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Mountain Weather Forecast

Issued: 2:49 PM PST Tuesday, January 22, 2019
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 Tuesday night through Thursday

A potent warm front will bring heavy rain and snow to many areas as snow levels rise to just below Cascade Crest level in many areas. The one cold air holdout will be the East-North Cascades near Washington Pass. Through the evening hours, a battle will play out between the cool easterly flow and the warm air spreading in aloft. Snow levels will rise significantly during the day in some areas west of the Cascades such as Hurricane Ridge which is likely to experience a changeover to rain during the day, but most NWAC stations will remain snow because it will take time to wash out the low-level cold air due to that easterly flow. Many low and mid-elevation NWAC stations will experience significant snow totals before a changeover to rain overnight as the warm air ultimately wins the battle once the warm front moves through during the evening hours. The firehose will be aimed at the north-central Cascades Tuesday evening with ample precipitation spilling over to the east slopes as the low slides along the coast of Vancouver Island. At this time, the warm sector of the storm provides a "relative" dry window south of Snoqualmie Pass. The cold frontal passage will bring the heavier precipitation back to all areas after 10 PM.

On Wednesday, the surface low passes over central Washington State during the mid-day hours, creating a moderate convergence off the Olympic Mountains in its wake as northerly flow is ushered down behind the low. Northerly flow will also decrease and end shower activity in the North Cascades. Elsewhere, light to moderate rain and snow showers that will decrease throughout the day and evening hours across the Cascades, with the heaviest rain and snow shower activity Wednesday near Mt. Hood. Snow levels will decrease gradually during the day, but they will remain above Stevens Pass level.

Wednesday night and Thursday a mild warm northwesterly flow and generally fair weather will predominate with a ridge parked offshore.

Weather Forecast

Hurricane Ridge
Tuesday Night Moderate rain and high elevation snow in the evening. Becoming light rain and snow showers after 10 PM. Strong winds becoming moderate.
Decreasing light snow showers. Snow level relatively steady around Hurricane Ridge elevation.
Mt. Baker
Tuesday Night Moderate to heavy snow in the evening, then rain mixing with snow after 10 PM. Gradually rising snow levels. Moderate winds.
Moderate snow showers in the morning, then snow showers ending around noon with partial clearing in the afternoon. Light to moderate winds becoming light in the afternoon.
Washington Pass and Leavenworth
Tuesday Night Heavy snow in the east-central Cascades, changing to moderate rain and snow as snow levels rise around midnight. Moderate snow in the north, becoming moderate snow showers. Moderate winds.
Moderate rain and snow showers, heaviest in the south, ending from north to south as the day progresses. Decreasing moderate winds.
Stevens and Snoqualmie Pass
Tuesday Night Heavy snow mixing with and changing to rain, becoming heavy rain and snow showers after midnight. Snoqualmie should see a changeover to rain before 10 PM while Stevens should see the changeover by midnight. Strong to extreme ridge-top winds. Light easterly pass-level winds becoming moderate westerly.
Decreasing moderate rain and snow showers. Gradually lowering snow levels. Moderate winds becoming light to moderate.
Mt. Rainier, Crystal and White Pass
Tuesday Night Moderate to heavy rain and snow. High snow levels. Strong to extreme winds in the evening, becoming strong overnight.
Light to moderate snow showers, decreasing. Crystal mostly blocked. Moderate winds becoming light to moderate in the afternoon.
Mt. Hood
Tuesday Night Light rain and snow in the evening becoming heavy after midnight. Rising snow levels. Strong to extreme winds.
Moderate rain and snow showers becoming light snow showers in the afternoon as snow levels lower. Moderate winds becoming light to moderate.

