12/16 forecast

Posted by
 December 16, 2010

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Good morning!

Every once in a while the sun comes out during a Pacific Northwest winter. If you’d like to see the sun today, head up to the mountains, where the sun will shine for a good part of the day.

It looks like high pressure will keep us sunny today and possibly part of tomorrow (although high clouds look more likely on the hill tomorrow). We’re not going to see much if any precipitation, either in the Gorge or on the mountain, through tomorrow evening. Between now and then, we’re going to see east winds pick up through the Gorge in response to high pressure in the desert and a strong upper level low off the coast.

Easterlies slowly build tomorrow into the 20-25 range at Stevenson and 25-30 range at Rooster, but by early Saturday morning, we’ll see east winds in excess of 40mph at Rooster. Starting between 5 and 7am Saturday morning, all hell breaks loose in the Gorge, with a mix freezing rain (western Gorge) and snow (HR, HRV, Odell and Parkdale). At this point, a deep, cold air mass in the desert suggests we’ll see snow down to river level all day on Saturday with several inches (or more) of accumulation.

Bad news in the Gorge is good news on the mountain, where snow begins falling around 7am on Saturday. The deep cold pool is a bit of a concern, as there’s a slight chance of a significant wind event on Saturday morning. By Sunday morning, we’ll have 10-12” of new. The bulk of that new snow will fall before 7pm on Saturday. A break overnight Saturday gives way to more snow starting early morning Sunday, with a total of 4-6” of new by 7pm. Snow levels during this period will be at or below 2000 feet. Winds on Saturday (assuming we don’t see some sort of rare downslope event) will be in the 20-25 range. Sunday winds will be in the 15-20mph range. We’ll see more snow overnight Sunday, but I’m not guessing on amounts, as model variations are … variable.

If you’re going to be up skiing on Sunday, check out the NW Demo Tour at Meadows. There will be a ton of free ski and snowboard demos. If you haven’t had a chance to try any of the new rockered skis and snowboards, this is your chance. Be prepared to fall in love with some new gear.

Have an awesome day today!


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