Asit Rathod knows Mount Hood.
60 degrees at Timberline Lodge in January? Really?
It's looking like another June-uary weekend up on Mount Hood, with temperatures rising well into the 50s if not higher, and plenty of sloppy slush to shred, from Shooting Star to Cascade to the Magic Mile.
After six inches of snow last Friday, four inches of rain on Saturday and five inches of snow on Sunday, the conditions on Hood have been quite good this week, especially on the upper mountain. Monday was excellent, Tuesday was gorgeous and Wednesday was still pretty darn good. Snow coverage is thin in spots, especially lower down on the mountain and off-piste in the trees. But Cascade and the Mile have been sweet.
The upper mountain should be even sweeter this weekend, as a warm front moves in and basks the Cascades with sunshine. The National Weather Service is predicting a high of 60 degrees at Timberline Lodge at 5,880 feet Sunday. Beach weather!
No doubt it will be quite a scene at the Mazot as the layers get peeled off. Unfortunately, there just isn't enough snow on Hood to absorb a major melt-down without losing more terrain. We're already missing Hood River Express, the Private Reserve, Heather and Clark Canyons, the Upper and Lower Bowls at Skibowl, and Jeff Flood — all closed for lack of snow. Record highs are bound to bring more closures.
Timberline's historical snow data shows that 2014-15 has been the worst snowpack year on record through January. That could change quickly with a couple of solid storms, but lately it seems like the biggest storms have been bringing rain instead of snow.
As of noon Thursday, Jan. 22, the base is 48 inches at Timberline Lodge, 36 inches at the base of Meadows, and about five inches at the base of Skibowl.
Get it while you can!