The Hoodoo, Willamette Pass, and Mt. Ashland ski areas in Oregon are not yet open.
The WSDOT cams at Denny Creek and Hyak, on the west and east sides of Snoqualme Pass, tell the sparse-snow story well.
The reason for the lack of snow is clear: a lack of precipitation associated with a highly persistent ridge over the eastern Pacific (see my previous blog on this). Here is the percentage of normal precipitation for the past 60 days. Lots of California and parts of the NW have received LESS THAN 25% of normal. A number of climatological stations in California will have their driest year on record in 2013. Those are major records to break.
And my answer is a depressing one: very little is going to change for the next week or so. Here is the precipitation predicted by the UW WRF model for the next 72 h. Dry in Oregon and California and just some light precipitation over northwest Washington State.
Praying for Snow
Fracking and Ozone
UW Professor Becky Alexander has established a page on the Microoryza crowdfunding web site that outlines her project to understand why natural gas fracking often leads to high ozone values over snow (go here to see it). If you want to learn more about this important project and how you can help it happen, check out the web site.