Thursday’s mountain snowfall could be the last we see for a few days


PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – Let’s just say we are sitting pretty right now with mountain snow.

We’ve had quite the haul going back to the week of Christmas, and we are thriving on the slopes. Though, we have a long winter, it is quite the scene up at Mt. Hood Meadows today. We want to keep the snow coming, because it is so beneficial for our region when it comes to water. After such a busy timeframe, we are going to hit a wall for the near future. Outside of one lonely chance for snow this week, we are going to dry out for a while.

Check out the views coming from Mt. Hood Meadows this afternoon. What a lovely scene, with plenty of snow to work with. The base is currently at 94 inches and we should be able to pick up a few more come Thursday. It sure seems like we will be more dry than snowy though through the next five to seven days.

Check out the mountain forecast for the remainder of the week. Snow levels are going to be well above the passes and even above the highest chairlift runs. We will do our best on Thursday to bring in as much snow as we can. The forecast below is situated around 5,500 feet. Not much snow will make it to Government Camp this week, or the major mountain passes. We will go for about 3 to 5 inches of snow around the base of Mt. Hood Meadows, with higher totals for the upper runs. Notice that the snow levels jump again by Friday, staying well above the base of the ski resort through the weekend. We shouldn’t lose a lot of snow through this period of time, but we surely won’t be gaining much.

The snow total forecast does bring some snow down to Government Camp and Parkdale Thursday. It shouldn’t be much, with less than an inch expected. Travel up to the mountain shouldn’t be as difficult this trip, but likely still very busy. It’s a great time to be up on the mountain under the sunshine. We only get so many sunny days in the winter, especially in the valley, that this is the time to soak it all up. We will inevitably be back to colder air and more mountain snow. Notice that there isn’t much snow all together, even up in areas of the Washington Cascades too.

Snow should arrive early tomorrow morning, with rain in the valley. If you’re thinking about hitting the slopes on Thursday, it will be your best day to get some active snowfall. It should start as early as 5 to 6 in the morning, with on and off snow showers through the day. Moisture will start drying up form the north down to the south, as an area of low pressure drags down the coast. Once this passes, we will be on our way to a dry weekend.

The weather pattern will show the quick-moving wave on Thursday, represented by the area of green over the Pacific Northwest. If you cycle through the slideshow, you will notice that a massive area of high pressure develops by the weekend. That broad area of high pressure will keep the temperatures warm aloft and it will bump the snow levels up. That is why we have those snow levels jumping over the weekend. We will have to break this ridge down for any other event to move on in. We are hopeful that this may happen after Monday (potentially by Monday night).

If there was ever a time to hit a short dry spell, it would be now. The snow water equivalent is well above average right now. I want to stress, that we want to KEEP it that way. Let’s think of cold and snow for the end of January and start to the month of February. What is extra impressive is that areas of the northern Cascades, where we have our lovely local ski resorts is doing extremely well.

You can learn more about the snowpack and the drought conditions here.

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