Best snow conditions this weekend appear to be in the northern and southern Cascades.
After what seemed like an endless winter of snowy fun, it appears soggy, wet weather is in the mountain weather forecast.
A low-pressure system moved across the Pacific Northwest on Thursday that brought another 6 to 12 inches of snow. Look for a brief warming trend early Friday with freezing levels shooting up between 3,500 to 5,500 feet and strong southwesterly winds. Snow levels are expected to drop late Friday as showers and winds subside.
Look for the best snow conditions this weekend in the northern and southern Cascades while those in the middle (sorry, Snoqualmie Pass) are going to see mainly rain and sloppy hillsides. Rainy weather will likely engulf the Cascades by Monday and Tuesday.
An avalanche warning was issued Thursday in the Cascade backcountry due to rain, snow and wind slabs that could take up to a week to stabilize.
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Conditions were listed as mostly “high” near and above the tree-line, and “considerable to high” below the tree-line by the Northwest Avalanche Center. The warning doesn’t apply to ski areas where avalanche-prevention operations are maintained.
When traveling in the backcountry, it is important to ski or ride with a partner, and stay in visual range of each other; let others know of your travel plans; avoid tree wells and keep a safe distance from trees; stay on groomed runs; and avoid unmarked areas in off-boundary areas of ski resorts. For details, go to www.deepsnowsafety.org or nwac.us/avalanche-forecast/current/.
Total snowfall this season is 534-plus inches at Mount Baker (doesn’t include more than 130-plus inches of snowfall in past 10 days); 327 inches at the Summit at Snoqualmie; 356 inches at Stevens Pass; 359 inches at Crystal Mountain (more than three feet of snow has fallen since March 1); 391 to 425 inches at White Pass; and 359 inches at Whistler-Blackcomb.
Cross-country ski trails were groomed at Lake Wenatchee State Park, Scottish Lakes High Camp, Paradise in Mount Rainier National Park, Mazama, Echo Ridge, Methow Trails, Leavenworth Winter Sports Club, White Pass, Stevens Pass and Cabin Creek, east of Snoqualmie off I-90.
Open daily in British Columbia are Cypress (169-inch base); Whistler-Blackcomb (115), Mount Seymour (148-184), Grouse (98-126), Whitewater (120-122), Mount Washington (75-91), Revelstoke (96), Hudson Bay (42-63), Big White (93), Sun Peaks (72-87), Silver Star (57-83), Kicking Horse (39-82), Fernie (56-119), Panorama (35-57) and Red (28-96).
Open daily in Idaho are Lookout Pass (124-141), Schweitzer (79-119), Tamarack (59-124), Sun Valley (61-123), Brundage Mountain (84-119), Bogus Basin (96-100), Silver (82-94) and Pomerelle (157-169).
Open daily in Oregon are Mount Hood Meadows (145-210), Mount Bachelor (138-168), Mount Ashland (120-180, closed on Thursday), Willamette Pass (75-112), Hoodoo (123), Timberline (187) and Mount Hood Ski Bowl (92-106).
Source: Ski resorts and www.skiwashington.com