Snowpack Still Above Normal

The first half of January was relatively dry…until the past 3 days.  Take a look now at the mountain snowpack across the state as a percentage of average for January 15th:


The numbers are lower than 2 weeks ago, but still around normal in Northern Oregon and well above normal to the south.  What a difference a year makes…snow depth the past 8 years at the Mt. Hood Test SNOTEL on the lower part of the Timberline Ski Area:


Remember 2007-2008?  That was a crazy mountain snow winter; tons of snow to the lower elevations.  If I recall correctly the snow level didn’t rise above 4,000′ through all of January and February.  It was regularly in the 1,500-3,000′ range.  Detroit didn’t know where to pile all the snow at 1600′.  I also remember the dusting of snow on Christmas Day with some snow showers.  Little did we know that one year later we’d have piles of snow sitting around on Christmas.

Looking ahead, a mixed bag of snow/rain in the mountains for the big 3 day weekend


Stay up high this weekend…Saturday evening and Monday look best to me.


The wet weather pattern stays with us through the foreseeable future.  But it’s a different “kind of wet” than what we saw in December.  In this case the main stormy weather is well out in the Pacific and we just keep getting the weakening/dying storms (technically they have passed the mature phase of extratropical cyclones).  These systems still have enough life to give us rounds of clouds/rain/breezes but that’s about it.  Notice there are no forecasts of strong southerly wind, flooding, or huge piles of snow in the Cascades over the next week.  And the systems are very mild…get used to seeing high temps in the 48-55 degree range instead of the 42-50 we’ve been seeing.

Enjoy the wet weekend…Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

44 Responses to Snowpack Still Above Normal

  1. W7ENK says:

    Almost an inch of rain in the bucket yesterday! Was it actually “supposed” to be that wet? I don’t recall, though I wasn’t really paying attention. My priorities (life) tend to shift away from the computer over the weekends…

    Good to hear about the mountain snowpack, let’s keep it going!

    • runrain says:

      The wetlands in Happy Valley Park were about as full of water as I had ever seen them. They’ve done some nice conservation work there to open up Mt. Scott Creek removing a culvert and cleaning up the creek beds. The ducks and geese (and fish) are loving it.

    • Farmer Ted says:

      Just over a inch of rain here too. About 4.75 inches since last Tuesday.

  2. runrain says:

    Maybe a bit of interesting weather tomorrow with wind? Probably not, but hey, it’s something.

  3. schmit44 says:

    1/17/2016 Oregon (All) Temperature Summary

    High:65 at Gold Beach (US 1( 60 ft)
    Low: 52 at EW1135 Yachats1(32 ft)

    High:28 at NYSSA(2172 ft) & ELK CREEK(6576 ft) & WOLF CREEK(5630 ft) & NRAWS 5 (WINDY(6308 ft)
    Low: 11 at MASON DAM & PHIL (3899 ft )

    Largest Diurnal Change: 26 degrees
    Burns Municipal (37/11 ) (4144 ft )

    Heaviest Rainfall:
    3.72″ at QUAIL PRAIRIE LO(3183ft)
    3.62″ at EW4856 Brookings(1365ft)
    3.40″ at BIGELOW CAMP(5130ft)
    3.40″ at SISKIYOU MTN FIR(3156ft)
    3.16″ at EW7191 Selma(1394ft)
    3.16″ at RED MOUND(1753ft)
    2.96″ at ILLINOIS VALLEY(1389ft)
    2.70″ at Brookings Airpor(459ft)
    2.54″ at CALVERT PEAK(3822ft)
    2.48″ at BALD KNOB(3630ft)
    2.47″ at MERLIN SEED ORCH(1144ft)
    2.47″ at Sexton Summit(3842ft)

  4. GTS1K' says:

    Torrential rain here last ~hour. No “big dumps” though…

  5. JohnD says:

    …. (snore)….just us and the bears….”maybe” in the distant upstream something to scratch about…we’ll see….(snore)….

  6. It seems a bit wet for an El Nino year. Shouldn’t we be sitting under an omega or rex block by now? 38f and fog in the valley with 50’s and 60’s above the inversion?

    • JJ78259 says:

      Last year seemed to be the El Niño winter. Texas was colder and wetter also. Premature El Niño! My girls are laying out by the pool today soaking up some sun! Vitamin D

    • Farmer Ted says:

      As you mature in age you will realize that nothing is guaranteed, just guesstimates.

    • GTS1K' says:


      So you can ascertain the age of people who comment based on their comment?

