A Christmas Miracle In Cascades: Lots of Snow On The Way

What a change a few days can make.  As mentioned in the previous posting the snow level was slow to rise Saturday, then quicker to lower than expected Sunday.  Add a few more inches last night and suddenly at the 5,000′ elevation we’ve got 18″ or so on the ground.  We’ve been expecting a cold front to move through the Cascades Wednesday and now it appears it’ll be an “ana” front.  That means just about all the precipitation is BEHIND the cold front…excellent new for maximum snow accumulation in the Cascades.  We could see 8-12″ all the way down to Government Camp and below just in time for Christmas Eve!

Beyond that, another wet system drops through on Saturday with a good 4-6″ additional.  Add a few inches in-between on Thursday and Friday and it’s quite possible 15-25″ falls in the next 5 days

MarkSnow_MtHoodFcst_2013

This may even be enough to allow Skibowl to start some operations.  For sure it means the 2nd half of Christmas Break we’ll see far better conditions with a bunch of runs/lifts open at Timberline and Meadows.

Down here in the valleys there isn’t a whole lot to talk about over the next week, although it turns real chilly Sunday and Monday with the ECMWF showing thicknesses down below 525dm.  That means high temps close to 40 and lows into the 20s if skies clear out.  It’s going to feel like winter for the last few days of the month; we haven’t seen that since around the 2nd.

Of course this means snow will return to many roads in the Pacific Northwest starting Christmas Eve too:

MarkRoadConditions_I84_5_Passes

Drive carefully the rest of the week if you’re headed into the high elevations.  I’ll be off the next few days, so probably no blog posting until Friday when I work again.

Merry Christmas!

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

184 Responses to A Christmas Miracle In Cascades: Lots of Snow On The Way

  1. I find it funny that O…BAMA has to await moderation but George Bush doesn’t when an argument could begin over him. I’m NOT defending the president I just think that’s weird.

  2. Jason Hougak says:

    Hey Boydo I made a snow machine last winter for Decembers cold snap. It worked good but making snow is a science. I got a spare pump… Hmmm I wonder where- LOL. I got some pressure washer nossels. On the discharge side I made a assembly to spray the water. Didn’t work too good until I added the secret ingredient… air! The compressed air is like the catalyst, the air super cools the water molecules and allows the snowflakes to form. I ran it all night. My compressor line actually froze several times that night but I covered an area about 10′ square and about 6″ deep. I spread it and had a sled hill in the backyard for the kids. I’m going to work on another one tommorrow.

  3. Jason Hougak says:

    Hey Mark do I need to get moderated, whatcha working on for the next post?
    No pressure… Bottom of the ninth and bases are loaded, IS 2014 gonna close
    Out with a grand slam?

  4. Jason Hougak says:

    T-Line & Meadows are open for night skiing!!! Too bad I worked till 6. Bachelor has 35″ base @ 6300′ and 71″ @ 7300′, crazy the base doubles in 1000 feet. Here’s to another winter 🍻

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

      Bachelor would have a whole lot less at 6300′ if they hadn’t been blowing from their snow machines every chance they get. You can imagine the human zoo there over this CHRISTMAS break (let’s see if I get moderated hehe)

  5. Marc (East Vancouver) says:

    OBAMA

  6. Jason Hougak says:

    NWS is unneeded when you have weather computer models on the net. We can predict just as good as them. When that Ana front came they NEVER mentioned snow. This is the second time I’ve gotten snow from an Ana Front. Even after we had confirmed snow they changed wording to little to no snow accumulations. We received 2″ of snow.

  7. Jason Hougak says:

    All models showing cold weather coming in, very cold New Years night! Need sum moisture and the upper level to continue to stay cold or I’m feeling an ice storm on the horizon. Come on massive amounts of snow both high and low!

  8. Jason Hougak says:

    Come on Mark aren’t you gonna post on the cold weather???

  9. Clackamas County Jack says:

    Maybe some flurries down to 1000ft Monday morning.

  10. runrain says:

    Enjoying coffee on the patio at Starbucks. 64 deg is obviously not roasting but it sure feels warm comparatively with home. Coronado, Ca for a few days then over to Phoenix where their talking snow for New Years!!

