Saturday's storm kicked off our pattern change with new snowfall favoring Washington. The next storm on Monday has trended weaker, but stronger storms on Wed & Thur will bring heavier snow to all regions of the PNW. The extended range outlook looks great too with frequent snow chances expected through Dec 20th.
Short Term Forecast
New snow totals from Saturday's storm (based on limited early season reports) ranged from 5-15 inches across the Washington Cascades and 3-6 inches across the Inland Northwest. The Oregon side saw little snow with the Mt. Hood area resorts reporting around an inch.
While we still have a ways to go in terms of coverage for getting ski resorts open, it's nice to see some snowy scenes (and with the sun peeking out) on Sunday morning. Hopefully, with the upcoming snowy pattern, most ski resorts will be able to open up relatively soon.
Sunday is when we will see a break in the pattern, followed by storms on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Let's get to it...
Forecast for Sunday Night - Monday:
The next storm will arrive from the northwest, but this storm has trended weaker since my last post.
The northwest to southeast trajectory will favor the Washington Cascades and the Blue Mountains in SE Washington/NE Oregon. Most of the snow from this storm will miss the ID Panhandle resorts to the south.
A warm front will also reach Oregon during the day on Sunday with snow levels rising to 6,000 feet around Mt. Hood and 7,000 feet at Mt. Bachelor, which means the lower mountains of these resorts will see rain.
In terms of timing, snow will reach the Cascades late Sunday night with the main round of snow falling on Monday morning.
The Blue Mountains and Inland NW will then see their main round of snow on Monday afternoon with snow tapering off across all areas on Monday night.
Here are the projected snow totals through Tuesday morning from a blend of weather models:
Forecast for Tuesday - Wednesday:
On Tuesday, we'll see a lull in between storms but a warm front will move northward into Washington leading to rising temperatures.
The next storm will then arrive from the northwest and reach Western Washington on Tuesday night. Snow levels will start out as high as 4,000-5,000 feet across the WA Cascades as precipitation begins Tuesday evening.
But the good news is that a cold front will arrive overnight with snow levels quickly falling to below base areas heading into Wednesday morning.
This will be a stronger storm than Monday's storm and will have better jet stream support. The WA Cascades and Inland NW will be favored for moderate to heavy snow while Mt. Hood and the Northern OR Cascades should see moderate snow as well, but not as heavy compared to WA.
Forecast for Thursday:
Another storm will arrive from the northwest on Thursday with little break in between storms. This storm will be deepening more off the West Coast and pushing south, and the Oregon Cascades will likely see heavier snowfall as a result compared to Wednesday's storm.
The WA Cascades should see another nice round as well before the focus of snow shifts southward into Oregon. The Inland NW will only see light snow from this storm if the current projected path remains on track.
On Friday (12/10), lingering moisture in a northwest flow aloft may result in additional lighter snow showers across portions of the PNW.
Attention then turns to a possible strong storm next weekend (12/11-12/12). A storm is projected to deepen near the west coast as it moves south out of Canada and impact Washington first before moving southward into Oregon.
Currently, it looks like WA would get hit the hardest with snow on Saturday (12/11) and Oregon on Sunday (12/12), but we're still close to a week away so a lot can change between now and then.
Looking farther out, an active pattern is expected to continue with frequent snow chances during the week of December 13th-20th.
Thanks so much for reading! Next update on Tuesday (12/7).
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