Middle-of-the-road weather is a forecaster’s worst nightmare. Okay, the worst nightmare is unchanging weather, but weather patterns that fall at the center of the bell curve are no fun to forecast. That said, at least this forecast contains a few inches of snow and an incoming frigid air mass, so it’s off to the side of the bell curve in at least one department.
Mountain Weather Forecast:
Clear skies on Mt. Hood this morning quickly give way to clouds as the edge of a cold front swings through the Northern Oregon Cascades. We should see light precipitation start between 10am and 1pm today. The snow level starts off around 6000-6500’, and falls quickly to 5000’ by 10am, falling to 4500’ by 7pm. Winds today will be W at 20-30 early (stronger above 6000’), increasing to WSW 30-40 by 11am and switching to W 30-35 by 7pm. Total precipitation between 10am and 4pm will be .25-.5” WV, for 4-5” of snow, mostly falling after 4pm.
Saturday looks cloudy, with intermittent light snow flurries during the day. We’re looking at .1-.25” WV, so 1-2” of additional snow. The snow level tomorrow will hold at 4000’ all day. Winds start off WSW 10-15, going to W 10-15 by 7pm.
Sunday looks partly to mostly cloudy with occasional snow flurries accumulating around 1” of new. The snow level will be at 3000’, dropping to the surface (at least in the Gorge) by 7pm as very cold, dry continental air flows into eastern Oregon and Washington. Winds Sunday will be NW at 10-15.
Monday looks dry and cold, with high temps on Mt. Hood around 15 degrees. The snow level will be at the surface. Winds will be E at 10-20. The forecast looks dry and cold through the middle of the week.
Cross your fingers for a gradual warmup at the end of next week, because this is the kind of setup that can result in a massive snow or ice storm in the Gorge.
Gorge Wind Forecast:
There’s not much happening in the wind world until Monday morning, when a very cold, very dry air mass pushes into eastern Washington and Eastern Oregon. The high pressure associated with that air mass will set up easterlies around 30mph in the Gorge through Wednesday, at least. However, temperatures will be below freezing. Accompanying high pressure in the NE Pacific will keep the Gorge wind from going nuclear. Along with this setup, we’ll see offshore wind and sunshine at the coast for excellent surfing conditions.
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