12/23 Mt. Hood Forecast

Posted by
 December 23, 2011

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

Pull your sense of foreboding out of your back pocket and start reading.

Today will be what it is right now: clear to partly cloudy, with the possibility of some brief and light snow (likely) or rain (possible) in immeasurable amounts. The snow level will hover around 5000’ this morning, rising to 6000’ this afternoon. Winds will be WSW 30-40 early, dropping to W 25-30 by 1pm.

Tomorrow looks partly cloudy early, becoming clear. The freezing level will be 9000’. Wind will be SW 20-30 early, dropping to 15-20 mid-morning and rising to SSW 20-30 late in the evening. No precip.

Sunday finally brings some snow!!! The snow level will be 9000’ early, falling to 4500’ by 7am and falling to 1000’ by 4pm. Snow starts sometime between 7am and 10am, so there’s a slight but unlikely chance of a bit of freezing rain first. Anyway, snow falls all day, with .5-.7” by 10pm for (thank you Santa) 6-7” of new snow! Winds will be windy: SW 30-40 early, picking up to SW 40-50 by 7am and going to W 35-45 by 1pm.

Here’s where I started feeling sick to my stomach, and please keep in mind that things can change in the extended models, but this isn’t pretty, so sit down and brace yourself: Monday’s system brings .5-.7” of precip with the snow level around 5500’… borderline. However, during the day on Tuesday, we’ll see the snow level rise to 6-7000’ with 1” of water. Same on Wednesday. Thursday and Friday see the snow level at 9-10000’ with 1”+ maybe +++. These numbers are from the Northwest River Forecast Center’s model. The GFS is showing higher precipitation amounts. I am now going to go crawl in a dark corner and sulk.

I’m guessing this is Mother Nature’s way of thumbing her nose at Heather Herbeck and her pray for rain party last weekend. “You want rain?” the esteemed Mother asks. “Bahahaha, I’ll give you rain.” Go kayak.

As for the possibility of snow in the Gorge, I think Sunday’s system will start out as snow, but this system is strong enough to wash out the cold air quickly, so snow for the first couple of hours and then a switch to rain.

Have an awesome day today!


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  1. Frank |

    Please explain your incorrect forecasts:
    Currently your talking about rain basically all next week.

    On Dec 20 you said:
    “Friday looks like typical Mt. Hood storm skiing. The snow level will be at 3500’ in the morning, dropping to 1500’ in the afternoon. Snow starts falling around 2am, for 1” or so by the time ski lifts are turning and another 3-4” during the day. It will be plenty windy to make nice drifts on leeward slopes”
    Not even one flake showed up.

    On Dec 21 you said:
    Models still show this high pressure system collapsing, with the first strong system hitting Mt. Hood sometime on Tuesday.
    On Dec 22 you said:
    Coming up next week, snow starts falling Monday afternoon for 6-9” Monday night.

    • Temira |

      Ask NOAA the same thing. =) Seriously, Frank, forecasts change, as you well know. A small change in the path of a storm or the strength of a blocking high pressure ridge can make a huge change in the amount of precipitation that reaches Mt. Hood. You can go ahead and cherry-pick previous days’ forecast (although why in the world you’d spend that much time trying to prove me wrong is beyond my comprehension. You must have no life or be a very unhappy man), and there will always be mistakes and changes. The models on which my, NOAA’s, NWAC’s and other forecasts are based are constantly changing, and any prediction more than 24 hours in advance is subject to fine-tuning as models come into agreement. In addition, if you want to criticize my FREE forecast and think you can do better, I suggest you try writing a detailed 3-7 day forecast for Mt. Hood (nearly) EVERY MORNING at 5am. I am happy to have you fill in for me for a week (as long as we publish your name and contact information on each forecast) and see how you do. I’d love some time away from my computer. Thanks for your comment.