

    Interesting, the 12z ECMWF is very, very, cold, correct me if I’m wrong but from what I’m seeing it’s the coldest run we’ve seen so far for the 25-27th potential cold event, looking very nice. The GFS has been wavering. 00z: Bad, a lot warmer. 6z: Pretty bad also. 12z: Pretty cold, not spectacular but an improvement. 18z: A bit warmer than the 12z but better than the 00z and 6z. We’ll see!

  2. Boydo3 N. Albany elev. just under 500' says:

    I was remembering the winter of 76-77. Just moved back to Oregon from the Olympia area.
    I was really foggy down here most of the winter and warm in the mountains. We actually had a huge garden tilled up in February! And that was in the wet valley flat lands. Haven’t seen anything like that since.

  3. runrain says:

    Was reading the Phoenix AZ discussion and it mentions the possibility for much colder weather towards the end of next week for the western states. I’m hoping that can hold off for another week (for selfish purposes)!

  4. Even if the mid-November event didn’t qualify as a full-on Portland arctic blast, it WAS definitely a cold event for the region. And it got people in the city worried about a brief wintry mix or ZR event on the 13th. In the end the Gorge got its historic early snowstorm and spots of ice in the Metro area.

    Then another briefer shot of cold air comes down right after Thanksgiving, giving the gorge and east Metro another shot at something interesting (this time it didn’t materialize though). But it DID give Salem and Eugene some freezing rain.

    Now there are signs that we might see another influx of cold air into parts of the PNW around Christmas, which may or may not be a full-on “blast.”

    And by the way…since late October we have had THREE significant wind days in Portland.

    Given this information, how can ANYBODY refer to the Winter of 2014-15 as an “epic bust”? What’s most amazing is that many of these same people would probably still be complaining if we saw a couple cool North Pacific storms come by and give the mountains some good snow. Apparently nothing counts for some people except for heavy snow and really cold temps at PDX???

    • David B. says:

      That, and the 2nd arctic outbreak did qualify as an arctic blast from about Seattle northward. I saw one or two days of below-freezing highs because of it, though lows (barely) avoided dipping below 20.

      But, to answer your question, this is a blog for a Portland TV weather forecaster, so of course most contributors are in the Portland area, and naturally the focus tends to be on events that affect the Portland metro area. Hardly a surprise.

    • Jason Hougak says:

      You got that right!!! I dig snow… literally😛

    • dharmabum says:

      I agree with your comments Karlb….., there are so many facets to our winter NW weather that I find fascinating most every day. Maybe it’s because I work outside on the farm each day and love it.

      For me to read the same old narrowly focused boring weather wishes of some folks is to wonder why they can not expand their minds and horizons just a little, especially this time of year when we all are feeling grateful and content during this holiday season. A little more variety in the comment department would be appreciated by many.

    • Sapo says:

      I don’t know how you can say this winter’s an epic bust, at least for the lowlands, when we’ve already had two close calls with major storms…And, 12z and kind of 18z GFS are looking better than the previous runs, there is a potential for more cold later this month.

    • GTS1K' says:

      @dharmabum

      Maybe you should feel more “grateful and content” about comments here. The unenlightened among us don’t find it quite sooooo boring… and… if they’re just too, too, too boring, you needn’t read them, eh?

  5. Dave in South Salem (500') says:

    Mt. Shasta Ski Park is open. Last year they never got more than a couple inches. Go south for skiing this year

  6. Jessica Stark says:

    It is because we spent $1600 on a family season pass to Meadows for the first time ever! You’re welcome, everyone.

    • dharmabum says:

      I guess they won’t go broke after all

    • Boydo3 N. Albany elev. just under 500' says:

      They might roll it over. I have one from Hoodoo that I didn’t use last year and they said they’d honor it this year Ha! What about using it next year?

    • slim1357 says:

      It’s difficult to imagine Meadows not opening at all but I suppose it’s a possibility. Dry when it’s cold, warm when it’s wet. Sucks a lot.

  7. Jason Hougak says:

    Looks like things have changed yet again on bringing in the cold weather. If and when the cold weather comes it’s most likely to be dry. I guess it will help keep some of the snow in the mountains instead of melt it.

  8. Jake-(Gresham) says:

    Global warming is the average global temperature of the earth due to green house gases (emitted by us and other sources). While global climate change is the consequence of global warming (and other factors). From what I know, scientists have agreed that we are indeed contributing to the overall quantity of green house gases in the atmosphere. What they argued on heavily is the percentage specifically that is from us and most importantly (imo) whether or not it is enough to contribute to global climate change in an accelerating fashion.

