12/3 Gorge wind, Mt. Hood rain and snow and Mr. Dave Brown

Posted by
 December 3, 2012

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

I got a call yesterday morning from Dave Brown telling me it was ripping at the Hatchery. If you don’t know Dave, you should. He’s a cool windsurfing and snowboarder, and he’s got a great attitude! But he made me sad, sitting in my office at Meadows. I wanted to sail. And I was a bit confused, as I thought it was going to blow in the eastern Gorge. Every once in a while you see a ripping winter day at the Hatch, and I’ve never been able to figure out the cause. I’ve got it now. Yesterday’s storm track was unusual; the passing upper low turned north at Mt. Hood and crossed the Gorge in the vicinity of Arlington or Biggs. Usually low pressure systems take an easterly track and basically parallel the Columbia. So now, the one time each year this happens (or every other year, really), we’ll know, and we’ll all catch the winter Corridor days.

Speaking of wind, it looks like we’ll see another strong westerly day on Wednesday, maybe even in the Corridor, but the strongest of the wind is going to be early in the morning, maybe even overnight, meaning you’re more man than I am if you make it out on the water.

Now, it’s obviously not windsurfing or kiting season, and you’re supposed to be on Mt. Hood playing in the snow. I highly recommend you go today, because tomorrow’s going to f**k up the snowpack. The snow level is around 3000′ this morning, but will rise to 5000′ this afternoon and 5500′ by 10pm. So ski early. We’ll see .2-.3” water value (WV) before noon, for 2-3” of new snow. After that, there’s a break in the precip until midnight. Wind today will be WSW 30-40 for much of the day, going to SW 20-30 around 4pm and SSW 15-25 around 10pm.

Rain starts around midnight tonight, or maybe as early as 10pm tonight. Yes, I said rain. Can you say, “Pineapple Express”? Can you say, “Tropical moisture”? Can you say, “Atmospheric river”? Good job, kiddies! Hey, at least it’s not an ARkStorm. You could kiss our snowpack goodbye if that was the case. The snow level, at 5500′ at 10pm rises to 8500′ by 4am Tuesday and hangs out there for a while before dropping to 7000′ around 4pm and holding through midnight. Rain totals are impressive: 3/4” falls between midnight and 4am. Then 2” falls between 4am and 4pm Tuesday. Then another 2” falls between 4pm and 4am (but we’ll discuss that time period in a minute). Wind on Tuesday will be SW 40-50 early, going to WSW 35-40 from 10am on and holding through midnight.

The wee hours of Wednesday look interesting. The snow level, at 7000′ at 1am drops to 3000′ at 4am and 1000′ at 10am. If we’re really, really lucky, we’ll see the last of the moisture fall as snow between 1am and 4am. Say we do. We get .5” water value in that period for 3-6” of wet new snow. Wet, sticky, icy snow. After 4am, the precip is pretty much done, with .1” falling during the day for a trace of new. Wind Wednesday will be SW 35-45 early, swinging to WSW 40-50 at 4am and W 40-45 at 10am. It will slowly fade and swing more northerly, becoming WNW 20-25 around 4pm.

After Wednesday models disagree on the drying power of a building ridge. Let’s call Thursday dry in the morning with high clouds. However, some moisture overnight will likely bring a trace of snow to both Mt. Hood and the Gorge, at least to Parkdale and Odell. After Thursday, models are too far apart for me to speculate.

Have an awesome day today!