Thursday. 12/12. .Gorge freezing rain. Mt. Hood snow. Free demos at Meadows Sunday. McConkey movie tonight.

Posted by
 December 12, 2013

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Random Morning Thoughts

Anyone interested in a job? I need a writer. A communicator. A skier or snowboarder. Wed-Sun, 2-9:30pm at Meadows. You’d be answering switchboard, recording the snowphone, and updating the conditions page on the website. Email me a paragraph containing the proper use of all variations of the homophones of “your”, “its”, “to”, and “there” to apply.

Mt. Hood Snow Forecast – 5000′

Mt. Hood Snow Forecast

Know what frustrates me most about forecasting? When the models’ predictions of precip amounts change dramatically from one day to the next. Yesterday’s runs showed .8-1” WV tonight, and now they show .3-.4”. That’s great if you’re worried about a low-elevation ice storm, but not great if you’re looking for powder skiing.

Anyway, today starts out warm and dry and clear on Mt. Hood, with clouds moving in quickly and precip starting around 4pm. The snow level will be 7500′ early, dropping to 3500′ around noon or a bit later. We’ll see .3-.4” water value (WV) between 4pm today and 4am Friday, for 3-5” of new snow. Wind will be SW 30 early, turning to NW 25-35 in the afternoon.

Friday starts with lingering flurries, becoming clear midday. The snow level will be 4500′ early, 3500′ midday, and then the free air freezing level, under clear sky, will rise to 8,000′ or so overnight. We’ll see 1” or less of snow on Friday. Wind will be WNW 20 for much of the day, becoming more northerly in the evening.

Saturday looks partly cloudy to start, becoming cloudy midday, with the free air freezing level around 10,000′. No precip. Wind will be NW 15 early, W 20 midday and W 35 in the afternoon. Sunday starts off clear and warm, with the FAF at 10,000. A few sprinkles may move in midday. Winds look strong: W 30-40.

Next significant round of precip arrives during the middle of next week.

Plain Old Local Weather

Oh dear, oh dear. This is a difficult forecast, and a potentially very ugly forecast. Let me say that I am not the only one hedging this morning. NOAA’s forecast discussion contained the phrase “LOW CONFIDENCE” (they write in all-caps) multiple times. As for my confidence, I am 80% sure that we’ll see freezing rain this afternoon.

If the clouds do not burn off in the Gorge today, and the clouds do not clear in the desert, and the east gradient does not decrease significantly, and the temps do not warm above freezing here and east of here by 4pm, we are going to see freezing rain in the Gorge this evening. Under the worst-case scenario, you can expect freezing rain to last through the wee hours of Friday.

Fortunately, there’s not a lot of precipitable water with this system, meaning we’re only going to see a tenth of an inch or two of ice, enough to cause hazardous driving this evening, but not enough to destroy our already-damaged forests.


Anyway, Friday should warm up above freezing by mid-morning, at the latest, with low clouds in the Gorge and light west wind. Saturday and Sunday looks partly cloudy and above freezing.

Gorge Wind Forecast

We’ll start off with strong east wind today, with 26-30 at Steven’s Locks and 40-45 at Rooster. The wind will fade during the day. As noted above, it’s a difficult forecast on the timing of the switch to west wind. Models say 1-4pm, but I think they’re being overly optimistic. Middle of the night, maybe?

Friday brings westerlies at 13-15 and Saturday and Sunday bring west wind of some sort, to be determined.

Road and Mountain Biking

I really want to ride my bike, but it’s too cold for me. I get chilly going downhill. I did see people riding bikes in Post Canyon yesterday. It’s frozen solid. So, if you want to ride slightly snowy, frozen-solid trails, Post is the place!

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

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

Swing by Andrew’s tonight for the ski documentary “McConkey”. Coming up Sunday, Meadows has the winter ski demo day. Free demos.

Have an awesome day today!