    I don’t know the source of the peer-reviewed article (it was extensive) but a friend of mine who is a biochemistry major told me that the conclusion was that we are indeed contributing to green houses gases enough so to where we are in fact contributing to the global climate change.

    However, the ironic conclusion of this particular article (from what he told me) is that our influence has already made the acceleration of global climate change irreversible in that; to stop what civilization has contributed we’d all have to halt modern society completely for 100 years – globally.

    I guess you could say it is the price of the industrial revolution of the 1900’s.

    • But without the industrial revolution America would not be America.

    • And could you please tell me the evidence that we have accelerated global warming, until then you could just be pulling facts out of thin air.

    • dharmabum says:

      Jake, disregard the psycho-babble you see from skeptics, they are so fearful to face the facts of man made climate change that they embrace illogical denial of the facts.

      And thanks for your blog post, very informative.

    • dharmabum says:

      The US government has this website on man made climate change: http://climate.nasa.gov/evidence/

      “Scientific evidence for warming of the climate system is unequivocal.”
      ~Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change~

      Scientific Consensus:
      Ninety-seven percent of climate scientists agree that climate-warming trends over the past century are very likely due to human activities, and most of the leading scientific organizations worldwide have issued public statements endorsing this position.

      Skeptics, it’s time to pull your head out of your rear-end and face the truth about the effects of man made climate change.

    • PaulO says:

      I think you all should start a climate change blog 🙂

    • W7ENK says:

      I agree, this is BS. Mark has made it explicitly clear in the past that he doesn’t want “Global Warming” aka “Global Climate Change” aka “Global Climate Disruption” aka “Global we don’t know what the hell is going on with the climate but we’re 99% sure that we’re 97% sure that we’re 95% sure that’s it’s maybe almost somewhat highly possibly and perhaps likely that it’s all your fault but we aren’t entirely sure because we can’t definitively pin down any of our scientific ‘facts’ which technically makes the whole theory 100% conjecture…” discussed at great length on his blog because it’s a highly politically charged subject and often crosses the line set forth by Rule #1 – No politics.

      Please respect that.

    • GTS1K' says:

      Forgive me Lord, but…AMEN!

    • So you are saying the industrial area did more bad to our country than good?

    • But Mark has blogged about global warming before.

    • buffedman says:

      The Myth of the Climate Change ‘97%’.What is the origin of the false belief—constantly repeated—that almost all scientists agree about global warming? Scores of articles by prominent scientists such as Richard Lindzen, John Christy, Sherwood Idso and Patrick Michaels, who question the consensus, were excluded. The methodology is also flawed. A study published earlier this year in Nature noted that abstracts of academic papers often contain claims that aren’t substantiated in the papers.
      Of the various petitions on global warming circulated for signatures by scientists, the one by the Petition Project, a group of physicists and physical chemists based in La Jolla, Calif., has by far the most signatures—more than 31,000 (more than 9,000 with a Ph.D.). It was most recently published in 2009, and most signers were added or reaffirmed since 2007. The petition states that “there is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of . . . carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gases is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere and disruption of the Earth’s climate.

  9. schmit44 says:

    12/16/2014 Oregon (All) Temperature Summary

    Warmest:
    High:59 at BROOKINGS( 79 ft) & Gold Beach(16 ft) & Port Orford(0 ft)
    Low: 51 at CANNIBAL MOUNTAI(1939 ft)

    Coldest:
    High:26 at Suttle Lake (US(3460 ft) & Rim(7050 ft) & ANEROID LAKE #2(7300 ft) & HOWARD Mt Howard(8150 ft)
    Low: 13 at CROW FLAT (5172 ft )

    Largest Diurnal Change: 26 degrees
    LITTLE BUTTE CRE (55/29 ) (1702 ft )

    Heaviest Rainfall:
    0.31″ at MEARES Cape Mear(1421ft)
    0.31″ at Mount Hood Meado(5249ft)

  10. 00z ECMWF was quite good…. Timing moved up a bit. Pattern change upstream/offshore by day 6 now. 500mb pattern looks IDEAL after day 8 with southwestward digging arctic trough. After day 9 into day 10 supposedly the pattern breaks down a bit, but the block and cut-off low are still well offshore along with rising heights/ridge building over southeast US. Looks cold Christmas day or thereafter. Real good blast via Gorge.

