Skiing/Snowboarding: Avoid Sunday

7pm Friday…

We have two good days for hitting the mountain this 3 day weekend, which of course leaves one that definitely won’t be so great.  That would be Sunday.


Why the rain on Sunday?  A warm front with steady rain pushes into the Cascades after sunset Saturday.  That will be followed by snow levels up around 8,000′ (way above the tree line) through Monday.  The flow of air at 5,000′ will be straight from the west at 35-50 mph all day Sunday; that means moist air runs right into the Cascades, is forced to rise, and dumps rain over and west of the Cascade crest.  That’s called orographic lifting and will give us some big rain totals for about 24 hours.  It appears this event is going to be quite extreme with respect to the rain totals…unusually light in the valleys and unusually heavy in the mountains.  Our RPM shows 3-5″ of precipitation in the south Washington and north Oregon Cascades over the next few days…much of that falling in the form of rain after sunset Saturday.


The good news is that the band of rain lifts north Monday and should leave us with a dry and spring-like day on the mountain.  Hopefully the snow won’t be too saturated with water; most likely it’ll be okay since we have 4 to 8 feet on the ground at the base of the ski areas.

Here in the valleys the weekend will be wet, with most rain during the midday/afternoon Saturday.  Sunday’s rain should be lighter.

We may have a 60 degree day (or warmer?) on tap for Monday.  If clouds lift far enough north we will be in the sweet spot with some sunshine, very warm atmosphere, and light southerly breezes.

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

40 Responses to Skiing/Snowboarding: Avoid Sunday

  1. It appears my best day of the week by far to see some sunshine will be Tuesday. The rest is forecasted to be grey, mild and wet. Speaking of mild, my first half of February has averaged about 4F above normal. However, that’s still 3.6F cooler in comparison to February 1-14th of last year!

  2. schmit44 says:

    2/14/2016 Oregon (All) Temperature Summary

    High:66 at WARM SPRINGS BAS(1563 ft) & ILLINOIS VALLEY(1389 ft)
    Low: 53 at W7KKE-3 Road’s E(89 ft) & PACCTY-2 Pacific(28 ft)

    High:33 at HARL BUTTE(6071 ft)
    Low: 26 at HOWARD Mt Howard (8150 ft )

    Largest Diurnal Change: 25 degrees
    WARM SPRINGS BAS (66/41 ) (1563 ft )

    Heaviest Rainfall:
    4.04″ at Timberline Lodge(5880ft)
    3.53″ at CEDAR(2220ft)
    3.52″ at Mt Hood Meadows(5380ft)
    3.40″ at SOUTH FORK BULL(2690ft)
    3.37″ at LOG CREEK(2800ft)
    3.20″ at BLAZED ALDER(3650ft)
    3.16″ at Ski Bowl Base(3660ft)
    2.90″ at NORTH FORK(3060ft)
    2.87″ at HEBOWX Mt. Hebo(3160ft)

    • JohnD says:

      Schmit44: I’m not sure if anyone has ever bothered to say thanks–or if we have simply come to take them forgranted! But your Oregon temperature and precipitation summaries are always fun to look over! Indeed what extremes we typically have here–at least when we venture beyond typical local mindsets!

  3. Hello Mark Nelsen, this afternoon I was driving north on the 205 nearing Foster road exit. I noticed a vertical dark cloud mass just to the left of Mt. Tabor. As I drove I tried to watch it and I noticed that the mass was becoming thinner and thinner till it slowly dissolved back into the cloud above. Did I just see a funnel cloud? I could not get my phone out to take a photo in time. It was amazing and kind of scary at the same time. Thanks for listening. Eileen McConnell

    • Eileen, I’m obviously not Mark, but I believe it when you say you saw a funnel cloud. They do happen in the PNW, and based on your description it seems likely. I saw one myself back in March 2004, and it looked like a long rope-like cloud that slowly dissolved like yours. The west coast funnel clouds look like that-not as the classic shaped monsters that happen in the Midwest.

  4. Boring Oregon says:

    0.62 so far today, maybe I’ll get a little more. This month so far the rain total is 3.11.

  5. Dave in SW PDX (235') says:

    Feels downright tropical outside, had to take my jacket off while working in the yard today. Currently 54.6°, DP 53°, outdoor humidity 93%.

  6. JJ78259 says:

    Happy Valentines Day! We are expecting a true Weather Dan weather week ahead 83 to 85 degree Temps this week unfortunately no snow in the hills here. Just Green House temps without the Green House. Be nice to Ted!

    • Eugene Dave says:

      Sounds lovely. Looking forward to your weather updates in July.

