Is This Weekend The End of The Ski Season?

The short answer is…possibly.  At the least I am confident skiing terrain on Mt. Hood will become much more limited after this weekend’s rain.

This has been a brutal ski season, Mt. Hood Skibowl says it is the worst they have seen since the 1950s!  And as I detailed in a blog posting 8 days ago, we are now entering uncharted territory.  We’ve never seen snow conditions this bad on March 15th and beyond.  And there is no sign of a cool and wet pattern.


  • 3 of the 6 main ski areas in the central/northern Oregon Cascades have been closed since early January.  That’s Hoodoo, Willamette Pass, & Mt. Hood Ski Bowl.
  • I don’t see those ski areas reopening this year, they are likely done.  There is no weather pattern in the next two weeks that would produce the 3 feet of snow needed.  Plus on average in late March there is more melting than accumulation at 4,000-5,000′.
  • Timberline has 3 of their main lifts shutdown: Pucci, Jeff Flood Express, & Molly’s.
  • Meadows isn’t operating Heather Canyon & Hood River Express.
  • The lower parts of both of these ski areas have large bare sections.  Grooming crews have done a spectacular job moving snow around this season, but there isn’t any more to move in to cover those lower areas.  We’ve seen more and more grass/soil appear on the webcams.
  • There is plenty of snow up around 6,000′ and above, but how to you get skiers back down from those spots if you can’t ski back down?



  • Heavy rain…1-3″ will fall on Mt. Hood with temperatures above freezing almost the entire time.  A warm and thin snowpack, that’s been exposed to two weeks of warm sunshine and temps in the 40s/50s won’t handle that very well.
  • Possibly some fresh snow (a few inches) Sunday above 6,000’…MAYBE


  • More warmer than normal weather…melting will continue up on the mountain, especially the later half of the week
  • No new snow, although NEXT weekend there are hints of some cooler weather and snow showers up there.

As a result…

THERE WILL BE SIGNIFICANTLY LESS SNOW ON THE GROUND A WEEK FROM NOW WHEN OREGON’S SPRING BREAK BEGINS.  Combine that with the already bare areas mentioned above and that’s a big problem.  There is a very real possibility that for the first time on record (that I know of) there will be very limited skiing on Mt. Hood for the start of spring break.

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

28 Responses to Is This Weekend The End of The Ski Season?

  1. Lee says:

    wind 7 peaking at 15 (ground level as I am not able to use a pole due to property renting)
    temp 58

    barometer 2938 InHg.
    and falling ( just how low can it go?)

    rain event 3.13 with month rain total 3.46
    humidity 81 %

    • Lee says:

      Final post Total Rain event for this month, 3.56 inches.. and the ground feels like a giant soft pillow.

  2. David B. says:

    1.04″ so far today, and still coming down. With yesterday morning’s total of 0.74″ that makes for 1.78″ so far this weekend. (Bainbridge Island, WA)

  3. Lee says:

    We currently are getting 33 inches an hour in rain. in the last 2 days we have accumulated 2.83 inches of rain, we went overboard on what was forecaster. our barometer just nose dived we are at 2953 and still falling. we were at 2971 InHg we are at 49 degrees and at 87 % humidity.winds averaging at 2 mph..
    Gurgle,glub gurgle.

  4. schmit44 says:

    3/14/2015 Oregon (All) Temperature Summary

    High:74 at AC7WN Hermiston( 497 ft) & DW0462 Umatilla(390 ft)
    Low: 59 at CW2049 Imnaha(1978 ft) & UNION(2708 ft)

    High:39 at Timberline Lodge(7001 ft)
    Low: 30 at KLAMATH RIVER BE (3288 ft )

    Largest Diurnal Change: 25 degrees
    EW1140 Umatilla (73/48 ) (364 ft )

    Heaviest Rainfall:
    4.20″ at NORTH FORK(3120ft)
    3.12″ at HEBOWX Mt. Hebo(3160ft)
    2.92″ at CEDAR(2220ft)
    2.90″ at BLAZED ALDER(3650ft)
    2.83″ at LOG CREEK(2800ft)
    2.80″ at SOUTH FORK BULL(2630ft)
    2.31″ at W7KKE-3 Road’s E(89ft)
    2.28″ at CANNIBAL MOUNTAI(1939ft)
    2.28″ at RYE MOUNTAIN(2000ft)
    2.22″ at EW6654 Rhododend(1411ft)

  5. David B. says:

    .74″ in the gauge today.