      Give it a rest, Yoda.

    • Boring Oregon says:

      By the way Ted comments I can tell he’s about 70-75 years old due to the way he thoroughly shows he’s a hippie.

    • GTS1K' says:

      I’m betting mid-60’s, but I get the ‘hippie” bit. As if being old automatically confers wisdom or something.

    • The El Nino of 1991-92 featured a lot of rain in January in my area (Vancouver BC). But February, and especially March were a lot drier than normal.So it can change either way.

    • JackFrost says:

      Old people go thru a lot more experience often thru the school of hard knocks and wind up graduating with a full degree when they have attitude adjustments of their flight.

      Sometimes they see things no person should ever see or hope to see.

  7. schmit44 says:

    1/16/2016 Oregon (All) Temperature Summary

    High:62 at Gold Beach (US 1( 60 ft)
    Low: 53 at Gold Beach (US 1(60 ft)

    High:25 at HARL BUTTE(6071 ft)
    Low: 18 at EW1810 Lostine (3376 ft ) & KB7DZR Joseph (3984 ft )

    Largest Diurnal Change: 24 degrees
    RED BUTTE (44/20 ) (4460 ft )

    Heaviest Rainfall:
    2.10″ at NORTH FORK(3060ft)
    1.77″ at HEBOWX Mt. Hebo(3160ft)
    1.66″ at CEDAR(2220ft)
    1.63″ at TIDEWATER(2035ft)
    1.53″ at SOUTH FORK(2257ft)
    1.51″ at RYE MOUNTAIN(2000ft)
    1.50″ at SADDLE MOUNTAIN(3110ft)
    1.48″ at WANDERER’S PEAK(4350ft)

  8. Boydo3 N. Albany says:

    Weird thing happened today. Had an email from boring larry. So I thought, hmmm, “why would Larry be emailing me with no real subject in the header”. But since I’ve had some correspondence with him I went ahead a opened it. Directly sent me to some stupid Dr Oz site.
    Definitely not from Larry.

  9. Farmer Ted says:

    Like today most of the time we are in a “banana belt” here in the Barton area of CC. Seemed like the first taste of spring today with rather balmy conditions and just a light breeze, although we did get that heavy downpour in the early afternoon. Late afternoon stroll around the property can be done after 5 PM now in the cloak of dusk.

  10. WEATHERDAN says:

    I bring this up for info only. Not as a forecast ( trolls will come ). La la land is back. In the 384 hour the GFS gives us some eye candy. Heights of 520 and a return to drier and colder weather around hour 360. No snow forecasted as of yet but who knows. Peace.

    • JJ78259 says:

      I remember the spring of 95 we had a great warm week in February and then that late last blast of cold weather came in. Then back to rain till June but then a hot summer, you never know what’s coming Dan. Weather is just like gambling 2014 and 2015 you hit the Jackpot! Mark though explained the house rules that is most likely a 20 year hit. I love hitting jackpots!

    • GTS1K' says:

      I predict 80’s in Salem at hour 384 – it’s just as likely.

  11. Wow. Apparently all hell broke loose in Eugene earlier this morning between 10:42 AM and 11:06 AM they experienced a major burst of winds with multiple gusts over 60mph. This was with a Severe T-Storm Warning and it looks like it mainly hammered the west side of Eugene near the Airport and locations west-southwest with a squall line type feature.. Pretty neat. No one saw that coming!

    • JackFrost says:

      You win the copy/paste award prize! Yes I saw your other post over at western weather. (Saws post but the saw broke ruining a good saw and goes to the sea saw to see what she saw)

  12. Tyler Mode in Battle Ground says:

    30 mph now in BG.

  13. Tyler Mode in Battle Ground says:

    Eugene hit 63 mph with the squall. Pretty damn impressive.

  14. JJ78259 says:

    The sun here in San Antonio today is feeling damn good! Yesterday was 81 degrees today 73 and clear blue skies, after a week away have to go mow the lawn! The price you pay for weather Dan winter weather!

  15. Chris s says:

    Anybody else just get a severe thunderstorm warning??? Just got one down here in Salem. Radar doesn’t look that impressive, but guess we shall find out.

  16. Boring Oregon says:

    It’s good to see EO have higher than normal snowpack too because that’s where we really need it.

  17. I’m glad to see the snow pack is still above normal. This current trend toward milder than normal temperatures worries me somewhat, but at least precipitation from these systems isn’t too intense. Perhaps February will see a return to lower freezing levels.

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