Snow/Freezing Level (ft)

Hurricane Ridge Mt. Baker Washington Pass Leavenworth Stevens Pass Snoqualmie Pass Mt. Rainier, Crystal & White Pass Mt. Hood
Tuesday Evening Snow Level* 6000' 3000' 3000' 3500' 3500' 4000' 4000' 4500'
Tuesday Night Snow Level 6500' 3500' 3000' 4000' 4000' 5000' 5500' 5500'
Wednesday Morning Snow Level 5000' 4000' 3500' 5500' 5000' 5000' 5500' 6500'
Wednesday Afternoon Snow Level 5500' 4000' 4000' 5000' 4500' 4500' 4500' 6000'
Wednesday Evening Snow Level 6000' 4000' 4000' 5000' 4500' 4500' 4500' 4500'
Wednesday Night Snow Level 6500' 2500' 3000' 4000' 4000' 4000' 4500' 5500'
Thursday Morning Freezing Level 7000' 3500' 3500' 4500' 4000' 4000' 4500' 6000'
Hurricane Ridge Elevation
Tuesday Evening Snow Level
6000'
(Easterly Flow *)
Tuesday Night Snow Level
6500'
Wednesday Morning Snow Level
5000'
Wednesday Afternoon Snow Level
5500'
Wednesday Evening Snow Level
6000'
Wednesday Night Snow Level
6500'
Thursday Morning Freezing Level
7000'
Thursday Afternoon Freezing Level
8500'
Mt. Baker Elevation
Tuesday Evening Snow Level
3000'
(Easterly Flow *)
Tuesday Night Snow Level
3500'
Wednesday Morning Snow Level
4000'
Wednesday Afternoon Snow Level
4000'
Wednesday Evening Snow Level
4000'
Wednesday Night Snow Level
2500'
Thursday Morning Freezing Level
3500'
Thursday Afternoon Freezing Level
4000'
Washington Pass Elevation
Tuesday Evening Snow Level
3000'
(Easterly Flow *)
Tuesday Night Snow Level
3000'
Wednesday Morning Snow Level
3500'
Wednesday Afternoon Snow Level
4000'
Wednesday Evening Snow Level
4000'
Wednesday Night Snow Level
3000'
Thursday Morning Freezing Level
3500'
Thursday Afternoon Freezing Level
4500'
Leavenworth Elevation
Tuesday Evening Snow Level
3500'
(Easterly Flow *)
Tuesday Night Snow Level
4000'
Wednesday Morning Snow Level
5500'
Wednesday Afternoon Snow Level
5000'
Wednesday Evening Snow Level
5000'
Wednesday Night Snow Level
4000'
Thursday Morning Freezing Level
4500'
Thursday Afternoon Freezing Level
5500'
Stevens Pass Elevation
Tuesday Evening Snow Level
3500'
(Easterly Flow *)
Tuesday Night Snow Level
4000'
Wednesday Morning Snow Level
5000'
Wednesday Afternoon Snow Level
4500'
Wednesday Evening Snow Level
4500'
Wednesday Night Snow Level
4000'
Thursday Morning Freezing Level
4000'
Thursday Afternoon Freezing Level
4500'
Snoqualmie Pass Elevation
Tuesday Evening Snow Level
4000'
(Easterly Flow *)
Tuesday Night Snow Level
5000'
Wednesday Morning Snow Level
5000'
Wednesday Afternoon Snow Level
4500'
Wednesday Evening Snow Level
4500'
Wednesday Night Snow Level
4000'
Thursday Morning Freezing Level
4000'
Thursday Afternoon Freezing Level
5500'
Mt. Rainier & Crystal Elevation
Tuesday Evening Snow Level
4000'
(Easterly Flow *)
Tuesday Night Snow Level
5500'
Wednesday Morning Snow Level
5500'
Wednesday Afternoon Snow Level
4500'
Wednesday Evening Snow Level
4500'
Wednesday Night Snow Level
4500'
Thursday Morning Freezing Level
4500'
Thursday Afternoon Freezing Level
6500'
Mt. Hood Elevation
Tuesday Evening Snow Level
4500'
(Easterly Flow *)
Tuesday Night Snow Level
5500'
Wednesday Morning Snow Level
6500'
Wednesday Afternoon Snow Level
6000'
Wednesday Evening Snow Level
4500'
Wednesday Night Snow Level
5500'
Thursday Morning Freezing Level
6000'
Thursday Afternoon Freezing Level
9000'