    • runrain says:

      Ha! So true. 95 deg, hot and dusty and no place to escape to reports don’t seem to be shared with us in July. Cherry-picking weather forecasting for sure!

    • muxpux (Longview) says:

      Oh look! A different climate has different weather!!

    • JJ78259 says:

      Hey I always try update! He is correct the climate is different heading out to the pool just a beauty out there today, 82 degrees in the middle Febuaury feels like vacation.

    • WEATHERDAN says:

      Hey that’s cool. Obama has his healthcare named after him and I have sunny and warm weather named after me. I think I have the better of the the deal. As for 2015 vs. 2016. February of 2015 days 1-15 averaged 49.9 with 4.57 inches of rain. February of 2016 has averaged 49.2 with 1.34 inches of rain. This year is a little cooler and a whole lot drier. However the daytime maximum this year is 56.73 compared to 55.87 for 2015. Peace.

    • A Dan weather week would feel nice right about now. Since we’re obviously done with the prolonged cold/snow threat for the Winter. Been nice not having to deal with drama so much in other wx forums. Maybe some aren’t liking the boredom lol 🙂

  7. Longview 400 ft says:

    You know, after last winter, if one can really call it that, I really enjoy and I am grateful for ALL the skiing news there is to receive!!!
    For us to have feet of snow instead of inches in the high Cascades is an answer and relief from thousands of prayers.
    Thank you Mark, from a non-skier.

    • I’m also a non-skier, but I’m thankful we have a lot more snow to talk about this winter. Anyway, Happy Valentines Day to all! It’s definetly not snowing here this morning, but everytime this day comes along I think of the times we had snow down in my city. February 14-15, 1990 for example; About 13 inches of snow on the ground when it was over. Boy, I wonder how people would handle that now around here? 😉

  8. schmit44 says:

    2/13/2016 Oregon (All) Temperature Summary

    High:57 at EAST BIRCH CREEK(1617 ft)
    Low: 50 at LINCON Lincoln C(187 ft) & W7KKE-3 Road’s E(89 ft) & PACCTY-2 Pacific(28 ft)

    High:27 at Mt Hood Meadows(7300 ft)
    Low: 14 at DIMLKE (4726 ft )

    Largest Diurnal Change: 29 degrees
    Lorella (53/24 ) (4160 ft )
    Beatty (50/21) (4320 ft)

    Heaviest Rainfall:
    1.58″ at MEARES Cape Mear(1421ft)
    1.42″ at OCNSID Oceanside(22ft)
    1.40″ at SADDLE MOUNTAIN(3110ft)
    1.39″ at HEBOWX Mt. Hebo(3160ft)
    1.34″ at SOUTH FORK(2257ft)
    1.33″ at CEDAR(2220ft)
    1.24″ at TILLAMOOK(11ft)

  9. Ellen Wallace says:

    I heard that La Nina is coming back? You did such a great write up on El Nino, please look into La Nina…Thanks!

  10. Yesterday, we had a welcome surprise in the afternoon; Sunshine! A beautiful few hours after some heavy rain in the morning. I hope to see a few more breaks like that in the coming week, because we’ll see a lot of rain here. Oh, one word of advice to Farmer Ted: I appreciate your “pearls of wisdom”, but be careful not to overdo it. Read the advice from the “Good Book”. (Proverbs 9:7, Matthew7:6)

    • JJ78259 says:

      Nice train of Rain heading into the Northwest on the satellite picture stretching back to the islands!

    • Jason Hougak says:

      Amen Roland
      Some people think everybody needs to be exactly like them😆… I love snow and lots of it! I like water wells and gardening, hunting and fishing, I guess I’m a born and raised outdoor enthusiast. I’m not a big beach bum but am at the coast working on a friends sandpoint well during this very stormy day in Ocean Park, WA. If Mark did a Razor Clam weather post would Ted cry? Geez lighten up!

  11. schmit44 says:

    2/12/2016 Oregon (All) Temperature Summary

    High:67 at EW5112 Jacksonvi(1972 ft)
    Low: 53 at Port Orford(0 ft)

    High:37 at Mt Hood Meadows(7300 ft) & Burns Municipal(4144 ft)
    Low: 17 at CRANE PRAIRIE (5500 ft )

    Largest Diurnal Change: 33 degrees
    KLAMATH BASIN NW (62/29 ) (4200 ft )
    EW2055 Prairie C (61/28) (3547 ft)
    Beatty (61/28) (4320 ft)

    Heaviest Rainfall:
    1.06″ at DW5586 Beavercre(1407ft)
    0.99″ at CW2527 Florence(46ft)
    0.90″ at MEARES Cape Mear(1421ft)
    0.88″ at DW0380 Sandy(1600ft)
    0.87″ at DW4118 Sandy(1250ft)
    0.86″ at TIDEWATER(2035ft)

  12. Farmer Ted says:

    Why this constant obsession with the ski conditions? If you are alive and well enough to go up to the mountain and ski, isn’t that enough? Mark me thinks you cater to the young ski crowd too much and they probably don’t look at your blog anyway, maybe time to mature into a wise elder?

    • High Desert Mat says:

      Grow up already Ted. I’m so embarrassed for you I cant even say anything. There are so many points that you are missing.

    • Mark Nelsen says:

      Should I not talk about gardening in spring/summer and any other outdoor activity? I’m fully aware that only a small percentage of the population skis/snowboards, but in winter it gives us something else to talk about and the forecast helps people as well.

    • GTS1K' says:

      Go back to your greenhouse, Ted, and tell your seedlings how to grow. That should keep you occupied so your tendency to tell any and everyone how and what to do and say will be damped – one hopes.

      Remember the quote you so highly praised a week or so ago?

      No one is forcing you to read anything ever….

      Take your own advice and just don’t read it. But, if you must, don’t comment. Try to restrain yourself from posting whiny, preachy, incoherent crap like this.

      And, a word to the “wise” (as you delusionally seem to fancy yourself),: don’t criticize our host’s choice of subject matter

      Maybe time to mature into a wise elder – one who has some sense.

    • muxpux (Longview) says:

      Welcome to the Northwest!! Around here in the winter time a lot of focus gets put on the ski/winter sports because 1) it’s winter and 2) it’s relevant.

      The simplest way to explain it to someone who apparently doesn’t ski, a good ski season is also indicative of a good snowpack. No, I don’t know what you farm, but I’m guessing you care about snowpack. See, snowpack fills the resovoirs and also keeps the rivers at normal levels (maybe your a fish farmer!!)

      then again, there’s also the old saying, you cant please everyone all the time.

      And one more thing, this may not be what you want to here, but Mark and others have mentioned the blog several times on air. This isn’t a place ONLY for us weather geeks. I don’t have the info Mark has on unique visitors per day, or anything like that, but I’m willing to bet a LOT of people read this blog. And a LOT of people ski, therefore it’s easy to conclude that I’m sure a LOT of people look at this blog as a means of a quick look at how the skiing will be after seeing the forecast. I know to read the AFD, marks links page, and the NWS point forecasts for a detailed look at the mountain conditions, but some people just want a quick glance. This is also why Fox12 does the little things like the outfitters guide and things like that.

    • Paul D says:

      The ski crowd ain’t all young. I don’t ski, but I know people that do, and they are in their 50’s.

      Mark gives great advice to everyone. I’d hate to be a skier that drove up to the mountain on Sunday and got rained on. Not checking in with Mark’s forecast is just asking for trouble!

    • Boydo3 N. Albany says:

      I’m 64 and still ski. Plan on doing it for years to come. So yeah, I appreciate the mountain chatter. I also garden and people will be talking about that soon enough too.

    • marinersfan85 says:

      There’s more to the mountain snow than just skiing. Seriously what is it with soft people nowadays?

    • marinersfan85 says:

      Oh yeah, I work with a 65 year old snow boarder. So just because you’re incapable doesn’t mean others aren’t.

    • Benjamin (West Salem) says:

      I enjoy the ski forecasts very much. Even though I don’t ski, on occasion we go snowshoeing, or just up to the mountain to hang out in the snow, build a good snow fort, or find our own hill to sled down. It’s very helpful to hear it from Mark.

    • rubusleucodermis says:

      “The ski crowd ain’t all young.” And even if by chance they were, that wouldn’t invalidate them and mean Mark shouldn’t mention their avocation on the air.

      Really, I can’t fathom how cranky some folks are getting here. It’s not as if Mark is forcing anyone to go skiing against their will just by mentioning ski conditions.

    • marinersfan85 says:

      Mark also isn’t forcing anyone to read anything he writes.

    • sds says:


      Get a life–I’ve been on the Mt. Hood Ski Patrol for 49 years and have been using Marks forecasts and blog to gage what is going to happen on the mountain–Mark is here for all of us , not just the farmers.

  13. Dana says:

    Umm… the weather girl on Friday night. Really!? Holy smokes! She looks like she came straight out of the club on Couch St. Come on guys… Do you not have a wardrobe team??

  14. Aleta-West Gresham says:

    First? 🙂

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