12/6 forecast

Posted by
 December 6, 2010

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Good morning!

It’s 5:45am and I’m sitting on my couch after a long weekend on the hill, thinking that it would be fun to go windsurfing today. Sometimes the thoughts that enter my head are quite disturbing. After all, I’m cold just sitting here, and now I’m thinking of throwing myself into a 45° river in 39° air.

The 5am gradient was .22 east, and that’s enough for 45-50 at Rooster and soon, 30+ at Stevenson. The gradient will start dropping this afternoon, but we’ll still have enough gradient tomorrow for 30ish at Rooster and 20ish at Stevenson. By midday Wednesday, the gradient should equalize across the Cascades.

That’s important because there’s another storm headed our way, and east gradients and cold air underneath an incoming system mean nasty weather in the Gorge. We’ll see .5-.75” of moisture headed this way from the south Monday night into Tuesday morning. Given how warm temperatures are expected to be at 850mb (approximately 5000’), and how close to freezing temps are in the Gorge, I think we’re most likely to see sleet or freezing rain from this storm, and possibly even just plain old rain. (that forecast should make it snow 2 feet!)

In the mountains, this system is probably going to fall as rain up to about 5500’. That’s not terrible if you ski at MHM or at T-Line, but it’s not so great if you want to shred Upper Bowl at Skibowl. Winds will be moderate with this first system, blowing out of the south at 20-25mph.

Another system rolls in Tuesday night. At this point, temperatures will be just above freezing at 5000’, which may keep the precipitation falling as snow. Cross your fingers, because the mountains will see another .75-1” of water value out of the Tuesday night storm. Best bet for good skiing, then, would be Wednesday. However, given the marginal freezing levels, hold out another day before you start clearing your schedule.

In addition, mountain winds will be quite strong with this second system, somewhere in the 30-50mph range Tuesday night through Thursday morning. Timberline will take the brunt of the wind, as they’re more exposed to the southerlies that will accompany this storm. However, it’s going to be quite windy at Meadows as well. Forget about Cascade and Vista, and you can probably forget about Heather Canyon proper due to increasing avalanche danger.

I’m trying not to think about the extended forecast, as it doesn’t look good, unless you’re a kayaker looking for lots of water in the rivers.

Have an awesome day today!


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