1/7 Mt. Hood and Gorge weather

Posted by
 January 7, 2013

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

Sometimes I’m really glad I didn’t get the forecast right. Take today: instead of waking up to a sheet of ice outside my house, I woke up to rain. 33 degree rain, but rain nonetheless. Why rain instead of freezing rain? Best guess is that the pressure gradient across the Cascades decreased faster than expected, allowing the air in the Gorge to warm up. The gradient at 5am was a mere E .02, not really enough to support the ice train. Anyway, we should get enough rain today to wash much of the snow out of the Gorge proper, if not Odell and maybe even Parkdale. And that should be it for Gorge snow for at least a few days. Something worth mentioning is that temps look to be right around freezing or below in the Gorge on Thursday, and this could freeze the ground hard enough to make for some fun mountain biking, assuming today’s rain washes out all the snow.

West wind over the next three days should help keep the snow melting: West 30-35 today, strongest at Arlington, but windy lots of other places too. Go ahead, windsurf or kite if you dare. Lighter westerlies continue on Tuesday and Wednesday.

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On Mt. Hood today, it’s going to be wet and windy. The freezing level was around 5000′ at 5am, but it will rise to 7500′ by 7am and hang out around 7000′ pretty much all day. Very heavy snow mixed with rain/sleet/freezing rain early gives way to rain, with 1.7” water value (WV) by 4pm. After that, rainfall tapers off, with only .1-.2” by 4am Tuesday for 1-2” of snow. That’s what the models say. However, the strong wind may give us orographic enhancement, for double the snow. Wind today will be W 40-50 early, becoming WNW 50-55 mid-afternoon and slightly more northwesterly at 50 in the evening.

The snow level will plummet overnight, but it will quickly rise again: 1500′ at 1am, 5000′ at 7am, 7000′ at 4pm and 6500′ at 10pm. Tuesday’s moisture, luckily, will head far north of us, with the North Cascades seeing 2-4” of water value (maybe snow, maybe rain… not really sure because I’d have to pull up a whole difference set of models). We, on the other hand, will just see light snow giving way to light rain for less than .25” water value over the 4am Tuesday to 4am Wednesday period. Wind on Tuesday will be WNW 35-40 early, W 40 mid-morning, and then WSW 50-60 through the evening.

Wednesday looks like a happier day for skiers, with very heavy snowfall starting around 4am. The snow level will be 3500′ early, 1000′ mid-morning, and 500′ in the afternoon. About 1.5” WV falls by 4pm, for 14-18” of new snow during the day. Another .1-.2” WV falls overnight, for a couple inches more by Thursday morning. Wind Wednesday will be SW 50 early, SW 40 mid-morning, and WNW 35 in the afternoon.

Have an awesome day today!