Looking Good For Snow In Cascades!

November 6, 2015

11pm Friday…

Every November we start the month wondering how the ski season will commence:

  • Will it be a series of cold storms that give us 3-4 feet of snow in a week that quickly opens a bunch of ski areas?


  • Will it be one of those starts that just sort of limps along with only a couple of ski areas open through early December?

Right not it appears we COULD be looking at something closer to the first option.  The pattern over the next 10-14 days looks pretty cool (most of the time) to me.  FIrst take a look at the next 7 Days…not any huge storms but maybe a foot on the ground above 5,000′ by Thursday morning:


It’s pretty obvious looking at models that the snow on the ground at/above 6,000′ isn’t going anywhere either.  Check out the 12z ECMWF ensemble chart…


I know, lots of lines.  This is temperature in celsius at the 5,000′ elevation.  The green line is average over the next 15 days.  The thick blue line is the operational run we all look at.  Each little black line is one member of the 51 member ensemble prediction system.  The red line is the average of all the ensembles.  Note that most of the next 10 days the temperature is below normal.  It’s briefly warm next Thursday/Friday, but then turns cold again NEXT weekend.  The GFS model shows a lot of precipitation starting next Wednesday.  2-3″ from that point through day 10 over Portland and much more over the mountains:


For snow, it shows maybe 20-25″ on Mt. Hood (around 5,000′ or so) in the next 10 days:


The brand new 00z ECMWF doesn’t have quite as much rain/snow but the pattern is the same.

So this MAY be the year we see some openings at least a week before Thanksgiving, at least just a few lifts to get things going.  The good news is that there is no sign of dry ridging like what we saw back in January/February last winter.

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen