11/29 Mt. Hood snow, Gorge wind, and those unreliable weather models

Posted by
Temira
Date
 November 29, 2012
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Mt. Hood Snow Forecast – 5000′
4a-8a 8a-12p 12p-4p 4p-8p 8p-4a
Thursday
Friday
Saturday

We start off today with news I forgot yesterday. All the kayakers heard the word through the pdxkayaker grapevine, but you didn’t hear yet, maybe… The Lower-Lower White Salmon, aka, the DownLow, has a big river-wide log just below Steelhead Falls, essentially rendering that section of river closed and unrunnable. Open for just a few weeks, and now gone. Maybe next week’s high water event (hint at the upcoming forecast) will clear it back out.

In other news, the Forest Service just approved Timberline’s bike park. There’s a 45 day comment period, during which someone(s), likely Crag Law Center, may file lawsuits. Hopefully nobody will, and our bike park will be approved and our local dollars will stop heading north to Whistler. (Oops. Did I just get political? Sorry.) More information coming soon on how to write letters of support and where to send them.

In other news, you missed a scintillating trails meeting last night. Not much to report there…

For wind news, the huge east gradients continue in defiance of my prediction that they’d decrease. We’re at E .28 this morning, with 30+mph at Stevenson and Rooster. If it weren’t 36 degrees outside, I’d consider taking my new Starboard Quad 71 (thanks, Cyber Monday shop-at-home Big Winds) for a ride, but it’s cooooold and I’m a wimp! East gradients continue tomorrow.

In the snow forecast, Mt. Hood is messing with me this morning. All the models say the snow level and freezing level will be around 6500′. However, it’s currently 32 at 5200′ and snowing. If there wasn’t much precip coming in today, this wouldn’t be a problem. However, there’s almost an inch on the way, and that means getting it right is important. With SSW flow, I would be surprised if this stays snow all day. I’m going to call alternating rain and snow below 6500′, with .9” water value by 4pm (heaviest around 1-4pm), giving us 2-3” of snow at 5000′. Another .6” WV falls by 4am Friday, for another 1-3” of snow down low. Total snowfall above 6000′ should be in the 6-10” range. Wind today will be SSW 20-30 for much of the day.

According to the (apparently not so reliable) models, tomorrow starts off with the snow level around 6000′, dropping to 5000-5500′ at 10am. There won’t be much precip during the day, maybe .1” WV by 4pm, but what falls should be snow, for another 1” or so. Another 1.2” falls Friday night through 4am Saturday, and that should fall as wet snow. Call it 5-7” of wet new snow at 5000′, with more higher up. The wind will be SW 15-25 early Friday, rising to SW 30-40 by 10am and holding all day.

Saturday starts off with new snow on the ground and flurries falling from the sky. The freezing level will be 5000′ at 4am, dropping to 4500′ by 10am. Only a trace of snow will fall during the day, with sunbreaks. Another round of snow starts overnight, for .4” WV by 4am Sunday, for 3-4” of new snow overnight. Wind will be SW 25-35 all day.

Sunday looks snowy. The snow level will be at 3500′ early, falling to 2000′ around 4pm. Snowfall picks up around 4am, for .9” WV by 4pm, giving us 8-11” of new snow during the day, followed by flurries overnight. However… and this is important… the track of this system gives innocuous weather early, but as soon as the low moves east of Mt. Hood, all hell will break loose in the wind department. It’ll be SW 10-15 in the morning, rising to 20-25 midday. Then the wind jumps to WNW 45-50 around 1pm, likely causing chairlift issues.

In the long-range forecast, Monday looks cold with snow flurries. Tuesday and Wednesday look very warm and wet. Break out the palm trees, Mai Tais and beach chairs, because Mother Nature is going tropical. Kayakers, get ready!

Have an awesome day today!

Temira