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Mountain Weather Forecast

Issued: 2:59 PM PST Friday, February 9, 2018
by Kenny Kramer

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 Friday & Saturday

Low level moisture, combined with a very weak passing small scale disturbance is maintaining a few showers into the afternoon Friday, mainly over the Mt Baker, Mt Rainier and the central Cascade passes.  Showers should end by the evening with gradual clearing as the flow aloft becomes increasingly northerly.

A strong upper ridge of high pressure remains offshore and will keep the Pacific Northwest cool with low freezing levels through Saturday and beyond.

The ridge nudges closer to the coast and builds a little further northward Saturday allowing for clearing skies Friday night and plenty of sunshine for Saturday.

The next disturbance to affect the area is slated for Sunday and this weak system will spread increasing clouds across the area late Saturday and Saturday night.

Weather forecast for Friday & Saturday

Olympics
Date Weather
Friday Afternoon Mostly sunny.
Friday Night Mostly clear. Cool.
Saturday Mostly sunny and cool. Increasing high clouds in the afternoon.
Becoming mostly cloudy.
Washington Cascades near and west of the Crest including Stevens, Snoqualmie and White Passes
Date Weather
Friday Afternoon Mostly cloudy with scattered light snow showers through evening, mainly in the passes and volcanic peaks.
Friday Night Mostly clear. Cool.
Saturday Mostly sunny and cool. Increasing high clouds in the late afternoon.
Becoming mostly cloudy.
East Slopes of the Washington Cascades
Date Weather
Friday Afternoon Partly cloudy and cool.
Friday Night Mostly clear and cool.
Saturday Mostly sunny. Cool.
Increasing high clouds becoming mostly cloudy.
Mt. Hood
Date Weather
Friday Afternoon Partly to mostly cloudy.
Friday Night Clear and cool.
Saturday Mostly sunny. Increasing high clouds in the afternoon.
Increasing clouds becoming mostly cloudy.

Snow Level/Freezing Level in feet

Date Olympics Northwest Cascades Northeast Cascades Central Cascades South Cascades Easterly Flow in Passes
Friday Afternoon Snow Level 1500' 1000' 1000' 2000' 2500'
Friday Night Freezing Level 1500' 1000' 1000' 1500' 2500'
Saturday Morning Freezing Level 2000' 2000' 3000' 3500' 4000'
Saturday Afternoon Freezing Level 3500' 3000' 3000' 3500' 5500'
Olympics
Date Elevation
Friday Afternoon Snow Level
1500'
Friday Night Freezing Level
1500'
Saturday Morning Freezing Level
2000'
Saturday Afternoon Freezing Level
3500'
Saturday Night Freezing Level
3000'
Northwest Cascades
Date Elevation
Friday Afternoon Snow Level
1000'
Friday Night Freezing Level
1000'
Saturday Morning Freezing Level
2000'
Saturday Afternoon Freezing Level
3000'
Saturday Night Freezing Level
1500'
Northeast Cascades
Date Elevation
Friday Afternoon Snow Level
1000'
Friday Night Freezing Level
1000'
Saturday Morning Freezing Level
3000'
Saturday Afternoon Freezing Level
3000'
Saturday Night Freezing Level
2000'
Central Cascades
Date Elevation
Friday Afternoon Snow Level
2000'
Friday Night Freezing Level
1500'
Saturday Morning Freezing Level
3500'
Saturday Afternoon Freezing Level
3500'
Saturday Night Freezing Level
2500'
South Cascades
Date Elevation
Friday Afternoon Snow Level
2500'
Friday Night Freezing Level
2500'
Saturday Morning Freezing Level
4000'
Saturday Afternoon Freezing Level
5500'
Saturday Night Freezing Level
6000'

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

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

Date Direction - Speed
Friday Afternoon W 0 - 10
Friday Night E 0 - 10
Saturday Morning E 0 - 10
Saturday Afternoon W 0 - 10

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
Friday Afternoon NW 5 - 10 NNE 5 - 10 NW 5 - 15 NW 5 - 15
Friday Night NE 10 - 20 NE 10 - 20 NE 5 - 10 NNW 5 - 15
Saturday Morning NE 5 - 15 NE 5 - 10 NE 5 - 10 ENE 5 - 15
Saturday Afternoon WSW 5 - 10 SW 5 - 10 W 5 - 10 SE 5 - 10
Olympics
Date Elevation
Friday Afternoon NW 5 - 10
Friday Night NE 10 - 20
Saturday Morning NE 5 - 15
Saturday Afternoon WSW 5 - 10
Saturday Night W 10 - 20
Northwest Cascades
Date Elevation
Friday Afternoon NNE 5 - 10
Friday Night NE 10 - 20
Saturday Morning NE 5 - 10
Saturday Afternoon SW 5 - 10
Saturday Night W 5 - 15
Central Cascades
Date Elevation
Friday Afternoon NW 5 - 15
Friday Night NE 5 - 10
Saturday Morning NE 5 - 10
Saturday Afternoon W 5 - 10
Saturday Night W 10 - 20
South Cascades
Date Elevation
Friday Afternoon NW 5 - 15
Friday Night NNW 5 - 15
Saturday Morning ENE 5 - 15
Saturday Afternoon SE 5 - 10
Saturday Night W 5 - 15
Olympics
Date Direction - Speed
Friday Afternoon NW 5 - 10
Friday Night NE 10 - 20
Saturday Morning NE 5 - 15
Saturday Afternoon WSW 5 - 10
Saturday Night W 10 - 20
Northwest Cascades
Date Direction - Speed
Friday Afternoon NNE 5 - 10
Friday Night NE 10 - 20
Saturday Morning NE 5 - 10
Saturday Afternoon SW 5 - 10
Saturday Night W 5 - 15
Central Cascades
Date Direction - Speed
Friday Afternoon NW 5 - 15
Friday Night NE 5 - 10
Saturday Morning NE 5 - 10
Saturday Afternoon W 5 - 10
Saturday Night W 10 - 20
South Cascades
Date Direction - Speed
Friday Afternoon NW 5 - 15
Friday Night NNW 5 - 15
Saturday Morning ENE 5 - 15
Saturday Afternoon SE 5 - 10
Saturday Night W 5 - 15

