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Mountain Weather Forecast

Issued: 2:58 PM PST Thursday, March 8, 2018
by Robert Hahn

Jump to: Weather Forecast I Snow/Freezing Level I Precipitation I Free Winds 5k I Free Winds 9k I Extended Weather

Weather Synopsis for Thursday & Friday

An open trough and weakening surface low sit just W-SW of Cape Flattery on Thursday afternoon. The low will dissipate as it crosses the Olympics, but the associated upper trough will continue to bring moderate rain and snow to the mountains.

Moderate free air winds (and stronger gusts) will be out of the south today, switching to SW after 4PM when the occluded front associated with the dying low crosses the Cascades, then westerly as a secondary upper trough and stronger surface cold front swings through from the NW around 1 AM. Temperatures will drop sharply behind the cold front and most locations will change back to snow as precipitation intensities are decreasing.

Easterly flow is keeping the passes cool so far on Thursday afternoon. However, Snoqualmie should see a changeover to rain around 4PM with the passage of the occluded front with a changeover back to Snow between 1 and 4 AM on Friday. Stevens Pass may see a changeover to rain during the evening hours before changing back to snow after midnight. Mt. Baker base is now back to snow and should remain wet snow until the cold front cools things the atmosphere further.

On Thursday night, precipitation should decrease behind the cold front. In the early morning hours, a convergence zone is likely to develop in the Stevens Pass vicinity and could push as far south as Snoqualmie. Snow shower activity will be light Friday and will taper off. Temperatures will be cool.

On Friday night, skies will becoming mostly clear as high pressure builds over the region.

 

Weather Forecast

Olympics
Thursday Periods of light rain and snow.
Thursday Night Light rain and snow changing to all snow after midnight. Moderate SW winds changing to westerly winds after midnight.
Friday Cold in the morning with snow showers ending early; otherwise partly cloudy.
Mostly clear.
Washington Cascades near and west of the Crest including Stevens, Snoqualmie and White Passes
Thursday Moderate rain and snow. Moderate easterly winds in the passes. Moderate (gusting to strong) southerly winds.
Thursday Night Moderate rain and snow in the evening, changing to light to moderate snow showers after midnight, heaviest in convergence near Stevens Pass. Moderate SW winds switching to westerly after midnight.
Friday Light snow showers, decreasing. Otherwise mostly cloudy skies.
Partly cloudy with ESE winds developing after midnight.
East Slopes of the Washington Cascades
Thursday Light to moderate rain and snow. Moderate easterly winds in the passes. Moderate (gusting to strong) southerly winds.
Thursday Night Light to moderate rain and snow in the evening, changing to light snow showers after midnight, heaviest in convergence near Stevens Pass. Moderate SW winds switching to westerly after midnight.
Friday Light snow showers near the Cascade Crest, decreasing. Otherwise partly sunny skies.
Mostly clear.
Mt. Hood
Thursday Moderate rain and snow. Strong S-SW winds.
Thursday Night Moderate rain and snow along with strong SW winds becoming light snow showers in the early morning hours with moderate to strong W-SW winds.
Friday Rapidly decreasing light snow showers in the morning and partly cloudy skies in the afternoon. Decreasing moderate westerly winds.
Clear skies with rising freezing levels and light winds.

Snow/Freezing Level (ft)

