Final Cascade Snowpack Update: New Records Set

7pm Thursday…


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:

ecm_15days gem_15days

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

49 Responses to Final Cascade Snowpack Update: New Records Set

  1. Lee Wilson says:

    Barometirci Pressure 29.85 From the Kelso Air Port

    Mine is reading:

    But Then there is about 17 miles difference between here and there.

  2. W7ENK says:

    What a weird weather weekend!

    I had planned on spending all day Saturday cooped up indoors since it was supposed to rain the whole weekend, and instead I spent most of the afternoon pulling weeds in my garden.

    Sunday was nice early on, but the air had a feel to it reminiscent of a day back in May 1991 when we got nailed with a huge thunderstorm. I made mention of that around 2pm, and it wasn’t 90 minutes later we had to rush the kids in from their Easter egg hunt because of rain and thunder.

    Forecasting by feel… glad I haven’t lost my touch! 🙂

  3. schmit44 says:

    4/5/2015 Oregon (All) Temperature Summary

    High:63 at DW3762 Portland( 233 ft) & DW8151 Gresham(256 ft) & CW3453 Beaverton(253 ft)
    Low: 42 at ROWEWS(104 ft) & WYETH(102 ft) & LINCON Lincoln C(187 ft) & ROCKWY Rockaway(450 ft) & Port Orford(0 ft)

    High:24 at Rim(7050 ft)
    Low: 17 at CROW FLAT (5172 ft )

    Largest Diurnal Change: 32 degrees
    CW0825 Sweet Hom (61/29 ) (600 ft )

    Heaviest Rainfall:
    1.81″ at BROOKINGS(79ft)
    1.81″ at EW4856 Brookings(1365ft)
    1.44″ at RED MOUND(1753ft)
    1.09″ at Brookings Airpor(459ft)
    0.94″ at FLYNN PRAIRIE(1543ft)

  4. Tyler Mode in Battle Ground says:

    32.5 for a low, 64 for a high and a decent thunderstorm. 26 mph wind gust and 0.18″ of rain.

  5. Jason Hougak says:

    Winter looking over Hwy 26 @ Govy.
    Storm cell coming in from the south and swinging north showing a heavier band of precip developing at the tail end. Some weather excitement on this Easter Sunday… Amen it’s about time we had some weather action!

  6. runrain says:

    Incoming for ‘Poose!!

  7. Lee Wilson says:

    Barometric pressure 2941 InHg and Falling.
    It is showing partly sunny we hit 66 withal low of 32.
    Screen is not flashing meaning no storm for my area.
    12 hours ago we had a barometric pressure of 2962 InHg.
    We are at 32 percent humidity.

    • Dave in SW PDX (235') says:

      With all due respect, Lee, I think your barometer probably needs to be calibrated. A quick check of weather stations in your area shows current pressure around 29.65″. I’m at 29.67″ currently and holding steady.

    • Kyle Hill says:

      My electronic weather station is at 29.49 though it was around 29.56 most of the day holding steady until the last hour.

    • Lee Wilson says:

      Mm interesting, when you say “general” area are you talking about the ones 10 to 15 miles away?

      We are at 2965 InHG. It was at 29.53. It is currently rising, it showed twin , we got rain, it is now showing partly cloudy as a future forecast, and I is currently cloudy.

      I could do a new learning attempt.

      Jive me a few minutes and I will post two pics in comparison.
      Oh do you happen to have a link?

    • Lee Wilson says:

      I suppose I can do another 7 day auto recalibration.
      But so far, it has been dead on with predicting, 2 storms, rain,and sun events. And it did not indicate a storm in this area . we never had any Thunderstorms in my “back yard”.
      How ever I did change the batteries in the sensor.

    • Lee Wilson says:

      Damn, this thing is touchy… is reading 29.92 now.
      It has to relearn, turns out i sank the station a tad deeper in to the ground so I could change the batteries easier.
      Didn’t think 3 inches deeper would make it that far off?

    • Lee Wilson says:

      With all do respect PDX Dave:57.2°F
      Hi: 57°F
      Lo: 43°F
      Rain: 0.02″
      Gust: SSE 20
      Wind Chill: 57°F
      Humidity: 44%
      Sunrise: 6:42 AM
      Sunset: 7:46 PM
      Dew Point: 36°F
      Avg Wind: 0 NNE
      Pressure: 29.83″

    • Dave in SW PDX (235') says:

      Hi Lee. After you reported your barometric pressure of 29.41″ yesterday at 4:38PM, I checked the NWS observations at Kelso and Chehalis for the same time:

      As you can see, those readings were 29.66″ and 29.65″, respectively. It’s very unlikely that Castle Rock was .25″ lower than either of those locations at 4:30PM, which led to my comment that you should re-calibrate your barometer. My comment was only meant as a friendly suggestion. Good luck with your weather station!

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

    NWS will no doubt issue an alert….after it happens of course!

  9. runrain says:

    Thunder east of Happyvalley. I noticed just an hour ago how the clouds were really building up and moving iin from the south. Not a surprise, given the heating of the day.

  10. Hal in Aims says:

    thunder north of here just now………..

  11. Hal in Aims says:

    hey ‘poose…….stray alert….

  12. paulbeugene says:

    Most impressive thunderstorm just went through Eugene, at least compared to the last two years. Frequent Lightning and heavy rain, pea hail

  13. Lee Wilson says:

    Barometer taking a big nose dive today. It almost acts as if it is indicating a storm coming but it is not flashing. But clouds in deed are coming in from the east.charging phone just incase

    • High Desert Mat says:


    • High Desert Mat says:

      Lee, your barometer is measuring a low pressure center coming closer to us so I guess you could classify that as a storm. Storms are essentially low pressure.

  14. runrain says:

    For those of you who remember him, Dr. John Walls, former chief meteorologist at KOINTV, passed away a couple days ago. Well maybe not the best of meteorologist, Dr. John was pretty knowledgeable and consistent. He really never like to go out on a limb. He was 84.

  15. Lee Wilson says:

    I guess it won’t be raining on Easter? YAY!

  16. Jason Hougak says:

    Santiam pass cam showing heavy snow
    No winter, I vote no summer

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

      Seems like El Nino summers (which we will be having) tend to be cloudier in the valley and mild at the coast with not as much north wind (and less upwelling on the ocean). Good summer for growing the greens and not so great for the tomatoes..

    • Lee Wilson says:

      Have you considered a green house?
      As cheap as they were, I am surprised they with stood the winds.

      I just purchased a timer for watering .
      although I don’t live in Portland , I do think using a timer is a great solution to saving water.
      it takes 2 AA batteries to open and close the 2 individual gates.

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

      We use cold frames every year to get a jump on things. And drip irrigation as well.

    • Less upwelling and mild at the coast = not good for tomatoes inland? Sorry Boydo but that doesn’t make any sense.

      You are far more likely going to get a hot summer with warm and slightly muggy nights, much like last summer was, if you have above-average ocean temps off our coast.

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

      Actually Karl, it does make sense. In the Willamette Valley, we often have hot days inland while the coast line is suffering from a ripping northwest wind, fog and 55 deg temps. But when the wind goes slack on the beach and we get a slight marine push with low clouds, the high temps are capped in the valley. Don’t know how that relates to your area.

  17. Tyler Mode in Battle Ground says:

    49.1 today. My coldest since February 25th…

  18. JohnD says:

    Next winter.
    The real deal returns!
    Pretty sure!

  19. W7ENK says:

    Sad. What a waste of a winter.

  20. Jason Hougak says:

    Cannot wait for a winter post on record snowfall both in the mtns. and valleys in the not too distant future. It was awesome seeing the tree blossoms down low and the fresh snow still in the trees up high.

  21. Lee Wilson says:

    Note to self dissable phone’s auto insert.

  22. Lee Wilson says:

    I am thinking Portland may want to make plans on water conservation now and not at a later time.

    Longivew changed over to a well system, And stopped pumping from the cowlitz because of all the silt melts destroying equipment. Also the Cowlitz River is really low all ready.

    I hope also tornadoes won’t be the new norm either. Seems like we had 1 too many last year.

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