* 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

Tuesday Night Wednesday Wednesday Night Thursday
4 pm - 4 am 4 am - 4 pm 4 pm - 4 am 4 am - 4 pm
Hurricane Ridge 0.75 LT 0.10 0 0
Mt Baker Ski Area 1.00 0.25 0 0
Washington Pass 0.75 - 1.00 LT 0.25 0 0
Leavenworth 0.50 - 0.75 LT 0.10 0 0
Stevens Pass 1.50 0.50 - 0.75 0 0
Snoqualmie Pass 1.50 - 2.00 0.50 LT 0.10 0
Mission Ridge 0.50 - 0.75 LT 0.10 0 0
Crystal Mt 0.50 LT 0.10 0 0
Paradise 2.00 0.50 LT 0.10 0
White Pass 1.00 0.25 0 0
Mt Hood Meadows 1.00 0.50 - 0.75 LT 0.10 0
1.00 0.75 LT 0.10 0
Hurricane Ridge Precipitation Forecast
Tuesday Night 0.75
Wednesday LT 0.10
Wednesday Night 0
Thursday 0
Mt Baker Ski Area Precipitation Forecast
Tuesday Night 1.00
Wednesday 0.25
Wednesday Night 0
Thursday 0
Washington Pass Precipitation Forecast
Tuesday Night 0.75 - 1.00
Wednesday LT 0.25
Wednesday Night 0
Thursday 0
Leavenworth Precipitation Forecast
Tuesday Night 0.50 - 0.75
Wednesday LT 0.10
Wednesday Night 0
Thursday 0
Stevens Pass Precipitation Forecast
Tuesday Night 1.50
Wednesday 0.50 - 0.75
Wednesday Night 0
Thursday 0
Snoqualmie Pass Precipitation Forecast
Tuesday Night 1.50 - 2.00
Wednesday 0.50
Wednesday Night LT 0.10
Thursday 0
Mission Ridge Precipitation Forecast
Tuesday Night 0.50 - 0.75
Wednesday LT 0.10
Wednesday Night 0
Thursday 0
Crystal Mt Precipitation Forecast
Tuesday Night 0.50
Wednesday LT 0.10
Wednesday Night 0
Thursday 0
Paradise Precipitation Forecast
Tuesday Night 2.00
Wednesday 0.50
Wednesday Night LT 0.10
Thursday 0
White Pass Precipitation Forecast
Tuesday Night 1.00
Wednesday 0.25
Wednesday Night 0
Thursday 0
Mt Hood Meadows Precipitation Forecast
Tuesday Night 1.00
Wednesday 0.50 - 0.75
Wednesday Night LT 0.10
Thursday 0
Timberline Precipitation Forecast
Tuesday Night 1.00
Wednesday 0.75
Wednesday Night LT 0.10
Thursday 0

Free Winds at 5000' (mph)

Hurricane Ridge Mt. Baker Stevens to Snoqualmie Pass Mt. Rainier Mt. Hood
Tuesday Evening WSW 30 - 45 S 20 - 30 SW 40 - 60 SW 40 - 60 WSW 40 - 60
Tuesday Night WSW 20 - 30 WSW 20 - 30 WSW 40 - 60 WSW 30 - 45 WSW 45 - 65
Wednesday Morning W 15 - 25 W 10 - 20 WSW 15 - 25 WSW 20 - 30 WSW 45 - 65
Hurricane Ridge Elevation
Tuesday Evening WSW 30 - 45
Tuesday Night WSW 20 - 30
Wednesday Morning W 15 - 25
Wednesday Afternoon W 5 - 15
Mt. Baker Elevation
Tuesday Evening S 20 - 30
Tuesday Night WSW 20 - 30
Wednesday Morning W 10 - 20
Wednesday Afternoon WSW 5 - 15
Stevens and Snoqualmie Pass Elevation
Tuesday Evening SW 40 - 60
Tuesday Night WSW 40 - 60
Wednesday Morning WSW 15 - 25
Wednesday Afternoon W 10 - 20
Mt. Rainier Elevation
Tuesday Evening SW 40 - 60
Tuesday Night WSW 30 - 45
Wednesday Morning WSW 20 - 30
Wednesday Afternoon W 10 - 20
Mt. Hood Elevation
Tuesday Evening WSW 40 - 60
Tuesday Night WSW 45 - 65
Wednesday Morning WSW 45 - 65
Wednesday Afternoon WSW 25 - 35
Hurricane Ridge Direction - Speed
Tuesday Evening WSW 30 - 45
Tuesday Night WSW 20 - 30
Wednesday Morning W 15 - 25
Wednesday Afternoon W 5 - 15
Mt. Baker Direction - Speed
Tuesday Evening S 20 - 30
Tuesday Night WSW 20 - 30
Wednesday Morning W 10 - 20
Wednesday Afternoon WSW 5 - 15
Stevens and Snoqualmie Pass Direction - Speed
Tuesday Evening SW 40 - 60
Tuesday Night WSW 40 - 60
Wednesday Morning WSW 15 - 25
Wednesday Afternoon W 10 - 20
Mt. Rainier Direction - Speed
Tuesday Evening SW 40 - 60
Tuesday Night WSW 30 - 45
Wednesday Morning WSW 20 - 30
Wednesday Afternoon W 10 - 20
Mt. Hood Direction - Speed
Tuesday Evening WSW 40 - 60
Tuesday Night WSW 45 - 65
Wednesday Morning WSW 45 - 65
Wednesday Afternoon WSW 25 - 35