    Also, Nuri Part 2? By HR 168(Day 7) There is another massive low off of Kamchatka in the Bering Sea forecast below 940mb, perhaps 930mb. That will pump up a HUGE ridge ahead of it… We all remember how much bitterly cold air was dislodged from the poles/Siberia with this same exact pattern back in November. No reason to think that we couldn’t see a similar result play out, except this time we’ll have the block offshore in a much more favorable placement/axis. …. This could become something amazing.

  11. PurpleHaze says:

    So how are you ummm liking the new Global Warming regime?

    • This has happened numerous times throughout history. It isn’t even winter yet so things could still change quickly. I also think your argument is weak due to the fact you saying it’s happening by basing it off of current weather and not even trying to use history one bit.

    • Boydo3 N. Albany elev. just under 500' says:

      It’s El Nino. Has happened a lot throughout history and will again.
      Still sucks for us. But for some people it’s a good thing, ie. California, New Mexico, Arizona, Texas……….

    • Jon SE/PDX says:

      Right Wing- That humans are a major contributor, if not the major contributor to the sudden and unnatural rise in global temperature is about as factual as facts get. Information provided to us by the same scientific community we trust for all of our “science”. Unless you are a respected climatologist who has just discovered something astonishing that will change the way we think and talk about this issue forever, your opinion is political, like your screen name, and has no business on a politics free weather blog. This is a “holy” place for science and weather and maybe a little(lot?) bit of wishing. That said it better snow before the 1st of the year or I’m going to cry

  12. W7ENK says:

    Sad and sickening, the situation with this severe lack of snow in the mountains. 😦

  13. Left Wing Pearl District says:

    Hoping for a change in the pattern soon!

  14. Mark I apologize I’m not sure why my comments are always awaiting moderation.

  15. Hey Rob what do you think the likelyhood of a white Christmas is?

    • Right now? 2.3% ….. If the ECMWF/Ensembles continues to look favorable I’d bump that up to 10%, but the best bet is any cold snap/arctic blast with snow chances would occur after Christmas into early January. I am fairly confident given the MJO, QBO, PNA are all looking favorable along with the Euro Weeklies.

    • Rob – Southeast Portland says:
      Your comment is awaiting moderation.
      December 16, 2014 at 9:41 pm

      Why?

    • Sapo says:

      Ya Rob one of my comments said it was awaiting moderation too a couple of days ago…I posted right after and they didn’t have to await moderation? Also, what did you think of the 00z ECMWF? I didn’t like the 00z GFS and really didn’t like the 6z GFS. I’m not sure but the 00z ECMWF looks kind of like yesterday’s 12z ECMWF.

  16. [Model Countdown]
    00z GFS 2 hours 12 minutes
    00z GEM 2 hours 32 minutes
    00z ECMWF 4 hours 40 minutes

  17. Jason Hougak says:

    Saw the Fox 12 crew at Mt Hood brewery in Govy. Stopped in to see if you were there too. Were they there to report on the massive dump? I worked at Thunderhead Lodge with 1-2… maybe fresh inche… no base. I Was able to DRIVE to the pumphouse which has not ever been possible this time of year. By 1:30 most was slushy and melting quick. Even the sad amount we get won’t even last.

  18. Dave in South Salem (500') says:

    It does look like Bachelor will come out of this okay though, at least according to your maps. Go south for skiing?

  19. 1979-80 may not have been good up on the slopes but Jan 1980 was good in the lowlands. 🙂

  20. WEATHERDAN says:

    Things don’t look too bad after Christmas. Based on what I saw things may change to the colder starting about Christmas with some colder air headed our way. Not an Arctic blast but maybe just cold enough to snow down to some very low elevations. GFS 500MB 18Z shows a highly amplified pattern developing around Christmas. Even the CPC which has had us above normal in their 6-10 and 8-14 day outlooks since October shows us below normal for temps on the 8-14 day outlook. Better yet this cold weather has moved from 16 days out to just about 10 days out. Even if this doesn’t pan out at least it gives us some hope. A big dump of snow on the Cascades would indeed be a great gift for us all. And if some snow happened to fall in the valley that would be very nice indeed. Good work Rob, Mark. Peace.

  21. Jake-(Gresham) says:

    The last good snow event we had in January (that has stayed in my mind) was the winter of 2003-04. I hope something pans out of this!

  22. High Desert Mat says:

    And then 18z gfs brings it all back for us. Lots of flippin and floppin is going to happen in next 8 days that’s for sure.