Hurricane Ridge Mt. Baker Washington Pass Leavenworth Stevens Pass Snoqualmie Pass Mt. Rainier, Crystal & White Pass Mt. Hood
Thursday Afternoon Snow Level* 4500' 3500' 3000' None' None' 3500' None' 4500'
Thursday Night Snow Level 2000' 2000' 2500' None' None' 3000' None' 3500'
Friday Morning Snow Level 2000' 1500' 1500' None' None' 1500' None' 1500'
Friday Afternoon Snow Level 2500' 2000' 2000' None' None' 3000' None' 3500'
Hurricane Ridge Elevation
Thursday Afternoon Snow Level
4500'
(Easterly Flow *)
Thursday Night Snow Level
2000'
Friday Morning Snow Level
2000'
Friday Afternoon Snow Level
2500'
Friday Night Freezing Level
2000'
Mt. Baker Elevation
Thursday Afternoon Snow Level
3500'
(Easterly Flow *)
Thursday Night Snow Level
2000'
Friday Morning Snow Level
1500'
Friday Afternoon Snow Level
2000'
Friday Night Freezing Level
2000'
Washington Pass Elevation
Thursday Afternoon Snow Level
3000'
(Easterly Flow *)
Thursday Night Snow Level
2500'
Friday Morning Snow Level
1500'
Friday Afternoon Snow Level
2000'
Friday Night Freezing Level
1500'
Leavenworth Elevation
Thursday Afternoon Snow Level
None'
(Easterly Flow *)
Thursday Night Snow Level
None'
Friday Morning Snow Level
None'
Friday Afternoon Snow Level
None'
Friday Night Freezing Level
None'
Stevens Pass Elevation
Thursday Afternoon Snow Level
None'
(Easterly Flow *)
Thursday Night Snow Level
None'
Friday Morning Snow Level
None'
Friday Afternoon Snow Level
None'
Friday Night Freezing Level
None'
Snoqualmie Pass Elevation
Thursday Afternoon Snow Level
3500'
(Easterly Flow *)
Thursday Night Snow Level
3000'
Friday Morning Snow Level
1500'
Friday Afternoon Snow Level
3000'
Friday Night Freezing Level
2000'
Mt. Rainier & Crystal Elevation
Thursday Afternoon Snow Level
None'
(Easterly Flow *)
Thursday Night Snow Level
None'
Friday Morning Snow Level
None'
Friday Afternoon Snow Level
None'
Friday Night Freezing Level
None'
Mt. Hood Elevation
Thursday Afternoon Snow Level
4500'
(Easterly Flow *)
Thursday Night Snow Level
3500'
Friday Morning Snow Level
1500'
Friday Afternoon Snow Level
3500'
Friday Night Freezing Level
3000'

* Easterly flow in the Cascade Passes can cause locally lower Snow or Freezing levels than areas further west.
Freezing Level is when no precipitation is forecast.

Precipitation Forecast

Friday Saturday
Hurricane Ridge 0.50 - 0.75 LT 0.10
Mt Baker Ski Area 1.50 - 2.00 LT 0.10
Washington Pass 1.00 LT 0.10
Stevens Pass 1.00 0.25
Snoqualmie Pass 1.50 LT 0.25
Mission Ridge 0.25 LT 0.10
Crystal Mt 0.75 - 1.00 LT 0.10
Paradise 1.00 - 1.50 LT 0.10
White Pass 0.75 - 1.00 LT 0.10
Mt Hood Meadows 0.75 - 1.00 LT 0.10
0.75 LT 0.25
Hurricane Ridge Precipitation Forecast
Friday 0.50 - 0.75
Saturday LT 0.10
Mt Baker Ski Area Precipitation Forecast
Friday 1.50 - 2.00
Saturday LT 0.10
Washington Pass Precipitation Forecast
Friday 1.00
Saturday LT 0.10
Stevens Pass Precipitation Forecast
Friday 1.00
Saturday 0.25
Snoqualmie Pass Precipitation Forecast
Friday 1.50
Saturday LT 0.25
Mission Ridge Precipitation Forecast
Friday 0.25
Saturday LT 0.10
Crystal Mt Precipitation Forecast
Friday 0.75 - 1.00
Saturday LT 0.10
Paradise Precipitation Forecast
Friday 1.00 - 1.50
Saturday LT 0.10
White Pass Precipitation Forecast
Friday 0.75 - 1.00
Saturday LT 0.10
Mt Hood Meadows Precipitation Forecast
Friday 0.75 - 1.00
Saturday LT 0.10
Timberline Precipitation Forecast
Friday 0.75
Saturday LT 0.25

Free Winds at 5000' (mph)