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
Tuesday Evening WSW 30 - 45 SW 40 - 60 WSW 60 - 80 WSW 65 - 85 WSW 60 - 80
Tuesday Night WSW 30 - 45 WSW 40 - 60 WSW 45 - 65 WSW 55 - 75 W 60 - 80
Wednesday Morning W 15 - 25 W 20 - 30 W 30 - 45 W 30 - 45 W 55 - 75
Mt. Baker Direction - Speed
Tuesday Evening WSW 30 - 45
Tuesday Night WSW 30 - 45
Wednesday Morning W 15 - 25
Wednesday Afternoon W 15 - 25
Washington Pass Direction - Speed
Tuesday Evening SW 40 - 60
Tuesday Night WSW 40 - 60
Wednesday Morning W 20 - 30
Wednesday Afternoon W 20 - 30
Stevens and Snoqualmie Pass Direction - Speed
Tuesday Evening WSW 60 - 80
Tuesday Night WSW 45 - 65
Wednesday Morning W 30 - 45
Wednesday Afternoon WNW 40 - 60
Mt. Rainier Direction - Speed
Tuesday Evening WSW 65 - 85
Tuesday Night WSW 55 - 75
Wednesday Morning W 30 - 45
Wednesday Afternoon WNW 40 - 60
Mt. Hood Direction - Speed
Tuesday Evening WSW 60 - 80
Tuesday Night W 60 - 80
Wednesday Morning W 55 - 75
Wednesday Afternoon WNW 40 - 60

Extended Weather Synopsis for Thursday night through Saturday

A shortwave riding over the ridge Thursday evening will likely bring some high clouds, particularly in the north.  The ridge will amplify and gradually move eastward so that its axis is along the coastline by Saturday. This will bring increasingly warm days, moderate and mostly clear nights, and the potential for inversions and morning fog in the lowlands. Freezing levels will rise into the 10,000 ft range. 

Extended Snow/Freezing Levels

Mt. Baker Snoqualmie Pass Mt. Hood Easterly Flow *
Thursday Night Freezing Level 3500' - 4500' 4000' - 6000' 8500' - 9500'
Friday Freezing Level 3000' - 4000' 3000' - 5000' 6500' - 8500'
Friday Night Freezing Level 4500' - 6500' 5500' - 7000' 9500' - 11500'
Mt. Baker Elevation
Thursday Night Freezing Level
3500' - 4500'
Friday Freezing Level
3000' - 4000'
Friday Night Freezing Level
4500' - 6500'
Saturday Freezing Level
8000' - 10000'
Snoqualmie Pass Elevation
Thursday Night Freezing Level
4000' - 6000'
Friday Freezing Level
3000' - 5000'
Friday Night Freezing Level
5500' - 7000'
Saturday Freezing Level
9000' - 11000'
Mt. Hood Elevation
Thursday Night Freezing Level
8500' - 9500'
Friday Freezing Level
6500' - 8500'
Friday Night Freezing Level
9500' - 11500'
Saturday Freezing Level
10000' - 12000'

* 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

Previous forecast from Jan. 22, 2019

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.