  6. Lee says:

    I have a new Endangered species to add to the list.

    Type “Skiers”

    This species live mainly for snow.
    They en campus small habitat units called “lodges”.

    The young are called “Snow Bunnies”.

    How is this species threatened?
    Warming Climate produces less snow events and thus causes a change in their habitat.

    I recommend artificial enclosure units to aid in saving this species.

  7. Lee says:

    Maybe the Ski Lodges could host summer events to help bring in revenues?

    maybe host weddings or something.

    We have already received .85 inches of rain thus car. we had winds at ground level up to 12 ph bu i am in a some what protected area with trees. they are swaying pretty good barometer is showing 2956 InHg and falling.

    This may be the worst season since the 50’s but remember what the best season was?

    I read in a blog some where that in certain areas that sea levels have “risen”. and that the “”Thermohaline circulation”” system has slowed in that one area.

    The thermohaline circulation is sometimes called the ocean conveyor belt, the great ocean conveyor, or the global conveyor belt. On occasion, it is used to refer to the meridional overturning circulation (often abbreviated as MOC). The term MOC, indeed, is more accurate and well defined, as it is difficult to separate the part of the circulation which is actually driven by temperature and salinity alone as opposed to other factors such as the wind and tidal forces. Moreover, temperature and salinity gradients can also lead to circulation effects that are not included in the MOC itself.

    I am wondering why the media is not covering this?

    Has the ” the global conveyor belt ” been effected in some way that is creating this pattern?

    • David B. says:

      The ski lodges already DO host summer events. Ski season is their main revenue generator and the other events really don’t make up for the loss of it.

    • Lee says:

      OUCH , do is skiing about to become “extinct” ?

    • Mark Nelsen says:

      Some don’t offer summer events, or very little. Meadows and Hoodoo are real quiet May-October. Skibowl actually makes MORE money off their warm season now than skiing! Timberline has always been a mix because of the year-round lodge there.

  8. chiefWright (Marquam) says:

    At last, something that did more than damp the bottom of the bucket. Have had steady 0.05″/hr rainfall since 2AM. Getting a slight break now, but looks like there’s more where that came from.

  9. schmit44 says:

    3/13/2015 Oregon (All) Temperature Summary

    High:77 at CW1244 Pendleton(1145 ft) & DW7237 Pendleton(1188 ft)
    Low: 57 at EW2235 Troutdale(1381 ft)

    High:45 at Mount Hood Meado(6601 ft)
    Low: 16 at CROW FLAT (5172 ft )

    Largest Diurnal Change: 45 degrees
    CW9027 Ukiah (70/25 ) (3415 ft )

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

  10. Mike says:

    In 36 years I have never seen the Clackamas River at such a low level as it is now. It’s strange to see indeed.

    • Sapo says:

      Ya the Clack and Sandy are both extremely low, even lakes like Hagg lake are low by about 10 feet! Crazy

    • Ted Berry says:

      Been here over 50 Years and the Clackamas is not that low, and for that matter it is spring fed at it’s headwaters and not a glacier fed like the Sandy, Hood and Salmon.

  11. Marlene Bickar says:

    Yes it is so sad 😦 The people that work at those resorts must
    be reeling from the lack of snow. I wonder if the State of Oregon
    could some how intervene with $$$ since this was such a disastrous
    season. Just a thought

  12. Lurkyloo says:

    I feel very sad for the folks who live up near Govy and depend on snow to make a living. What a harsh out.

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