  11. WEATHERDAN says:

    Apparently the insanity of the NWS has infected all of their offices. Weatherradio sites on Weatherunderground only go out 48 hours now. What stupidity. Hey maybe local tv stations will try this too. How about a 30 second sports or weather report. Apparently some people complained to the NWS that their forecast cycles were too long. How about this as a compromise then. Leave the local forecast as it is and change the coastal and mountain to 48 hours. The whole idea of disseminating weather forecasts whether online on radio or in print is to give the best possible coverage to the public of upcoming weather events. Online sites complement other means of gathering weather forecasts. They should not be used to supplant them. We are only talking about two extra minutes for a complete forecast. I hope that the NWS comes to their senses soon and brings back the complete 7 day local forecasts on their weatherradio, As for the upcoming cold snap something puzzles me. On Sunday night the NWS has rain showers for Salem with a low of 25-30. I would think that as the precipitation winds down as the modified Arctic air mass settles in Southward Monday morning might transition over to a few light snow showers or some snow flurries even on the valley floor. If we got a quick one inch or so and then stayed cold as expected I think we could see 30-35 for Monday-Thursday maximums. Lows might be 15-20 range in wind sheltered areas in the mid and Southern valley. It also looks like a secondary blast might hit us around the January 4-7 time frame with a transition event at the end. The GFS meteograms has Vancouver B.C with heights of only 504 and Portland and Seattle at around 517 around the 6th. I guess we will all have to listen to Mark and KPTV to find out since it looks like the NWS can’t be bothered to put it on it’s weatherradio. Happy New Years one and all. Peace.

  12. So if a comment is awaiting moderation can you not allow it to be posted?

  13. Sapo says:

    00z ECMWF was pretty good today, and I’m liking the idea that it is still showing the second blast on the 4th/5th. The GFS did for one or two runs but has now pulled away. The GFS is still very cold, however. We’ll see what the 12z GFS/ECMWF will have for us.

    • Sapo says:

      The GEM is very cold also.

    • Sapo says:

      6z parallell has snow for us on Friday/Saturday, would be interesting if that verified…

    • 12Z Operation makes the first week of January interesting. The Columbian Basin will get a blast of arctic air and the east winds will be strong. 925 temps around -10 to -13 and 850 temps around -3 to -8 with moisture around in the valley and still strong off shore flow. Maybe a bit of the white stuff before more mild southerly/on shore flow kicks in and warms us up.

      Or… Freezing rain if the cold air isn’t deep enough.

  14. Tyler Mode in Battle Ground says:

    19 years ago today I started keeping records at my Vancouver station. Can you guess what I received for a gift on Christmas in 1995?

    Here’s a picture at what Multnomah Falls will look like by next week 🙂

  15. schmit44 says:

    12/25/2014 Oregon (All) Temperature Summary

    Warmest:
    High:57 at Yaquina Bridge W( 120 ft) & PACCTY-2 Pacific(28 ft)
    Low: 47 at PACCTY-2 Pacific(28 ft)

    Coldest:
    High:14 at HOWARD Mt Howard(8150 ft)
    Low: 10 at Horse Ridge (US (4160 ft )

    Largest Diurnal Change: 24 degrees
    Horse Ridge (US (34/10 ) (4160 ft )

    Heaviest Rainfall:
    0.91″ at W7KKE-3 Road’s E(89ft)

  16. Seahawks Fan - East Vancouver says:

    Merry CHRISTMAS!

  17. Jason Hougak says:

    So is Chris-t the part in X-mas that is put on moderation? That’s just wrong!!!
    Merry Chris-tmas!!!

    • Mark Nelsen says:

      Haha! I wondered why so many comments were sitting in moderation when I checked at 9:30pm. The word CHRIST is a banned word apparently. I never considered that it would be used as part of Christmas in a comment. I think it’s off the list now.

    • Well you can’t even say god in school so I expected that

    • Mark Nelsen says:

      It was from one day when I was thinking up every single iteration of bad/filthy/curse words for the moderation filter and that’s one of them that popped into my head. Believe it or not OBAMA is one of the words too…so people don’t argue for hours over him.

    • You cursed! That’s a good idea though cause I could see that brawl me vs everybody!

    • One time I thought that I’d gotten put on moderation because I used the word “socialist” in a comment. But apparently it happened because the moderator was on the fritz; not because of a dirty nine-letter word.

  18. Jason Hougak says:

    Cold air coming but inversion will setup later next week… may lead to a freezing rain scenario.

  19. JohnD says:

    Merry Christmas! ‘Hope everyone had/is having a great holiday season. Tuning into weather stuff, it sure seems like upstream is filled with a lot of potential! A lot of variability with no guarantees of course, like always. But at least “some” kind of action seems fairly imminent in the coming days. Who knows, maybe some favorable tweaks will integrate and enhance a bonafide Portland winter weather pattern! Only time will tell.

  20. pappoose in scappoose says:

    Was wondering if I was the only weather geek left or what.
    Then realized folks are getting put on moderation for using the Merry (you know what) line! Hahaah!

