Northwest Daily Snow

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Sunday-Monday Storm Update

Summary

Heavy snow (with low snow levels) will continue throughout the PNW on Sunday & Sunday night, with lingering snow favoring Oregon & the Inland NW on Monday. After a brief lull, a strong storm will impact the entire region during the Tue night to Friday timeframe. Confidence is high that most areas will see heavy snow with cold air resulting in low snow levels, but confidence in the timing is low.

Short Term Forecast

Forecast for Western Washington:

Preliminary snow totals as of Sunday AM include the following:

  • 14" - Mt. Baker
  • 9" - Alpental
  • 5" - Stevens Pass
  • 3" - Crystal Mountain
  • 3" - Mission Ridge
  • 1" - Snoqualmie West

Snow has been falling since Sunday morning and has been picking up south of I-90 while Mt. Baker is seeing lighter snowfall on the backside of the storm after getting most of its accumulation Saturday night. Periods of heavy snow will continue for the rest of Washington on Sunday afternoon and Sunday night.

On Monday, the heaviest snow will be over with, but additional backside snow showers can be expected thanks to lingering moisture and an unstable atmosphere. Strong winds on Sunday will also give way to lighter winds on Monday. As a result, I would target Monday for the best skiing conditions (and also better travel conditions).

Additional snow amounts from Sunday morning through Tuesday morning (including what has accumulated since Sunday AM's reports) will range from 6-14 inches from Stevens Pass to White Pass, and 2-6 inches at Mt. Baker and Mission Ridge. Hurricane Ridge should pick up another 4-8 inches.

The next storm will impact Western Washington from Tuesday afternoon through Wednesday night via southwest flow and will involve cold air with very low snow levels (down to sea level at times). As a result, we can expect a drier and more powdery snow event, and totals are likely to be deep.

Light snow is expected to begin on Tuesday afternoon and evening, with heavier snowfall rates and strong southwest winds expected on Wednesday and Wednesday night. Additional snow showers are possible on Thursday, but confidence is low as most of the moisture and energy will be well to the east and south by this point.

We'll get more dialed on snowfall totals moving forward, but for now, I think double-digit snow totals are likely for most areas and 20+ inches will also be doable.

Wednesday will be a storm skiing day but strong winds and possible accumulating snow over the lowlands will make for difficult travel conditions (not to mention possible lift closures), so I would target Thursday for the best skiing conditions.

Forecast for Eastern Washington/Northern Idaho:

Preliminary snow totals as of Sunday AM include 5" at Schweitzer, 2" at Lookout Pass, and 1" apiece at Silver Mountain and 49º North. 

Snowfall is transitioning further south on Sunday afternoon and evening with Bluewood and Southeast Washington being the most favored. Lookout Pass and Silver Mountain have likely picked up good snowfall for most of the day, but snow will taper off on Sunday night.

However, lingering moisture along with an unstable atmosphere will result in snow showers re-developing across the entire Inland Northwest during the day on Monday. Snowfall on Sunday-Monday will be dry and powdery thanks to cold air in place.

Additional snowfall from Sunday AM through Tuesday AM (including what has already fallen since Sunday AM's reports) will range from 6-14 inches at Bluewood, 4-8 inches at Lookout and Silver, 2-5 inches at Schweitzer, and 1-3 inches at 49º North and Mt. Spokane.

I would target Monday for the best skiing conditions from this storm as winds will be lighter and there will still be refills through the day from additional snow showers.

The next storm will impact the Inland Northwest from Tuesday night through Friday and deep snow totals are likely, but significant uncertainty exists regarding when the heaviest and most widespread snow will occur due to poor model agreement.

For now, it looks like light snow will begin late Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, with the prime window for heavy snow being sometime in the Wednesday afternoon to Thursday night timeframe. Additional snow showers are possible on Friday as well.

Cold air involved with this storm will result in very low snow levels along with high snow-liquid ratios (i.e. good quality powder). Strong southwest winds may result in difficult travel conditions and possible lift closures during the strongest part of this storm on Thursday, despite otherwise fun storm skiing conditions.

I would probably target Friday for the best combination of deep snow and lighter winds, improved travel, and improved visibility, but this is subject to change moving forward.

Forecast for Oregon:

Snow totals were very light across Oregon as of Sunday AM's snow reports, but the storm was just getting underway then and snow has been much more widespread and heavier since that time (as of this writing on Sunday afternoon).

Heavy snow and gusty west/northwest winds will continue across Oregon from Sunday afternoon through Monday afternoon before tapering off to light snow showers/flurries on Monday night. Cold air has arrived and this will result in low snow levels and good-quality powder snow.

Snow totals from Sunday AM through Tuesday AM (including what has already accumulated since Sunday AM reports) will range from 1-2 feet from Mt. Hood to Willamette Pass, 6-14 inches at Anthony Lakes and the Blue/Wallowa Mountains, and 2-6 inches at Mt. Ashland and Warner Canyon.

Monday will be a storm skiing day but strong winds will make for difficult travel conditions and possible lift closures. Therefore, I would target Tuesday for the best skiing conditions as cold temperatures will ensure the new snow stays fresh.

The next storm will impact Oregon from Tuesday night through Friday and deep snow totals are likely, but significant uncertainty exists regarding when the heaviest and most widespread snow will occur due to poor model agreement.

For now, it looks like light snow will begin Tuesday afternoon for NW Oregon and Tuesday night for the rest of Oregon, with the prime window for heavy snow being sometime in the Wednesday afternoon to Thursday night timeframe. Additional snow showers are possible on Friday as well.

Cold air involved with this storm will result in very low snow levels, possibly down to sea level at times, along with high snow-liquid ratios (i.e. good quality powder). Strong southwest winds may result in difficult travel conditions and possible lift closures during the strongest part of this storm on Thursday, despite otherwise fun storm skiing conditions.

I would probably target Friday for the best combination of deep snow and lighter winds, improved travel, and improved visibility, but this is subject to change moving forward.

Extended Forecast

Another storm is possible this weekend in the Friday night (12/2) to Sunday (12/4) timeframe, although confidence is low regarding the storm track and intensity. The good news is that cold air in place should continue to result in low snow levels.

From December 5th to 10th, the pattern looks to stay fairly active with additional storms possible. Individual storms may be on the weaker side compared to previous storms, but they should continue to arrive on a relatively frequent basis and temperatures are also expected to stay colder than average, which should result in generally low snow levels.

Thanks so much for reading! Next update on Monday (11/28).

ALAN SMITH