  23. It seems like Oregon and California have switched spots this year.

  24. slim1357 says:

    What’s ahead? Well if Meadows never opens, a whole lot of pass holders screaming for their money back… myself included.

  25. [Model Countdown]
    18z GFS 1 hour 2 minutes
    00z GFS 7 hours 2 minutes
    00z GEM 7 hours 28 minutes
    00z ECMWF 9 hours 29 minutes
    There could be exciting times ahead. We should ask Marty McFly to hop into the DeLorean and see what the models show December 22-23rd. Stupid time travel nonsense….

    • Jon SE/PDX says:

      I already feel like a fool for getting my hopes up but I can’t help it. I have visions of snow pants and a thermos full of hot boozy drink dancing in my head. C’mon La Nada!

    • Diana F. says:

      Ya that’s what we need!! Forget the forecasting, let’s go with a sure thing, and hook up with McFly!

      Jon—Be sure and wear your snow pants with a crazy ugly Christmas sweater…it’s all the rage right now. And don’t feel foolish…….I’m daydreaming AND nightdreaming of building zombie snowman in the front yard……..and sparking up the barbie to make some BBQ chicken during the snowstorm! A family tradition.

  26. 12z Runs….. GFS/GEM continue to be a crap-fest.

    12z ECMWF was fine. Don’t particularly focus on finer details yet, look at the main players. The ridge is not sliding east towards us. It simply is reconfiguring at times as systems ride around the top of it. Where is the block offshore at, is the cut-off low near or just north of Hawaii, is there a southeast U.S. ridge? Look for the key factors that will drive the 500mb pattern. The offshore Ridge axis is pretty good, and there is a ridge building over the southeastern U.S. quite strongly by Christmas and thereafter. Trough in British Columbia /Alberta very favorable southwestward digging. After day 10 it looks like to me like the block is about to reorganize near 160 W as the next shortwave heads southeast down the BC Coast. Right in the 11-15 day period aligning perfectly with the ECMWF Weeklies/Ensembles. Model flip-flopping is likely…. We’ll have a much better idea by this weekend whether or not this is going to happen. We should have plenty of model and ensemble data by then.

  27. David B. says:

    So we’ve had two arctic blasts this season already and it now looks as if a third might be on its way. Might this be a trend?

    A question for the history buffs: how often in the past has the PNW had winter with a really crappy mountain snow pack yet repeated arctic blasts and lowland snow events?

    • David B. says:

      Note the above scenario can be compatible with the typical overall El Niño pattern of winters being warmer and drier than normal.

      Despite the two cold snaps, last month was still warmer than average overall, thanks to some really warm (record warm, in fact episodes) more than countering the cold spells. Sure, we’ve been wet (so far), but it’s certainly possible for a winter to be dominated by cold, mostly dry periods (with snow/ice during the transitions) and super-mild, mostly dry, splitty ones. The overall result would be warmer and drier than average.

    • I don’t know that I would call anything we’ve had arctic blasts. Maybe more arctic glancing blows. In both cases there was warmer air present above resulting in rain for most the valley’s.

      Of course, it all depends on what your definition of arctic blast is. We’ve had back door arctic air masses which are more glancing blows than full on arctic incursions. Just my opinion.

    • Mark Nelsen says:

      Here in Western Oregon we’ve had one maybe…and a very mild one, in mid-November. More like a brief surge of colder air. Lows in the upper 20s and highs around 40 aren’t an arctic blast in Portland. Not saying the mid-November event wasn’t historic considering how early-season it was. bit not an arctic blast.

    • I agree Mark. Kind of silly to say we’ve had two “arctic blasts.”

      Maybe some arctic air reached Bellingham and the N. Seattle suburbs in late November.

      The mid-November temps (highs) were impressive, but caused by cloud cover and cold outflow. The late November airmass was chilly, but hardly unusual or all that notable for the weekend after Thanksgiving.

    • I’d call them modified continental blasts, not arctic blasts by any means. Out here east of I-205 it felt like it with the onslaught of east winds we saw in November.

    • David B. says:

      I guess it wasn’t strong enough to be an “arctic blast” in western OR, then. My bad. I’d say it qualified where I am; I had a day or two of subfreezing highs. Oh well, better luck with the next event.

    • No worries, and hope you didn’t feel that I was nitpicking you.

  28. Jason Hougak says:

    ECMWF has flipped back from last night to cold weather.