Hurricane Ridge Mt. Baker Stevens to Snoqualmie Pass Mt. Rainier Mt. Hood
Thursday Afternoon WSW 20 - 30 SSE 15 - 25 S 30 - 40 --- None - None WSW 45 - 65
Thursday Night WSW 30 - 40 SW 25 - 35 W 30 - 40 --- None - None WSW 35 - 50
Friday Morning W 15 - 25 WSW 10 - 20 W 30 - 40 --- None - None WSW 35 - 50
Friday Afternoon W 5 - 15 W 5 - 15 W 10 - 20 --- None - None W 10 - 20
Hurricane Ridge Elevation
Thursday Afternoon WSW 20 - 30
Thursday Night WSW 30 - 40
Friday Morning W 15 - 25
Friday Afternoon W 5 - 15
Friday Night VAR 0 - 10
Mt. Baker Elevation
Thursday Afternoon SSE 15 - 25
Thursday Night SW 25 - 35
Friday Morning WSW 10 - 20
Friday Afternoon W 5 - 15
Friday Night VAR 0 - 10
Stevens and Snoqualmie Pass Elevation
Thursday Afternoon S 30 - 40
Thursday Night W 30 - 40
Friday Morning W 30 - 40
Friday Afternoon W 10 - 20
Friday Night VAR 0 - 10
Mt. Rainier Elevation
Thursday Afternoon --- None - None
Thursday Night --- None - None
Friday Morning --- None - None
Friday Afternoon --- None - None
Friday Night --- None - None
Mt. Hood Elevation
Thursday Afternoon WSW 45 - 65
Thursday Night WSW 35 - 50
Friday Morning WSW 35 - 50
Friday Afternoon W 10 - 20
Friday Night SW 0 - 10
Hurricane Ridge Direction - Speed
Thursday Afternoon WSW 20 - 30
Thursday Night WSW 30 - 40
Friday Morning W 15 - 25
Friday Afternoon W 5 - 15
Friday Night VAR 0 - 10
Mt. Baker Direction - Speed
Thursday Afternoon SSE 15 - 25
Thursday Night SW 25 - 35
Friday Morning WSW 10 - 20
Friday Afternoon W 5 - 15
Friday Night VAR 0 - 10
Stevens and Snoqualmie Pass Direction - Speed
Thursday Afternoon S 30 - 40
Thursday Night W 30 - 40
Friday Morning W 30 - 40
Friday Afternoon W 10 - 20
Friday Night VAR 0 - 10
Mt. Rainier Direction - Speed
Thursday Afternoon --- None - None
Thursday Night --- None - None
Friday Morning --- None - None
Friday Afternoon --- None - None
Friday Night --- None - None
Mt. Hood Direction - Speed
Thursday Afternoon WSW 45 - 65
Thursday Night WSW 35 - 50
Friday Morning WSW 35 - 50
Friday Afternoon W 10 - 20
Friday Night SW 0 - 10

Directions above indicate the direction the wind blows from on the 16-point cardinal scale. These winds 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' (mph)

Mt. Baker Washington Pass Stevens to Snoqualmie Pass Mt. Rainier Mt. Hood
Thursday Afternoon SSW 35 - 50 SSW 45 - 65 SW 55 - 75 --- None - None SW 65 - 85
Thursday Night WSW 30 - 40 WSW 40 - 60 WSW 50 - 70 --- None - None WSW 50 - 70
Friday Morning W 20 - 30 W 25 - 35 WNW 35 - 50 --- None - None W 30 - 40
Friday Afternoon W 10 - 20 WNW 15 - 25 WNW 25 - 35 --- None - None W 20 - 30
Mt. Baker Direction - Speed
Thursday Afternoon SSW 35 - 50
Thursday Night WSW 30 - 40
Friday Morning W 20 - 30
Friday Afternoon W 10 - 20
Friday Night WSW 5 - 15
Washington Pass Direction - Speed
Thursday Afternoon SSW 45 - 65
Thursday Night WSW 40 - 60
Friday Morning W 25 - 35
Friday Afternoon WNW 15 - 25
Friday Night VAR 0 - 10
Stevens and Snoqualmie Pass Direction - Speed
Thursday Afternoon SW 55 - 75
Thursday Night WSW 50 - 70
Friday Morning WNW 35 - 50
Friday Afternoon WNW 25 - 35
Friday Night W 5 - 15
Mt. Rainier Direction - Speed
Thursday Afternoon --- None - None
Thursday Night --- None - None
Friday Morning --- None - None
Friday Afternoon --- None - None
Friday Night --- None - None
Mt. Hood Direction - Speed
Thursday Afternoon SW 65 - 85
Thursday Night WSW 50 - 70
Friday Morning W 30 - 40
Friday Afternoon W 20 - 30
Friday Night WSW 10 - 20

