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Mountain Weather Forecast

Issued: 1:15 PM Wednesday, January 28, 2015
by Garth Ferber

The NWAC program is administered by the USDA-Forest Service and operates from the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Seattle. NWAC services are made possible by important collaboration and support from a wide variety of federal, state and private cooperators.

Weather synopsis for Wednesday & Thursday

A dissipating front moved to the Northwest on Tuesday. Then a weak convergence caused a little rain mainly in the Stevens to Snoqualmie area on Tuesday night.

The main weather feature will be an upper ridge over the US west coast during the Wednesday to Saturday period. A very weak and poorly defined short wave will move through the ridge and over the Northwest Wednesday night to Thursday morning. Overall the winds aloft will be light with a slow warming trend Wednesday and Thursday. The latest model runs indicate no precipitation from the short wave  in most areas, a few areas may see brief light showers.

A decrease in clouds should be seen Thursday afternoon and night.

Weather forecast for Wednesday & Thursday

Olympics, Washington Cascades near and west of the crest including Stevens, Snoqualmie, and White Passes
Date Weather
Wednesday Afternoon

Mostly sunny.

Wednesday Evening - Thursday Morning

Partly cloudy with slight chance of a few light rain showers.

Thursday Afternoon

Partly cloudy or partly sunny.

East slopes of the Washington Cascades
Date Weather
Wednesday Afternoon

Mostly sunny. Areas of clouds lower elevations and valleys.

Wednesday Evening - Thursday Morning

Partly cloudy with slight chance of a few light rain showers at higher elevations. Areas of clouds lower elevations and valleys.

Thursday Afternoon

Partly sunny. Areas of clouds lower elevations and valleys.

Mt. Hood Area
Date Weather
Wednesday Afternoon

Partly sunny.

Wednesday Evening - Thursday Morning

Partly cloudy with slight chance of a few light rain showers.

Thursday Afternoon

Partly cloudy.

Snow Level/Freezing Level in feet

Date Olympics Northwest Cascades Northeast Cascades Central Cascades South Cascades Easterly Flow in Passes
Wednesday Afternoon - Wednesday Night Snow Level 6000' 5000' 4000' 5500' 6500'
Thursday Morning Snow Level 6500' 5500' 0' 6000' 7000'
Olympics
Date Elevation
Wednesday Afternoon - Wednesday Night Snow Level
6000'
Thursday Morning Snow Level
6500'
Thursday Afternoon - Thursday Night Snow Level
7000'
Northwest Cascades
Date Elevation
Wednesday Afternoon - Wednesday Night Snow Level
5000'
Thursday Morning Snow Level
5500'
Thursday Afternoon - Thursday Night Snow Level
6000'
Northeast Cascades
Date Elevation
Wednesday Afternoon - Wednesday Night Snow Level
4000'
Thursday Morning Snow Level
0'
Thursday Afternoon - Thursday Night Snow Level
5000'
Central Cascades
Date Elevation
Wednesday Afternoon - Wednesday Night Snow Level
5500'
Thursday Morning Snow Level
6000'
Thursday Afternoon - Thursday Night Snow Level
6500'
South Cascades
Date Elevation
Wednesday Afternoon - Wednesday Night Snow Level
6500'
Thursday Morning Snow Level
7000'
Thursday Afternoon - Thursday Night Snow Level
7500'

Cascade Snow / Freezing Levels noted above refer to the north (approximately Mt Baker and Washington Pass), central (approximately Stevens to White Pass) and south (near Mt Hood). Freezing Level is when no precipitation is forecast.
* Note that surface snow levels are common near the passes during easterly pass flow and may result in multiple snow / freezing levels.

24 Hour Quantitative Precipitation ending at 4 am

Location Thu Fri
Hurricane Ridge lt .10 lt .10
Mt Baker Ski Area lt .10 lt .10
Washington Pass lt .10 lt .10
Stevens Pass lt .10 lt .10
Snoqualmie Pass lt .10 lt .10
Mission Ridge 0 lt .10
Crystal Mt lt .10 lt .10
Paradise lt .10 lt .10
White Pass lt .10 lt .10
Mt Hood Meadows lt .10 lt .10

Winds in Miles per Hour (MPH) "Cascade Pass Level Winds"

Date Direction - Speed

Directions above indicate the direction the wind blows from on the 16-point cardinal scale. Winds near the passes tend to be highly channeled by the topography and normally blow either easterly or westerly depending on the surface pressure gradients that drive such winds.