  29. pdxgeologist says:

    Well, I’m coming into town on Friday – was hoping to get a bit of skiing in over the two weeks I’m there (the tropical weather is wearing a bit thin, I’m afraid). Guess it’ll be mountain biking instead. Either way, I’ll just be stoked to be back in Portland – beautiful any time of year and in any weather.

  30. Jason Hougak says:

    Remember don’t take opinions personal, that’s what the blog is about!

    • dharmabum says:

      No, the blog is about obsessive hoping and praying for snow and feeling sorry for the rich folks that run the ski resorts. Boo-hoo.

  31. It is still just fall guys so we have the rest of the winter to recover from this which I think will happen. Fingers crossed.

    • Prairiedog says:

      Always possible but second half of El Nino winters are the worst half statistically. Lets hope is changes but generally its not good. After about he middle of Jan. El Nino winters really suck. Cali gets the action typically with split flow the general rule.

    • Mark Nelsen says:

      That’s true. In most of our El Nino winters it seems to start with a bang (early skiing in November), then die out in January with weak systems and/or ridging. We seem to have seen that the FIRST HALF this year. Technically we’re not in El Nino (yet), although the weather patterns sure seem the same.

  32. Jason Hougak says:

    Great report Mark, that showed just how bad things are. A+ for answering just what my questions were but winter 14-15 is on it way to getting a F!

    • dharmabum says:

      As long as I’m alive I’ll give it an A

      “Nobody gets justice. People only get good luck or bad luck..” ~Orson Welles~

  33. White Christmas?

    6z GFS is looking good and definitely a step in the right direction trending towards the ECMWF. Pattern change begins after day 7 and 500mb is favorable with a Rex Block that evolves into an Omega Block. It is close to being a major arctic blast. Things turn very chilly Christmas eve/Christmas Day as 850s fall to -4 to -5c with POSSIBLY some snow. Yep. Seriously. White Christmas looks likely Gorge east and above 500-1000′. After Christmas westerlies undercut the block for increased precip chances(Snow/ZR) after day 10. This could be a very snowy pattern. It’s encouraging, but yes, it’s only one run. Let’s see how the Ensembles shake out and 12z runs later this morning. Just for fun at face value December 28th – December 30th would feature an incredible Winter Storm/Snow Storm, into a very severe Ice Storm possibly. This is still 7-8 days out until we see a major pattern change begin, so we can only speculate at this time, but it sure is fun isn’t it!

    12z GFS in 3 hours 35 minutes
    12z GEM in 4 hours
    12z ECMWF in 6 hours 5 minutes

    • Jason Hougak says:

      “So your saying there’s a chance”

    • David B. says:

      @Jason – a fairly good chance, it would appear at the moment. It sure beats just one or two members of the ensemble showing something interesting for this run only.

      Though I’ll only start getting excited about it if a several more days pass (by which time the forecast event will be about a week out) and other models start joining in.

  34. ….El Niño Watch….
    Update prepared by:
    Climate Prediction Center / NCEP
    December 15 2014

    ENSO – neutral conditions continue.*
    Positive equatorial sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies continue across the Pacific Ocean. There is an approximately 65% chance of El Niño during the Northern Hemisphere winter, which is favored to last into the Northern Hemisphere spring 2015.*

    Last weeks SST Departures were:
    Niño 4: 0.9ºC
    Niño 3.4: 0.8ºC
    Niño 3: 0.7ºC
    Niño 1+2: 0.0ºC

    The new latest weekly SST Departures are:
    Niño 4: 0.9ºC
    Niño 3.4: 0.9ºC
    Niño 3: 0.9ºC
    Niño 1+2: 0.2ºC

    Full technical and detailed information can be found here:
    http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/analysis_monitoring/lanina/enso_evolution-status-fcsts-web.pdf

  35. schmit44 says:

    12/15/2014 Oregon (All) Temperature Summary

    Warmest:
    High:56 at BROOKINGS( 79 ft) & Gold Beach (US 1(60 ft) & CW3932 Central P(1290 ft)
    Low: 51 at Port Orford(0 ft)

    Coldest:
    High:24 at Mount Hood Meado(6601 ft) & HARL BUTTE(6071 ft) & ELK CREEK(6576 ft) & ANEROID LAKE #2(7300 ft) & ALAKES Haines(7979 ft) & KB7DZR Joseph(3984 ft) & CROW FLAT(5172 ft)
    Low: 6 at CROW FLAT (5172 ft )

    Largest Diurnal Change: 27 degrees
    CW9027 Ukiah (38/11 ) (3415 ft )

    Heaviest Rainfall:
    1.14″ at EW4856 Brookings(1365ft)
    1.07″ at QUAIL PRAIRIE LO(3183ft)
    1.02″ at RED MOUND(1753ft)

  36. There was snow in the hills above The Dalles tonight. At least a light dusting at 1,200 feet and plenty of flakes down to 600-800 feet. The next band of moisture moving in MIGHT bring a few slushy flakes all the way to river level, one can hope….

