If you haven’t been up to ski or ride in the Pacific NW yet this season you probably know someone who has. That is where the big snows and powder has been consistent all season. As of a week ago Mt. Baker was reporting a season total of 654 inches surpassing their average of 701 inches. The snow continued to fall this week with over 3 more feet falling brining the resort close to the 700 inch mark. They are now reporting a 300 inch base at Pan Dome.
Here is what it looks like at the base of the mountain. Kind of looks like last year in the Cascades and the Sierra.
Photo from mtbaker.us
The snow has been good in Oregon as well with nearly 3 feet in the past 5 days at Mt. Bachelor and close to 5 feet at Mt. Hood. It was cold snow too as some records were set with snow falling all the way down to sea level. It is interesting how record warmth in the Northeast was simultaneously being offset by record cold in the Northwest. This is from an article today by Steve Pierce on the record cold and snow.
“Since Tuesday evening, many all-time March snowfall and temperature records have been broken up and down the Willamette Valley at airport locations. Portland, Salem, Eugene and Vancouver, WA. airports all set new coldest daytime high temperature records on Wednesday in addition to setting new all-time records for the heaviest snowfall this late in the season. Eugene, Oregon easily broke their maximum daily precipitation record for Wednesday with 1.92 inches with equated to a record setting 7.5″ of snowfall on Wednesday.”
“The Portland International Airport recorded 0.5″ of snowfall overnight last night which sets a new all-time record for that location. March 22nd 2012 will now go down in the record books as the latest measurable snowfall in Portland Airport history. The period of record at the Portland airport is 1940-2012. The previous latest snowfall on record for the Portland airport was set on March 15th 1946.”
There will be a break in the big snows over the weekend as the next storm heads South into California. Some moisture will work in from the South but only expecting a few inches of snow in the Cascades with snow level rising to 4000 ft. or just above over the weekend. Here is the snowfall forecast through Monday morning.
The next storms moving in on Tuesday and Wednesday look colder and they look like they could bring 1-2 feet of snow the length of the Cascades from Mt. Baker down to Mt. Bachelor. Here is the updated snowfall forecast through next Thursday showing up to 2 feet of snow. These maps can tend to be a little underdone for the higher elevations.
There is another storm that will take aim starting as early as next Thursday. This could be a decent size storm lasting into Saturday, but the snow levels look like they will come up pretty high before falling by Saturday. In the higher elevations above 5000 ft. there could be a couple more feet.
The active pattern looks like it could continue into the following week. It will be interesting to see how close Mt. Baker will come to the big season total from last year of 857 by the end of the season. BA