Free Winds at 5000' (in Miles per Hour (MPH))

Date Olympics Northwest Cascades Central Cascades South Cascades
Wednesday Afternoon - Wednesday Night SW 0 - 10 SW 0 - 10 SW 0 - 10 SW 0 - 10
Olympics
Date Elevation
Wednesday Afternoon - Wednesday Night SW 0 - 10
Thursday Morning - Thursday Night VAR 0 - 10
Northwest Cascades
Date Elevation
Wednesday Afternoon - Wednesday Night SW 0 - 10
Thursday Morning - Thursday Night VAR 0 - 10
Central Cascades
Date Elevation
Wednesday Afternoon - Wednesday Night SW 0 - 10
Thursday Morning - Thursday Night VAR 0 - 10
South Cascades
Date Elevation
Wednesday Afternoon - Wednesday Night SW 0 - 10
Thursday Morning - Thursday Night VAR 0 - 10
Olympics
Date Direction - Speed
Wednesday Afternoon - Wednesday Night SW 0 - 10
Thursday Morning - Thursday Night VAR 0 - 10
Northwest Cascades
Date Direction - Speed
Wednesday Afternoon - Wednesday Night SW 0 - 10
Thursday Morning - Thursday Night VAR 0 - 10
Central Cascades
Date Direction - Speed
Wednesday Afternoon - Wednesday Night SW 0 - 10
Thursday Morning - Thursday Night VAR 0 - 10
South Cascades
Date Direction - Speed
Wednesday Afternoon - Wednesday Night SW 0 - 10
Thursday Morning - Thursday Night VAR 0 - 10

Directions above indicate the direction the wind blows from on the 16-point cardinal scale. These winds and the 9000 ft winds below also indicate "free" winds, or those winds in the atmosphere not influenced by terrain. Topographical effects may produce greater or lower wind speeds in certain locations as well as significant variations in direction.

Free Winds at 9000' (in Miles per Hour (MPH))

Date Northwest Cascades Northeast Cascades Central Cascades South Cascades
Wednesday Afternoon W 10 - 20 W 10 - 20 W 10 - 20 W 10 - 20
Northwest Cascades
Date Direction - Speed
Wednesday Afternoon W 10 - 20
Wednesday Night - Thursday Night W 10 - 20
Northeast Cascades
Date Direction - Speed
Wednesday Afternoon W 10 - 20
Wednesday Night - Thursday Night W 10 - 20
Central Cascades
Date Direction - Speed
Wednesday Afternoon W 10 - 20
Wednesday Night - Thursday Night W 10 - 20
South Cascades
Date Direction - Speed
Wednesday Afternoon W 10 - 20
Wednesday Night - Thursday Night W 5 - 15

Extended Weather Synopsis for Friday through Sunday

The upper ridge and warm dry air mass should cause light winds aloft and fair weather Friday and Saturday.

The ridge should temporarily flatten and shift to the east Sunday morning as a front approaches from over the northeast Pacific Ocean. This system looks like it will arrive a bit slower than earlier indicated. The front should move across the Northwest later Sunday. This should bring some increasing winds aloft, some rain and snow and a temporary drop in snow levels.

Extended Weather Forecast for Friday through Sunday

Olympics, Washington Cascades, Mt Hood
Date Weather
Friday - Saturday

Mostly sunny and mostly clear. Possible areas of clouds lower elevations and valleys east of the crest.

Snow/Freezing Levels

Date Olympics Northwest Cascades Northeast Cascades Central Cascades South Cascades Easterly Flow in Passes
Friday Freezing Level 7000' - 9000' 6000' - 8000' 5000' - 7000' 6000' - 8000' 7000' - 9000' *
Saturday Freezing Level 7000' - 9000' 6000' - 8000' 5000' - 7000' 7000' - 9000' 8000' - 10000' *
Sunday Morning Snow Level 5000' - 7000' 5000' - 7000' 4000' - 6000' 5000' - 7000' 6000' - 8000' *
Olympics
Date Elevation
Friday Freezing Level
7000' - 9000'
Easterly Flow*
Saturday Freezing Level
7000' - 9000'
Easterly Flow*
Sunday Morning Snow Level
5000' - 7000'
Easterly Flow*
Sunday Afternoon - Sunday Night Snow Level
3000' - 5000'
Northwest Cascades
Date Elevation
Friday Freezing Level
6000' - 8000'
Easterly Flow*
Saturday Freezing Level
6000' - 8000'
Easterly Flow*
Sunday Morning Snow Level
5000' - 7000'
Easterly Flow*
Sunday Afternoon - Sunday Night Snow Level
3000' - 5000'
Northeast Cascades
Date Elevation
Friday Freezing Level
5000' - 7000'
Easterly Flow*
Saturday Freezing Level
5000' - 7000'
Easterly Flow*
Sunday Morning Snow Level
4000' - 6000'
Easterly Flow*
Sunday Afternoon - Sunday Night Snow Level
3000' - 5000'
Central Cascades
Date Elevation
Friday Freezing Level
6000' - 8000'
Easterly Flow*
Saturday Freezing Level
7000' - 9000'
Easterly Flow*
Sunday Morning Snow Level
5000' - 7000'
Easterly Flow*
Sunday Afternoon - Sunday Night Snow Level
3000' - 5000'
South Cascades
Date Elevation
Friday Freezing Level
7000' - 9000'
Easterly Flow*
Saturday Freezing Level
8000' - 10000'
Easterly Flow*
Sunday Morning Snow Level
6000' - 8000'
Easterly Flow*
Sunday Afternoon - Sunday Night Snow Level
4000' - 6000'

Freezing Level is when no precipitation is forecast.
* Note that surface snow levels are common near the passes during easterly pass flow and may result in multiple snow / freezing levels.