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Geez. I’m a little behind the ball today. NOAA’s been all over the freezing rain forecast for a couple of days, and I’ve been slacking off. Well, I’m on board now. It’s 32 degrees at Meadows. It’s 28 down here. It’s going to freezing rain on us a bit this afternoon. It would be doing it now, but the atmosphere is so dry from the easterlies that the moisture is falling and not reaching the ground here… yet. We’ll likely see freezing rain in the Hood River area between noon and 6pm. The western Gorge will probably see it earlier. It shouldn’t be more than .2” of ice accumulation, but it’ll be enough to make a mess. Sorry for the late notice. Uh… you shouldn’t go to Portland or come back this afternoon unless it’s a matter of life or death.
After 7pm today, temps should warm above freezing and the ice will go away. We’ll see a brief switch to light west wind overnight before easterlies return at 21-24 tomorrow afternoon. Yes, it looks foggy in the Gorge tomorrow, at least in the morning, and we might get lucky with below-freezing temps again and super-slick roads. Friday looks very rainy and relatively warm, with temps in the low 40’s. Saturday looks showery.
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On Mt. Hood, this system should actually come in as wet snow. The free air freezing level will be 5000′ this morning, falling to 2000′ around 4pm. Light flurries (or maybe light sprinkles) this morning give way to heavier precip around noon, with .4” water value (WV) falling by 10pm, for 3-4” of new snow. The sky clears overnight. Wind today will be SSW 40-50 through the day, dropping to SW 30 at 4pm and swinging to W 30 overnight.
Thursday starts off with clear or high overcast sky above Mt. Hood. The freezing level will be at 1000′ early, rising to 5000′ by 1pm and briefly to 7000′ by 10pm. The sounding model is predicting snow, but the 700mb model shows warm temps aloft. I’m going to call freezing rain out of this system for Mt. Hood, and my apologies to anyone in mountain operations. It’ll start around 10pm, with .3” falling by 4am Friday. Wind Thursday will be WNW 20 early, SW 20 midday and SW 30 overnight.
Friday will likely start with freezing rain on Mt. Hood, switching to snow mid-morning. The freezing level will be 4000′ early, 5500′ mid-morning and 3000′ in the afternoon. Approximately .7” WV falls between 4am and 4pm, for a couple inches of snow if we’re lucky and a lot of ice if we’re not. Snow continues overnight as another frontal system swings through for another .4” WV in the 1am-4am period, for 3-5” of new. Wind Friday will be SW 30-40 all day.
Saturday looks showery, with the snow level at 1500′ all day and .3” WV falling during the day for 2-4” of new snow. Wind will be WSW 30, dropping to SW 20 mid-morning.
Coming up Friday, there’s an avalanche awareness clinic at Dog River at 7pm. This is no substitute for taking a full Avalanche I course, but it will give the basics of backcountry safety. Plus, it will give you a chance to talk to your USFS ranger, Jimmy T.
Have an awesome day today!