Mother Nature has been unloading on the West Coast over the past week with copious amounts of rain and snow thanks to a supercharged tropical jetstream. Several feet of snow has fallen on the mountains from the Northern Cascades down to the Central Sierra Nevada.
These were warm storms with high snow levels so the snow was the base building type and for some locations the heavy accumulations were limited to the upper half of the mountain. We are in for a much colder pattern over the next week with the snow continuing in the Cascades and taking a break in the Sierra.
A ridge of high pressure is building off the coast of California that will keep all of the storms to the North over the next week. It is positioned far enough off the coast, however, to allow a series of cold storms to drop into the Pacific Northwest and continue down into the Rockies. This pattern will bring lots of cold and snow to the Cascades and will keep the Sierra cool although there will be plenty of sunshine.
The first storm to hit the Pacific Northwest will be Thursday into Friday with one to three feet of snow expected over the Cascades of Washington and several inches down into Northern Oregon. Snow levels will dip as low as 1,500 feet with this storm.
The parade of cold storms will continue through the middle of next week with a weaker storm slated for Sunday and another decent storm possible next Wednesday. By this time next week, the Cascades of Washington could have three to five feet of new snow, and of the much lighter variety than what fell this past week. Further south into Oregon, Mt. Hood will be right on the Southern edge of the storms so there could be significant snowfall with amounts fading as you head south towards Mt. Bachelor.
Wax those skis and boards!
Bryan Allegretto is a Weather Forecaster for OpenSnow.com.