Looking Good For Snow In Cascades!

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

51 Responses to Looking Good For Snow In Cascades!

  1. W7ENK says:


    Welcome November.

    The fog and low clouds never broke today in downtown. It cleared off after sunset in Milwaukie, and fog is right on the verge of socking back in.

    It’s gonna get cold tonight!

  2. Looks like we’ll have our first maximum below 50F for the season today as well here. That is, unless the wind picks up.

  3. Joshua Downtown PDX says:

    First high below 50 of the season today. Feels good!

  4. WEATHERDAN says:

    34 with some fog this morning. So far this season no frosts. Lots of fog though. Looks like some ridging starting about the 20th. Maybe some arctic air East of the Rockies with some East winds and fz lvl +8000 ft for us. Of course this far out the outlook will probably change at least twice. Maybe a foggy tgv for the valley and sunny with Coho winds for PDX. Nice and sunny at 1:15 PM and 49. Peace.

    • I do not think we had any cold foggy inversion days last winter up here. Would not mind a few this winter. A few — that sort of thing gets old when it last for weeks.

  5. runrain says:

    Looks like we may be getting into some more active weather later this week and early next. I’m hearing atmospheric river, etc. That would be great. Running alongside the Willamette Sunday in Portland I’ve noticed that water levels are still down close to where they were much of the summer. There has certainly been an increase in the homeless encampments in the rain protected areas along the river – wow! On the other side of the coin, it was cool watching two deer romp beside me along the Springwater Trail just south of the Ross Island Bridge.

    • Farmer Ted says:

      How young do you have to be so that you are not nauseated by hearing the phase “going-viral”. Got to be a heck of a lot younger than me.

    • MasterNate says:

      I believe your missing the point. Think of how incredible it is for a person to be able to fly with wings and jet propulsion, and be able to control flight. Amazing technology IMO.

    • pappoose in scappoose says:

      Very cool!

    • Farmer Ted says:

      yep, totally missed your point if there was one.

  6. 34F and clear skies here this morning, but I don’t think we’ll reach the 32F mark. Too late before sunrise and with clouds coming for the next few days we’ll have to wait for a real freezing temperature a while yet.

    • Got down to 35 at my place, then the fog rolled in. Was 37 by daybreak. It’s been nice to see the mountains start to get snow; an encouraging sign that this winter will probably be better than last.

  7. schmit44 says:

    11/9/2015 Oregon (All) Temperature Summary

    High:59 at CW5925 Coos Bay( 49 ft) & CW9821 Gleneden(49 ft) & ROWEWS(104 ft)
    Low: 49 at WYETH(102 ft) & Cushman (OR 126(24 ft)

    High:28 at Timberline Lodge(5880 ft) & Rim(7050 ft) & HOWARD Mt Howard(8150 ft)
    Low: 17 at SILVIES (6990 ft )

    Largest Diurnal Change: 24 degrees
    CW8689 Burns (49/25 ) (4219 ft )

    Heaviest Rainfall:
    1.55″ at EW4395 Milton Fr(3454ft)
    1.20″ at ANEROID LAKE #2(7400ft)
    1.12″ at DW6879 Union(2792ft)
    0.91″ at CW6808 Imnaha(2870ft)

  8. JohnD says:

    ‘Seems like we are in a progressive flow for a while. Good snow in the mountains; typical weather in the lowlands! All this a GOOD thing and much better than what could be occurring now (or not occurring, as the case may be.)

    Otherwise, I gather that there is nothing too intriguing upstream near term for the lowlands–judging from lackluster blogging. No matter; that is what (hopefully) December-mid Feb. is for!


  9. High Desert Mat says:

    I hear crickets. What is this, about 10 posts the last 2 days? Dont worry, the split flow will be here soon enough and we can all start complaining. Sarcasm and reverse psychology I hope.

  10. W7ENK says:

    39 degrees with fog and light rain while I was waiting for the train in Milwaukie this morning.

  11. schmit44 says:

    11/8/2015 Oregon (All) Temperature Summary

    High:60 at CW9205 Lexington(1558 ft)
    Low: 51 at UNION(2708 ft) & BROOKS(187 ft) & RUFUS(185 ft)

    High:32 at ABRNAT(4480 ft) & Mt Hood Meadows(7300 ft)
    Low: 23 at CRANE PRAIRIE (5500 ft )

    Largest Diurnal Change: 30 degrees
    BALTZOR RANCH NE (54/24 ) (4620 ft )

    Heaviest Rainfall:
    1.66″ at YELLOWSTONE MTN.(3080ft)
    1.52″ at QUAIL PRAIRIE LO(3183ft)

  12. geo says:

    Helluva downpour in sw gresham with pea size hail

    • sds says:


      Where is the snow? Maybe an inch or so at TL, but nothing at the passes! This system turned out a lot warmer than the mets thought. Dumped out 1.55″” this AM.


