March 1st: In like a pineapple, out like a (to be determined). It’s Saturday. Do you know where your studded tires are?

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 March 1, 2014

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Random Morning Thoughts

You ever have a moment where you’re meandering through life and all of a sudden you realize how much someone has done for you that goes way above and beyond the call of duty? I had one of those moments yesterday. I don’t think the person I’m thinking of is reading this, but my gratitude goes out to her. And… just so you know, I slept in until 6:50am again today!

Cool Local Business – Please Support It

ReRack, a 6-year-old Portland business, is your place to buy, sell, and trade your Yakima and Thule rack parts. Brilliant idea, right? They provide free advice and free basic installation too. Head to ReRack, 2240 NE Sandy Blvd, to buy your first rack, sell your old rack or better yet make your old rack work on your new vehicle! Check out or Call (503) 875-6055 for more information. Go check it out. What a brilliant idea!

Mt. Hood Snow Forecast – 5000′
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Mt. Hood Snow Forecast

The Mt. Hood snow forecast, challenging as it is, is easier than the Gorge weather forecast this weekend, by far. The snow level today will be around 1000′ this morning, falling to the surface this afternoon, but temps at 5000′ will remain in the mid 20’s. We’ll see .1” or so water value (WV) by 4pm, for an inch of new snow. Between 4pm today and 4am Sunday, we’ll see .3-.4” WV for 3-4” of snow. Wind will be SW 15-20 early, rising to WSW 30 in the afternoon.

Tomorrow looks awesome and fascinating on Mt. Hood. Those of you who know me know that is not a good sign for a great day of skiing. (insert happy emoticon here) Mt. Hood starts off the day in a layer of mid-level clouds and fog with flurries. The snow level will be at the surface, but temps at 5000′ will be just below freezing. Around 10am, temps between 3k and 5k will warm to just above freezing, and after that, we’ll see the snow level rise to 5500-6000′. Actually, just to be clear, the sounding model suggests 5500′, and the 850mb temp model suggests 6500′. Lots of variation there.

So, on Sunday, we’ll see one system swing through before 1pm, with .3-.4” WV for 2-3” of snow. Then another much wetter and warmer system comes through after 1pm, for 2-2.5” WV by Monday morning. Yeah, that’s a lot of WV. The first .5” may fall as wet, dense snow, for 1-2” of new, but after that, the most likely scenario is rain down low and snow up high. Wind on Sunday will be WSW 40 early, 45mph midday and 50mph in the evening.

Monday sees the snow level at 6000′ early, rising to 6500′ midday, with 2.5” WV during the day and another 1.5” overnight. Call that rain, most likely. Wind will be WSW 35-40 all day. Tuesday looks similar to Monday, but not quite as wet, and Wednesday looks warmer and much wetter, assuming that long-range model is correct.

Oh well. Snow water equivalent is SWE, whether it’s in the form of snow or saturated snow, and we need the SWE for our summer water-based tasks.

Gorge Wind

It’s a nice, strong start to the day today: 40 at Rooster and 36 at Stevenson with an E.17 gradient. Expect that to hold today, with easterlies at 40-50 tomorrow morning, fading to E 10-15 in the afternoon and becoming not-windy overnight, with light west wind on Monday.

Gorge Weather


Here’s the basic problem: models are all over the place in predicting how much cold air will make it to the Gorge from Canada. That makes it very difficult to know how far freezing we’ll end up. Combine that with powerful March sunlight filtering through the clouds, and it’s tough to predict how much frozen stuff will stick to photon-warmed surfaces.

That said, we’re not as cold as we should be this morning, but we should drop below freezing this afternoon. If not, we’ll be below freezing tonight. Today looks cloudy, with light snow/rain showers possible during the day. Precip rates pick up after 4pm, for the potential of 1-2” of snow tonight.

Tomorrow looks pretty wild. We should be below freezing tomorrow under cloudy sky. Temps are going to warm above freezing in the 3000′-5000′ elevation range mid-morning, so we’ll likely see a switch to sleet or freezing rain in the valleys at that point. Models show the air warming above freezing down to river level somewhere between 4pm and 10pm. Cross your fingers that it happens earlier, and whatever you do, don’t put yourself on I-84 tomorrow afternoon.

Expect 1-2” of snow Sunday morning (likely the low end), followed by .1” to .2” water value sleet and freezing rain before 4pm. That’s when things get tricky, as a very wet system moves over the top of our unpredictably cold air. Should we see sub-freezing temps in the Gorge through 10pm, we’ll get .25” to .5” of ice before a switch to rain overnight. Should we see a 4pm warmup, we’ll see .4-.7” rain by 4am Monday.

Monday looks very wet and warm, with temps at least in the upper 40’s. Tuesday also looks warm and wet, although not quite as wet. Wednesday looks like it’ll be in the 50’s with pineapples falling from the sky.

Road and Mountain Biking

Syncline was perfect yesterday. Get it before the snow/sleet/rain/ice/whatever today.

The Clymb: free membership. Cheap gear. Temira approves. Click to join.

Events – email me if I’ve missed any outdoor-related events

Today is the Cold Lap cyclocross ride at Dirty Fingers at 3pm. Coming up Tuesday, Dirty Fingers is having a Mardi Gras party in support of Big Brothers, Big Sister of the Gorge.

Coming up March 8th, it’s Bowl For Kids’ Sake, the annual fundraiser for Big Brothers, Big Sisters. Now look, folks. This program saves lives. Kids who have a “big” have lower dropout rates, better mental health, better grades and more success in life. Trust me on this one, and please make a donation. Any amount helps. And if you want to be involved, there are about 20 boys looking for a Big. Just 2 hours a week can change a kid’s life. Call 541-436-0306 for more information.

Have an awesome day today!