Tuesday. 12/10. Wacky weather of all types, Thursday’s freezing rain guess, and … that’s it, I guess.

Posted by
 December 10, 2013

It’s winter now, and that means it’s time for the snow forecast!

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Random Morning Thoughts

Does it count as “sleeping in” if you wake up at 5:30?

Mt. Hood Snow Forecast – 5000′

Mt. Hood Snow Forecast

I have to say that today is very difficult to forecast. I’ve been doing this a while, but haven’t seen this particular setup before: north wind and compressional heating on Mt. Hood combined with incoming precip and very cold temps at the surface is throwing me for a loop – this north wind stuff is usually something we see when it’s clear and dry.

This morning we have temps at 18 at 5300′, 33 at 6600′, and 29 at 7300′. Normally I’d just call “incoming warm air”, but models don’t show that and I looked at a dozen other telemetry sites, and it is cold aloft everywhere else. So, let’s call it compressional heating from the north wind. Anyway, this wind-driven heating continues today, but the true free air freezing level (FAF) will be 1000′. Wind on Mt. Hood will be NNW 35 early, dropping to NW 25 midday.

So now we have to talk about today’s incoming precip with this odd setup. I suspect it will fall as snow on Mt. Hood, but there’s a distinct possibility of freezing rain too. Total precip will only be a few hundredths of an inch – enough for snow flurries or a light coating of freezing rain.

Tomorrow looks easier – partly cloudy early, becoming clear midday with a few high clouds in the afternoon. The FAF will be 0-500′ early and 7000′ in the afternoon. Wind will be NW 15 early and WSW 10 in the afternoon.

Thursday starts with the FAF around 8000′ or a bit higher, but it’ll drop to 3000′ midday and rise to 5000′ around 1pm when precip starts falling. Models are coming into agreement on a 5000′ snow level, so hooray for that! We’ll see .8-1” water value (WV) between 1pm Thursday and 4am Friday, for 8-11” of new snow. Wind on Thursday will be WSW 30 early, 35 mid-morning and W 40 for the rest of the day.

Friday starts with a few flurries, with partly cloudy conditions in the afternoon. Should be a lovely day on the slopes.

Plain Old Local Weather

At 7am, it was 30 in Troutdale, 35 in Hood River, 38 in The Dalles, 39 at Rufus, 19 at Blalock Canyon, and 20 at Arlington. This is a very strange temperature distribution, and if this weirdness continues, it’s going to be very, very difficult to predict Thursday’s precip type ahead of time. I do not have an explanation for this, other than to guess that the warmer areas have more cloud cover and stronger wind and therefore less radiational cooling.

The freezing level is around 1000′ for most folks in the Gorge this morning, and we’re supposed to see some precip today between 10am and 3pm or so, most likely starting around noon. I suspect this will fall as rain, not snow. If that’s the case, it will fall as freezing rain (technical discussion of reasons omitted) if you’re in an area that’s below freezing. Or maybe we’ll get lucky and just see wet snow.

Wednesday looks partly cloudy and dry with the temp right around freezing or just below freezing as east wind pushes some cold air back into the Gorge.

Thursday looks to start in the upper 20’s, rising to the mid 30’s in the afternoon as the freezing level rises to 5000′. Precip starts around noon on Thursday, for a brief period of freezing rain before the wind switches from east to west and warms things up, leaving us with rain. Plain old rain. The upper valley may take longer to warm up, so expect slick driving in Parkdale and other sheltered areas away from the Gorge.

Gorge Wind Forecast

Expect westerlies today, starting with gusty 21-24 from Hood River to The Dalles, and fading to 5-10 in the afternoon. Tomorrow brings east wind at 26-30 at Steven’s Locks and 30-40 at Rooster Rock. Thursday starts with light east wind and switches to light west wind midday.

Road and Mountain Biking

I went running on the Gorge 400 yesterday and saw one set of bike tracks. The trail is in good shape, but there are a couple of difficult portages over natural ice skating rinks. I suspect you’ll find Syncline muddy today, as temps should stay above freezing. Post, under the trees, should still be frozen solid.

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

You can play pickup rugby tonight at 5:30pm at Waterfront Park. You can eat $12 Prime Rib at Cebu from 5-9pm. Coming up tomorrow night, the Recreation Trails Committee meets at the OSU extension office at 5pm. There’s an open house for the proposed Lyle trail system from 5:30-7pm at the Lyle Activity Center. There’s Karma Yoga at 4pm (free/by donation at Flow), and there’s Kayak Polo at the Hood River pool at 8pm. The on Thursday, head to Andrew’s for two showings of the ski documentary “McConkey”.

Have an awesome day today!


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