  13. Farmer Ted says:

    .71 inches of rain here at Barton in the last 24 hours, nice gray foggy morning.


    THE fog comes
    on little cat feet.

    It sits looking
    over harbor and city
    on silent haunches
    and then moves on.

    ~Carl Sandburg~

  14. Boring Oregon says:

    Does anybody know how good radar coverage is over in Eastern Oregon?

    • Not good at all. There is a huge chunk of Eastern Oregon with no coverage under 10k feet elevation. Anything East of Prineville and south of John Day is pretty much a blank spot. It picks up again east of Burns.

      Cell is another story. You get great cell signal in the oddest spots. South loop campground in the Steens has signal. The ODOT cinder pile just west of Ukiah has signal. Seneca has signal. My living room in downtown Salem has one measly bar.

    • Aleta-West Gresham says:

      I think somewhere in the past Mark mentioned this and, if I remember right, he said it was pretty bad.

    • Boring Oregon says:

      Yeah I also get cell in the weirdest spots too. I stayed at Paige Springs Camground at the base of Steens Mountain and got some coverage there too. Also did you happen to go to that gas station in Frenchglen? And I ask because when I went there that big guy was just sitting outside in a chair just staring into the distance. I was thoroughly creeped out.

    • High Desert Mat says:

      Kind of like the hills have eyes eh boring?

    • I’ve been to Frenchglen several times and the residents I’ve encountered don’t seem all that happy. I don’t know if its the isolation or what. It doesn’t feel creepy to me just depressed. Another 50 miles down the road, Fields has a completely different vibe. Famous milkshakes, a decent burger and happy people.

  15. schmit44 says:

    11/7/2015 Oregon (All) Temperature Summary

    High:69 at CW4888 Pendleton(1066 ft) & EAST BIRCH CREEK(1617 ft)
    Low: 52 at DW3057 Milton-Fr(1102 ft) & K7FU Warrenton(33 ft)

    High:33 at NRAWS 6 (CORNET)(6626 ft)
    Low: 13 at Burns Municipal (4144 ft ) & KIRK (4519 ft )

    Largest Diurnal Change: 48 degrees
    Lorella (62/14 ) (4160 ft )

    Heaviest Rainfall:
    2.22″ at RED MOUND(1753ft)
    1.60″ at EW4856 Brookings(1365ft)
    1.50″ at YACHTS Yachats(72ft)
    1.41″ at SOUTH FORK(2257ft)
    1.30″ at NORTH FORK(3060ft)
    1.15″ at HEBOWX Mt. Hebo(3160ft)
    1.12″ at BROOKINGS(79ft)

  16. JERAT416 says:

    I know this may resemble trolling. However, has the rain affected the drought conditions anywhere?

  17. Quite a wet day. 0.69″ at SLE over an inch up here on the hill.

  18. Dark wet day up here in Vancouver(BC). Already measured over 2 inches in amount early this afternoon. The rain has slackened now to occasional drizzle. Fog is obscuring the tops of tall trees. This could end up being our wettest day of 2015.

  19. Joneses says:

    First time on the blog, but read it often. My husband and I are in Bend for the weekend. Planned on leaving tomorrow to head back to Portland, but seeing that there may be a significant amount of snow overnight tonight. Trying to decide if we should hit the road this afternoon. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

  20. Tyler Mode in Battle Ground says:

    Pretty amazing sunrise this morning! Just enough high and mid level clouds ahead of the incoming system to put on a colorful show 🙂

  21. Farmer Ted says:

    Took a beautiful “back roads drive” yesterday on Hwy 213 from Estacada through Molalla and on to Woodburn. What a pleasant warm sunny drive, and on the return trip a fantastic sunset with alpenglow on the mountain to cap the day. And then this morning another great sunrise lighting up cloud capped Mt. Hood while sitting by my fire drinking a cup of coffee. No complaints here.

  22. Yes- the dry ridging was the main factor in last winter’s disaster. Take that away and at least we’re getting snow somewhere on the mountains.

  23. leer` Geddy says:

    Yes, but given a very strong El nino we ALL know this won’t last thru the winter, either way lets enjoy it now because God know it will be 65 and sun come January, hanks to El ninoooo.

  24. Brian says:

    ” dry ridging like what we saw back in January/February last winter.”

    Don’t you mean: January/February/March/April/May/June?

  25. Mark bergal says:

    Excellent. You made many happy with this, and most importantly you have given ski operators reason for optimism. Mother Nature may be done with hot flashes for a while.

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