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
Friday Afternoon NNW 10 - 20 NNW 15 - 25 NW 25 - 35 NW 30 - 40
Friday Night NNE 10 - 20 NNE 15 - 25 NNW 15 - 25 NNW 20 - 30
Saturday Morning N 15 - 25 N 15 - 25 N 15 - 25 NNE 20 - 30
Saturday Afternoon NW 20 - 30 NW 20 - 30 NW 15 - 25 N 10 - 20
Northwest Cascades
Date Direction - Speed
Friday Afternoon NNW 10 - 20
Friday Night NNE 10 - 20
Saturday Morning N 15 - 25
Saturday Afternoon NW 20 - 30
Saturday Night W 25 - 35
Northeast Cascades
Date Direction - Speed
Friday Afternoon NNW 15 - 25
Friday Night NNE 15 - 25
Saturday Morning N 15 - 25
Saturday Afternoon NW 20 - 30
Saturday Night W 25 - 35
Central Cascades
Date Direction - Speed
Friday Afternoon NW 25 - 35
Friday Night NNW 15 - 25
Saturday Morning N 15 - 25
Saturday Afternoon NW 15 - 25
Saturday Night W 25 - 35
South Cascades
Date Direction - Speed
Friday Afternoon NW 30 - 40
Friday Night NNW 20 - 30
Saturday Morning NNE 20 - 30
Saturday Afternoon N 10 - 20
Saturday Night W 25 - 35

Extended Weather Synopsis for Sunday through Tuesday

A weak disturbance is forecast to move through the upper ridge position offshore and form a low pressure circulation off Vancouver Island by early Sunday morning, then turn sharply southward moving to the Oregon coast later Sunday. This system should provide a little snowfall over most areas, but the water amounts look to be light, with general snowfall of 1-4 inches expected and the greater amounts over the Mt Hood area. 

The disturbance moves south of the area Sunday night with showers ending most areas, but lingering over the Mt Hood area.

The ridge offshore should rebound Monday to bring a cool and drier NNE flow. Gradual clearing is expected from the north Monday with showers ending early Monday in the Mt Hood area.

Tuesday looks to be another dry cool day under the influence of the offshore upper ridge remaining in place. 

Extended Weather Forecast for Sunday through Tuesday

Olympics, Washington Cascades and Mt. Hood Area
Date Weather
Sunday Cloudy with periods of light snow beginning in the north part early Sunday and tracking southward through the day. Light to briefly moderate snow, Mt Rainier and Mt Hood. Snow showers ending Sunday night, except for light snow showers persisting in the Mt Hood area.
Monday Becoming partly cloudy with increasing sunshine. Fair and cool Monday night.

Snow/Freezing Levels

Date Olympics Northwest Cascades Northeast Cascades Central Cascades South Cascades Easterly Flow in Passes
Sunday Snow Level 1000' - 2500' 500' - 1500' 0' - 1000' 1000' - 2500' 2000' - 3500'
Sunday Night Snow Level 1000' - 2500' 500' - 1500' 0' - 1000' 1000' - 2500' 2000' - 3500'
Monday Freezing Level 2500' - 4000' 1500' - 3000' 1500' - 3000' 2500' - 4000' 3000' - 4500'
Monday Night Freezing Level 2500' - 4000' 2000' - 3500' 2000' - 3500' 2500' - 4000' 2500' - 4000'
Olympics
Date Elevation
Sunday Snow Level
1000' - 2500'
Sunday Night Snow Level
1000' - 2500'
Monday Freezing Level
2500' - 4000'
Monday Night Freezing Level
2500' - 4000'
Tuesday Freezing Level
4000' - 5000'
Northwest Cascades
Date Elevation
Sunday Snow Level
500' - 1500'
Sunday Night Snow Level
500' - 1500'
Monday Freezing Level
1500' - 3000'
Monday Night Freezing Level
2000' - 3500'
Tuesday Freezing Level
2000' - 3500'
Northeast Cascades
Date Elevation
Sunday Snow Level
0' - 1000'
Sunday Night Snow Level
0' - 1000'
Monday Freezing Level
1500' - 3000'
Monday Night Freezing Level
2000' - 3500'
Tuesday Freezing Level
2000' - 3500'
Central Cascades
Date Elevation
Sunday Snow Level
1000' - 2500'
Sunday Night Snow Level
1000' - 2500'
Monday Freezing Level
2500' - 4000'
Monday Night Freezing Level
2500' - 4000'
Tuesday Freezing Level
3000' - 5000'
South Cascades
Date Elevation
Sunday Snow Level
2000' - 3500'
Sunday Night Snow Level
2000' - 3500'
Monday Freezing Level
3000' - 4500'
Monday Night Freezing Level
2500' - 4000'
Tuesday Freezing Level
5000' - 7000'

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.