Issued: 7:08 AM PST Saturday, January 21, 2023
by Dennis D'Amico

Jump to: Weather Forecast I Precipitation I Snow Level I 5000' Temps I Ridgeline Winds I

Weather Synopsis

A frontal system is approaching the Washington coast this morning with radar returns just starting to show up over the Olympic peninsula.  The front's timing has slowed by 2-3 hrs, versus yesterday's forecast, with the frontal passage now expected for the central Cascades in the 2-3 pm timeframe. We'll see increasing cloud cover today with precipitation moving this morning for the Olympics and the Cascades just before or near mid-day. S-SE winds have increased out ahead of the front with strong winds expected in the Hurricane Ridge, Mt Baker and Crystal areas. It's a mixed bag of temperatures and freezing levels out there with some milder air at mid/upper elevations, but once the precipitation starts snow levels should quickly fall to 3000' by mid-afternoon and continue sliding down in the late afternoon and evening. 

The switch to strong westerly winds has also been pushed back to mid/late afternoon as well. Strong westerly winds for the central/south Cascades and Mt Hood will continue overnight and become more NW-erly.  There's an unusual amount of uncertainty regarding the post-frontal precipitation forecast Saturday night, but a messy consensus suggests the central-west and southwest Cascades will pick up the most overnight with the potential for a Puget Sound Convergence zone. Through early Sunday morning, 4-12" of snow seems reasonable for the west slopes of the Cascades and Mt Hood with lower amounts over the Olympics and east slopes of the Cascades. 

We should see showers taper down on Sunday with decreasing but still breezy NW ridgeline winds. Expect broken clouds along the west slopes of the Cascades in the afternoon and more sunshine on the east-side of the Cascades. 

Weather Forecast

Olympics
West North
West Central
West South
Stevens Pass
Snoqualmie Pass
East North
East Central
East South
Mt. Hood
Use dropdown to select your zone
Saturday Light rain and snow becoming light to moderate midday and then light snow showers in the afternoon. Strong ridgeline winds.
Saturday Night Mostly cloudy with scattered light snow showers. Moderate ridgeline winds.
Saturday Cloudy early this morning with light snow developing late morning and becoming moderate snow midday. Strong ridgeline winds.
Saturday Night Cloudy with light to occasionally moderate snow showers. Moderate ridgeline winds.
Saturday Cloudy early this morning with light snow developing late morning and becoming light to occasionally moderate snow midday. Moderate ridgeline winds.
Saturday Night Cloudy with light to moderate snow showers. Moderate ridgeline winds.
Saturday Cloudy this morning with light snow developing around mid-day and becoming light to occasionally moderate snow early afternoon. Moderate to strong ridgeline winds.
Saturday Night Cloudy with light to moderate snow showers. Moderate to strong ridgeline winds.
Saturday Cloudy this morning with light snow developing around mid-day and becoming light to occasionally moderate snow early afternoon. Moderate SE-E Pass level and ridgeline winds becoming strong West winds late.
Saturday Night Cloudy with light to moderate snow showers. Moderate to strong West Pass level and ridgeline winds.
Saturday Cloudy this morning with light snow developing around mid-day and becoming light to occasionally moderate snow early afternoon. Moderate SE-E Pass level and ridgeline winds becoming strong West winds late.
Saturday Night Cloudy with light to moderate snow showers. Moderate to strong West Pass level and ridgeline winds.
Saturday Cloudy this morning with light snow developing around mid-day and becoming light to occasionally moderate snow early afternoon. Moderate winds increasing in the afternoon.
Saturday Night Cloudy with occasional light snow showers. Moderate ridgeline winds.
Saturday Cloudy this morning with light snow developing around mid-day and becoming light to occasionally moderate snow early afternoon. Moderate winds becoming strong in the afternoon.
Saturday Night Cloudy with light snow showers. Strong ridgeline winds.
Saturday Cloudy this morning with light snow developing around mid-day and becoming light to occasionally moderate snow early afternoon. Moderate winds becoming strong in the afternoon.
Saturday Night Cloudy with occasional light snow showers. Moderate to strong ridgeline winds.
Saturday Cloudy this morning with light snow developing around mid-day and becoming light to occasionally moderate snow early afternoon. Moderate winds becoming strong in the afternoon.
Saturday Night Cloudy with light to moderate snow showers. Moderate to strong ridgeline winds.

Precipitation (in)

Saturday Saturday Night Sunday
4 am - 4 pm 4 pm - 4 am 4 am - 4 pm
Hurricane Ridge 0.25 LT 0.25 LT 0.10
Mt Baker Ski Area 0.50 - 0.75 0.25 LT 0.10
Mt. Loop - Barlow Pass 0.25 - 0.50 0.50 LT 0.10
Stevens Pass 0.25 0.25 - 0.50 LT 0.10
Snoqualmie Pass 0.25 - 0.50 0.50 LT 0.10
Crystal Mt LT 0.25 0.25 - 0.50 LT 0.10
Paradise 0.25 - 0.50 0.50 - 0.75 LT 0.10
White Pass 0.25 0.25 - 0.50 LT 0.10
Washington Pass LT 0.25 LT 0.25 0
Mission Ridge LT 0.10 LT 0.10 0
Salmon la Sac - Gallagher Head LT 0.25 0.25 0
Tieton River - Darland Mt. LT 0.25 0.25 0
Mt Hood Meadows 0.25 0.25 - 0.50 LT 0.10
Timberline 0.25 - 0.50 0.25 - 0.50 LT 0.10
Hurricane Ridge Precipitation (in)
Saturday 0.25
Saturday Night LT 0.25
Sunday LT 0.10
Mt Baker Ski Area Precipitation (in)
Saturday 0.50 - 0.75
Saturday Night 0.25
Sunday LT 0.10
Mt. Loop - Barlow Pass Precipitation (in)
Saturday 0.25 - 0.50
Saturday Night 0.50
Sunday LT 0.10
Stevens Pass Precipitation (in)
Saturday 0.25
Saturday Night 0.25 - 0.50
Sunday LT 0.10
Snoqualmie Pass Precipitation (in)
Saturday 0.25 - 0.50
Saturday Night 0.50
Sunday LT 0.10
Crystal Mt Precipitation (in)
Saturday LT 0.25
Saturday Night 0.25 - 0.50
Sunday LT 0.10
Paradise Precipitation (in)
Saturday 0.25 - 0.50
Saturday Night 0.50 - 0.75
Sunday LT 0.10
White Pass Precipitation (in)
Saturday 0.25
Saturday Night 0.25 - 0.50
Sunday LT 0.10
Washington Pass Precipitation (in)
Saturday LT 0.25
Saturday Night LT 0.25
Sunday 0
Mission Ridge Precipitation (in)
Saturday LT 0.10
Saturday Night LT 0.10
Sunday 0
Salmon la Sac - Gallagher Head Precipitation (in)
Saturday LT 0.25
Saturday Night 0.25
Sunday 0
Tieton River - Darland Mt. Precipitation (in)
Saturday LT 0.25
Saturday Night 0.25
Sunday 0
Mt Hood Meadows Precipitation (in)
Saturday 0.25
Saturday Night 0.25 - 0.50
Sunday LT 0.10
Timberline Precipitation (in)
Saturday 0.25 - 0.50
Saturday Night 0.25 - 0.50
Sunday LT 0.10

Snow Level (ft)

Saturday Morning* Saturday Afternoon Saturday Evening Saturday Night Sunday Morning Sunday Afternoon
Olympics 5500' 2500' 2000' 2000' 1500' 1500'
West North 5500' 2000' 2000' 2000' 1500' 1500'
West Central 5000' 2500' 2000' 2000' 1500' 1500'
West South 5500' 2500' 2000' 2000' 1500' 1500'
Stevens Pass 3000' 2500' 2000' 2000' 1500' 1500'
Snoqualmie Pass 3500' 2500' 2000' 2000' 1500' 1500'
East North 1500' 2500' 2000' 1500' 1500' 2000'
East Central 2000' 2500' 2000' 2000' 1500' 2000'
East South 2000' 2500' 2000' 2000' 1500' 2000'
Mt. Hood 6500' 3000' 2000' 2000' 1500' 1500'
Olympics Elevation
Saturday Morning* 5500'
Saturday Afternoon 2500'
Saturday Evening 2000'
Saturday Night 2000'
Sunday Morning 1500'
Sunday Afternoon 1500'
West North Elevation
Saturday Morning* 5500'
Saturday Afternoon 2000'
Saturday Evening 2000'
Saturday Night 2000'
Sunday Morning 1500'
Sunday Afternoon 1500'
West Central Elevation
Saturday Morning* 5000'
Saturday Afternoon 2500'
Saturday Evening 2000'
Saturday Night 2000'
Sunday Morning 1500'
Sunday Afternoon 1500'
West South Elevation
Saturday Morning* 5500'
Saturday Afternoon 2500'
Saturday Evening 2000'
Saturday Night 2000'
Sunday Morning 1500'
Sunday Afternoon 1500'
Stevens Pass Elevation
Saturday Morning* 3000'
Saturday Afternoon 2500'
Saturday Evening 2000'
Saturday Night 2000'
Sunday Morning 1500'
Sunday Afternoon 1500'
Snoqualmie Pass Elevation
Saturday Morning* 3500'
Saturday Afternoon 2500'
Saturday Evening 2000'
Saturday Night 2000'
Sunday Morning 1500'
Sunday Afternoon 1500'
East North Elevation
Saturday Morning* 1500'
Saturday Afternoon 2500'
Saturday Evening 2000'
Saturday Night 1500'
Sunday Morning 1500'
Sunday Afternoon 2000'
East Central Elevation
Saturday Morning* 2000'
Saturday Afternoon 2500'
Saturday Evening 2000'
Saturday Night 2000'
Sunday Morning 1500'
Sunday Afternoon 2000'
East South Elevation
Saturday Morning* 2000'
Saturday Afternoon 2500'
Saturday Evening 2000'
Saturday Night 2000'
Sunday Morning 1500'
Sunday Afternoon 2000'
Mt. Hood Elevation
Saturday Morning* 6500'
Saturday Afternoon 3000'
Saturday Evening 2000'
Saturday Night 2000'
Sunday Morning 1500'
Sunday Afternoon 1500'

5000' Temperatures (°F)

Saturday Saturday Night
Max / Min Max / Min
Olympics 32 / 26 26 / 20
West North 32 / 26 26 / 21
West Central 32 / 27 26 / 21
West South 31 / 27 26 / 20
Stevens Pass 32 / 27 27 / 20
Snoqualmie Pass 30 / 25 26 / 21
East North 28 / 24 24 / 18
East Central 29 / 26 25 / 21
East South 32 / 26 26 / 21
Mt. Hood 34 / 28 26 / 21
Olympics 5000' Temperature Forecast
(Max / Min)
Saturday 32 / 26
Saturday Night 26 / 20
West North 5000' Temperature Forecast
(Max / Min)
Saturday 32 / 26
Saturday Night 26 / 21
West Central 5000' Temperature Forecast
(Max / Min)
Saturday 32 / 27
Saturday Night 26 / 21
West South 5000' Temperature Forecast
(Max / Min)
Saturday 31 / 27
Saturday Night 26 / 20
Stevens Pass 5000' Temperature Forecast
(Max / Min)
Saturday 32 / 27
Saturday Night 27 / 20
Snoqualmie Pass 5000' Temperature Forecast
(Max / Min)
Saturday 30 / 25
Saturday Night 26 / 21
East North 5000' Temperature Forecast
(Max / Min)
Saturday 28 / 24
Saturday Night 24 / 18
East Central 5000' Temperature Forecast
(Max / Min)
Saturday 29 / 26
Saturday Night 25 / 21
East South 5000' Temperature Forecast
(Max / Min)
Saturday 32 / 26
Saturday Night 26 / 21
Mt. Hood 5000' Temperature Forecast
(Max / Min)
Saturday 34 / 28
Saturday Night 26 / 21

Ridgeline Winds (mph)

Saturday Morning Saturday Afternoon Saturday Evening Saturday Night
Olympics SSW 15-25 SW 20-30 WNW 15-25 WNW 10-20
West North S 20-30 S 20-30 W 10-20 WNW 5-15
West Central S 10-20 SW 20-30 WSW 15-25 WNW 15-25
West South S 20-30 SW 20-30 W 20-30 WNW 15-25
Stevens Pass SE 10-20 WSW 15-25 W 20-30 WNW 15-25
Snoqualmie Pass SE 15-25 WSW 20-30 W 25-35 NW 20-30
East North SSW 5-15 WSW 15-25 W 10-20 NW 15-25
East Central SSW 15-25 WSW 20-30 W 25-35 WNW 20-30
East South SSW 10-20 WSW 15-25 W 25-35 WNW 20-30
Mt. Hood SW 15-25 WSW 25-35 W 30-40 WNW 30-40
Olympics Ridgeline Winds (mph)
Saturday Morning SSW 15-25
Saturday Afternoon SW 20-30
Saturday Evening WNW 15-25
Saturday Night WNW 10-20
West North Ridgeline Winds (mph)
Saturday Morning S 20-30
Saturday Afternoon S 20-30
Saturday Evening W 10-20
Saturday Night WNW 5-15
West Central Ridgeline Winds (mph)
Saturday Morning S 10-20
Saturday Afternoon SW 20-30
Saturday Evening WSW 15-25
Saturday Night WNW 15-25
West South Ridgeline Winds (mph)
Saturday Morning S 20-30
Saturday Afternoon SW 20-30
Saturday Evening W 20-30
Saturday Night WNW 15-25
Stevens Pass Ridgeline Winds (mph)
Saturday Morning SE 10-20
Saturday Afternoon WSW 15-25
Saturday Evening W 20-30
Saturday Night WNW 15-25
Snoqualmie Pass Ridgeline Winds (mph)
Saturday Morning SE 15-25
Saturday Afternoon WSW 20-30
Saturday Evening W 25-35
Saturday Night NW 20-30
East North Ridgeline Winds (mph)
Saturday Morning SSW 5-15
Saturday Afternoon WSW 15-25
Saturday Evening W 10-20
Saturday Night NW 15-25
East Central Ridgeline Winds (mph)
Saturday Morning SSW 15-25
Saturday Afternoon WSW 20-30
Saturday Evening W 25-35
Saturday Night WNW 20-30
East South Ridgeline Winds (mph)
Saturday Morning SSW 10-20
Saturday Afternoon WSW 15-25
Saturday Evening W 25-35
Saturday Night WNW 20-30
Mt. Hood Ridgeline Winds (mph)
Saturday Morning SW 15-25
Saturday Afternoon WSW 25-35
Saturday Evening W 30-40
Saturday Night WNW 30-40

Jump to: Weather Forecast I Precipitation I Snow Level I 5000' Temps I Ridgeline Winds I

Previous forecast from Jan 20, 2023

The NWAC program is administered by the USDA-Forest Service and operates from the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Seattle. NWAC services are made possible by important collaboration and support from a wide variety of federal, state and private cooperators.

The 5000’ temperature forecast does not imply a trend over the 12 hr period and only represents the max and min temperatures within a 12 hr period in the zone. The 6-hr snow level forecast, the forecast discussion, and weather forecast sections may add detail regarding temperature trends.

The snow level forecast represents the general snow level over a 6 hr time period. Freezing levels are forecast when precipitation is not expected.

*Easterly or offshore flow is highlighted with an asterisk when we expect relatively cool east winds in the major Cascade Passes. Easterly flow will often lead to temperature inversions and is a key variable for forecasting precipitation type in the Cascade Passes. Strong easterly flow events can affect terrain on a more regional scale.

Ridgeline winds are the average wind speed and direction over a 6 hr time period.

The wind forecast represents an elevation range instead of a single elevation slice. The elevation range overlaps with the near and above treeline elevation bands in the avalanche forecast and differs per zone.

Wind direction indicates the direction the wind originates or comes from on the 16-point compass rose.

Water Equivalent (WE) is the liquid water equivalent of all precipitation types; rain, snow, ice pellets, etc., forecast to the hundredth of an inch at specific locations. To use WE as a proxy for snowfall amounts, start with a snow to water ratio of 10:1 (10 inches of snow = 1 inch WE). Temperatures at or near freezing will generally have a lower ratio (heavy wet snow) and very cold temperatures can have a much higher ratio (dry fluffy snow).

The label LT, is shorthand for ‘less than’.

Updated Mountain Weather Zone Name Changes – December 2020