Extended Weather Synopsis for Saturday night through Monday

On Saturday, the ridge builds rapidly over the Pacific NW with a ridge axis east of the Cascades. On Saturday night, there's a slight chance of showers as a very weak shortwave trough passes over the ridge. Easterly flow develops Saturday morning and continues through Monday.

On Sunday, the ridge broadens and increases in size to encompass the entire western US and most of western Canada.

On Sunday night through Monday, a deep trough and surface low starts pushing the ridge east with precipitation extending north into our near shore waters and a surface low likely off the coast of California.

 

Extended Weather

Olympics, Washington Cascades and Mt. Hood Area
Saturday Mostly sunny and unseasonably warm with easterly winds through the passes and slightly cooler temperatures east of the Cascade Crest. Saturday night a mix of clouds and clear skies and a slight chance of a shower. Easterly flow continues. Unseasonably
Sunday Mostly sunny and unseasonably warm. Cooler east of the Cascade Crest. Mostly clear Sunday night with some high clouds arriving. Easterly flow continues.

Extended Snow/Freezing Levels

Mt. Baker Snoqualmie Pass Mt. Hood Easterly Flow *
Saturday Freezing Level 5500' - 6500' 4000' - 6000' 6000' - 7000' *
Saturday Night Freezing Level 6000' - 7000' 6000' - 7000' 7000' - 8000' *
Sunday Freezing Level 7000' - 8000' 7000' - 8000' 7500' - 8500' *
Sunday Night Freezing Level 7500' - 8500' 7000' - 8000' 7500' - 8500' *
Mt. Baker Elevation
Saturday Freezing Level
5500' - 6500'
(Easterly Flow *)
Saturday Night Freezing Level
6000' - 7000'
(Easterly Flow *)
Sunday Freezing Level
7000' - 8000'
(Easterly Flow *)
Sunday Night Freezing Level
7500' - 8500'
(Easterly Flow *)
Monday Freezing Level
7500' - 8500'
(Easterly Flow *)
Snoqualmie Pass Elevation
Saturday Freezing Level
4000' - 6000'
(Easterly Flow *)
Saturday Night Freezing Level
6000' - 7000'
(Easterly Flow *)
Sunday Freezing Level
7000' - 8000'
(Easterly Flow *)
Sunday Night Freezing Level
7000' - 8000'
(Easterly Flow *)
Monday Freezing Level
8000' - 9000'
(Easterly Flow *)
Mt. Hood Elevation
Saturday Freezing Level
6000' - 7000'
(Easterly Flow *)
Saturday Night Freezing Level
7000' - 8000'
(Easterly Flow *)
Sunday Freezing Level
7500' - 8500'
(Easterly Flow *)
Sunday Night Freezing Level
7500' - 8500'
(Easterly Flow *)
Monday Freezing Level
8000' - 9000'
(Easterly Flow *)

* Easterly flow in the Cascade Passes can cause locally lower Snow or Freezing levels than areas further west.
Freezing Level is when no precipitation is forecast.

Jump to: Weather Forecast I Snow/Freezing Level I Precipitation I Free Winds 5k I Free Winds 9k I Extended Weather

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