  21. I need the raindrops falling to turn into dollar bills, Christmas killed me.

  22. Sapo says:

    Today’s 6z and 12z GFS were very cold, looking good. The 00z ECMWF was great, and the ECMWF showed the cold blast of air on the 29th/30th, and then another cold blast on the 3rd/4th. It seems that the 12z parallel GFS follows with the second cold blast on the 3rd/4th or so…12z ECMWF almost out.

  23. pappoose in scappoose says:

    NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE SEATTLE WA
    925 AM PST THU DEC 25 2014

    .LONG TERM…THE INCOMING GFS PARALLEL RUN IS SLOWER IN KICKING OUT MOISTURE WITH THE WEEKEND SHORTWAVE TROUGH THAN THE OPERATIONAL GFS
    AND IS IN LINE WITH THE PREVIOUS ECMWF SOLUTION. THESE SLOWER SOLUTIONS ARE ALSO STRONGER WITH THE FRONTAL BOUNDARY COMING OUT OF
    THE INTERIOR OF BRITISH COLUMBIA SUNDAY NIGHT OR MONDAY MORNING. THIS OPENS THE POSSIBILITY FOR LOWLAND SNOW WITH AND AHEAD OF THE
    MODIFIED ARCTIC BOUNDARY LATER SUNDAY INTO MONDAY MORNING…AND STRONGER FRASER OUTFLOW BEHIND THE FRONT AS PRESSURES OVER CENTRAL
    BRITISH COLUMBIA BUILD TO THE 1055-1059 MB RANGE. WE WILL BE MONITORING THIS CLOSELY. AT FIRST GLANCE…THIS EVENT LOOKS TO BE
    OF A SIMILAR OR SLIGHTLY STRONGER MAGNITUDE OF AN EVENT THAN WE SAW IN LATE NOVEMBER OF THIS YEAR.
    AFTER MONDAY IT LOOKS DRY AND COLD WITH OFFSHORE FLOW. LOWS WILL BE IN THE 20S…WITH MAYBE SOME TEENS…AND HIGHS IN THE 30S. ALBRECHT

  24. pappoose in scappoose says:

    Merry Christmas!

  25. Interestingly the 2″ of snow I got at my house today was about on par with what the Mt. Hood Ski resorts picked up….

  26. schmit44 says:

    12/24/2014 Oregon (All) Temperature Summary

    Warmest:
    High:57 at EW4604 Waldport( 46 ft) & DW7237 Pendleton(1145 ft) & CW1395 Ione(1060 ft)
    Low: 48 at SIGNAL TREE(3294 ft)

    Coldest:
    High:25 at CROW FLAT(5172 ft)
    Low: 9 at Horse Ridge (US (4160 ft )

    Largest Diurnal Change: 38 degrees
    Horse Ridge (US (47/9 ) (4160 ft )

    Heaviest Rainfall:
    2.00″ at EW4856 Brookings(1365ft)
    1.97″ at FLYNN PRAIRIE(1543ft)

  27. jimbo says:

    New 7 day is colder still

  28. SW says:

    Top 5 winters since 1949 (my opinion)

    5 – tie 2008, 2013
    4 – 1980, at least I think it was 1980 (Not for snow but cold)
    3 – 1972
    2 – 1968
    1 – 1949

    It’s interesting that 68 and 72 was 4 years and 08, 13 was 5 years but during, what I believed to be a colder period) 49 and 68, it was 19 years.

    I hope I’m not wrong on the dates.

    Rob, Dan, Paul, or anyone else. It appears that statistically, it is highly unlikely that we see any significant arctic event this year.

    SW

    • I’d actually disagree, i would say that 2008 was miles ahead of 2013.

    • Jason Hougak says:

      That totally depends on where you were at. I bet in Eugene winter 13-14 was worse, -11F with locations receiving a foot of snow.

    • vinnybob says:

      I believe Eugene had around 44 inches in Dec.1968. My favorite months
      Nov. 1985 Doesn’t get much better here in Nov.
      Dec 1972 White birthday and prolonged cold
      Jan. 1979 Not much snow but cold all month
      Feb. 1989 Snowy and cold

    • Sapo says:

      December 2008 was much better than last year’s event for us in Tigard…2013/14 winter we had about 8″ of snow here and a little bit of ice, 2008/09 we had 22″ with ice in between.

    • WEATHERDAN says:

      My top 5 Winters are 1.68-69, 2.78-79, 3.49-50, 4.72-73, 5. 08-09. The last time we had two consecutive Winters with significant cold and valley snow was 92-93 and 93-94. But it could happen again this year. However I don’t see it happening with this upcoming pattern. Colder yes but no snow. Let’s hope for the best though. Peace and Merry Christmas.

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