    • KE7AQD says:

      A friend of mine in Centerville, WA (1600′) reported 3″ of snow overnight. I saw a few flakes mixed in the rain, and 35° much of the night on the east side of The Dalles at 260′.

  37. We both feared this would happen back on November 4th – 5th, Mark. We were unfortunately correct.

    Ah well, how about that 00z ECMWF?

    Tonight’s run was excellent and almost bitterly cold for us. Pattern change begins in just 7-8 days upstream/offshore. This is in the believable range with the ECMWF. GFS, GEM? Not usually. Also, with the Kona low northwest of Hawaii at 160 W and what looks like a building southeastern US ridge, this could be quite special. I would still like to see the Alaskan block slightly further west, a bit stronger, and more amplified, but I’m not complaining. Very important to note as well that this matches up almost exactly with the New Euro Weeklies, so perhaps we’re going to see support building for this and eventually the disagreeing GFS/GEM hop on board. If we see runs the next 3-4 days reveal a sharper southeastern ridge, rising heights over Great Lakes area, and 500mb over southern Alaska at 564dam, look out!

  38. paulbeugene says:

    Hope the Ratskeller does not go out of business. Hope that the real estate business is enough to keep Hanna from going bankrupt with Ski Bowl. Hope that Sheppard family is able to keep Hoodoo running. Who knows about Willamette Pass.

    Things are definitely cyclical. It can only get better I guess.

    • Prairiedog says:

      And the little Ma and Pa ski shops in places like Sandy the rent snowshoe, cross country and ski equipment, too. Second winter in a row. Tough on them. Really tough.

  39. I surely have one word for this Mark and that is ROTTEN if the current trends continue and the models keep forecasting as they have been.

    Yeah I surely remember the 2004-05 winter very well and after it ended the meadows at Paradise on Mount Rainier were lush and green with no snow to be seen anywhere but above 7,000 feet up the side of the mountain. Paradise that winter barely busted 400 inches of snowfall that winter. The average is around 640 inches over the 1916 to present period of record.

    There were some periods in the 1980’s that were not so spectacular and I remember ranger Gary Olson now the Ashford fire chief outside the park saying that the Muir Snowfield melted all the way down to the glacier ice one of those years.

    I was 14 years old in 1976 and really the only thing I remember most was a report of only 4 inches of snow on the ground in places at Snoqualmie Pass. Buffalo, New York that same 76-77 winter enjoyed a record snowfall of nearly 200 inches. The snow in places in the Great Lakes this past November sort of reminded me of all that snow in Buffalo back then.

    Rewind a bit here…In the winter of 2004-05 which was an El Nino year by the way really gave the Sierra Crest in California a bumper year for snow. I was at Yosemite National Park in mid June of 2005 and they were still plowing on the Tioga road in the park. I heard at least at one point some where that the crest enjoyed a snow pack that was 186% of normal. The locals in the area said the waterfall displays were the best they had been in like 100 years and I will admit seeing them first hand that they were pretty spectacular. In fact there was a significant amount of flooding in the Yosemite Valley of the Merced River and in places it even flooded over the road before I got down tor my vacation at the time.

    Meanwhile, further south Death Valley National Park enjoyed one of the best spring blooms it had in years. The Arizona Snowbowl had a record 475 inches of snowfall.

    I should mention here that many ski areas over the years after a number of not so good years did ban together around here and I know that Boyne Resorts simply bought a number of them. That is all wonderful and fine but even a bigger company still needs to make money to operate efficiently.

  40. ChiefWright (Marquam) says:

    I remember ’76/’77. Our family had just moved up to Port Angeles from the Seattle area. They had a graph up at Hurricane Ridge showing snowpack by month. That year the line didn’t jump off zero until February!

    But we all survived, and I learned how to cross-country ski.

  41. Dave in SW PDX (235') says:

    I remember the winter of ’04-’05; that was the last time I bought a season pass for Meadows. Painful. I feel bad for anyone who purchased a pass for this winter season. Hopefully things turn around soon.

%d bloggers like this: