1/6 Mt. Hood rain/snow and Gorge freezing rain forecast

Posted by
 January 6, 2013

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Mt. Hood Snow Forecast – 5000′
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Oh wow. This weather is really getting exciting. First off today, the Gorge forecast. Today looks relatively dry, but around midnight, it’s going to get messy. A warm and very wet system comes right over the top of our landlocked sub-freezing air. The gradient won’t switch to westerly until probably 10am on Monday, and that means we’re in for up to .5” of freezing rain between midnight and 10am. We also might see an inch or two of snow between 10pm and midnight. If you don’t have to drive I-84 Monday morning, don’t. Really. Don’t.

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The freezing rain should switch to rain by 10am Monday, with accompanying strong west wind. We might see another shot of freezing precip on Tuesday as the next front approaches with east wind through the Gorge, but once again, west wind saves the day around 1pm, bringing warmer weather. Models are totally out of synch on Tuesday’s precip amounts. If the storm track heads north, we’ll stay relatively dry. If it shifts south a little, we’ll take another pounding. Wait and see…

Then on Wednesday, very cold air moves in with heavy precip. Right now, it looks like the snow level will be at 500′, borderline for a river-level snow event, but in the ballpark for 6-8” in Odell and Parkdale.

At this point, Thursday looks dry and cold with enough west wind to give us partly cloudy sky in the Gorge.

Now, since this is really a ski forecast this time of year, here’s your Mt. Hood forecast:

Today looks clear on Mt. Hood early in the morning, with high clouds moving in mid-morning. The free air freezing level (FAF, which doesn’t take the inversion and sub-freezing Gorge temps into account) will be 1000′, rising to 1500′ by 7pm and 4000;+ by 1am. It’s likely we’ll see a bit of snow between 10pm and 1am before a switch to sleet, freezing rain, and then straight-up rain by 4am Monday. Total precip will be .3-.4” water value (WV) between 10pm and 4am. Wind today will be W 20-25 early, swinging to SW 20-25 around 7pm.

Monday looks … interesting. A warm system rides over cold air, giving us freezing rain at 5000′ through 4am. After 4am, we’ll just see rain, as the freezing level rises from 4000′ at 1am to 6000′ at 4am to 8000′ at 7am. It won’t drop to a better level until 10pm, when it falls to 4000′. Mt. Hood gets 1.4-1.6” of rain between 4am and 4pm, followed by another .4” WV between 4pm Monday and 4am Tuesday. That last bit will likely fall as 2-4” of new snow. Wind on Monday will be SW 25-30 early, W 30-40 by 4am, W 45-50 by 7am and WNW 50 at 1pm, becoming more NW late in the evening.

Tuesday’s models are struggling with the location of the storm track. At this point, all that can really be said is that it’s probably going to be borderline for snow vs. rain, with the snow level at 4000′ in the morning rising to 5500-6500′ during the day. The wind will be SW 30-50 (I know, not very specific of me). If the storm track goes north, we’ll be warm but relatively dry. If it shifts south by 100 miles or so, we’ll be warm and drenched. Once again, wait and see.

Wednesday looks much colder, with the potential for a lot of snow to fall on Mt. Hood. Thursday looks cold, sunny, and windy.

Have an awesome day today!