Cascade Snow Update

November 10, 2015


Today was sure a chilly one across the area…the coldest day since February 1st in Portland.  In fact every other day in February was warmer than today; that shows you how freakishly warm February was!


There is a cold front just offshore that is approaching this evening.  We’ll see a quick burst of rain in the valleys and snow in the Cascades overnight and early Wednesday morning.  The weekend “snowy” system in the Cascades definitely underperformed and we hope that doesn’t happen again this time around.  Here’s a look at what I’m looking for in the upcoming week around Mt. Hood.  2-6″ range for tonight is from 4,000′ on up to 6,000′.  This should be the first time we actually see roads turn white around Government Camp this season…later than normal.


Beyond that Veteran’s Day looks more dry than wet to me and Thursday will be dry.  We have a warm and wet atmospheric-river type event coming up for Washington Friday and possibly part of Saturday.  We are on the southern edge of that so current rain forecasts through Friday evening are very light overhead…much like what we saw the Friday/Saturday around Halloween.


What I don’t expect (as of now) is a repeat of the huge downpours on Saturday.  The latest GFS is moving the cold front through here very quickly Saturday morning which would keep any flood issues in check.  The 18z had extremely heavy rain over us…maybe 2-3″ from 7am-7pm!  We’ll hope that solution doesn’t return.

Friday and Saturday we’ll see snow levels way too high for snow in the Cascades, but then much colder air arrives Sunday and Monday.  As you can see on the graphic above, that should mean more snow for the ski areas.

There are indications we go into a drier pattern about 10 days out on both the GFS and ECMWF.  With this upcoming snow ahead of that time MAYBE, just maybe, we’ll see some ski areas attempt an opening the weekend before Thanksgiving…that would be the 21st/22nd.

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen