When will skiing begin in the Washington Cascades? Is there a possibility for Thanksgiving skiing, at least on the cross country trails?
You need to start the season with a good base, and during the next 48h the Cascades will get a nice 1-2 foot dump of powder. Enough to make those folks in Utah and Colorado a bit envious. And some cold Arctic air will push south into British Columbia, with some leakage flowing down the Fraser; perhaps, giving Bellingham and San Juan's a small taste of the cool, northeasterly flow that sets the flags waving at the Bell Faire Mall there.
The fun will be associated with a trough moving southeastward along the eastern flanks of a huge ridge in the eastern Pacific (see graphic)
And now the exciting part. Here is the predicted 48-h snowfall ending 4 AM on Sunday from the UW WRF model. A lot of the Cascades will get 1-2 feet of snow if this is right. Some higher elevations even more. And this will not be any snow. Decent powder.
As the trough moves through on Saturday, there will be a strong surge of westerly winds in the Strait of Juan de Fuca and powerful northwesterlies down the Strait of Georgia (see graphic showing surface gusts at 10 PM Friday evening). 50 kt winds approaching Whidbey! And strong winds in the Cascades. Be very careful if you are planning to cross a Cascade pass...it will be treacherous and dangerous.
And then by Saturday afternoon, modest northeasterlies coming out of the Fraser....a relatively weak case though (see figure). Still windy in the Strait of Juan de Fuca and in the Cascades.
But I have bad news for snow lovers. By Tuesday, a warm, wet system will approach our coast (see map). Freezing levels will move above the passes and rain will fall on the beloved powder. Well, we like a nice Cascade concrete layer as a base....I guess.