A new record low snow depth was reached at Mt. Hood Meadows yesterday. Even with almost a foot of fresh powder, just 33″ of snow was on the ground. That’s lower than the previous low record for April 1st…49″ during the other really bad season, 2004-2005. That year we had a bunch of snow the 2nd half of March as the pattern finally recovered.
Timberline tied a record with just 57″ on the ground. That was the 1980-1981 season. Records at both locations (at least online) go back to the early 1970s.
As you see in the graphic, 4 ski areas in the Washington Cascades set record lows as well. I noticed Paradise up on Mt. Rainier was less than 10″ from its record low; impressive since records there go back to 1926!
Hopefully this was a “once in a generation” snow season. In every other year since at least 1970 there was a recovery sometime between January and March, this year that didn’t happen.
Here are the April 1st numbers from around the state…pretty bad as expected:
What’s ahead? More snow! Looks great for skiing on Saturday and again early next week:
Beyond that time we have some warmer weather (and some melting) the middle and latter part of next week.
The models/maps beyond the middle of next week are in quite a bit of disarray. Take a look at the 12z ECMWF ensembles showing another cold trough for NEXT weekend, the 12th:
Then by day 15 the ECMWF and GEM (ensembles) both have a return of ridging and warm temps:
meanwhile the 18z GFS has the cold trough just to our south much stronger for more cool & showery weather:
See the difference here? As a result I don’t have much confidence in a general outlook except it’ll be a bit warmer/dry later next week and then likely another round of cold showers around the 11th-12th.
Here is last night’s ECMWF monthly run…the weekly average 500mb height from its ensembles.
Week 1 & 2, you can see the ridging around 12-15 days out on the 2nd map:
Week 3, looks cooler again
Week 4, not a whole lot to see here.
Interesting that there is no sign of the east Pacific ridge returning, except during the 2nd week or so.
Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen