Thursday, January 8, 2009

Calmer Weather... Finally

Since Christmas, the weather in the mountains has been.... AWFUL. True, there have been a couple good days, but some of the days have featured the harshest weather in my memory. The normally busy Christmas holiday was a nightmare for the ski areas. Attendance was devastatingly low given the heavy rain, freezing rain, strong winds, and snow in Portland.

And this week was no better, as the past two days were truly terrible in the mountains. Here's a summary of this most recent storm's effects:

- Timberline and Ski Bowl were closed Tuesday and Wednesday. Mt. Hood Meadows had Buttercup open, but decided to close completely Wednesday afternoon.

- Mt. Bachelor had several days of freezing rain and damaging wind. The ski area was open only on a limited basis Monday and Tuesday, and was completely closed Wednesday. There are hundreds of trees down all over the mountain. The ski area managed to get a small portion of the area open today, and they're hoping to get more of the mountain open Friday.

- The wind peaked Tuesday evening -- there was a gust to 130 mph at the top of the Magic Mile lift at Timberline, and a gust to nearly 80 mph at the top of the Mt. Hood Express lift at Meadows. This is about as windy as it gets up there.

Now... some much better news. The worst is over. Today (Thursday), the situation is far improved, as the temperature has dropped and new snow has returned. Friday will feature several inches of new snow, and the sun will come out during the day.

Overall, the weather pattern is now going through a significant change -- from super stormy to super serene! After tonight, there won't be much new snow for many days. And next week looks sunny, warm and calm every day. It's a much-needed break!


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