A shifting weather pattern in the mountains could drop copious amounts of snow on the slopes.

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Weather projections for the next five days forecast a drastic change, with copious amounts of snowfall expected to cover this week’s crusty, ice-glazed slopes at ski resorts.

“This is the proverbial calm before the storm, and I’m counting on the timing because it couldn’t be any better,” said Gwyn Howat, operations manager at the Mount Baker Ski Area. “We could see three to five feet (of new snow) or more in the days ahead.”

Deep powder greeted this skier at the Mount Baker Ski Area, and more snow is expected to fall this weekend. Photo courtesy of Mount Baker Ski Area.

A weak weather system is expected to bring snow showers through Friday before a series of much stronger bands moves across the Cascades through Monday. Freezing levels will range between 500 to 1,000 feet to the north, and 2,000 to 4,000 feet in the central and southern mountains.

Snowfall amounts, especially at places such as Mount Baker in the North Cascades, will be almost unbelievable, with 35 to 55 inches. Sunday alone could see the deepest totals, of 14 to 20 inches.

Here are expected totals elsewhere: 16 to 32 inches at Stevens Pass; 13 to 27 inches at Alpental at The Summit at Snoqualmie; 11 to 21 inches at Crystal Mountain; and 14 to 30 inches at White Pass.

“We were on a record pace for season snow amount totals back in December, and then it ranked in the top five (years),” said Amy Trowbridge, the marketing director at Mount Baker Ski Area. “I think physically it is impossible to top the world record.”

The total snowfall this season is 392 inches at Mount Baker Ski Area (115 inches in November, 207 in December, and 70 in January). The average season total is 659 inches. The record was 1,140 inches in the 1998-99 season, and the runner-up was 857 inches in the 2010-11 season.

Winter has returned to Cascade ski areas at places like Stevens Pass Resort. Photo courtesy of Stevens Pass Resort.

Trowbridge dug deeper into the annals and found some interesting facts from the Washington Department of Transportation’s records, dating back to the 1970s and ’80s, before the ski area started tracking totals.

“We actually had 1,063 inches of snow in the 1970-71 season, and 1,008 inches in the 1971-72 season,” Trowbridge said. “There were some big swings in the 1970s, and between 1970 and 1976 the big seasons were 958, 825 and 795 inches. Then in the late 1970s it dropped to 373 inches. It shows you that these big snow years can be cyclic.”

Another interesting fact from state records: During the 1980-81 winter the snow total was 277 inches, which was less than the lowest record the ski area has in its books (303 inches in 2014-15).

Total snowfall so far this season elsewhere: 172 inches at the Summit at Snoqualmie; 229 inches at Stevens Pass Resort; 196 inches at Crystal Mountain Resort; 226 to 259 inches at White Pass Ski Area; and 252 inches at Whistler Blackcomb Resort in British Columbia.

At Crystal Mountain Resort, the upper mountain was closed Thursday due to high winds. It should be back to normal operations by Friday.

Cross-country skiers have many trail choices at Lake Wenatchee State Park; Scottish Lakes High Camp; Paradise in Mount Rainier National Park; Mazama; Echo Ridge; Methow Valley; Leavenworth Winter Sports Club; White Pass; Stevens Pass; and Cabin Creek, east of Snoqualmie off I-90.

The Loup Loup Ski Bowl – located between Twisp and Okanogan on Highway 20 – is open Wednesday, and Friday to Sunday from 9 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. with a 36-inch base. The Hurricane Ridge Ski and Snowboard Area in Olympic National Park is open Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., weather conditions permitting.

In Montana, Whitefish Resort is open daily with a 69-inch base, and has 101 trails open and 10 lifts operating (night skiing offered Friday and Saturday). Big Sky Resort is open daily with a 44-inch base and 66-inch base on the upper summit.

What a busy day at Snoqualmie Pass can look like.

Open daily in British Columbia are Cypress (119-inch base); Whistler Blackcomb (82); Mount Seymour (87-122); Grouse (91-118); Whitewater (73-74); Mount Washington (53-73); Revelstoke (57-70); Hudson Bay Mountain (47-59); Big White (64); Sun Peaks (44-57); Silver Star (34-57); Kicking Horse (26-57); Fernie Alpine (36-60); Panorama Mountain (22-39); and Red Mountain Resort (63).

Open daily in Idaho are Lookout Pass (104-121); Schweitzer Mountain (40-60); Tamarack (46-56); Sun Valley (93-120); Brundage Mountain (44-66); Bogus Basin (71-77); Silver Mountain (50-60); and Pomerelle (111-125).

Open daily in Oregon are Mount Hood Meadows (82-156); Mount Bachelor (91-117); Mount Ashland (90-122); Willamette Pass (75-112); Hoodoo Ski Area (71); Timberline (110); and Mount Hood Ski Bowl (50-60).

Latest snow and lift reports:

Which ski areas are open and closed:


Resort

Hours

Base


Summit West, Snoqualmie Open: 4pm-10pm Thursday to Friday, and Feb. 8-10; 9am-10pm Saturday, and Feb. 11; 9am-5pm Sunday, and Feb. 12; closed Monday and Tuesday (no new snow) 60 inches

Summit Central, Snoqualmie Open: 9am-10pm Thursday to Saturday, and Monday to Feb. 11; 9am-5pm Sunday, and Feb. 12 (no new snow) 60 inches

Summit East, Snoqualmie Open: 9am-4pm Saturday and Sunday, and Feb. 11-12; closed Monday to Feb. 10 (no new snow) 60 inches

Nordic Center, Snoqualmie Open: 9am-4pm Friday to Sunday, and Feb. 10-12; closed Monday to Feb. 9 (no new snow) 60 inches

Alpental, Snoqualmie Open: 9am-10pm Thursday to Saturday, and Tuesday to Feb. 11; 9am-4pm Sunday, and Feb. 12; closed Monday (no new snow) 71-107 inches

Mount Baker Ski Area Open daily: 9am-3:30pm (no new snow) 103-163 inches

Crystal Mountain Open daily: 9am-4pm (no new snow) 42-62 inches

Stevens Pass Open daily: 9am-4pm; night skiing until 10 pm Wednesday to Sunday, and Feb. 8-12 (no new snow) 60-76 inches

White Pass Open daily: 8:45am-4pm (no new snow) 57-71 inches

Mission Ridge Ski & Board Open: 9am-4pm; closed Tuesday and Wednesday; and night skiing until 8 p.m. on Saturdays only (no new snow) 41-44 inches

49° North Mountain Open: 9am-3:30pm Friday to Tuesday; closed Wednesday and Thursday (no new snow) 64-89 inches

Mt. Spokane Ski & Snowboard Open: 9am-4pm Sunday and Monday; 9am-9:30pm Wednesday to Saturday; closed Monday and Tuesday (no new snow) 42-57 inches

Ski Bluewood Open: 9am-4pm Wednesday to Sunday (no new snow) 60-69 inches

Whistler-Blackcomb Open daily: 9am-5pm (no new snow) 82 inches

Mt. Bachelor Open daily: 9am-4pm (3 inches new snow) 91-117 inches

Leavenworth Winter Sports Club Open: All nordic trails open daily; tubing open 3pm-7pm Wednesday and Friday, and 9:30am-5pm Saturday and Sunday; ski hill open 3pm-8pm Wednesday and Friday, 9:30am-5pm Saturday to Sunday (no new snow)
 20 inches

Methow Trails Open daily: All nordic trails open at Sun Mountain, Rendezvous, Winthrop (Bob is closed) and Mazama (no new snow) 23 inches