1/16 Mt. Hood sun, Gorge anyone’s guess, and extended sun forecast

Posted by
 January 16, 2013

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Mt. Hood Snow Forecast – 5000′
4a-8a 8a-12p 12p-4p 4p-8p 8p-4a

Good morning,

Just a friendly reminder from my friends at Hood River Rotary: January 21st is the annual Rotary Ski Night at Meadows. Tickets for skiing from 3-9pm are just $10 in advance, $15 at the gate. You can purchase advance tickets now and support a great cause, whether you plan on going or not.

And you thought it was warm on Mt. Hood yesterday? Well, today it’s 51 degrees up there. If I were a smart cookie, I’d be up there setting up pepper starts in the ticket booth, aka “the Meadows greenhouse.”

I’ll start out with a total aside this morning. Traditional wisdom says Gorge wind is driven by the temperature difference between Portland and the desert. That’s somewhat true, but only because cold air tends to be denser than hot air. The last two days (and right now, actually), we’ve had west wind – very strong west wind on Monday – with Portland’s temps warmer than the desert temps. So, what’s going on? This high pressure system parked off the coast is a beast. 30.61mmhg at Astoria. 30.59mmhg in The Dalles this morning. Pacific high pressure is out-highing the desert cold pool. This is a truly unusual situation, and it’s why Portland has been cloudy while the Gorge has (mostly) cleared out the last couple of days. It’s basically a summer setup, although the mechanism of cloud formation in Portland is different than it is during the summer. Pretty cool, right?

The Clymb: free membership. Cheap gear. Temira approves. Click to join.

Or maybe not. Maybe you just care whether it’s going to be sunny in the Gorge the next few days. It looks like we’ll see morning clouds, but models are insisting the clouds will burn off. With the west wind switching to east 26-30 tomorrow, and staying easterly through at least Saturday, it seems unlikely, but with really dry air in the desert, it might just clear out. Wait and see, right?

Speaking of dry air, the relative humidity is high enough to support fog down low (91% in Hood River), but is bone dry up high: 16% at Meadows this morning. If you’re headed up there, drink lots of water!

Also, speaking of things that are not dry, the Syncline is a muddy mess from the freeze-thaw cycle. If you can pick somewhere other than Maui/doubletrack to ride, please do.

Now, the Mt. Hood Forecast. Today will be clear. 11,000′ free air freezing level (FAF). Temps in the upper 40’s to low 50’s. N wind at 20-30 today, becoming NW 15-25 in the afternoon. Thursday: clear, FAF 11,000′. Temps low to mid fifties. Wind NW 15-20. Friday: clear, FAF 11,000′. Temps mid-fifties. Wind W 10. Saturday-Tuesday: clear to high overcast. FAF 11,000′. Wind W early in that period, becoming S or SW. No precip in the next 10 days.

In events, Dirty Fingers hosts Lance Armstrong’s Oprah interview on Thursday at 6pm. This is going to be an evening filled with schadenfreude. Schadenfreude and beer and some sort of food. What more could you want? Also Thursday, at 5:45pm, the HRATS have a board meeting. On Saturday at 9:30am, NWTA has a work party on the easyCLIMB trail. They billed it as the “worst work party of the year”, but with the forecast looking dry and cool and maybe even sunny, it could be a great work party after all!

Have an awesome day today!