1/18 Update for Thursday, 1/19

Posted by
 January 18, 2012

Good afternoon,

Okay, forecast updates aren’t usually my thing, but I’ve been wrestling with Thursday’s Mt. Hood weather all day. For the graphical forecast, take a look at the previous post. Here’s the 2:45pm update:

Thursday’s weather for Mt. Hood is still highly dependent on the track of the low pressure system that will cross the PNW tomorrow afternoon. If the low tracks south of Mt. Hood, we win with snow. If it tracks a little north of us, we lose. Hell, we might lose and see rain all day, but if I were offered even odds, I’d bet on wet snow tomorrow. Here’s why:

First, the low is most likely going to track south of Mt. Hood and if that happens, it’s going to pull in cool air from the north. Second, the air at 10,000’ looks colder than it was today, so no (*******) inversion. Third, I hate it when it rains on my ski slopes.

Joking aside, the snow level Thursday at 4am should be about 6000’, dropping to 5500’ by 7am. After that, models show cold air getting pulled in at all elevations, resulting in snow in the Gorge and Hood River Valley with the snow level basically at the surface along the east slopes of the Cascades.

It’s not going to be cold at the resorts, but it might just be cold enough; models show 850mb/5000’ temps between -1°C and 2.5°C between 4am and 10am. That’s borderline, but with colder air above, this could result in warm, wet snowfall, even at temps above freezing. By 1pm, both models I’m looking at show 5000’ temps at 0°C or less. So… I think it’s going to snow.

That said, it’s probably going to be wet enough that you’ll be soaked through if you’re skiing, but it’s better than rain at 5000’. The question now is how much snow. Models show 3” water value between 1am and 1pm Thursday, with another .4” overnight. I think that 5000’ will see 3-5” of wet new snow before 1pm, with feet of snow higher up. After 2pm, I think we’ll see 10-12” of new snow down low with feet of new up high.

I know most of you don’t care about the wind, but just in case: 4am, WSW 25-30. 7am SW 35-40. 4pm W 20-30. NW 30-40.

Okay, that’s all for today. 3-day forecast resumes tomorrow morning (or you can go back a posting for this morning’s forecast).

Have a great night!