First, your freezing rain update. It looks like the worst of the ice/snow storm in the Gorge will hold off until about 2am Friday morning, so if you are headed to Portland for Thanksgiving, make sure you leave town before that. I’d say there’s about a 30% chance of very light ice/snow falling between 4pm and 2am, so do be prepared for that possibility as well. Given that east gradients are quite light with this system, I do think we’re more likely to see freezing rain or sleet than snow with this system.
In the mountains, this storm will fall as snow, although I wouldn’t be surprised to see snow levels closer to 4500 feet at the beginning, rather than at 3500 feet as NOAA is predicting. Today should be cloudy on the slopes with little or no precipitation and moderate winds. Tomorrow looks problematic, as a frontal system hits the Cascade volcanoes with 30-40 knot winds in the morning, building to 40-45 knots in the afternoon, decreasing late in the day for the last couple of hours of night skiing.
That said, we’ll see snow all day Friday, with the heaviest snow starting around 2-4pm. By Saturday morning, we should see 9-13” of new snow from this system. Another 4-6” should fall Saturday morning, with the weather breaking for partly cloudy skies on Sunday. Windspeeds Saturday and Sunday will be in the 20-25 mph range. On Monday, another big storm hits the Cascades for significant snow accumulation. Temperatures will warm up from the bitter cold we’ve been seeing, with highs in the mid to upper twenties and lows in the upper teens to low twenties.
If you’re a Meadows passholder in the Gorge, today is the day you’ve been waiting for. HRM is now open. The Meadows Nordic Center is open as well, and night skiing starts tomorrow at both Meadows and Skibowl (where you can get the world’s 2nd best nachos).
If you’re heading into the backcountry, be careful. We have significant unconsolidated new snow above 5000ft with faceting at the top and bottom. Avy danger will be much higher late tomorrow and especially Saturday. Check NWAC.us for the detailed Avy forecast.
Have an awesome day today!
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