PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Winter is coming to the mountains. This weekend could bring another dusting of snow showers to the higher elevations of Mt. Hood.
A large upper-level low system will drop into the Pacific Northwest this weekend, allowing for very cold air aloft to pool in. Snow levels are projected to drop to around 4,500 to 5,000 feet by Saturday. Precipitation above 5,000 feet will likely fall as snow.
The European weather models are the most aggressive in how much snow we could see.
The top of Mt. Hood is forecast to see around 3 to 6 inches. Meanwhile, the American GFS model shows none, keeping much of the snow north in the Washington Cascades.
It is important to keep in mind that this forecast is still 5 days out and snowfall amounts can change.
If you’re driving through the passes this weekend, keep your eyes and ears open. Highway 26 through Government Camp could see off and on snow showers, but accumulation is not expected at this time.
Typical opening dates at Mt. Hood Meadows lie in November (if we’re lucky). So there is still plenty of time before we can strap on our ski boots. But what about the first snow up at Mt. Hood Meadows? According to Dave Tragethon up at Mt. Hood Meadows, that first round of snow usually comes in October. Here are some of the dates over the last few years starting with one of the earliest snowfalls in 2013. You can see the ski resort had snow on October 5, last year.
2013 – September 25
2018 – October 5
2014 – October 15
2012 – October 16
2010 – October 26
What does our winter outlook say? The Climate Prediction Center has a warmer and drier than normal outlook heading into October to December.
Keep up with Kelley Bayern throughout the season for your fall weather coverage!
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